Confessions of an introvert

 

Growing up as a shy quiet child and an awkward (but popular) teenager, I have always believed that being introverted is a bad thing. However as an introvert in an extroverted world, I have discovered that ‘resting bitch face’ and the need to be alone and have privacy are not necessarily bad things.

As a child, I craved alone time to dream and create and write and read. My childhood was blissful and happy and although we didn’t have much money, I loved growing up with my two sisters and my parents who always bent over backwards to give us a safe and happy life. However I was acutely aware of never having enough privacy. I was always having to share a bedroom with first my older sister, then my youngest sister. We lived in a tiny 3 bedroom house in suburban Adelaide which thankfully had a huge backyard, as houses did in those days. The backyard often became my escape from the family, to lie on the back lawn under our gigantic willow tree and read or dream.

Privacy and space to be alone was extremely rare and I never fully understood that almost obsessive need to be by myself. Just as an extrovert feeds off the energy of being social and chatty, too much of this activity drains and overwhelms an introvert. The need to be alone to recharge our batteries and process everything becomes all consuming. I also dislike talking on the phone, apparently another introvert quality – we hate small talk!

There is this misconception that introverts hate people, yet many of us end up in jobs which involve customer service, relationship management or helping others. Trust me, I don’t hate people (well not all the time!) Many introverts learn to wear the mask of an extrovert because we have learned the value that society places on extroverted qualities.

Introverts usually do not require energy and inspiration from others, but are able to find it within themselves. They tend to be planners, are self driven and work well independently, therefore tend to make good leaders.  I’ve always been good at kicking my own butt, which comes from an inner strength cultivated through years of quiet introspection.

Introverts are better at savoring ‘me’ time – great news for fitness enthusiasts. To recharge your batteries, there is no better way to get that than going to the gym, going for a walk or undertaking some other physical activity. This may not be crowded gyms or group fitness, and may involve a preference to work out at home or walk/run/cycle etc.

I have learned that being an introvert is actually quite a good thing and I am proud to say that these quirky qualities make me who I am. Understanding my personality type has brought me great clarity, awareness and also a degree of peace in knowing I deal with the world in a different way. I’ve learned my triggers and I recognise what I need to do for myself when I start to feel overwhelmed or drained by life. I used to think something was wrong with me for not wanting to talk to people on the phone, or needing to be in control in social situations and having an ‘escape’ plan. I can now say with conviction “I’m an introvert, I can’t change who I am and nor do I want to. Deal with it”

PS – I can certainly help you with a custom workout program that’s perfectly suited to your introverted personality, or your extroverted one! All programs are tailored to your body and your goals and take into account any injuries or limitations you might have. Let me know if I can help.

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