Miss Musings

A modern miss provides commentary on sociological and psychological issues concerning politics, the media, literature, and everyday observances.

3 great ‘self dates’ for introverts

 

Courtesy of atlast-weddings.blogspot.com

So you want to go out somewhere, but you don’t want awkward small talk to distract you (as it always does). You seek enlightenment, some coffee maybe, and a couple of hours to unwind in comfortable silence. It sounds like you are in need of a quick “self date,” which means exactly what it sounds like: a night out by yourself, not on the prowl for a lover or hashing out your day with your friends.

But where should/can you go… (gasp)… by yourself?

A museum!

Orlando has a bunch of great museums that you could easily spend an evening visiting. Explore the Orlando Museum of Art on the first Thursday of each month and listen to local musicians while examining themed galleries, and then take a stroll through the neighboring Loch Haven Park. You could also visit the smaller Mennello Museum of American Art just across the street to satisfy your taste for folk art, or take a look at the Morse Museum of Art in the nearby town of Winter Park. The best part about attending a museum stag is that many people go by themselves to enjoy the art… in silence. It’s the recipe for the perfect introvert self date.

A movie theater!

A movie theater is the quintessential date location, yet it is often an ineffective place for a date because you can’t talk to anyone during a movie. Luckily for you introverts, NOT talking is not a bane, but a boon! Go buy yourself some popcorn (which is cheaper when it’s just for one person) and get lost in a new flick. Introverts – 1, lovers – 0.

Painting!

You know those elderly people who sit and paint in parks, looking totally at peace with the world and their thoughts? Have you ever felt a smidge envious? Painting allows you to focus on one subject for a long period of time, so there is not much room for tedious over-analyzation or long-winded discussions. Grab some paints and brushes and find a quiet spot in Lake Eola park to paint some nature scenes.

Get quiet and take yourself on a date tonight whether you’re introverted or extroverted – there is so much to see when you are focused on the place you are at, rather than the people you are with.

Have some more ideas? Leave a comment below or join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Memoirs of a quiet kid

“Come out of your shell, Samantha.” – Every teacher I have ever had

But I don’t wanna! I would respond indignantly in my head. First, I do not have a literal shell. Second, no humans do. Third, if we did have shells, why would we want to leave a protective and warm casing that is so perfectly designed for us?

As a blooming young introvert plenty of elements in my life were different from those of other kids. I preferred to read books than talk and have my one TRUE friend instead of several acquaintances. I would get really attached to a single concept, whether it was a person or a culture or the TV series Kim Possible. In school and extracurricular activities I often fit in with a group of extroverts as the trustworthy “secret-keeper;” but I would be dumped aside shortly after the entire burden was spilt. Herein you see the drawbacks of liking silence – it leads to a recycled bond of friendship, tried and false.

 

shy

Source: http://www.aboutourkids.org/articles/helping_shy_kids_get_most_out_their_school_experience

 

However, there were plenty of benefits to being a quiet girl. I constantly found ways to entertain myself. In my cozy, metaphorical shell I would dream up outrageous stories, role play with my Barbies for hours, design business plans for fake Parisian bakeries and dance studios and choreograph to the new Radio Disney CD. Some of my fondest memories were formed during blissful “me-time.” But more importantly, I can now visualize these memories instantly since my time spent dreaming sharpened my ability to remember thoughts and generate ideas. I feel my budding intellect was nurtured during the time I spent alone; I read voraciously when I was bored and honed my interests through research and discovery. Sure, I was a quiet child, stuck in a social shell, but I was also quite interesting.

Yet even as I got older the social stigma against introversion loomed over me; I remember sitting down for breakfast on the first day of a summer camp and being asked by a counselor why I wasn’t sitting with anyone. “Because I like to spend time by myself,” I responded confidently. He still sat next to me, too concerned with his own definition of normal social behavior to realize he was ignoring my preference. Naturally, I was annoyed and only wanted to pull the “shell” tighter – especially if it meant having some time alone with my thoughts.

Some people need their quiet time; I certainly know I do.

Is introversion seen as social anxiety by today’s standards? 

Introverted – it’s just how we are

Photo Credit: biobreak.files.wordpress.com

Photo courtesy of biobreak.files.wordpress.com

Introversion is a characteristic that 50 percent of the population possesses. Introverts are the kids in kindergarten who enjoy playing with puzzles instead of gabbing in flocks. Later in life they are promptly pegged as “the shy ones” and are often told to “Get a hobby or something! Make some friends!” If you have heard any of these concerns lately, and, naturally, seen the unawareness behind them, you are probably an introvert. Congratulations. Feel free to join the other 50% of the supposed “silenced” who, ironically, enjoy being quiet.

When I was five I was a soft-spoken kid. I quickly found my niche at my elementary school and was always deemed the responsible and sweet kid with just one major flaw: I was too quiet. My conversations were limited. My mind was constantly processing the people around me. However, I must note that I was never oppressed into introversion, even though my teachers sent me to counseling and told me to kick the “shy” habit. Introverted was just how I was, and I never grew up to be the super loquacious kid they thought was ideal for any classroom, workplace or community.

This is how I operate. But now all of those thoughts are in the blog! So it all worked out nicely.

This is how I operate. But now all of those thoughts are in the blog! So it all worked out nicely. Source: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-frJeL65oeMU/UiCiRNdN6YI/AAAAAAAAAnU/ZKSaHSiaE3E/s1600/178.PNG

On the contrary, we introverts can be social. This is the greatest distinction between extroversion and introversion: extroverts, unlike introverts, actually need to be social and experience a clamorous setting to feel fulfilled. Similarly, I can play the “chumming around all day” game, but I need to come home and write for a few hours until I fall asleep. Moderate solitude fills up my happy cup and keeps me balanced, but it absolutely does not handicap my social interaction ability. Introverts just need to do stuff by themselves sometimes. Truly, there is no simpler concept.

There are few qualms among adults regarding introversion v. extroversion; the real pressure is on young children and teenagers. They are the ones who are told to “speak up” and “participate” and “play with the other kids.” They are the ones who listen to the socially-constructed groupthink. This is a sad reality to introverts who make it just fine in the real world, and who may even improve it with the skills they have cultivated through much-needed downtime.

To my fellow introverts: a lot of you may assume being introverted is something you have to “accept” about yourself, so let me throw a new perspective at your quiet aura: you do not have to come to terms with introversion. It really is not anything unique. Being introverted is not what makes you special. It is the things you do, in quiet settings or vociferous ones or even both, that define you. Soaking in my downtime as a means of recharging is something introverts do innately; it is not something we seek to achieve. We recharge our batteries one way, and the other half of the population does so using other methods.

Photo courtesy of wikimedia.org

Photo courtesy of wikimedia.org

Likewise, “introvert” is not a label meant to identify you as shy or socially handicapped, and it certainly is not something to be ashamed of or to feel like you have to grow out of. By the same token, just as an introvert should not be ashamed of what fills his or her happy cup, he or she does not have to be particularly proud of it either. It is just the way we operate, nothing more.

Want more juicy facts on introversion? Check out Bill Gates’ favorite TED talk of all time (and mine as well) on The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain below. You can also pick up her book “Quiet” from Amazon for a brilliant behavioral psychology read.