Oakland Nurseries & Park of Roses
Saturday was a really good day. I took myself out to breakfast and then went out shooting photos at Oakland Nursery and the Park of Roses. I needed a good day after my weird night on Friday.
On Friday, my good friend invited me out with her and all her Chinese friends. It was extremely awkward. At times they were speaking to my friend about me or asking about me in Mandarin when I was sitting right next to her. And yes, they spoke English. They just chose not to. To be honest – it was a bit rude and the way that one of the people was talking to me was like he was attacking my personality – like I was a joke. All because I was quiet (I was obviously uncomfortable because of the bad vibes being thrown my way and I didn't speak the language!) and did not want to play a drinking game. It wasn’t my scene, and the energy was off. I have learned to love myself, and I’ve grown to know myself and not be ashamed of who I am – but when you are in that kind of situation where people are talking to you and insinuating things – it’s definitely not cool. I exited myself from the party and felt much better.
I love my two friends that I knew that were there, and I appreciate the invite. They did not know it would turn out the way it did and apologized as well. So Saturday – like I said – was MUCH needed.
This isn't the first time I've been misunderstood because of my quietness. Even close friends have questioned me before. I'm an introvert, and many people don't know what that is. They just assume that it's a shy person. I can be shy, but if you get to know me...I will talk your ear off! ;)
I spent two hours Saturday, by myself, at Oakland Nursery and an hour at the Park of Roses. It was so relaxing. I had a fun day all by myself. I chatted with a few nice people who approached me asking about my photos. One asked me if I was taking them for my job. I said, “Nope, just for fun. It makes me happy, I love flowers and it’s my solo day.” He smiled and said that was good. With another man I met, we talked about my upcoming trip to Hawaii and his trips to Australia and New Zealand with his wife. With another, we talked about film photography and the art festival. This individual was a photographer himself. He introduced me to his little girl and told me about the Park of Roses. So, I decided to check that out next. I met a man there who was also with his daughter. He was picking up stems that people had stepped on and broke. He said that it makes him sad because the roses are so beautiful and how he thinks that people should respect them. We talked about true love and how he is raising his children alone. He said he pushes them to be kind and be all they can be. It was beautiful.
I really appreciate days like the one I had Saturday. I love being around those that I love. I miss them when they’re not around, but everyone needs alone time. Alone time is essential. You cannot be with anyone else if you cannot be alone. Remember that. And it is a beautiful thing when you can grow as individuals – together.
I want you to better understand people like me - introverts.
So, what is an introvert?
“Introversion is one of the major personality traits identified in many theories of personality. People who are introverted tend to be inward turning, or focused more on internal thoughts, feelings and moods rather than seeking out external stimulation… Introverts tend to be more quiet, reserved, and introspective. Unlike extroverts who gain energy from social interaction, introverts have to expend energy in social situations. After attending a party or spending time in a large group of people, introverts often feel a need to "recharge" by spending a period of time alone.”
Introversion is marked by a number of different sub-traits:
- Very self-aware
- Enjoys understanding details
- Interested in self-knowledge and self-understanding
- Tends to keep emotions private
- Quiet and reserved in large groups or around unfamiliar people
- More sociable and gregarious around people they know well
- Learns well through observation
16 misconceptions found on LifeHack.org:
Misconception #1: Introverts are shy.
Being “shy” and “introverted” are two completely different things. Introverts are not necessarily shy or afraid of people. They don’t just don’t prefer talking for the sake of talking.
Misconception #2: Introverts are unemotional.
Introverts may not show emotion with their facial expressions and gestures, but this doesn’t mean they’re not interested in what you’re saying. Introverts prefer to control their emotions around others and internalize them. Although someone who’s introverted may not appear engaged, this is usually not the case.
Misconception #3: Introverts don’t like working in groups.
Introverts often do their best work alone, so co-workers may misunderstand them and think they don’t want to partake in group work. While introverts do have a tendency to shut down in larger groups of people when they feel like their voice isn’t being heard, introverts excel in small group situations and enjoy working in these types of environments, as long as their opinion is valued.
Misconception #4: Introverts don’t like talking.
It’s not that introverts don’t like to talk; it’s that they prefer to listen before they talk. Introverts choose their words carefully and they think small talk is a waste of time. But, they’re more than willing to engage you in a deep conversation about topics they’re passionate about.
Misconception #5: Introverts are scared to look you in the eye.
In general, introverts may not make eye contact with you as much as extroverts. This is because they don’t feel the need to partake in social norms and rituals as much as extroverts, not because they’re “scared.”
Misconception #6: All introverts are poor public speakers.
Some introverts may not like speaking in large group settings; however, many introverts are naturally gifted speakers. And, introverts generally spend more time preparing for speeches and presentations rather than “flying by the seat of their pants.”
Misconception #7: Introverts just want to be left alone.
While it’s true that introverts prefer to “re-charge” with some quiet time reading or reflecting, they also crave human interaction and enjoy the company of others.
Misconception #8: Introverts over-analyze everything.
Introverts like to analyze situations and consider all possible scenarios before making decisions. Sometimes this can lead to “analysis paralysis,” but in general, it’s a positive trait that allows them to make tough decisions with a rational stream of thought.
Misconception #9: Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
False. Introverts may not be comfortable in crowded spaces, but they love experiencing new places, people, and things.
Misconception #10: Introverts are high strung.
The opposite is actually true. Introverts tend to be much more even-keeled and level than extroverts. They are able to objectively view all scenarios, even during times of stress.
Misconception #11: Introverts are underachievers.
Because we have such an affinity for the charismatic, personable, extroverted leader, some people assume that introverts are underachievers compared to extroverts. However, there are millions of successful introverted scientists, artists, physicians, writers, and philosophers. Achievement is not necessarily related to personality type.
Misconception #12: Introverts can “break out of their shell” and become extroverts.
Introversion is an inborn personality type that you can’t change. Many people falsely believe that introverts can (or want to) “unlearn” their quiet, passive tendencies.
Misconception #13: Introverts are rude.
Introverts get a bad rap because they don’t show emotion like extroverts do. This causes people to misunderstand them and mistake their stone-face demeanor for rudeness, which isn’t the case.
Misconception #14: Introverts are no fun.
Introverts are all about having a good time–they just prefer environments that are quieter and more low-key. They don’t mind going to parties, but they prefer to spend time socializing in their inner circle of friends.
Misconception #15: Introverts don’t make good leaders.
Introverts can be quiet but confident leaders. They are particularly effective at managing extroverts because they’re good listeners and don’t compete with them.
Misconception #16: Extroverts are happier than introverts.
Happiness has nothing to do with one’s personality type. There are happy and unhappy extroverts just like introverts. Personality type does not predispose you to be unhappy.
So, next time you’re turned off by someone’s quietness, don’t assume they’re rude, bored, or uninterested in what is going on. Don’t assume that they’re not friendly. Don’t be rude yourself. Keep your mind open. Be inviting. Be kind. Try to remember that everyone is not the same.
Sources for the introversion information in this post: