The Unfolding Nature Of A Quiet Introvert

Daily Thoughts


Many of us tend to show more of our personality the more we become comfortable with a person. I find that there are only a very few handful of people that have ever seen my whole personality, and understand the extent of how odd but loving I am. Truly, I think everyone is a little strange because it’s not possible for anyone to be normal, because even being too normal is a little strange. It’s funny because there are moments I can give a somewhat cold, distant impression, and others where I am smiling, approachable and warm.

It’s common in society that spending too much time alone, being thoughtful, being a quiet soul, being an introvert and having a calm demeanour are sometimes frowned upon. There is an expectation that a person should be outgoing, yet I believe that confidence and skill set is not equated to the volume of our voice. I do feel that to some extent, we live in a society that praises extroverts. I referenced the quote from Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist who said, “The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”

For those who take time to open up, they do so because they feel they trust you. It can also be the person, because I find certain people can bring out bits and pieces of us. Such as, some may bring out more of our funny side or caring side. It might depend on the nature of the topic, and the conversations we engage in. I find when I get engaged in conversation of interest, I unfold more and more. Many introverts may also be thinkers, and take a pause here and there to think before they speak. Expressing oneself is often easier through art, music, writing, than it is to say the words plainly out loud. Not all the time our spoken words may fully express how we feel inside.

There are hidden layers that are slowly and gradually revealed, when it’s with the right person. For example, there are only a few people in my life who can bring out my ridiculously talkative and crazy side, because I’m willing and comfortable to let them see it. Most of the time, when I interact with people I don’t feel a connection or am not close with, there isn’t a desire to share too much. I was reading the article The Thing About Introverts That Most Extroverts Can’t Understand here, and it explains my first paragraph well.  Michaela writes:

“When I am with strangers, I generally behave in one of two ways:

1) If I have the energy, I am friendly, animated and engaging.

2) If I am feeling overwhelmed, drained or out of my element, I am more quiet and reserved

The people who meet me in scenario #1 assume that I am an extrovert, and don’t know how to react when my introverted tendencies emerge. Those who meet me in scenario #2 believe that I am shy or “have no personality”. They can’t imagine that I am confident, silly, and quite bold with the people I hold dearest. The bottom line is that most extroverts simply don’t understand that introverts behave differently in public than they do with the people they love and trust the most.”

It’s natural for many introverts to show more of their personality when they feel someone is a true friend. They want to invite the people who accept them for who they are into their life. There are those who prefer to have a few close friends, than be socialising in groups. There is this craving for deep connections and minimising energy spent on interactions that don’t go anywhere. Introverts have a lot to say, but they are particular about who they choose to say what to. Something I’m trying to improve on is small talk, even if it’s not the most interesting, it’s a good level of unfolding with a stranger, without having to commit to sharing too much.

One on one interactions are a great way to understand people, and put all my focus in getting to know someone. I also find people are more themselves when they’re alone talking to me, compared to when they’re with a group of people. However, in group situations, most of the time I tend to be the listener. Unfolding takes time, and in different environments we will unfold different things. Such as in the work place, many introverts are talented, but it may take them a little more time to open up. I find it’s easier if I’m drawn or have an instant connection with someone. In our personal lives or at school, it might be a particular person that we gradually open up to.

Eva Green in the Violet Book Fall Issue 2016

18 thoughts on “The Unfolding Nature Of A Quiet Introvert

  1. What a detailed post about introvert and thier innermost feelings. I feel exactly the same so many times, like in some scenarios I act like a total extrovert while in some other I feel overwhelmed and I reserve myself. Those who understands me can even call me crazy and while some others can get the impression that I am quite serious and rigid. I have stopped caring what people think and do what my heart feels right. I am enjoying being myself and loving the way I am.✌️

    1. Hi Pooja, thanks so much for your comment! I loved reading it, and love what you said because I can relate, especially the difference between those close to us and those we don’t know so well as well as the situations and scenarios that we might be in. Yes, it’s so important to not give a fudge about what other people think and just embrace who we are. Yesterday, I heard a classmate say that being an introvert is a negative thing, and it made me realise that there are too many misconceptions about introversion, but we make up a significant amount of the population. I really wanted to say to them, everyone’s different!

  2. ooh I think this is one of my favourite posts of yours; such an important message articulated beautifully. id always felt these things but never knew how to put them in the right words. love this x

  3. I’ve never related to a post more… always confused when people say ‘you’ve gone really quiet’ when for me nothing has changed and I still feel the same output of energy.

  4. I’m glad you could relate :) haha, this happens to me often, but usually it’s because I like listening or just feel like being quiet.

  5. Really great post. I find that I will talk animatedly to different people about different things, depending on what we have in common. One of my colleagues is a part time artist too and we can talk about it for hours but with other colleagues I never talk about art because I feel really awkward. Same goes for my other interests – different people see different aspects of me but nobody gets the full picture.

    1. Thank you. That’s true, I find certain people I can talk endlessly about certain things. I feel that as well, not many people have seen all of my personality except for those close, as I tend to only show some parts to some people.

  6. As an introvert, I relate to every word you wrote in this piece. I have a question though.. and I’m not sure if this happens because I’m an introvert, or because I might have slight anxiety but who doesn’t now a days?
    Here’s the scenario:
    My family had a BBQ dinner for my uncles birthday last weekend. My parents picked me up on the way because I felt it would be unnecessary to drive separate vehicles to the same location. I was feeling very excited and happy to see my whole family, make jokes with them and answer their repetitive questions but when I arrived, an overwhelming feeling of anxiety hit me out of no where. As soon as I opened the car door, I immediately wanted to get back in and go home. I felt so uncomfortable, anxious, and super sad/mad at myself for feeling this way when this was supposed to be a happy time. I didn’t want to draw attention to myself, so I walked away for about 30 minutes, cried it out, gave myself the whole “It’s just a family gathering Kate, what’s your problem? You can do this!”, and decided to return to the party.
    I felt a little better after my internal pep talk but still very awkward and uncomfortable, less anxious though. I thought everyone was looking at me, thinking “wow this girl is fucked up”, but I don’t actually think anyone noticed besides my little brother, but he thought I was just pissed off about something else.
    Long story short, I was very pleased to finally leave after hours of feeling like I was the oddball and that I didn’t belong there.
    This is just one example of this type of situation.. sometimes this feeling hits me early in the morning, while I’m in the gas station, mid conversation, etc.

    Can anyone else relate?

  7. Hi Katya, thanks for sharing your experience :) I definitely had these feelings a lot back in my teenage years. I remember going to after work drinks, and stayed for 10 minutes, had 2 sips of a drink and then said I had to leave. I felt really uncomfortable. I think it can be a mixture of anxiety and environment, as well as the people and depth of conversations. It’s funny cos sometimes we think a lot of people notice if we’re feeling awkward, but most of the time no one really does. It can be such an internal feeling. It gets better over time. It’s great that you still went, because those small steps will gradually help you go out of the comfort zone and feel more comfortable in different situations.

  8. I loved this! I think the quote by Carl Jung is true on so many levels as well.
    I agree small talk is something I am trying to work at as well. But it just drains me. I honestly just start thinking about something else at that point. But it is necessary at times, when you want to get to know someone.
    I actually just did a blog post on text messages as explained by an Introvert – if you fancy a read. Would love your comments on my post if you stop by!

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