What Does it Feel Like When You’re an Introvert?

Are you an introvert, or an extrovert?

I try not to label or judge people in my day today life; there’s already enough of that going on daily on social media. However, when it comes to judging myself, I’ll go all out. Especially when it helps me to understand the reason behind my various personality quirks.

It took me 30 years to come to the conclusion that I am an introvert (apparently I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer).  But as soon as I did, it was like a light bulb going on. I saw stars and rainbows and heard unicorns singing. Everything made sense suddenly!

So, what are the main characteristics of introversion, and what is the difference between introverts and extroverts? To put it simply, introverts tend to look inwards, finding stimulation from inside.  Extroverts, on the other hand, find stimulation from their outside environment.  Introverts find other people draining, extroverts ‘feed’ off others.

 

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Small talk is just plain awkward, and mingling is – quite frankly – terrifying. This isn’t because we don’t like people, it’s just that small talk is hard work, we would much rather get stuck in with a proper conversation. If an introvert goes to a party, they aren’t there to make new friends; they are there to talk to the ones they already have. We would rather skip to the good friends stage, without all the awkward ‘getting to know you’ stuff beforehand.

This can often lead to introverts being labelled as too intense. You’ve just met someone and they are already discussing the complexities of bringing girls up in an image obsessed world, before you’ve even covered what the weather is doing? There’s a good chance your new friend is an introvert.

Do you have a friend that never answers the phone to you, but will happily text you back straight away? Probably an introvert.  We like a little bit of time to mentally prepare ourselves to talk, even to close friends. We don’t like the surprise of an unexpected phone call, although texting/emailing/tweeting is perfectly acceptable.

This can result in an introvert feeling alone, even in a crowd.   Have you ever felt like the party is just going on around you, and you’re the only one that doesn’t fit in? Everyone else is having fun and bonding, and you’re over here thinking of funny and engaging topics of conversation, but feeling too overwhelmed to join in. Sometimes the isolation will be self-imposed.  An introvert will typically choose very carefully where they sit in public places. We don’t like to feel trapped, so will choose end seats, and those that don’t leave us surrounded by people.  And anything with audience participation? That’s the stuff of actual nightmares.

 

Introverts can often come across as very wise and thoughtful. As a general rule, we think before we speak, and are not as outspoken as our extroverted friends. There is an internal monologue going on in there that just won’t take a break, making us seem more serious than our extroverted peers. As an introvert, this can be frustrating.  I’ve lost count of the amount of times I have been so caught up in arguing with myself inside my head, that I have been unable to contribute to a conversation going on around me. Then, in the car going home I will suddenly come up with the perfect, hilarious-yet-thought-provoking response that would have (I’m certain) made everyone roll around on the floor laughing.

The world can sometimes seem too much to an introvert. With the stresses that come with socialising, and generally being ‘up’ comes a big crash.  Being around others, and even being out for the day in a busy environment, is exhausting.  This means that for an introvert, down time is essential. Personally, the only way I can recharge my batteries is with time alone. Sitting, preferably doing very little. This isn’t lazy time, it is self-preservation time.

Career-wise, introverts will probably gravitate towards some sort of solitary profession, such as a writer (what a coincidence).  Whereas an extrovert may find it unbearable to be on their own all day, and would go quietly mad with nobody around to talk to. One of the downsides of being an introvert is the ease with which we are distracted.  Because we find the outside world so overly-stimulating, it can be hard to focus on the task in hand.

There are a couple of positives to being introverted too, I promise.

Introverts are great listeners, and make excellent friends.  Assuming you can get them to answer the phone to you that is.

Often we would rather be an expert on one topic than a general know-all.  We can focus well (when there aren’t too many distractions), and make great learners (I suspect my secondary school teachers would dispute this, but in my defence school was boring).  We also notice details that others don’t, because of the whole taking a step back and observing thing.

If you are an introvert, you will identify with how it feels, and if you’re an extrovert, I hope this helps you to understand the complex workings of that special introvert in your life.  I’m off to get my husband (the extrovert) to read this now; it may help him to feel less offended next time I leave the room mid conversation.  After spending my days with chatty two and four year olds, sometimes I just need to be able to disconnect from all the talking.  Just. So. Much. Talking.

 

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How to Get More From Your Make-Up Brushes

I am going to be pretty direct here.  If you wear more than one eyeshadow colour at a time, then you need the Vera Mona Color Switch in your life.

I spend a fair bit on make-up, perfume and various other non-essentials, so when I find a tool that is relatively inexpensive AND useful, I get very excited, and I have to share it with everyone I know.

 

make-up brushes clean cleaner vera mona color switch colour eyeshadow brush sponge

 

The idea of the Color Switch is to take all the colour off the brush, in theory allowing you to use a single brush for an entire make-up look.  For someone that likes to experiment with colour (despite my complete lack of make-up artistry skills), this handy tool is probably one of the best purchases I have ever made.  Yes, I feel that strongly about it.

Having seen it used several times on YouTube videos, I decided quite early on that I must have one at some point. In all honesty, I expected it to be mega expensive, so didn’t exactly rush to search for one, but it was always in the back of my mind.

Recently though, I was browsing on Beauty Bay, trying to get my order over £15 to get free delivery (I was repurchasing the wonderful Mario Badescu facial spray, which is £10.25, if you’re wondering).  I stumbled across the Color Switch and was surprised that a) it is stocked in the UK (these things so often are not) and b) that it was only £13.50 (Here).  (£13.50 may sound a lot, but the sponge can be washed, and it will last a very long time)

 

vera mona color switch colour switch make-up makeup brushes cleaning clean eyeshadow

Above is a nice clean (never used) eyeshadow brush.  Below, is the same brush after being dipped in purple eyeshadow.

 

vera mona color switch colour switch make-up makeup brushes cleaning clean eyeshadow

 

And then…. as if by magic….

 

vera mona color switch colour switch make-up makeup brushes cleaning clean eyeshadow

 

This is the same brush after being swirled around on the Color Switch.  It takes seconds, and couldn’t be simpler.  Now, as you can see, there is a little bit of staining to the brush, so it’s not ‘clean clean’.  But it is definitely clean enough to continue on with another eyeshadow shade.

Of course, brushes still need to be washed regularly, because the Color Switch won’t sanitise them.  (For that, I like to use this little tool).

 

I really can’t recommend this little wonder from Vera Mona highly enough. (And no, this post is not sponsored or paid for in any way.)

 

Have you tried the Color Switch? What do you think of it?

 

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Choosing to Leave the Pity Party

Life is a series of choices.  From little ones – what to have on your toast in the morning. To giant ones – whether to go to university, and what to study.  When things go wrong, it’s too easy to get sucked into feeling sorry for yourself.  I know from experience that this can be dangerous.

 

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I chose to climb out of the water; not to let myself drown.  It’s not always the easiest choice to make. It takes less effort to drown, but it is painful and unpleasant.  Having someone that you trust to pull you out helps, but if that isn’t an option then don’t despair.

You are stronger than you think.

 

Why not choose to keep your head above the water?

 

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Lessons From a Four Year Old – No Fear

In an attempt to get my s*it together recently, I have been spending a lot of time thinking about life, the universe and everything.

 

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I have spent a small fortune on self-help books, and have googled topics such as, ‘how to be happy’; ‘who am I?’; ‘how to find your calling in life’, and ‘who did Negan kill?’ (my money’s on Michonne FYI).

While all of this has been super helpful, the most valuable lesson came from my four year old daughter.

It came about one ordinary day as I was getting my youngest daughter changed in her bedroom. The four year old started coming up to join us, and – rather than climbing the stairs in the usual manner – decided to impersonate a crab. She was doing this strange tilting, sideways walk, that was making me increasingly nervous. Just to let you know, I try not to be an anxious parent, but in my eleven years as a mother I have witnessed more than my fair share of children falling down stairs. Mostly it’s been my eldest tumbling head over heels, and landing with a thud at the bottom. For some reason he just can’t  seem to get the hang of the order that his feet need to move in. So, anyway, back to child number three. She safely made it to the top, even with me hovering anxiously at the top distracting her from her crabby mission.

I must have told her to be careful about 2,987 times, and when she got to the top I breathed a sigh of relief.

‘You need to be careful’, I told her.  ‘You could have fallen down the stairs’.

My worldly wise four year old looked at me with her enormous brown eyes, and innocently smiled. ‘But I didn’t, mummy’.

And there it was. A valuable life lesson.  Apparently, my third-born child knows more about these things than her scaredy-cat mother.  Of course, fear is a good thing, it keeps us sensible and stops the human race dying out.  But what about when we let fear take over, turning us into underachieving bores?  I know I am definitely guilty of letting fear get in the way.

 

I have so many goals, so many things I want to achieve before I die.  Not crazy, ridiculous goals, but fully achievable goals. If I put my mind to it, I can totally do everything I have on my Big List of Dreams.  So, what’s stopping you, moron?! I hear you cry.

Other than a lack of time (poor excuse), there’s only one thing standing in the way of me and heart-bursting fulfilment. Fear.

‘What if I fail?’

‘What if I’m not good enough?’

‘What if people laugh at me?’

Well, so what? What if I succeed? What if I’m brilliant? What if people are impressed?

                  Isn’t it worth the risk?

Are you letting fear stand in your way too? Maybe there’s something that you have longed to do, whether that be in your career, or in your personal life.  Maybe you too hear that voice in your head warning you off?

I’m here to tell you to go for it.

Clearly, I’m not recommending that you do anything that would put your life at risk, or leave you bankrupt, or ruin your relationship.  Think back to being a child, if it helps. Back to the days when anything seemed possible.  As children, before the world gets its claws into us, we see no reason not to announce that we want to be a unicorn.  My daughter wants to be a fairy (when she’s not being a crab that is).  She’s not scared that she won’t be any good at it, or that she won’t have the shiniest wings out of all her fairy friends. She sees her future as a fairy, and who am I to tell her otherwise? She has no fear whatsoever.

So, what’s stopping you? Take that first step. Work towards becoming the person you thought you would grow up to be. You owe it to your four year old self.

Just remember this: It might not end in embarrassment or failure.  It might end up being the best decision you ever made.

 

And if you’re reading this secure in the knowledge that you haven’t let fear stop you, and are properly grabbing life by the balls, then I salute you. Look out for me on the other side.

 

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