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Cisi Eze: Things Introverts Can Understand

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When you do not say much, people assume that a lot is going on within you. Silence is a form of communication that creates a wall where people project themselves. It gets more interesting that some people do not realise that one could feel loneliness in the company of another person or in a crowd. Some of us love to be in our heads. It is nothing personal.

Introversion, according to Merriam-Webster dictionary, is the act of directing one’s attention toward or getting gratification from one’s own interests, thoughts, and feelings. It is also defined as the state or tendency toward being wholly or predominantly concerned with and interested in one’s own mental life

Based on Jonathan Cheek’s research, there are four types of introversion:

Social Introversion
This type of introversion entails an individual preferring solitude and if he/she must be with people, they would rather it were a small group. According to Cheek, people who are social introverts “prefer to stay home with a book or a computer, or to stick to small gatherings with close friends, as opposed to attending large parties with many strangers.”

Thinking Introversion
Introspection and thoughtfulness characterise this type of introversion. Contrary to the consensus of what it means to be introverted, these people do not avoid social situations. They enjoy being in their heads.

Anxious Introversion
Anxious introverts, unlike social introverts, desire alone time because they are socially awkward. “This kind of introversion is defined by a tendency to ruminate, to turn over and over in their minds the things that might or could or already have gone terribly wrong.”

Restrained Introversion
People who fall under this category are reticent, reserved.  They love to deliberate on their actions and words before expressing them. “Restrained introverts sometimes seem to operate at a slightly slower pace. “

If you are introverted, you can identify with the following:

You come across as haughty
When you smell good, mind your business, and face front, people say you are haughty. They go on to say you are forming, not being real. (Seriously, what does it mean to be real? You cannot be cool, calm, and collected in peace.) How do people look at a quiet person and imagine that the person’s silence is an affront?

You are prone to anxiety and depression
Because you are mostly inside your head, you tend to over-think things. You are bothered about past and future. When things do not go right, you sink into the mire of depression – protracted sadness.

You are not so expressive
Everyone is emotional only that we express it differently based on nature-nurture. As introverts are inward people, you tend to channel your feelings inside. You have chances of festering negative feelings inside, but when you let it out, you might be explosive.

You love space
This is not restricted to romantic partners. You need your friends to understand you want “You Time”. Left to you, you do not have to talk to your significant other on a daily basis.

Loyalty is important to you
This does not necessarily mean inheriting feuds from your friends. You are interested in quality, not quantity – this makes you have few friends you can count on. You have realised that being friendly with people is not tantamount to being friends with them.

You’re probably smarter than most people
Problem-solving, memory, and creativity are the major determinants of intelligence. Spending time alone can heighten these abilities in a way. You could be reading or watching something educative, enlightening. Alone time gives you opportunity to think up solutions to problems.

You enjoy solitude
Human interaction may be a bit too stressful and draining for you. Because you are smarter than a good number of the population, you might have issues finding your tribe – people who vibe with you. It is easier being all by yourself than staying around people who stress you. That you are alone does not mean you are lonely.

Small talk irks you
As you loathe the idea of small talk, you tend to avoid relationships that would create an avenues for you to indulge in small talk. This trait might make you see answering phone calls as a chore, especially when your instincts tell you the person calling has nothing important to tell you. You might prefer texts messages. The speed at which you reply solely depends on how much you like the person, or if it is urgent.

If you can relate to at least five of these, you are introverted. To be honest, introversion is a chore when you live in a society filled with people dedicated to not minding their businesses. You might have caught yourself complaining that people do not understand you. The important thing is to find like-minded people who would not feel threatened or put-off by your introversion.

P.S. Carl Jung coined the terms “extraversion” and “introversion”. They exist on a continuum – just like other human proclivities. At this point, we must have come to terms with the fact that the world is all shades of grey, not just black and white. There are people in between lumped in the box of “ambivert”.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Cisi Eze is a Lagos-based freelance journalist, writer, comic artist, and graphics designer. She feels strongly about LGBT+ rights, feminism, gender issues, and mental health, and this is expressed through her works on Bella Naija and her blog – Shades of Cisi. Aside these, she has works on Western Post NG, Kalahari Review, Holaafrica, Mounting the Moon, Gender IT, Outcast Magazine, Rustin Times, 14: An Anthology of Queer Art Volume 1 and 2, and Sweet Deluge (Issue 2). Her first book, published by Tamarind Hill Press, UK, is titled “Of Women, Edges, and Parks”. Cisi’s art challenges existing societal norms.

27 Comments

  1. bolintin

    April 27, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    I am a social introvert then

  2. Babym

    April 27, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    ? pretty accurate ?. Gosh I hate small talk with a passion I cannot explain it lol. I haven’t had a ringtone on my phone since 2005 ? . My heart used to cut when my phone would ring lol. Then I need like 20 seconds to decide wether I want to speak to the person calling ??. My friends have kukuma given up and just txt me instead lol.

    • Onyinyechukwu

      April 27, 2018 at 3:58 pm

      Hahaha.. We are on the same page darling.. I actually curse sometimes when my phone rings.. Like.. “who the %%@# is this?”.. And then sometimes I just watch the phone ring till it stops,and then text later..or call back muuuuch laaaater., or never.
      Also, I like to be invited to functions o…but lowkey I know I don’t wanna go, sometimes I pray the person cancels sef..
      I love my space die!!! .. But on the very few occasions when I go out, say to a party/club.. You’re gonna think I am on the top of the “extroverted” food chain mehn..

  3. Nnekiz

    April 27, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    This almost perfectly describes me!

  4. Grace

    April 27, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    At least I’m not alone. I disenable my whats app read message thingy so you don’t know I’ve read the message. replying messages in a choreeeeee?? for me

  5. Jummy

    April 27, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    Onyinyechukwu you just described me to a T.

  6. Her Grace

    April 27, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    Thank you for finally answering my question. I now agree, I am an introvert, socially.

  7. Oluwatimilehin

    April 27, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    I really wish people would understand that I am not “forming.” Even those I am friendly with still have their reservations, they think I am a proud lady. But I am just different. I love my time alone to think, read, listen to music,work… I even need my time to just ask myself questions & give answers. Ring tones drive me nuts, I prefer text messages, if we are having a conversation… I prefer it really short but detailed. In my family,friends words ” You are a weirdo.” I’m just an introvert!

  8. abby

    April 27, 2018 at 6:56 pm

    Well hello my fellow introverts

    • Mz Socially Awkward....

      April 29, 2018 at 9:04 pm

      El Oh El.

      I’m tempted to hate Csi csi just now, for reading us down to a T and not allowing any space for me to try and distance myself from the diagnosis. How dare you call a pelzon out. 🙂

  9. Meemi

    April 27, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    Now I know why I don’t have much friends and I care less about it… My husband made me lose myself when I got married, thank God I have found myself back and I’m loving it.

  10. tatz

    April 27, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    haha… fellow introverts… we should form a whatsapp group or something

  11. Fizzie

    April 27, 2018 at 8:33 pm

    Hi there?

  12. Beebah

    April 27, 2018 at 8:47 pm

    Omg! This is so me

  13. SS

    April 27, 2018 at 9:08 pm

    this is so me, i thought i was the only one one..i enjoy my space, sometimes i dont pick calls,except for necessary calls and i think my experience in the past also molded me to be this way..i have talked to friends in the past and turned out to be gossips,do i find my space to important to me..when my sis in laws come around, they always wonder that i dont go out…they love going out, life of a party,they are nice people but our personalities are different…and thank God my hubby is somewhat like me.

  14. Chinonso

    April 28, 2018 at 2:00 am

    Hihihihi, I’ve always known there are people like me out there. For me, I enjoy staying in my head alooooot (I even enjoy doing the dishes just to be left alone in the kitchen mostly). And every now and then, I hear someone say: leave him alone joor he’s just full of pride, he thinks his better than us, etc. ???????
    The truth is, I can’t even chirp in on chitchat without sounding like “I too know”. I guess we’re unique right?

  15. T’smum

    April 28, 2018 at 7:09 am

    Oh dear auto correct won’t finish me.

  16. Dee

    April 28, 2018 at 8:55 am

    I am a confirmed introvert. i hate hearing words like small talk, networking.. Most times being an introvert is more of a curse than a blessing. I really wish I could just “start talking”… I get irritated when extroverts claim to be introverts, only if they knew my daily struggles…

  17. Mimi

    April 28, 2018 at 11:18 am

    Oya fellow introverts gather lets take a selfie??

    • Ephi

      April 28, 2018 at 3:14 pm

      Haha! ?

  18. Ify

    April 28, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    How I wish people could understand me just like this article, then the world will be a better place!

  19. Butterfly

    April 28, 2018 at 8:54 pm

    I totally agree.

  20. uche

    April 30, 2018 at 10:04 am

    I feel like someone has been spying on me all my life. so accurate

  21. meena

    April 30, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    i have a question, does it bother you that you are an introvert? Me I don’t like it at all being an introvert. I always wish am an extrovert. But there is nothing one can do, that’s how God created us.

    • Omoh

      April 30, 2018 at 8:01 pm

      I love it most times but find it a burden when I find it difficult to express myself..

    • Ephi

      April 30, 2018 at 8:41 pm

      I am happy to be an introvert and wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.

  22. But

    April 30, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    I guess I like it but these days I find myself wishing for committed relationships. Just that it seems I have been so much into myself that I don’t even know how to have people around anymore

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