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    Senior Member Lily flower's Avatar
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    Default True introversion or shy extroversion

    Do true introverts actually desire friends?

    One of the worst feelings to me is being lonely. Even though I have a tendency to be very reserved and shy, I still really can't stand being alone. I must have interactions with other people. So is that introversion, or just some sort of wounded extroversion, that produced a shy or reserved personality?

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    Senior Member captain curmudgeon's Avatar
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    i dont know, but i usually feel the exact same way. and then when i AM around someone, it's equally terrible because i cant find anything to say.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lily flower View Post
    Do true introverts actually desire friends?

    One of the worst feelings to me is being lonely. Even though I have a tendency to be very reserved and shy, I still really can't stand being alone. I must have interactions with other people. So is that introversion, or just some sort of wounded extroversion, that produced a shy or reserved personality?
    I just mentioned something about this very topic in one of your other threads.
    Although your other thread contradicts this one by saying you find interaction unpleasant.

    There is a difference between social introversion and cognitive introversion.

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    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Of course they do! Friends are what make life fun/bearable.
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

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    Senior Member captain curmudgeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arclight View Post
    is a difference between social introversion and cognitive introversion.
    i'm intrigued...

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    I feel the same way the op does, a desire to interact, but a reluctance to for other reasons. I personally don't think freinds has too much to do with it, rather its more were you draw your energy from; whether it be in solitude or from the outer world. Although maybe I shouldn't be offering advice, since I'm unsure of my own extroversion.

    Originally posted by Arclight
    There is a difference between social introversion and cognitive introversion.
    Oh yes, please elaborate on this assertion, I find it very intriguing.

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    Uniqueorn William K's Avatar
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    I get tired/exhausted if I'm in a loud party for too long and will either leave or space out. That doesn't mean I hate people and can't stand parties. It might look like anti-social behaviour from the outside but if I'm with the right crowd, I can utterly talk the night away.
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    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lily flower View Post
    Do true introverts actually desire friends?

    One of the worst feelings to me is being lonely. Even though I have a tendency to be very reserved and shy, I still really can't stand being alone. I must have interactions with other people. So is that introversion, or just some sort of wounded extroversion, that produced a shy or reserved personality?
    Everyone needs some level of human contact and friendship. I think the difference is that introverts prefer to recharge themselves by being alone and extraverts prefer to do so by interacting with others. Introverts most likely tolerate being alone moreso than extraverts. When you say you can't stand being alone, do you mean you can't stand being alone *at all* or just that every now and then you can't stand it? If its the former, you're probably a shy extravert.
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    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    Everyone needs friends and human interaction, and everyone needs time to themselves, but I would say that introverts need a lot more time to themselves than extroverts. I need tons of alone time and I relish my alone time. Also, being alone and being lonely are two different things, I think. Being lonely implies, to me at least, is when I don't feel like there is anyone I can call or go see or talk to when I want to. That's an unpleasant feeling for anyone. Being alone and being perfectly content is not loneliness. But since you say you hate being alone, yeah, you might be a shy extrovert. Unfortunate combination, but that doesn't mean there's something wrong with you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lily flower View Post
    Do true introverts actually desire friends? One of the worst feelings to me is being lonely. Even though I have a tendency to be very reserved and shy, I still really can't stand being alone. I must have interactions with other people. So is that introversion, or just some sort of wounded extroversion, that produced a shy or reserved personality?
    It sounds like you are trying to figure out how to define yourself, and then figure out who you are supposed to be from that definition. (So if you decide you are a "true introvert" and a "true introvert" doesn't need friends, you have a template for yourself to follow.) I intuit, though, that examining your feelings might be a better approach.

    I really do understand what you are talking about. When I was very young, I was so shy I'd hide behind furniture when guests came. The first year my parents tried to take me to summer camp, the fear of having to interact with strangers overwhelmed me, and after an hour of crying in the registration line, I was brought home. (The next year, I felt similarly but was older, so I just "toughed it out" and after two days, I felt comfortable enough to manage for the rest of the week. I was glad I did, overall; but it was still draining in some ways despite any enjoyment.) I remember in high school I would start to drive to planned social events, then have so much anxiety that I would end up crying and end up just going somewhere else alone. I even had some Avoidant style episodes when I was really depressed in my late 20's and mid 30's, where I would avoid walking down the same halls/rows in the work building if I heard someone coming.

    What I figured out is that I really prefer a script. I am someone who will rehearse a phone call in her head to even the most mundane person (e.g., a utilities bill representative) before dialing. Unless I am familiar with people, it can be very difficult for me to engage because I feel that I don't know their expectations and the "rules" of the situation, and I might make a terrible gaff and either offend someone, or make myself look stupid/mean, or just botch the whole thing.

    I also have become aware that being around too many people drains my energy quickly. Even spending time with friends eventually drains my batteries. I need private time to regather my energy.

    But I also am aware that I genuinely do like people of all sorts, even if I don't know how to interact with them.

    I overcome this by trying to reframe how I viewed things:
    - I am not a stupid, offensive person.
    - I am actually likeable.
    - Normal people won't think I am stupid or offensive or unlikeable if I make a gaff when talking to them or don't say everything as well as I could, they will be reasonable and I have to trust them.
    - If someone is unreasonable and judges me, I have the option to be fair to myself and frame it back as "their issue" if I review it and decide an average person would have responded differently.
    - There might be some people who don't like me and that is okay -- it's not my fault, necessarily, and doesn't mean I'm a bad person.

    etc.

    When I managed to reframe a lot of my perspective like this, I found interactions with others a lot easier and less anxiety-prone, because I was taking SO much pressure off my own shoulders and trying to accord myself the same reasonable fairness I wanted to bequeath to everyone else in the world. For some reason, I guess I was just judging myself so much more harshly and expecting so much more of myself.

    The other issue with people is that I feel afraid that they will encroach on me and not respect my boundaries, but I have some fear in just telling them what my boundaries are because I don't want to needlessly offend them. Again, it was something I had to teach myself: That every person has healthy boundaries, and that I'm "allowed" to mark off a space that I don't want people to cross over without my permission, and that a reasonable person will respect that and have their own boundaries and make it clear to me what they are so that I won't encroach on them accidentally or will forgive me if I accidentally step into their space. IOW, it no longer is a matter of me being perfect, but both people being reasonable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arclight View Post
    I just mentioned something about this very topic in one of your other threads.
    Although your other thread contradicts this one by saying you find interaction unpleasant.
    You're the second post I've seen who characterized her comment that way, but I think she was using "unpleasant" in a different sense... not as in people are unpleasant but that the interaction naturally causes anxiety that is unpleasant to experience regardless of the people involved.
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