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3 Things That Make Me Happy As An Introvert (That Involves Others)

I wanted to focus on this topic because I feel that when it comes to introverts, people tend to focus a lot on how we need alone time, which is true. I don’t want to discredit that in any way because it is true and is important for understanding introverts more. Lately I’ve seen a lot of funny quotes and cartoons about this very thing. But in midst of all the humor of introverts needing time alone to recharge, we can overlook how introverts still need others as well. We can start to use alone time as an excuse to shut others out, or as an excuse to not step outside our comfort zone. But when we start to use that as an excuse, we also diminish our own happiness. The connections that we make with others, as long as done with boundaries, can help us to be happy. So, these are the 3 things that make me the most happy, and perhaps strangely, they all involve other people.
1.       My Family

These are the people I am closest too. I love my husband so much and he bring me happiness. He gives me support at times when I need it the most and he uplifts and inspires me. He helps me to understand that I am not alone in my thoughts and views.

My daughters are my little dreams. I love being able to see them grow, learning new things each day. When I see them achieve something new, especially something that has been hard for them, I rejoice. These connections that I have with my family are special. They bring me greater understanding into who I am as a person. I don’t think I can completely describe why they bring me so much joy. The connection itself is part of the happiness but seeing them grow is truly an amazing thing. They just grow too quickly for me. J

Recently, I got to see my 3 yr old, take a step forward in something we’ve been working on. She has been in a rotating co-op preschool since September and she has not said anything at preschool. I picked her up from her preschool and she got in the car. It usually takes her a little bit to start talking about what happened with Preschool. She needs that time alone to process all the information and things that happened. But, on this particular day she was proud of herself. I was pulling out of the driveway of the house where she had preschool, when she said, “I talked at Preschool today. But, only a little bit.” I was ecstatic. This was the first time she ever talked at Preschool. It has been months, and this is the first time, so this was a big deal. And I let her know I was so proud of her. I sang the “Proud of You” song from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, my mom sings it anytime we celebrate any achievement. This was an achievement for my Lil Bug, so I continued in the tradition.

Seeing someone you love accomplish something that was difficult for them is not only inspiring but brings so much joy. This kind of joy can only come from having a relationship with someone.

2.       My Friends

There are those with who we just connect with instantly and also those with whom it takes a little longer to connect with but when we do connect with them the connection is strong. These are the people who help us to feel like they understand us, they just “get” us. We feel validated in some way because they understand who we are. But, we all grow and change and so it is important for us to continue to make friends. I may not be friends with everyone I meet, and also there are friends who I am not that close too, but there are others that when I am with them, we connect on a deep level. Those deep connections actually energize me, in a way. It’s draining for me when there are lots of people around with no meaningful connections, or like in the case of my family where I do have deep connections with them, it can be draining when it’s a constant, seemingly never-ending connection. That’s when I need alone time to recharge. But when we connect on a deep level for the right amount of time it can be emotionally satisfying.

As an introvert I tend to have fewer friends, but the friends that I do have, are relationships that impact me greatly and make a lasting impression. My friends, Lisa and Megan, are two wonderful examples of this. I have been friends with them since I was 3 and 4. I love them and I continue to be friends with them, even after all these years. Lasting friendships are beautiful. 

3.       Helping Others

There really is something about helping others that helps us as well. It’s a win-win situation. Being able to help someone out and then seeing them be happy because of the help is a beautiful thing. But, there is also a feeling of peace that comes when you help someone without them even knowing. The more you give, the more you receive is true, in the sense that you can feel more at peace. I have a lot of anxiety when it comes to interacting with others. When I help someone else, I still feel that anxiety just before (and sometimes the whole time) I interact with them. I still do it even with the anxiety, because I deeply believe that everyone deserves kindness. Sometimes I never see those people again, and sometimes I do. I’ll still be anxious about the connection either way, but after I’ve done what I can to help them I’m always grateful that I had the opportunity to do something for them. I’m always thankful that I stepped outside my comfort zone to do something for another. I’m not the only one in the world and I am thankful for that.
My connections with others are deeply important to me. Introverts tend to have less friends, but the friends that they do have are on a rich, deep level. And those relationships bring us joy. So, when I talk about being an introvert, I don’t always want to focus on the misconception that all introverts don’t want to be around people. Because the truth is, I do like people. And yes, I do still need my alone time, but that alone time wouldn’t be enough to make me happy if I did not have relationships with others.

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