One of the things I discovered about myself during those weeks was that I am a person who tends to hold my emotions hostage inside my body. I keep them bottled up pretty well, for reasons I don't really fully understand. Something to do with my introversion, I suppose?
So I clicked on this article 15 Struggles People Who Bottle Up Their Feelings Understand and while some of them are a little dramatic for me, I really related to quite a number the things listed. Number five, specifically, jumped right out at me. Because yes, I use the silent treatment like it's going out of style when I am really upset by something. And I think the reason I do this is not to be childish, but to refrain from saying something that I will possibly later regret and also to make a point that hello, I'm super mad at you right now.
I don't know what makes not talking my go-to for letting someone onto the fact that they have displeased me, but I have done it ever since I was little. Just ask my parents.
And then let's talk about number 11 for a second because, hold on, that is exactly what goes on inside my brain all the time. I will definitely give you my opinions and thoughts about stuff and things but then if you ask me how I feel about something, all my words suddenly jam in my throat and refuse to come out.
Holy buckets, how did these article writers know that about me? Get out of my head already.
I've noticed that I get panicky when someone asks me to explain how I feel. It doesn't matter whether I feel good or bad about something, just having to explain myself is terrifying. It kind of feels like I'm wrong and whatever I say the asker of the question is going to be opposite of me and make me feel inferior for not feeling the same way they do.
I know this is ludicrous and I am allowed to feel ways about things, but expressing those feelings is just not easy for me to do. And believe me, I am working on this. I know the importance of being vulnerable - especially to someone whom you love - and if effort is applied then progress is going to be made. It just takes time to fight against what comes natural to my personality.
The other day we figured out Nathan's Meyers Briggs personality (he is an INTJ and I am an ISFJ). Which got me thinking about personalities in general because there are so many different types. (What even is it like to be an extrovert? Add this to the list of things I will never understand.) I was reading articles on introversion and all that jazz because sometimes I get a little obsessive, and I started noticing things.
People generally think that introverts are shy - but shyness is fear of social judgement and even extroverts can be shy. It costs an introvert energy in order to interact with people. This isn't a bad thing, it's just the way we're wired. And sometimes I get a tight feeling in my chest when I hear people call my name or see them walk through the door at work because it means that I have to give up some of my energy in order to talk with them. Some people cost more energy than others and making small talk costs the most from my energy resources. Please don't make me have small talk with you, I am not good at it and it stresses me out. But I digress. What I mean to say is that introverts are not necessarily shy. So stop using that term interchangeably with introversion. They are not the same.
I also noticed that people tend to think that introverts can't be social. Which is also another falsehood. I don't mind being around people. Large crowds may be intimidating, but I can still function and in fact, am capable of even enjoying myself out in public. Just because I need to go home a little early to recharge my batteries doesn't mean that I necessarily had a bad time at your party. And sometimes going out on the town with my friends is more enjoyable than reading a book. gasp! But that doesn't make me any less of an introvert.
The world needs introverts and extroverts. One is not better than the other. So let's quit perpetuating the ridiculous belief that everyone needs to be extroverted all of the time. And also, let's all maybe work on not keeping our feelings all bottled inside of us. Restore some balance, and the like.