This is a Guest Post, which I’m sure many will relate to. If you’ve ever felt out of place as an introvert/HSP/Creative soul. Ivi Jayde is a Cat Mom, Virgo, Canadian tea drinker with a penchant for all things British (including Orlando Bloom)! She is a writer, and cares deeply about helping fellow introverts feel more at home in an extrovert-centric world.
Ever since I can remember, I always felt out of place for my quiet bookworm, solitude loving natural preferences. I used to read novels during French class in Eighth Grade and English class at High School. Spare blocks in High School were dedicated to devouring YA books in the cafeteria. And there was nothing more exciting than a trip to the bookstore or library. Oh, and I found it physically impossible to pass up a book sale, too.
Eventually my love of reading turned into a love of writing (especially fiction). Nothing published yet, but my love and exploration of it continues to grow… I wasn’t big on parties (or boys, drugs, and booze). I was a health obsessed teenager who ate clean and lived an active lifestyle (typical Virgo). In retrospect, I believe I was bordering on orthorexia (an extreme obsession with healthy eating).
I even skipped my twelfth grade prom (shocker!) Spending hundreds of dollars on a dress and all the accessories you’re going to wear once to celebrate what? Graduating high school? Wow. I mean come on. Save it for a wedding dress (that seems more like something worth investing in!)
I think many introverts can relate to these things.
Out of Place at School
Teachers in school would comment I had to participate more and that I had to contribute more to class discussions. I opted out of oral presentations. School was abuzz with meaningless chatter. Kids telling the world every detail of their lives, and sharing their opinion about every single thing. So much noise. Such little substance. I felt out of place, a lot of the time.
But that was before I discovered and became aware that I am an HSP (a decade later, but whatever!) Even my mother was always telling me to get out, to try extracurriculars and make friends. I moved house a lot during my early childhood. This meant I never had much practice of the friendship thing.
Through university, I took most of my courses online and only a handful on campus. I rarely stuck around after lectures, except to pick up required books at the library. I felt disconnected from the draining energy and relentless conversational buzzing noise of the campus hallways.
The qualification requirements to participate in class discussion placed an unfair expectation on the introverts among us. The demand to debate with quick wit and off-the-cuff opinions, distracted me from the research and writing that should have been enough. It turned an environment where I should have been comfortable, into one where once again, I didn’t really fit.
The growing awareness of how my introverted, highly sensitive personality makes me tick, allowed me to discount the self-torture of fast paced, customer facing retail or food service jobs. So the question is, how to get a decent paying, flexible job which would give me the ability to use my gifts and passion of writing and research. I had the opportunity to write for the Creative Penn, and The Mighty.
There has never been more opportunity to serve others and build a business online. And as I spend most of my days researching I find more people who get it. Whether that’s life as an HSP. Experience growing up as an introvert. Coping with fibro (the result of chronic stress related to career and money), and what it means to be an INFJ.
I can help introverts feel less like strangers in their own world. And remind everyone else that they don’t have to voice every thought that comes to mind, or announce what they feel. You’re enough. You don’t need a bevy of friends surrounding you, in order to matter. Stay authentic, stay true my fellow introverts!
Over to You
Have you ever felt like you don’t fit into the world around you? Has this ever stopped you doing something that is important to you? Share your thoughts in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you.