How it feels to be quiet in a noisy world

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

I have to tell you that if you answered the latter, I’m a tad envious. My husband is an extrovert and I am often in awe of him in a group of people. He’s genuinely excited to be there. He’s working the room, stopping and talking to anyone and everyone. What am I doing? I’m the girl standing off to the side, smiling, observing.

I love people, I really do. I just need them in small doses.

Perhaps you can relate.

We had a large and loud, exuberant, team training over the weekend. It was excellent for us to get together and to learn and grow together but the energy in that room was CRUSHING me. I wish I could explain it. I know that people often think introverts to be snobs or stuck on ourselves but it’s not like that. We’re just not comfortable in the noise. It’s like we begin to curl up inside, to form a shell of sorts. We’d rather sit and observe than be involved in the scramble. Does that make sense?

When the event was over, I wanted my bed. I’d had 5 hours of humanity and I could feel myself crashing. It was like being attacked by energy and left spinning. If you’re an extrovert, this may seem ridiculous. I know that Pete often doesn’t get my need to be alone as he’s so great with lots of people.

How do you feel after being in a large group? For the remainder of the evening Saturday (we had a dinner party to attend with more people – YAY!) my head was buzzing. Not aching, just buzzing. It felt like there was heavy, buzzing energy weighing down all around my head. My ears rang all night.

Perhaps you’re reading this and you know exactly what I mean. You know how much of you it takes to do a large function. You’re an introvert. You’re my people.

I have to say that I’ve gotten better at not beating myself up for not being more outgoing. This is how I’m wired. Often people will make jokes and remarks but I’ve learned that it’s not really about me – it’s that they’re not at ease in the quiet and that’s ok – that’s how they’re wired.

If you’re in a group and someone is quiet – let them be quiet. It doesn’t mean that they’re not enjoying themselves, it’s just how they handle the noise. Not everyone is built for mixing and mingling.  Be ok with that.

I’ve learned to give myself recovery time after an event.

On Sunday, I attended a yoga class at my favourite studio (Serendipity Lane) and took my dog on a hike. We visited one of my favourite places in the world – a creek by our house that has brought me so much healing at different times in my life. We listened to the ripples of the water and felt the gentle breeze of the now empty tree branches. We walked in the forest and felt the calm, steady, presence that is nature.    

I let it feed me. I breathed it in and I became grounded again.

And now I’m ready for the next time