Tales Of An Introvert Blog

Wait, am I overthinking this again?

There is a lot going on in the busy minds of an Introvert. With the loud world we live in and the daily over exposure to everyones ‘highlight reel’ you can sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed. That is why writing could be an extremely helpful tool for those introverts struggling to feel heard. I know for me, writing has been an outlet since I was in High School. I had a journal and I used to write in it everyday up till my early twenties. I know it helped me to write down my thoughts and live in my feelings through that particularly challenging “who am I” time in life. Writing is similar to mediation in how it increases neural activity in the brain which can help relieve stress and on a deeper level help with mental health issues like depression. Here is a short list of why I believe it’s beneficial for Introverts to write. Whether it’s pages upon pages, or just a simple list – writing is a great way to obtain clarity and peace of mind.

  1. Stress reliever- Although there are many many many platforms these days where you can voice your opinion, there’s nothing like sitting down with a journal and pen (or your laptop/cell) and writing it out. This form of therapy (what I call it) allows us to be free flowing with our thoughts and emotions which can help us to sort through them. Next time you’re feeling upset about something, try writing it down. Go somewhere quiet and just get every single point down and see if you feel lighter afterwards. Writing is not a skill that must be mastered, you write just to write. Do it for yourself and yourself alone. Heck – no one ever has to ever see it but you. So get it out and free your mind from the negative, anxious, angry, sad, overwhelmed feelings you have. I can promise that you will walk away feeling (at least a little) better than you had felt before.
  2. Connection– Being an INFJ, I have always been a better writer than verbal communicator, and I think many introverts feel the same way. Because we need time to really think about our thoughts or feelings on a situation, we are not always as prepared to discuss things up front and end up leaving conversations having moments where we go ‘I should have said this.’ Which of course, is okay, not everyone is the same in the way they are able to express themselves, but this is where writing could be an invaluable tool. Growing up my Best Friend was an INTP and confrontation or heavily emotional situations left her feeling completely overwhelmed that she’d almost completely shut down. It wasn’t until she had time (and got away) that she was able to process and communicate appropriately, and many times it was in written form. Being able to bridge the gap in communication with writing and be able to connect to our loved ones and colleagues with our thoughtfully processed words instead of our jumbled under processed words, can help to strengthen the relationships in our lives.
  3. Organization – This one may sound silly, but nothing makes me feel more in control when I’m feeling a little over stimulated than a good ole’ list. Christmas is just around the corner and so is my sons first birthday. (YAY!) I have a double whammy of events and things to get prepared for and I found myself getting really annoyed trying to take mental notes because it felt like each time I’d have something different and I couldn’t remember everything. Then one night after putting my son down, I turned my normal brain back on, I laughed at myself and said “you have a literal app on your cell phone called “NOTES” use it Jenn!”. Now I have my checklist and feel way less overwhelmed just by simply having a place where my thoughts are organized. Also, I have a few ISTJ’s in my life who are probably the LEAST emotional people I have ever met, (but I love every cynical hilarious bone in their cold hearted little bodies) and to them a journal about their ’emotions’ would never happen. Like Ever. but I can promise you, they all fancy themselves a ‘to-do-list’. Sometimes it doesn’t need to be this full on 200 page journal that you write in religiously, sometimes it can be as a simple as having a list of things you need to do when you’re feeling stressed that can help you feel relax and get refocused.

We all have our different levels of analytical thoughts to emotional feelings and what fits one persons form of expression will not fit another. But what I can say is that writing is a form of self expression that everyone can use to help to relieve stress, gain clarity on their thoughts, and truly connect to the people in their lives. More than that, it’s something that can make you healthier in your mind and body, and at the end of the day, that is what’s the most important. Next time you’re feeling stressed out and need to vent, give writing a try. Maybe it’ll be just what you need to feel better.

Here are some of my favorite quotes about writing that I hope will inspire you to get started –

‘’You write because you need to write, or because you hope someone will listen or because writing will mend something broken inside you or bring something back to life” – Joanne Harris 

“A personal journal is an ideal environment in which to “become”. It is a perfect place for you to think, feel, discover, expand, remember, and dream.” – Brad Wilcox

“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will. Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free so drink. Drink and be filed up” – Stephen King

“Writing is therapeutic. It helps you cope with issues that seem gargantuan at the time. The process of expressing yourself about a problem, editing your thoughts, and writing some more can help you control issues that you face” – Guy Kawasaki 

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on” – Louis L’Amour

Some days are just (WAY) better than others, and Friday December 13th, 2019 was one of those days!

Yesterday, a small dream of mine came true. Writing is my passion and I’ve written for as long as I can remember. But like many, I still have a lot of insecurities about it. But I took a chance and sent in an article I had written and posted on here (7 ‘Weird’ Things My Best Friend and I Do Together Because We’re Introverts) to the absolute mecca of Introvert sites (in my humble opinion) Introvert, Dear, and to my ecstatic surprise, they liked the article and asked to publish it!

Being an Introvert/INFJ, I was overwhelmed with self doubt and fear of rejection when I initially sent in the article, but I’m so glad I did! I am completely and utterly filled with gratitude and joy that they liked it, and liked it enough that they wanted to put it in their amazing publication! It made me realize that sometimes I really need to get out of my comfort zone and put myself out there (something I’m in no way comfortable with).

Introvert, Dear posted it to their website/blog (www.introvertdear.com) Facebook, and Instagram (and maybe a couple others) and I waited with (intense) anxiety to see if anyone was connecting to my words or not. It was super nerve wrecking, but thankfully, one by one I started to see the comments, likes, and shares and the feeling was honestly – unexplainable.

As a writer, all you can hope to do is connect with the audience. This article was a lighthearted tale about my introvert best friend and I and it was so magical to see others tag their bestie or comment on how they do the same types of things. Talk about a pinch me moment!

I just wanted to write this in appreciation to Introvert, Dear for making this little dream of mine come true. It has really reminded me to keep going and not to give up on my dreams.

To check out my article and other great articles at Introvert, Dear click here:

7 ‘Weird’ Things My Best Friend and I Do Together Because We’re Introverts

Sometimes ya just need to know that you’re not alone in feeling a certain way. I have never felt that need more than when I became a Mother. I started to look online and found some really wonderful articles and blogs, but when I wanted to share some short and sweet Introvert Mom quotes on my Instagram account (@talesofanintrovertblog) I noticed there really wasn’t many?

It inspired me to write a few that I wish I saw when I was a new Mom and feeling a smidgen overwhelmed by this Motherhood life. I hope you enjoy these and feel heard.

P.S. I did write these as an Introvert Mom, but I do hope all Moms can relate. XX

Our brains may be wired differently, but man do I love my Extroverts — And here are a few reasons why…

  1. They get me out of the house, and out of my comfort zone Costume party? Happy Hour? Bachelorette/Bridal Parties? All of these are legit trigger words for an Introvert. Nothing screams “uncomfortable” like getting dressed up for ‘themed’ birthday party (don’t even get me started on Halloween) or meeting a handful of new people that you’re forced to hang out with while you celebrate someones impending nuptials. Yet, time and time again, it happens, and there’s usually an Extrovert to blame. But honestly, thank goodness they talked me into it! When I look back at some of my fondest memories, half of them are things I was SURE I’d hate, but ended up totally loving. Sometimes we need to get out of our little hermit holes and remember that we do enjoy some social interactions from time to time. If I didn’t have my Extroverts to drag me out of my house and into an adult giraffe onesie costume or in a dress with some heels and little makeup, I wouldn’t know how much fun I could have.
  2. They help me be present – As Introverts we are constantly in our heads, thinking about the past, present, and the future. We are thinking about food, thinking about our pets, thinking about the sea, our partners, our parents. Why do we have such an incredibly strong feelings about the way a book or movie ended? Or how insane airplanes are, like seriously, have you really thought about how CRAZY airplanes are? See, I got distracted thinking about things I think about. This is why I love my Extroverts. They remind me to be in the here and now. I cannot tell you how many times my Twin sister (who is an ESFJ) has had to remind me during heavily extroverted social events to enjoy the moment and stop overthinking things. I’m grateful for her for a billion reasons, but if I didn’t have her to snap me back into the present reality, I may have let some great moments slip by.
  3. Because I love them, their energy energizes me instead of drain me – I could literally not talk to anyone for an entire day (and dare I say I could probably go a couple more – pets not included) and be completely content. I don’t need a bunch of interacting or chitter chatter in my day to feel happy, but when I’m with my Extroverts, I can surprise people with how Extroverted I can become. My twin and BFF are ESFJs and my other BFF is an ENFJ. When I’m around them, their beautiful, vibrant, and lively personalities pull me right out of my shell and I become someone who can be loud, assertive, outgoing, and who will do just about anything to get a good laugh out of them (preferable, almost peeing their pants). My Mom is an ESTJ and the two of us can sit on the phone or in person and talk for hours. She is so analytical, realistic, and practical that I love being able to press pause on my prominent emotional function (being an INFJ I bounce between my emotional and analytical sides simultaneously) and discuss facts, details, and evidence with her. She can get me fired up about a situation that I feel strongly about (in a good way, like “My Mom said I was right, sooooo?”) or talk me down if my emotions have taken over and I’m unable to think objectively. They all balance and revitalize me in their own unique ways and their energy restores me.
  4. They make me lighter – This one is probably my favorite. Being an Introvert, you think of all sides to a situation, the good and the bad. Which can make you feel heavy, sad, and sometimes even depressed. I’m so grateful to have my Extroverts in my life who will laugh at my dark humor and cynicism but love me anyway. They help to steer me off the path of heading down the rabbit hole that I almost always find myself wanting to head down. They remind me that everything will always work out, that some situations don’t deserve the time or headache. They help me to not take everything so seriously, and that most importantly – That no one cares about the things I think people care about as much as I do. Like, “Get ovaaa ya-self girl” and sometimes, that’s just what this over thinker needs to hear. 
  5. They are straight forward communicators – I can ask any of my Extroverts a very complex question and I’m always bewildered at how easily and efficiently they can come up with an answer. I honestly think it’s their super power! How incredible is it to just know what you want to say without having to stir, chew, and spin it around in your head first?! It’s Ah-mazing!! All the hours I spend mulling things over and over in my head and they can just – BAM – come up with something right there on the spot?! I truly feel inspired by it and want to learn how to cultivate more it my own life. Now, will I ever be able to master it like them? Maybe, maybe not (realistically, probably not) but regardless, I love hearing and learning new things from my Extroverts.

Look, we are all different, and truth be told there are times that my Extroverts annoy the ever loving heck out of me…but what makes us different, helps us grow, right? And hey, I’m not saying I’m a walk in the park either. I know I may need an incredible amount of time alone to recharge and decompress, and I may think too much and overanalyze things, but what I do know is this – My wonderful Extroverts help me look at things from a different point of view, they help me to feel understood in the loud world we live in, and they inspire me to keep learning new ways to communicate. But most importantly, my Extroverts remind me to get out and live.

Becoming a Mother is one of the most incredible times in any women’s life. After 9 long months of carrying your little human (and thinking, wondering, worrying, and googling) you finally get to hold your little bundle of joy in your arms and bring it home. It’s a beautiful time, but for your Introverted Mom friend or family member, the ‘normal’ rules for welcoming this new member of the family may be a little different than what you expect. Here’s 8 things your Introverted New Mom needs from you…

  1. Let us settle in first – Introverts NEED space. After delivery a HUMAN and being at a hospital (birthing center, or even your bathtub), you are a little out of sorts, not to mention you have a new person in your household that you’re trying to get to know. Be that amazingly supportive friend/family member who allows them at least a day (or two or hey even three) to get settled in before asking to stop by.
  2. Never drop by without permission – Speaking of stopping by, please please please do not come over without asking first. We understand you’re excited, but dropping by unannounced will only stress this new Mama out more, and goodness knows she has enough on her mind right now.
  3. Know how to help – This one is so important, but hard to explain (I will do my best). Since Introverts are constantly in our heads, we are hyper aware of our own shortcomings and can be fighting a losing battle within ourselves during this transitional time. If their house isn’t perfect and they haven’t had a chance to shower, chances are — They’ve already thought about it, stressed about it, and may be texting to cancel your visit any minute. So, if you get the ok to come over and you notice the house looks like a bomb exploded or your Introvert hasn’t slept or had a proper shower, casually offer (After you’ve had time to visit a bit. Don’t jump to asking too quickly) to do the dishes or watch the baby while she goes to nap or take a shower. If cleaning or babysitting isn’t your forte, you could always help by bringing over some ready-made sandwiches or easy to heat up and serve dinners. 
  4. Keep the visits short, keep your germs to yourself – This is just a general rule for anyone who comes to visit new parents, but it’s even more important for Introverted parents because – We. Are. Watching. You. That tiny ball of love we’ve begrudgingly handed over to you to hold for a few minutes is the only thing on our minds 24/7. So please use common sense and don’t kiss the baby. If you or someone in your household was recently sick, delay your visit till everyone is well. Our brains do not turn off, so please don’t give us another thing to think about. Also, if you can reassure your Introvert that your visit will be shortish (say an hour or hour and a half TOPS) that will help to ease their minds too. Oh, and wash your hands!
  5. Don’t take it personal – After I had my son I got an overwhelming amount of text messages and phone calls and it stressed me out trying to get back to everyone in a decent amount of time. I know there is nothing more exciting than hearing the news that someone you love just had their baby, but just know that for your Introvert friend/family member it’s an overload on them. With all the ‘newness’ going on, it can be hard to stay on top of these things which are generally anxiety provoking enough for Introverts in itself. Besides, she’s probably too busy googling everything under the sun (and silently freaking out) to be able to respond anyway. She will get back to you, I promise. And I can also promise that your sweet words of love and excitement mean the absolute world to her.
  6. Tell us we are going a good job – Buuuut don’t over do it or we may wonder if you’re being sincere. We are tricky ones, that is for sure. We promise we can’t help it though. Us Introverts are always wondering if there is more to what people are saying than just their actual words, so please don’t be overzealous, we don’t need that. Just keep it simple and genuine. Your words can be our anchor and can give us the confidence we are truly needing but are too scared to ask for.
  7. LISTEN – This one is probably the most important of them all. As loved ones, we want to give advice, especially to a new parent, but please just give your Introvert the space and the time to talk first. I know for me (and for many introverts) it can sometimes take time to formulate my real thoughts/emotions into words and I can easily get discouraged if I feel misunderstood and can stop myself from continuing, so please be patient with this new Mom. This is such a fragile time and it’s easy for us to shut down and get lost in our insecurities. Your introvert needs to know she has a safe place to talk, vent, and/or cry without any fear of judgement or critique in the weeks and months following childbirth. More importantly, please continue to check up on your Introvert if you are seeing any signs that she is struggling. Postpartum Depression is very real and getting the support she needs from you and others will help her through it.
  8. Remind them to enjoy this fleeting time – It is so easy to get lost in the daze of diapers, feeding schedules, and sleep deprivation that these blissful days with their new precious baby can go by in a blink of an eye. Remind your Introvert to, ‘stop and smell the roses’, as they say. Help them to focus less on all the things they think they could be getting wrong about parenthood, and help them focus more on inhaling the intoxicating smell of a newborn as often as they can. They can’t help but be future focused, it’s just a part of who they are, but they could use a loved one like you to gently pull them back into the present.

Becoming a Mother and entering the world of parenthood is one of so many emotions. You will forever be in your Introverted Mama’s heart if you can try to understand and love her complicated reasonings and rational.

This is the reality of an introvert-introvert friendship, in all its amazing, awkward glory.

I met my introvert best friend over 12 years ago when we started working together, and it was awkward love at first sight (well, almost). We worked at a bank in the construction lending department and spent our days crammed together in a tiny room with one small window.

Things started as quietly as you can imagine for two introverts, and at the time, we had no idea it was happening. But over the next few weeks, we started to bond over our love of 90s boy bands (BSB 4EVA), old school hip hop, deep conversations, sarcastic undertones to just about everything we said, and snacks. Lots and lots of snacks. We went from being strangers to being inseparable (and kind of obnoxious about it) in no time. 

We recently had dinner together, and it inspired me to write this post to commemorate some of our hilarious habits that make our quirky friendship so unique. In reality, I think these “weird” things are actually pretty common for many of us introverts. So, here is the reality of an introvert-introvert friendship, in all its amazing, awkward glory. Can you relate?

‘Weird’ Things My Introverted Friend and I Do

1. We can’t hang out together with other people comfortably.

I don’t know what it is about bringing another person into the mix, but my friend and I have a tough time acting “normal” in front of other people. Ask ANYONE who has ever been around us for even a small amount of time, and they’ll tell you it’s true.

I feel part of the problem is, since we are so open and vulnerable with each other, we don’t feel as safe with anyone else. We’ve worked hard to cultivate a friendship in which we both feel secure, and as a result, we don’t welcome newbies with as much ease as I see others doing.

2. We’re awkward with affection from others but not each other.

When my friend and I first hugged, it could not have been more uncomfortable. Many of us introverts simply don’t like other people in our personal space. I can barely handle someone standing too close to me at the grocery store, but if I love you, I don’t mind it at all.

It took some time, but now there’s no such thing as personal space when we’re hanging out. We always hug hello and goodbye, and have no qualms about it whatsoever.

3. We don’t know what to do when we see each other unexpectedly.

If we run into each other in town, we both clam up. You’d think she was just an old acquaintance rather than someone who knows ALL my deepest darkest secrets and insecurities. When we meet for our dinner dates, we laugh and play back what was going through our heads; we’re continually mystified as to why, after so many years, we’re still so dang awkward.

4. We don’t like to change it up.

My friend and I try to get dinner together at least once a month, and we always meet at the same busy restaurant where we know we’ll be able to fade into our own little world for hours without many interruptions. We’re now familiar faces to the servers who work there, and they stop over and say hi. We do our best to “fake it ‘till we make it,” and are relieved when they leave — that’s when we nose-dive into our much one-on-one anticipated conversation! 

5. We overthink. A lot.

You’d think a friendship that’s lasted over a decade would be bulletproof, and we wouldn’t overthink a simple text or something we said to one another, but as introverts, we do. When we finally talk about it, it’s almost always — actually, 100% of the time — totally off-base. We’re then wildly entertained by our vivid interpretations of how it all went in our brains.

I think both of us being introverts, we’re constantly in our heads and always seeing so many different sides to one single statement that we sometimes tap into our own insecurities and need that reassurance from the other that we’re still on the same page. I’m so grateful that my introvert best friend and I are able to talk and laugh about it. 

6. Talking about our friendship makes us both emotional and uncomfortable.

I recently got a little misty-eyed telling her that I had been reflecting on our friendship, and I was so grateful to have her in my life. When I became overcome with emotion, I noticed she was choking up, too. (Not that I was looking at her, heavens no! Eye contact and emotions don’t always mix when you’re an introvert. I just saw her dab her eyes with my periphs.)

So I quickly changed the subject. “But yeah, I just love you so much, and I just wanted you to know that. Ahmm, so what do you think you want for dessert?”

We both know what this friendship means to us, but to actually vocalize it? We just can’t handle it. Our eyes dart anywhere but at each other, and we make jokes when it gets too deep. Normally our server will come over (I swear they only come when your mouth is full of food or you’re having an emotional breakdown, am I right?) and snap us out of our tears, but then we move on like it never happened.

7. We can be SUPER immature together.

We’re both in our 30s, married, have mortgage payments, and all that serious stuff, but when we’re together, there are no boundaries. There’s no such thing as a topic being “off limits,” so things are always entertaining when we hang out. I can imagine that from the outside, we look like two level-headed women, but if anyone caught just a little bit of one of our conversations, they’d quickly see just how silly and inappropriate we can be.

Our time is filled with many giggles, sometimes tears, and an abundance of real talk. We see our time together as our therapy sessions — a safe space where we can lay everything on the table and leave feeling lighter and happier. Some of my biggest laughs have been shared with my introvert best friend, and it’s due to our complete trust in one another — aour ability to shut out the noise around us when we’re in our magical introvert bubble.

If you’re reading this, I hope you have — or one day find — a fellow introvert friend who “gets” you, too. They’re the best.

I chose this title because a lot of my conversations start out this way. It typically (always) means that whatever topic I’m about to discuss is something I’ve thought about very deeply. The ones closest to me now know that they better sit back and relax because whatever is about to come out of my mouth is probably (always) going to be pretty long winded. (Shout of to the amazingly patient people in my life)

So everyone wants to feel understood, I think this is a universal truth. No one wants to feel like they don’t belong, or that their family, friends or significant others cannot relate to them. But there’s nothing like trying to express yourself and feeling like you’re speaking another language. It’s extremely isolating to think you are alone in your thoughts and feelings. It can be something as simple as expressing a thought that quickly passed through your head, or something you cannot get off your mind. To me, no matter how big or small, what you think about and what you feel is important, and it’s vital to your health to have someone in your corner to listen to you. To me a negative or intense feeling is like poison in our body. The more we let it stay within us, the more sick with the poison we become. It’s always been a deeply important endeavor for me to aid in giving those around me the space to express themselves openly so that they feel like at least one person gets them. Sometimes we just need to get things out, no matter how silly or irrational they are. Half the time, they aren’t even based in actual reality, just the shit version the insecure part of us is telling ourselves it is because the situation makes us feel something that we aren’t completely comfortable with.

Although I love to be the soft place to land to those around me, sometimes I have a really tough time verbally expressing myself. Writing has always been a much easier way for me to get things out. There’s no pressure, no need for a quick response. The time that it takes me to type out words gives me the time to process my thoughts into an answer. Typically when I’m venting, there is no rhyme or reason to it. It’s not a steady stream of thoughts, it’s all over the place, with emotional rants and random side notes, sometimes completely irrelevant facts and it’s not until I notice the glazed over look in the eyes of the poor souls who are listening to me that I am able to finally get to the gosh-forsaking point. After it’s over, I regret it immensely, and then go over and over in my head all the things I should have said. It was beyond frustrating not only for myself, but also for the people who are trying to help.

As I stated in my last post, losing my ex best friend is what brought so many of these things to the forefront of my mind. I realized I saved all my random, intense, or not fully realized thoughts for her and once I didn’t have that person to vent to, I went to other people in my life and bless their hearts, they didn’t know what to do with me. I had never felt so all over the place and unable to express myself properly. It ended up being a really wonderful learning curve for me though because I was forced to focus on trying to express my thoughts in a more clear precise way, while asking those I am closest to, to be patient and not rush me to my point and give me the solution that they think I may be asking for. Which I can totally appreciate, everyone wants to help out. That is the normal reaction when someone you love comes to you to talk, right? We don’t want them suffering, we want to ease their pain. And I understand how hard it is to just sit back and listen, but if it’s what someone needs, then it’s just what they need. I started to say, “I just need to get this out, okay?” before I’d get going on something I needed to vent about and it usually helped. Don’t get me wrong, I do want the advice, and I’ll definietly take it, I don’t want to just word vomit on them and then leave. But at the moment, I’m just trying to get out the continuous loop of thoughts spinning around my head before I’m distracted or sidetracked by something they are saying. Some people think in a straight line, point A to point B, and gosh, that sounds nice, but my brain just doesn’t work that way. I will eventually get from point A to point B, and usually I do know what the solution is, it just takes me longer because I am constantly sifting through both the emotional and analytical parts of the brain trying to determine my actual feelings on the situation as a whole.

Learning more about my personality type (INFJ) And reading more about being an Introvert has helped me to understand that my brain literally is wired differently than the Extroverts that I surround myself with and it helped me tremendously to feel less misunderstood and frustrated. It was an invaluable gift to find out how to communicate effectively with those around me so that we all can get the best out of our interactions and know that no one is left feeling like they didn’t get their point across or their needs met. I implore anyone who feels like they struggle to express themselves to keep trying and be open to learning different positive ways to vent. It’s so easy to get frustrated and give up, but keeping things bottled up is not healthy for you or your relationships. Trying different avenues like writing in a journal, making a blog, texting a friend, calling someone on the phone, going to therapy, or simply asking a loved one for their undivided attention while you try to figure it out will benefit you in all aspects of your life. It may not feel like the most comfortable thing to do at first, but once you get it out, you’ll see that it’s so worth it. And hey, maybe you’ll learn something new about yourself too.