I’m an Introvert Trapped in an Extroverted Personality

You know those people who love to fill every minute of their down time with plans? Those who live for the weekends, to go out and be social? Dinner with the girls Friday night, drinks and dancing Saturday night and beach all day with the crew Sunday? You know, the people who see the weekend as an opportunity to be as social as possible.

Well, I am not one of those people.

The other day I was speaking to a work colleague when I mentioned to her that I am an introvert.

“No you’re not!” She exclaimed in shock – half expecting me to say I was joking. “You are far too sociable and outgoing to be an introvert. You are definitely an extrovert,” she protested.

Firstly, you don’t know me! Secondly, thank you for the lovely compliments. But thirdly, you’re wrong! I am an introvert.

I totally understand why she would say that though. I am bubbly and animated. I am friendly, happy and I pretty much always smiling or laughing. I generally have a lot of energy and have on many occasions been likened to an excitable puppy. (Think golden retriever pup discovering it’s tail for the first time). I can also be pretty chatty. Very chatty in fact. To anyone from the outside looking in, I am a lively little extrovert.

I may not appear to fit the stereotypical mould of what is perceived as a classic ‘introvert’, but truthfully I am.

You see, people have a bit of a confused perception of what it really means to be an introvert. Introverts are shy. Introverts don’t like people. Introverts always want to be alone. These are just some of the myths people believe about introverts. However, what really makes a person an introvert or extrovert is how they obtain their energy. Generally, extroverts thrive in social situations. They are energised by being around people. This is the opposite of introverts, who are energised by being alone.

And that’s exactly why I fit into the latter category.

When the weekend comes, I am the person who gets excited to hermit for two days straight. To roll myself up in a blanket burrito and watch a movie. Not much makes me happier than doing a whole lot of nothing with me,myself and I. (Other than doing a whole lot of nothing with my man). That’s my idea of bliss. Mention a night out of drinking or a party of more than 10 people and I am basically spun into a spiral of social anxiety. Those are the sort of things that exhaust me. Drain me. Not necessarily physically, but mentally.

Extroverts love being surrounded by people. They are generally the life of the party and don’t mind being the centre of attention. They feel energised by group interactions and get bored easily on their own. Introverts… not so much. Introverts think a lot and require their alone time to recharge and process life’s happenings. It’s not that we are anti-social or shy or even loners. It’s just that is how we roll.

In large social situations like parties, events or anything that involves a room full of strangers, introverts can become overwhelmed, anxious and uncomfortable. I for one, recluse in these scenarios and feel as if I cannot be my true self. What introverts need is a reason to interact. We don’t interact just for the sake of it. We think for ourselves and just want everyone to be real and honest. Making small talk doesn’t come naturally. We won’t say anything unless we have something to say. But get us chatting about something we are interested in or passionate about and we won’t shut up! It’s all about one-on-one quality time with close friends and like-minded individuals.

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Truth is, most people aren’t 100% extroverted or 100% introverted. You can be an extrovert who has introverted qualities or an introvert that has extroverted qualities. It basically comes down to how you recharge your energy? Do you need to be around others or do you require solo time to renergise? Do you feel bored when you are on your own or do you live for those moments?

If you are interested in finding out more about introversion and extroversion I suggest reading the book Quiet by Susan Cain. You can even do this personality test to see where you sit on the scale. (This test is what confirmed to me, exactly what I suspected all this time… I am an extroverted-introvert)

Love Elo xx

 

Photograph by @jypsea_

Happy Mind, Happy Life

Happiness is a choice. It is a state of mind. In the same way you select your clothes each day, you need to learn how to select your thoughts. This is a power you can cultivate.

Your thoughts create your world. When you wake up in the morning you have the choice to be happy or not. When something bad happens, you can decide to dwell on it, let it affect you and allow negativity to manifest. or you can choose to brush it off and let it go. How you think and how you feel is entirely up to you. If you want to be sad, no one in the world can make you happy. But if you make up your mind to be happy, no one and nothing on earth can take that happiness away from you.

You can’t live a positive life with a negative mind.

I am a huge believer in the power of positive thinking. I believe you are a product of your own thoughts. What you think about, you bring about. It is all in the mind. Where your mind goes, energy flows. Focus on negativity and you’ll only attract more negativity. Possess a positive mindset and you’ll attract more positive energy into your world.

I am not saying it is possible to think, feel and be positive 100% of the time (as amazing as that would be), but it is certainly possible to try. Living a life of positivity is about trying to see the best in every situation. It is about moving past the things you cannot control and focusing your energy on the things you can. You may not be able to control events or the way others treat you, but you can control how you react. The only person you are hurting by holding on to negativity, is yourself. Think happy thoughts and manifest positivity. With a happy, healthy mind, you can create a happy, healthy life.

Happiness is a choice. Not a result. Nothing will make you happy, until you choose to be happy.

Choosing to be happy isn’t always easy but you can train your mind to cultivate the art of positive thinking. Here are some ways you can take control of your own happiness.

Practice Gratitude: Gratitude turns what we have into enough. It can be so easy to focus on all the things you don’t have but when you stop, take a moment and think about all the things you are thankful for, it becomes apparent how blessed you truly are. When you express gratitude for all the things you do have the more things you will have to feel grateful for.

Be More Mindful. Live in the Moment: ‘If you are always rushing to the next moment, what happens to the one you are in?”. The secret to happiness could be as simple as becoming more mindful. Sometimes you need to slow down, remain within the present and not stress about the next moment. This can reduce feelings of anxiety.

Enjoy the Little Things: It’s usually the little things, the small acts of kindness, the simple things that bring us the most joy. It isn’t always about the big picture, but the little moments that make us smile that truly matter.

Smile: It’s amazing what a smile can do to lift your mood or even make someone else day. Smiling is contagious after all.

Do More of What Makes You Happy: Life is too short to waste precious time doing things you do not like or spending time with people who bring you down. Do more of the things that you enjoy doing and bring you happiness.

Love Eloise x

Love Who You Are

Loving Yourself is the best thing you will ever do.

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‘To love yourself right now, just as you are, is to give yourself heaven. Don’t wait until you die. If you wait, you die now. If you love, you live now.’ – Alan Cohen

Learning to love myself is probably the hardest challenge I have ever had to face. I have never struggled with anything more than I have done with this. I have always wished to be one of those women who truly and wholeheartedly love themselves. Someone so utterly happy and content in their own skin that they absolutely radiate with confidence. One of those women who, despite their flaws, still embrace who they are and accept themselves completely.

Wouldn’t that just be so elevating? So refreshing? To not worry about how you look every single minute of every single day. To not be paralyzed by negative self-talk, hatred and low self-esteem. To be so content with who you are as a person that you never feel the need to impress anyone. Can you just imagine how wonderful that would be?

Well let me tell you, it really is A-MAZING!!!

After years (I’d say roughly 24 or so), I have finally found happiness in who I am. I can finally say that I truly love and accept myself. I am content, confident and proud of the woman I have become. I accept myself and my flaws. It has certainly been a long and treacherous journey with many bumps along the way but I, Eloise Smith, can finally say… I love me.

I think the reason I struggled with the concept of self love for such a long time is because I was on quest for something I could never be… Perfect. A trap, a lot of us fall into.

Loving yourself isn’t about being 100% happy with every last inch of your body and soul. It’s not about being perfect. After all, perfection doesn’t exist. Self love is about acceptance. It is about accepting that you have flaws, that you make mistakes, that you are unique. And it’s those things that make you, you! It’s about truly embracing yourself for the beautiful individual that you are.

And I’m not just talking about body love. What I am really talking about is, inner love. Self approval from within. It’s when you wholly love the person you are inside, that everything else follows. When you finally find and understand yourself as a person, when you finally become happy with all your personality quirks and discover your inner beauty, you realize that having the perfect body really doesn’t matter. Your body is just a shell. A shell for what actually matters – your mind and your soul.

The absolute best thing about finding self love and acceptance is the opportunities that follow. For me, it feels like my eyes have been opened up to a whole new world of possibilities. I have a new found confidence. I am willing to branch out of my comfort zone. I am finally confident in myself and content with who I am. I no longer fear rejection or ridicule. I no longer need to impress anyone. I like who I am. I like the woman I have become. I am happy with me and if someone else doesn’t like me, then that’s perfectly ok. I am who I am, and people can either choose to take it or leave it.

I’d rather be disliked for who I am than liked for someone I am not.

It is true what they say. Love yourself first and the rest will fall into place.

You must learn to love yourself. You must learn to be happy with yourself. Only then can you spread love and happiness to others.

Love Elo xx