The Misunderstood Social Introvert

There are two common personality types that we classify people under... the extroverts and the introverts.

When we think of an extrovert, the first image that comes to mind is someone very vocal, sociable, outgoing, chatty, proactive and confident. Whereas the introvert is someone passive, shy, quiet, loner, home body, lost in his or her own world or somewhat a "weirdo". Our idea of how they are is based on how we see them behave in public. But the psychological facts are way too different from what we perceive.

An extrovert is a person who gets fueled when being around people because they get their energy from others. They obtain gratification from outside themselves. This explains why they are highly involved in groups, loves big gatherings and constantly involved in community activities.

On the other spectrum, an introvert is someone who recharges their energy by being alone. They crave for lesser stimulation environments so they can feel more energized and alive. This explains why they seem withdrawn, quiet and prefers solitary activities like reading, writing, daydreaming, going for a walk or comfortable staying in or doing activities on their own.

In a nutshell explanation, introversion and extroversion is about how one charges their inner thoughts and energies, not how they behave in public. And unfortunately, introverts are highly misunderstood by the society because of their nature. How do I know? Because I am one.

It may surprise some of you reading this who know me from way back during my TV days in the Philippines. You've always seen me at midnight on "Games Up Late Live" and hosting live events talking non-stop, loud and proud... and perhaps now on my video blogs. So how can someone so bubbly and chatty like me be classified as an introvert?

This is exactly where the misunderstanding comes from. Let me elaborate.

If you watch my vlogs, see me host a live event or meet me at some gathering, you would think I'm an extrovert because I talk, I'm highly engaging and animated. But the back story to that is I probably came from yoga or spent quality alone time prior to charge up so I have the capacity to share my energy on those occasions. I do mental and energy preps before I sign up to attend a Thanksgiving dinner or some birthday party. I need my tank full so I can survive the entire evening. Otherwise, I'm better off staying home and reading a book.

People like me are classified as social introverts, which pertains to introverts who love to speak what's on their minds and socialize in the community ONLY if we're coming from a place of being fully fueled derived from quality alone time. Unlike the extroverts, we share our zest for life when we socialize, not to get from others.

Again, let me repeat... we want to SHARE energy to others after being fully charged from our alone time. Not take.

I felt the nagging desire to write about this because often times, I always get judged for being a social introvert. (And I'm sure others who have similar personalities experience it too!)

Most people expect me to still be that wacky midnight game show host in the Philippines before and now, the articulate Facebook vlogger and they just assume that I have the same perky personality if they bump into me in the supermarket or the mall. And if I turn out to be this low-key, less social person, they would assume I'm a snob or "suplada".

Or when I get invited to social gatherings and I just end up being quiet in one corner instead of being the life of the party or even decline an invite because I don't feel charged enough, people would say I'm anti-social or "ayaw makisama".

Here's the unedited truth: It's a huge effort for introverts such as myself to take part in a big group, attend a social occasion with too many people and participate in networking events that's filled with nothing but small talk. 

Why? Because it drains the sh*t out of our energies.

Introverts are highly independent, thrive stronger and feel better on their own or maybe just with one or maximum of 2 QUALITY company. That explains why I was able to survive hosting "Games Up Late Live" alone, just me and the camera and a very few staff, I was able to travel the world solo and enjoy going to movies and dinners by myself. Because it feels great and recharging for an introvert to go solo! And being around too many people for a long period of time especially if they're just mere acquaintances suck the life force out of me which is why I secretly hate doing group stuff.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not justifying that having an introverted personality automatically gives someone the excuse to bail out on Christmas parties, be passive in all conversations and be anti-social in one corner at a house party. There's still that thin line between being an introvert and being rude. But instead of judging, understand our nature and how we roll.

As introverts, I am aware that it is our responsibility to prepare ourselves prior to important social gatherings and occasions by spending quality alone time or doing solitary activities that fuel us up. But the society should also meet us halfway and understand that just because we decline invites from time to time, stay quiet in a group dinner, get lost in our thoughts while on a big setting or prefer to fly solo, it doesn't make us "strange". We just function differently from extroverts and derive our inner strength in an internal way with less stimulus preferred.

Yup, the chatty Jaymee you see on my social media vlogs truly wants to share but there's some psych work involved prior to it. Hence, don't fully associate me by the bubbly personality you see in the tube. I'm not like that 24/7. I spend some time on my own little head bubble, breathing in and out before I actually hit the record button and talk on my phone camera. It takes effort but because it's my passion, I don't mind doing the hard work.

So the next time you're on a social setting and you happen to observe someone being slightly aloof and reserved than the rest of the crowd at one occasion... then being live and loud on the next, don't label them as "bipolar". They could just be like me, a social introvert, who either has the vitality to share coming from a good yoga practice... or not because these damn extroverts everywhere kept latching onto their energy so they feel worn out.

To the introverts out there reading this... I hope this blog gave you a sense of relief that you are normal and that it's okay to be yourself. And I hope this will educate and enlighten others out there who often judge or label us without fully understanding what we're about. Extroverts are wolves that operate as a pack whereas introverts are vampires that function more on their own. No one is good or bad. Just different.

Hence, let's celebrate the uniqueness, compliment strengths and weaknesses and treat each other with respect and understanding. Peace out, WINNERS.

#jaymeewins #introvert #introversion #misunderstood #justkeepingitreal #nojudgment #justsaying