I found myself in the pages of a book. Not just any book but Quiet by Susan Cain.
I had long concealed, even from my spouse, just how introverted I was until reading this particular book. I decided to face up to the fact that I wasn't happy faking who I was.
I found out that I'm the type of person that is always self monitoring herself. I'm always aware of what I'm doing and the impact of my decisions and actions on those around me. When I have to be out in society or at a family gathering I'm always trying to please someone else, I'm a social chameleon if you will. I'd rather just be pleasing me but I had no clue how to do just that until now. I've learned that I can use something called " free trait theory". If I plan to act a certain way or do a certain thing to please someone else I should be prepared to give back to myself some free time to do what I need to make me happy. I like to read, craft, take long walks all of which make me feel more energized than say an aerobics class where I'd have to participate with a bunch of other people.
After I read this book and applied some of its ideas my marriage improved right off. My husband, also an introvert, readily understood what I needed when I said I need some "Me" time. I needed to recharge after doing for everyone.
Its going to take some time for this highly reactive individual to learn to put herself first when possible. I was raised with two extroverted parents that were more self-involved with their own lives then in the lives of their children. But there were expectations to be fulfilled. I was always under a lot of stress to perform and perform well.
Now begins my journey of self exploration and relieving the stress in my life. Now its my time to find what makes me happy.
Are you an introvert or extrovert? Author Susan Cain explores how introverts can be powerful in a world where being an extrovert is highly valued. Join From Left to Write on January 19 as we discuss Quiet: The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain. We'll also be chatting live with Susan Cain at 1PM Eastern on January 26. As a member of From Left to Write, I received a copy of the book. All opinions are my own.