On Being an Introvert

This weekend, I’ve got plans to hang out with 60 strangers.

Yep. 60 people I have never met in my life. When my husband asked, “Do you actually know any of these ladies?” I giggled hysterically and hiccuped something vaguely coherent like, “Noooo, but that doesn’t matter, right? Right?? RIGHT???”

He raised an eyebrow (okay, both of them – he’s not that talented) and simply said, “Cool.”

It got me thinking about why I decided to take the plunge and register for Around the Table – Bloggers Connecting.

Here’s the thing: I’m shy.

Not awkwardly so, but shy enough that I will stand back in a crowd of people I don’t know and spend a good while working up the courage to sidle up to a group and stand there, waiting for them to notice me. When they do, I’ll respond to their hellos with a quiet one of my own, and then I’ll stand there, smiling and nodding, taking in every facet of the conversation, but possibly not contributing anything of my own. I’m a listener, you see; I take everything in, and you might be surprised at what I’ll remember from a brief conversation.

Then I’ll start to worry that people will think I’m aloof or snobby, and so I try to partake, but my quiet voice is sometimes lost amongst the chatter, and I lose a bit of confidence.

Then someone much braver than me will ask how I fit in to the situation and I’ll waffle at great length about who I know and how, and then in my nervousness, I will forget to ask the same. When too much time has passed for it to seem natural for me to ask, I’ll suddenly realise that they probably think I’m not interested, and I am, so I’ll try again, which might come across as stalking, but really, it’s because I want them to know I do care, and that I am so grateful for them taking an interest in me.

So why, oh why, did I decide to register?

Most importantly, to meet some of the amazing women I have already forged friendships with through the wires. When you start to read a blog, you generally get a good feeling for what that person is like, and whether you’d really get along. I’m hoping that my instincts on this one are right, and the women I am dying to meet feel the same way about me.

I know I can overcome this shyness and enjoy the weekend. I know that the friendships that exist online can transcend to real life. I also know that many other introverts will be there, waiting for their opportunity to sidle up to a group, and that there’s solidarity in numbers. Surely when you put a group of shy women together, they can all sense the mutual feelings, and that makes it easier??

I’m going to try and be brave. I’m going to try and introduce myself when I see a face or name I recognise, and I’m going to try and be the first to ask you about yourself. But if I don’t, please don’t think it’s because I’m not interested…give me time, and you will see that I will, and I am.


7 thoughts on “On Being an Introvert

  1. Love this post…. I normally talk the whole time and then worry that I have totally dominated the conversation and everyone will think I am a completely narcissistic because I forgot to ask about them. I’d actually like to be a better listener. I also sometimes get totally distracted by conversations around me as well….. yeah, not a winner

    • I’m exactly the same Miriam. I often come away thinking I never let anyone get a word in. I’m working on trying to be a better listener. In a group situation I always feel the need to fill silences as well.

      Have fun this weekend Ange, sounds like a wonderful event ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Hehe, thats funny because I didn’t imagine you as shy. Once again, reading peoples blogs in my own voice will do that. So I’m excited to meet the -real- you! Plus, a little birdie told me you were the first one to register and pay! You were keen as a bean! Not bad for an introvert ๐Ÿ˜‰


  3. LOL at Miriams comment ^^^
    Never an awkward silence when she is around ๐Ÿ™‚
    I so get what you are saying Ange – those that know me can’t believe that I am shy painfully awkwardly so – but once you know me HELLO
    See you tomorrow – xxx

  4. I can’t wait to meet you Ange. As an extrovert I often struggle to talk to shy people and find myself rambling to cover all silences. I am trying to be a good listener and to let people share in their own time but please don’t hold it against me either. I can’t wait to meet you and everyone else! One sleep xo

  5. You SO weren’t alone on feeling like an introvert – I think most people who came (maybe bar Miriam – ha ha!) felt exactly the same as you whether they actually showed it or not. It was one of the highlights of my weekend meeting you and you were even lovelier than I had imagined. Happy sigh to now count you as an IRL friend too xx

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