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Holidays again - how exhausting!

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  We are almost halfway through the holidays that I've been looking forward to for weeks now.  And once again, I find myself looking forward to the end of them, so I can have a break!  When will I learn? I wrote in my blog last year about this , but I seem to have a delete memory button every time the holidays are over about it, and I'm like Dory - 'Ooh look another holiday, yeay, I'll get a break!' I've got a reminder in my calendar every year, four weeks before the kids finish school in December, to remind me to tell all my colleagues (we are a group of small business owners, working in a shared office space, and we all have kids still at school) to get the last appointments booked and then clear their schedules, as the last two weeks of term are going to be a whirlwind of  end of year events,  Christmas card writing,  deciding on teacher gifts, and school celebrations   - and then suddenly - the kids are home for 6 weeks (it's our long summer holiday her

The Sound of Silence

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 Sometimes sitting in silence is a really lovely thing.  Finally getting my Extrovert husband to enjoy sitting in a room with me, with no TV on, just reading our books, was the day I knew it was a forever relationship. πŸ₯°πŸ“š But sometimes silence is not a thing of beauty. When it is an uncomfortable silence, and one or both of you are sitting second-guessing what the other is thinking, things can get out of hand quickly. Being able to really understand the different ways you each think, and the opposite feelings you might have about doing certain activities, is so important, so that you can both find simple moments when maybe a compromise would not feel so hard. Understanding both my personality type, and my husbands as well, has made life so much easier for us all (including our children!). Sometimes I have had an overwhelming week at work or with kids, and I just can't do anything at the weekend except read, sleep-in, and generally recharge. If I've had a week like this, I can

It’s me, and I’m all in.

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I’m trying to keep a promise to myself.  It shouldn’t be difficult, but it is.  It’s just to be myself.  How hard can it be?!! But literally decades of  -‘Fake it ‘til you make it!!’,  - trying to be an extrovert,  - pushing myself to the point of exhaustion,  - keeping up with my extrovert husbands socialising (historically by plying myself substantially with alcohol) has left me overwhelmed and almost devoid of energy most days.  So recently, when I made the nerve-wracking decision to do more writing and to (eek! 😳) share it more openly and honestly, as myself - I was surprised, after the initial flurry of gut-wrenching nerves about real people - who I might actually know! - reading my blog, that the feeling morphed into something else.  I realised I felt a huge sense of freedom.  Freedom from hiding behind the persona I’d spent over 40 years creating.  Freedom to speak out about things I’m passionate about - I’m not one for confrontation, but I do like having big conversations abou

Older.. and wiser?

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  Hmm, not always true is it? I had a good friend tell me many years ago that once she turned 40, she didn't care what people thought of her any more. I found myself surprisingly then looking forward to turning 40. But my 40th came and went, and my consistent fear of what others thought of me and what I did or didn't do, stayed firmly front of mind. If anything, it got worse, for a while. I would worry about what I hadn't achieved in my life. About things in my past that I wished I could go back and change. Was I a 'good enough' wife and mum? What's the point of the work that I do? And of course, about whether I should pursue writing, which I'd wanted to do for a long, long time. I am so uncomfortable with confrontation, that the idea of saying or doing something that might offend someone actually makes me freeze, and do...nothing! Putting things off, procrastination, fear of failure - all of these were a daily part of my overthinking (covered in a previous

Networking Wallflowers

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  I love flowers.  I love how they brighten up a room just by existing. And wallflowers are particularly beautiful, being so determined to shine subtly from amongst the blandness of the grey rock or rust-coloured bricks they are so often surrounded by…  Ok so that’s not quite how others see them, but it’s how I see them. πŸ˜‰ Then you have the idiom ‘wallflower’, as described on Wikipedia.. "A wallflower is someone with an introverted personality type (or in more extreme cases, social anxiety) who will attend parties and social gatherings, but will usually distance themselves from the crowd and actively avoid being in the limelight. The name itself derives from the eponymous plant's unusual growth pattern against a wall as a stake or in cracks and gaps in stone walls. 'Wallflowers' might literally stand against a wall and simply observe others at a social gathering, rather than mingle. This could be due to anxiety, shyness, lack of social skills or self-esteem." Sig

You're So Sensitive! πŸ™„

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  If I had a $ every time someone told me to stop being so sensitive during my lifetime, let’s just say, I’d be paying people to ghost-write this blog for me, or to at least edit the mistakes out of it🀣🀣! Jokes aside, it’s been a recurring theme, and - I can’t deny, sometimes I have been seriously over-reacting to situations, and can look back and completely see where the person was coming from.  How-ever..🀨 My high sensitivity is actually a bit of a superpower, and I’m very proud of it, so I get quite defensive of it. It’s almost like another personality (I have a few, as those who know me well would agree - many had no clue I was an introvert in my party years!😈🀘🎸), and she has helped me avoid making some pretty bad decisions in my life by putting up the red flags and blowing sirens in my ears! So when she tells me to jump, I can tend to ask how high, without question. My trust is that strong. The fight or flight response that my body has to certain situations can sometimes be

Blog writing - who is it for?

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  I often wonder who I write this for.  It is for me? Is it for the other Introverts out there who happen to find themselves confused and married to an Extrovert, and frantically started googling looking for help? Most likely it was for myself, initially, to have a place to put my thoughts. It's become my journal I suppose. I've loved writing for so many years, but not been able to dedicate any real time to it. whether it was writing stories at school (my poor mum, the times she had to go into my primary school and explain to the teacher that the stories I wrote were completely made up and I hadn't actually for example, been viciously attacked by a dog in my pram as a baby..) , writing letters to friends and family as I grew up and left home, and then when social media and the internet took over, I gravitated there and began finding my way around the new shorter forms of communication.  Some were more formal - I had to do lots of writing through work, sales and marketing c

WFH - Working from home - The Introverts Dream!

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Ha ha, laughed the Cheshire Cat, at the irony of the situation Alice found herself in. I've been lucky enough over the last couple of years, to live somewhere that has not been highly affected by multiple, long lock-downs due to Covid 19. Not to say there's been none, but in comparison to many others I know of, we've been pretty lucky where I am.  But I cannot deny that I often had little wistful moments of thinking how blissful it would be to have to work from home, the way many people were all over the world. Ah, the introverts dream -  having nowhere to go,  staying at home,  doing whatever, whenever.... Except that's not the reality, right? The 'dream' doesn't have work, or children, or Extroverted husbands in it - they are a fuzzy, faint background concept that doesn't really factor in the best parts of the dream (sorry, beautiful family - I DO love you!)  I've been a passionate and vocal advocate for flexible working for a number of years now.

If not now, then when?

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Recently, I've been trying to make time to respond and comment online, about issues I really care about.  It's not something that comes naturally to me.  Actually, that's not completely true - it comes naturally to me to have a strong opinion about things, to have something to say. But actually saying it - well, that is not so easy. I got to the point where I was so fed up of  spending ten minutes carving out the perfect response, the right words, not too much or too little, so as not to bore people,  then another oh - anywhere between 30 minutes, to a week or so - reading it, re-reading it, checking six times for mistakes,  thinking about who might read it, and how it might offend them, and whether I was prepared for any backlash or misunderstanding that might come from my intended response,  and whether I had considered my comments from all possible angles.  Sometimes I'd even go off down the rabbit hole doing research, to be open-minded about my opinion, and make sur

Holidays: A Confusing Enigma?

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I find holidays to be such a conflict for me, as an introvert. On the one hand, I am in desperate need of a break from the everyday 'stuff', but on the other hand, having no routine is quite stressful for me! If I had no-one else to think about, I'd likely be ok, but having a family to keep entertained and, well - alive, makes it a constant barrage of decisions to be made πŸ€ͺ🀯. I wouldn't change my family for anything, but I do need to get better at giving myself the breaks that I need. Maybe I need to take time off during school terms, while Mr Extrovert is at work - take a week off and just zone out staring out at my garden, until I actually get bored and then I can get on with my favourite pastimes - reading and writing. You can see from how infrequent this blog is, how often I manage to sit down and write. Not that the notion doesn't cross my mind, often. I'm also writing two books at the moment - started one of them in 2016, and could probably count on both

15 months of Anxiety...

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  When will the bubble burst? Do I want it to burst? Is the bubble good, or bad? I have felt in a state of turmoil almost consistently for the past 15 months. I run my own consultancy business, and from January 2015 up until September of 2020, I also ran a small coworking space in my community. A strange choice for an introvert you might think, but I love to help people achieve their potential, and creating a space for like-minded people to run their small businesses from, seemed like the perfect way to meet the people I wanted to work with. (I also previously ran networking events - but let's not go down the rabbit-hole of psychoanalysing that at the moment..🀭) During the last 15 months, I had to decide whether to continue the business I had passionately fought to build ( it won't work, you're mad, you're wasting your time, why don't you just get a real job. .), and when I decided not to (running a coworking space during lockdowns was not an ideal choice of caree

Overthinking

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We are in a really difficult, uncomfortable, strange time at the moment. Everything is unprecedented ... Apparently there's a virus flying around - it's both invisible and can be deadly. It's keeping us at home. Which doesn't sound too difficult for us introverts, does it? Except if you are kept at home with extroverts of course. 🀨 My extrovert & I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary last month, in the most unromantic way you can imagine. He went out for a run - since all of this started and we've not been socialising, I've been sending him out to run when I can see his energy is needing to be expended. Just before he got back, I ordered takeaway fish & chips, and then went to do my weekly Zumba class online from our downstairs living area. So I did my class, then came back upstairs and ate cold fish and chips, on my own, at the dinner table! πŸ˜‚πŸ€£ #loveknowsnobounds We've been together long enough that the actual date of celebration d

The Dry Spell

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  So I've started writing this on 31st December 2018. I might finish it by the end of January knowing my life, but I knew I needed to get some of this out before the end of this year.* Exactly one year ago, I attended a fantastic New Year (Hogmanay) party.  It was in Australia, but it was an entirely Scottish contingent, due to friends and family of friends all being here at the time, and it was a really great night. I don't often enjoy New Year - it's the classic over-rated event of the year for me, as it always seems like a great idea to go somewhere there will be hundreds of people, and then about a week out, I'm praying for storms and hailstones and lightning, so I can choose to stay home instead - why do we do this to ourselves, my fellow Energator? (aside - I am not actually a fan of the word Introvert - I am currently testing out alternatives to see which one I think describes us better... We 'grow' energy, to either use ourselves, or to distribu

Through the Looking Glass....

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So why did it take 40 years to figure it out? I consider myself to be pretty intelligent, extremely observant, and a fairly good judge of character - how did I miss this about myself? With hindsight, I can look back and see all the obvious things that make sense now, but I haven't yet figured out whether it would have been a good or a bad thing to know when I was younger - I am mostly glad I think, that I pushed myself waaaaay out of my comfort zone, 'cos it just seemed like a thing that had to be done to keep up with everyone else. If I'd had all the knowledge then that I have now, I think I would have become a(n even more) melancholy musician who couldn't 'conform' in any way. I'm still not a sheep, but I live in conformity and harmony to a degree that works for me, and keeps me sane.. (and allows me to spend my life with an Extrovert!) Reality is, until I came across Susan Cain's book 'Quiet' , I'd genuinely never considered even va

Woah - How did I get here?

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  Oh..... hi.....✋😊 You probably found me via a search for either 'Introvert' or 'Extrovert', right? Yeah, I'm a little bit obsessed with both concepts since discovering I was an Introvert at the tender age of Forty-three... (I'll get to that story later) - If you're an Introvert living with an Extrovert, read on to discover how it's not you, it's everyone - If you're an Extrovert living with an Introvert, stop rolling your eyes ( I saw you!), and read on, cos you're about to get the best insight into how to better understand your OH and discover that what you consider to be 'wrong with them', is actually just different to you, but applicable to about half of the world, so maybe you should listen up - chances are half the people you interact or work with are also Introverts, and it might just be the learning experience that helps you get that next promotion... Cos we are EVERYWHERE! πŸ˜‰ Would have been good to understand a b