This is for you, Introverted-Extrovert!

This is for you, Introverted-Extrovert!

Saying no to people may be hard, but sometimes oh-so-necessary!
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I'm an extrovert.

I really need time to be around people, I enjoy meeting new faces, hearing life stories, and dancing the night away bustin out crazy moves. (I'm no gifted dancer, so don't make any assumptions that those moves are actually worth anything good.)

But...

I have an introverted side to Hannah that needs love and attention as well. That particular care comes in the form of utilizing healthy alone time. If I don't carve out time to decompress and recharge, I'm a mess. I run away from large groups because of stress, I can't function around others, I slowly deteriorate, and that legendary smile droops until it fades completely. It's truly a disaster.

So...

I'm learning that it's perfectly okay to be somewhat of an introverted-extrovert. It's okay to be slightly overwhelmed in large groups of people; unsure of who to connect with because so many people catch my attention, and I want to invest and go deep and hear about people's lives. I just don't know where to start. So, in a room of new faces, I can actually tend to shy away if there's more than about three or four, and lack initiative and motivation to engage in conversation. Which isn't "unlike" me, it's just a different side of me that comes out less often than the bubbly one. Nonetheless, it exists!

I'm learning that spending three hours by myself in a coffee shop, doing what I love (reading and learning and growing in my faith!) is wonderfully refreshing. My smile creeps back around the corners of my mouth, and I can't help but beam with joy with a cup of (weak) warm, black coffee in hand and journal close by.

I'm learning that doing laundry and chugging vanilla cream soda and stuffing my food hole with cheese puffs while writing an article in my basement until 3am is actually a great way to disconnect from my extroverted self and enjoy some alone time.

I'm learning that watching a movie on a lonely Friday afternoon is not weird, but instead, it may be just what I need to feel satisfied and to do something with me, myself and I.

I'm learning that sitting outside with my gorgeous, small-framed Martin guitar, and learning a new chord progression that compliments my voice is deeply thrilling on so many levels.

I'm learning that taking my Mexican blanket out on my backyard lawn and gawking up at a miraculously immaculate starlit velvety sky is heart-warming and makes me feel small in an amazing way.

I'm learning that I don't have to be everything for everyone and instantly available to give advice or listen, and that saying "no" to people and crafting out space for me in my day isn't self-ish, but self-care. I can't be there for others if I'm too drained to function as Hannah. I'm no hero.

It's okay to be alone, fellow extrovert. It's okay to be exhausted from others and "not-people" for a while. Heck, it's even healthy for you! A lot healthier and more fruitful than squeezing out every last drop of smile and speech and selflessness. That will go quick, and then you're just left empty and feeling helpless.

Take a moment, an hour, an entire day! Decompress, rest, enjoy time being alone and simply recharge. People will more appreciate a rejuvenated version of you - I promise. And, guess what? You will as well!

Cover Image Credit: Meredith Coleman

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Being Ugly

What it means to me

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Due to a series of ongoing events throughout my semester, I've reconsidered what it means for someone to truly be ugly. Though it is often used in terms of appearance, I do not see it as such-- now more than ever. Ugliness runs deeper than appearance-- it runs within one's soul and festers into other areas of one's life, particularly in their treatment of others.

I view ugliness as someone's conscious capacity and implementation of malice. Taking time and energy out of your day to hurt someone else, that's what I view as ugly. Some offenses are more minor than others, however, it is still a conscious effort to hurt or affect someone else negatively-- and that's the source of the problem. I truly wonder what causes that sort of behavior in someone, as I, along with most people, simply do not invest time or energy into hating or plotting against others. It seems like a full-time job.

I can theorize all sorts of reasons as to why someone would act this way: hate, jealousy, vengeance, etc. Yet, all of these reasons don't hit the root reason. It almost seems that some people are just innately ugly in their soul. This alludes to the timeless debate of whether one's personality is due to nature or nurture. Again, although our surroundings and environment do have a large effect in our behavior, that alibi only goes so far when multiple people are placed in the same environment, in the same situation, and only some are willing to cross moral boundaries in order to hurt the others. Just because an environment applies pressure to people, does not mean everyone is going to act out in malice, and it certainly does not give everyone an excuse to do so. Some people are simply conniving and, well, ugly inside.

If you have ever encountered people like this, I know from personal experience that it is such a drag. You have an enemy, essentially, whether you chose to or not, however based on their hatred towards you, they are now considered an enemy, a hater, and any other associated term. Know that they will do anything in their power to bring you down, even if it requires bending the truth and creating elaborate schemes, but you have to keep on doing you. Let them obsess over ways to bring you down. At the end of the day, their time and energy is being invested into bringing you down, while yours is being used to build yourself up. They will fall by default. So, keep your head high, act in grace, and make your money. They can sip on their Haterade and watch from below.

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