The Introvert Hypothesis

I had a pretty busy weekend. With lots of different social engagements. And in case you haven’t figured it out, I’m an introvert.

So today, I was tired. I did a short workout as soon as I got up, took an unusually long shower (and if you’d lived with me, you’d know how serious that it because my showers aren’t short to begin with). I cleaned the kitchen and made myself brunch. I then read the outline of one of my big assignments due in about four weeks, with full intention to begin my research.

Yeah, that didn’t happen. Instead I took a nap.

Then I went shopping. And since I have to walk everywhere, I used that time to blast music from my ipod into my ears.

Basically, I have an arsenal of pick-me-ups for these days. The ones where I don’t want to do anything useful because I’m exhausted and I’ve stopped caring.

  • Music. Depends on the genre, because some makes it worse and some makes it better, and which does what is different every time, so I often have to careful observe myself for a while before picking my music.
  • Eating. Obviously I try to avoid going too far on this one, but truth is, there are some foods that stimulate your limbic system, and it’s an easy way to get back to a normal brain capacity.
  • Napping. Sometimes this is all it takes. It’s like turning a computer off and on again.
  • Physical affection. Great way to release some endorphins, and also bond with someone if you’re lucky enough to have that as your love language. However, just like with food, you want to be careful not to start depending on this one.
  • Shopping. Which also releases endorphins. Retail therapy is for real, people. That’s what did it for me today. I went to a bookstore. 🙂
  • Exercise. Again, the endorphins, and this will counteract the food, which you probably are more inclined to try first (because when you don’t have energy, the last thing you want to do is exercise). I find that the more withdrawn I feel, the more intense of a workout I’ll need. This is my favorite fix, and usually lasts the longest (but today it didn’t work, probably cause I didn’t work out long enough).
  • Cleaning. Doing something tedious or physical gives my brain the time to focus on the things it really likes to focus on. Which is lucky, because I can be productive and recuperate at the same time. Also someday when I’m a mom, I’m going to be super happy because I love cleaning.
  • Cooking. Kind of the same logic as cleaning, but with the combined power of food. So yeah, when I worked as a nanny and had to cook and clean a lot, it was actually one of the happiest times of my life.

I’ve read a million articles about being an introvert, but honestly my most favorite bit of introvert advice is this, which is meant for the parents (or siblings, best friends, lovers) of introverts:

I also really love this article about caring for your introvert. Most of the people in my family, extended included, are introverts. It must be a powerful gene. And I thoroughly enjoy it. My family can spend our time together discussing the philosophy of The Lord of the Rings instead of small talk. It’s absolutely brilliant. 🙂

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One response to “The Introvert Hypothesis

  1. completely relate to your post, thank you. the book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts” by Susan Cain changed the way I think about introversion. highly recommended

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