I’m the quiet mom. The shy mom. The highly introverted mom. The mom who doesn’t do very well in social situations. The mom who tries to be social but usually comes off as a little awkward.
I don’t overly like this about myself. But it’s who I am.
I could try to change this about myself. I could try to be the outgoing mom. The social mom. The loud and extroverted mom. And I have tried.
However, completely changing who a person is at heart is not something that can be easily done. Complete change is also very unlikely to happen. Changing certain traits? Yes, that can be worked on. But completely changing a person’s entire personality? Unlikely.
Is being an introvert really that bad anyway?
Is being the quiet person really that bad? The shy person? The slightly awkward in social situations person?
I used to think it was. But now, after lots of reflecting and taking a good look at myself, at who I truly am within, I have come to a new conclusion. It is not a bad thing.
There seems to be such a negative stigma attached to being the quiet person. My entire life I felt like it was such a horrible trait to have. People always make comments like “you should talk more” or you should “not be so shy.” But in reality, there is nothing wrong with being the quiet person. The shy person. The introvert. The slightly awkward in social situations person. This is who I am and I’m proud of it.
So, what is it like being an introvert? The quiet mom? The shy mom?
Well, I am not going to speak for every quiet introvert out there. I will only speak from my own experiences. For me, I enjoy going out. I enjoy exploring new places. I enjoy taking my kids to the park, to the beach, or for walks. Being an introvert doesn’t mean you isolate yourself from others or prefer to be a hermit and never leave your house.
It means you are more selective with who you want to spend your time with.
You are more comfortable around people you know. New people make you anxious until you get to know them better. But to get to know them, you prefer one on one interaction. You don’t really like groups. Groups can be difficult for some introverts—I know they are for me. I prefer to spend my time either by myself, with my family, or with a select few people. If I do have to be around groups or around a lot of people I’m not comfortable with, I am very quiet and don’t say a whole lot. I find those situations draining. They mentally exhaust me and I need some time afterward to myself so I can recharge. (Although, since I have multiple kids now, by “myself” I really mean “with my kids.”) If I don’t get that time to unwind, my anxiety starts to kick in, and I feel very overwhelmed.
As an introvert, I like the quiet. The stillness. The kind where you can hear every little creak of your house. The sounds of birds chirping. The sound of leaves rustling in the wind. Where you can hear the little voice in your head. You can hear every thought. You can listen to every great idea and vision you have with complete focus and comprehension.
I love these moments.
As a busy mom, I rarely get these anymore. But the rare times I do when everyone is asleep in the house, I am at complete peace. These moments to myself are important for an introvert. We do not feel alone in them. We feel complete relaxation. We can feel our body releasing all its tension. We can feel our anxiety lessening. We feel at ease. Content.
Sometimes I do wish I was a bit more outgoing. More engaging with others. The super smiley, cheerful, extra friendly one. But that’s just not who I am. My entire life I have been the “shy” kid. The one who “never talks.” It bothered me as a child, especially in my teenage years, but as an adult in her 30s now, I’ve come to terms with who I naturally am as an individual. People are who they are.
A person can work on certain traits they would like to improve within themselves, but they cannot completely change who they naturally are. Certain environments tend to bring out different versions of a person, but ultimately, the person is still the same individual inside. I used to believe that if I up and moved to a new place, surrounded by new people, I could essentially recreate a new version of myself.
Well, I did end up moving to a new place, surrounded by new people. Guess what? It was very exciting at first, but all my old habits and insecurities stuck with me. You can’t run away from who you truly are as a person. All you can do is work on things you may not like about yourself and do your very best to improve on those qualities. But that takes time. It does not happen overnight.
So yes, I’m that quiet, introverted mom, and I’m content with it.
It’s not always easy, but it’s who I am. If you do see me, chances are I’ll smile at you, but I won’t be the one to start up any conversation. You are welcome to make small talk with me, but please note I may not know what to say, so it may come off a little awkward. I’m good at being awkward. You’d think that as a grown woman I’d have figured that out by now, but I haven’t. I never know how to hold a conversation with someone I barely know. On the other hand, once you truly get to know me, I can talk your ear off. That’s just me.
Raising kids while being a quiet introvert has its difficult moments. It pushes you out of your comfort zone repeatedly. Having to make phone calls, talking to teachers, talking to friends’ parents, hosting birthday parties, hosting playdates, going to playdates, extracurricular activities, numerous appointments, school functions, and many, many other responsibilities that come with being a parent—you will get pushed out of your comfort zone being a mom, but that is also a good thing.
It is good to be pushed to do things that make you uncomfortable, that make you nervous. It helps you grow as an individual. It makes you realize you are capable of more than you originally believed you were. It helps you see yourself in a different light. It raises your confidence.
And this is so important.
We need to believe in ourselves. We need to have confidence in ourselves. We need to show our children that even though we may be uncomfortable in certain situations, we can still push through them. We don’t want our children thinking they can hide from the uncomfortable, but rather that it is OK to be uncomfortable sometimes, that it is important to still keep going. To walk through those difficult moments with confidence and take the time you need afterward to recharge yourself.
Fellow introverts, I hope you always keep your head held high. Believe in who you are as a person.