Nobody believes me when I tell them – or more appropriately, when they learn – that I am an introvert. In my job, I interact with people all the time and being an introvert, it is very taxing to one’s energy. On Monday mornings, after the daily feet on floor time at the production floor, I kid my team that it already felt like an entire week has passed after all that talking. But all too well, I am not actually kidding.
In my daily work routine, I always needed a few minutes of time over a cup of coffee – alone – which is a critical element for recharging an introvert’s mental battery; or if I have to sit with a bunch of folks, I endeavor not to talk much; else I defeat my purpose of recharging. This then would mean that oftentimes I am mistaken for a snob or a very serious person.
Introverts have been mistakenly equated for being shy, anti-social, docile and quiet-- a person who does not like to talk much or a wallflower in a social gathering. I grew up thinking I was an introvert because I don’t like speaking in front of a crowd. I am not good at small talk and would rather read a book. I like carving out times for me to be alone and be able to do the things I like to do in solitude - like writing a poem or a short article, talking a walk around the village or listening to my favorite song.
That doesn’t mean I don’t need friends, people to confide to, or that I shun human presence in general. It doesn’t mean I am not a team player, in fact, I believe I am the kind who plays my role well in a team while the rest, talk and talk and talk.
Much later, when I was assessed for the Myers-Briggs Personality Test, I learned that introversion is a personality trait characterized by focus on internal feelings and how our energies are best recharged, rather than on external sources of stimulation and social exposure.