I’m Sorry I Hurt You in Order to Save Myself: What Introverts Feel but Don’t Always Say

space2live

He tentatively reaches across the bed with a warm gentle hand and I … recoil.  I just need a few more delicious moments of morning mind.  I need that gauzy, thought- Maren Kathleenweaving space of nourishing idea play where I breathe fully and smile involuntarily.  I need that space where I belong solely to myself.

He rolls away, stares at the ceiling and blinks back rejection.  With a sigh he heaves himself out of bed and leaves me in my space.

I am so sorry. I can’t give to you right now.  I’m so sorry.

The above scene is from the end of my marriage. I appear selfish and cold but what you don’t know is that at that point I was so raw and over-stimulated from years of exposing my introverted nature to the harried, competitive demands of externally-driven living that I couldn’t bear the softest touch of a…

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Introverts Explained: Why We Love You But Need to Get Away From You

space2live

Woman-walking-away-from-man umbrella

I am told our desire to get away from everyone every now and again and again is perplexing and sometimes painful to extroverts. They don’t understand how we could enjoy being alone, period. Even more confusing, we sometimes choose to be away from people we really like.

The truth is we see all people as stimulation and potential energy sucks. Sorry.  It doesn’t matter if you make us laugh until we wet our pants or we find you so attractive we agree to make babies with you (or at least practice). We will need a break from you.  We even need a break from other introverts, but speaking only for myself, not as often.

What Happens If We Don’t Get Our Space?

The other day I heard a fun-loving morning show radio host say she needs to be in the house alone often in order to be civil.  Having someone…

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Emotional Intimacy: An Introvert’s Ultimate Turn On?

space2live

cuddlingclothed

When was the first time you made love? The last time? I was in my 40s before I really made love. What took me so long? Why didn’t I experience that heavenly closeness and soulmate sanctity before my fourth decade? Because making love involves emotional AND physical intimacy. I never truly felt safe or in love enough to be myself —to be so vulnerable and give so freely — that my partner could love every aching, exposed part of me. I only extended myself emotionally enough to appear engaged.  I held my true self at a distance. I didn’t want to love someone more than they loved me. I didn’t want to lose myself in the loving either. Most of all I didn’t want to reveal the real, vulnerable, sensitive me.

I withheld my full self and trust subconsciously.  I only realized what I was doing when I couldn’t do…

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Introvert Relationships: Love Me or Leave Me But Please Don’t Need Me (Too Much)

space2live

One of the gifts of introversion is that we have to be discriminating about our relationships.  We know we only have so much energy for reaching out; if we’re going to invest, we want it to be good.

~ Laurie Helgoe, Introvert Power

Often this gift of discriminating taste feels more like a burden than a gift.  I am acutely aware of my limited energy.  Quite honestly most of my energy goes to raising my children.  What energy I have left I use to nurture friendships, connect with extended family and date.

The truth is we (introverts) have to be selective about all of our relationships.  Unlike extroverts we recharge from within. Socializing with lots of people (although enjoyable) can drain us.  Extroverts get energy from social interactions and external stimulation.

Over the last few years I have learned to pause and gauge how I feel with different people.  Do…

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Insight versus Observation

circle and square

Observations are facts, findings seen and heard in the field. Something like “8 out of 10 users had difficulties finding the power button” or “54% of 298 respondents prefers Concept A, 20% prefers Concept B, 16% prefers Concept C, and 10% has no preference” or “Older customers only use 10% of the device features”
These are simply findings, summary reports.
They don’t really explain why, nor tell us the implications of these findings.

Insights tend to be surprising and unexpected. Insights are synthesized observations. They explain the top level why certain things happen they way they are. The trick is to keep asking deeper the “why” questions. Insights are impactful and serve as a platform to ideate for new opportunities, new products or services, or new way of doing things.

The bottom line is, to be meaningful, insights have to answer the “why” and “so what” questions.

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5 More Things You Can Do To Make A Quiet Person Feel Bad

Thought Catalog

You can read the first 5 Things You Can Do To Make A Quiet Person Feel Bad here.

1. Tell the quiet person she should smile more [1]

If you want to make a quiet person feel bad, tell her to smile more, as there’s nothing like being passively shamed into not meeting the American culture’s daily smile quota. The American nation is indeed one of fake laughs, put-on smiles (I’ve worked two office jobs in my life – both of my bosses informed me that I hadn’t learned my Fake Smile yet, which, if I think about it long enough, begins to seem like an insane concept) and objectively erratic behavior to fill silences that have somehow come to mean awkwardness. So – when a quiet person does not smile, the most enthusiastic of us might be tempted to get them back on the train. “You…

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5 Things You Can Do To Make A Quiet Person Feel Bad

Thought Catalog

1. Ask the quiet person why he’s so quiet

Asking a quiet person why he’s so quiet is probably the easiest and most effective way of making him feel bad. “Why are you so quiet,” you’ll ask, a vaguely amused and curious expression on your face, as if the quiet person was merely a cute child serving as amusement for a group of inquisitive adults. “Uh…” the quiet person will stammer, failing to make eye contact, and most likely noticing that he’s failing to make eye contact. “I don’t know. Am I quiet? I’m just this way…” Here follows from the quiet person a string of mumbling not discernable to the listener.

The problem with asking a quiet person why he’s so quiet is multifaceted: a) because severe quietude in social situations runs counter to public convention, it’s not unreasonable for the typical quiet person to be at least somewhat…

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