On being an introvert


I'm pretty sure we've all noticed the anxiety "bandwagon" that's trundling through Bloggerville. Although I'm reluctant to call it that- hence the inverted commas- there is no denying that suddenly it seems as though every blogger and their cat has anxiety. Now, I'm going to state straight from the off that I have actually scheduled my own anxiety post: I suffer with severe anxiety and I've always been an incredibly anxious person. However, I recognise that anxiety and introversion are not mutually inclusive and I do think a lot of people get the two confused. It's just as possible for an extroverted person to suffer from anxiety as it is for an introverted person to be extremely confident. So, in preparation for my anxiety post, let's look at what it means to be an introvert.

Introverted people can be confident
Although I'm an introvert, pop me in a place where I feel comfortable and I can be remarkably confident. I'm happy to be the first one on the dancefloor, to have people staring at me, to know that people are talking about me. I'm a little eccentric and quirky, so it doesn't phase me one bit. Introverts aren't shy and quiet all the time.

Introverted people just like their own space
This is where that shy and quiet stereotype comes from. Yes, I can stay out until the early hours partying but, afterwards, I want to relax somewhere quiet. I need somewhere to retire to where I can just be left to my own devices. I prefer hobbies that don't require too much social interaction. Blogging is great because I can communicate with other people while still being completely on my own!

Introverts do not always stay inside
If I stay inside for too long, I start to get really angsty. I need to leave the house and get out. Even if that just means walking down the road to go to the cash point, I can't stay inside for days on end. (Unfortunately, my anxiety means I actually do stay inside for days on end, but I shouldn't). Introversion doesn't mean I can't see my friends, explore cities and occasionally party it up.


This post is hopefully a reminder that introverted people do not necessarily have anxiety, and people with anxiety are not necessarily introverts. For some, like me, the two occur in one person but they don't affect each other in any way. Don't make the mistake of thinking that because you like your own space, you must have anxiety. Self-diagnosis is not helpful. If you do think you have anxiety, please do seek medical advice as your GP will be able to treat your condition and make a huge difference to your quality of life. 

36 comments:

  1. I completely understand what you're saying about the anxiety "badwagon" that a lot of bloggers seem to be hopping onto. I'll admit, I have anxiety, but I think to be honest it's a common trait of bloggers. Someone recently pointed out to me that blogging is a "safe way" to communicate with others: we write so we can stay in our own space while at the same time talking and interacting with other people. All of the non-anxious people are out there doing it in person! Just a possible attempt to explain why it seems like so many bloggers are confessing anxiety. I'm with you!
    ~ Samantha
    samsamcherie.blogspot.com

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    1. This is very true! A lot of people with anxiety find it easier to communicate online but I do also think there's a lot of people self-diagnosing themselves. Anybody who feels shy or introverted is convincing themselves that they have anxiety without seeing a doctor.

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  2. I completely agree with everything you've said in this post Becky. I think people make a link between being introverted and anxiety way too much, and then being confident with being extroverted. I actually count myself as extroverted but I used to suffer (questionably still do) with the anxiety, and I hate the assumption that this can't be possible due to my extroverted nature. So you have raised a really interesting point.

    The Makeup Directory

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    1. It must be so frustrating for you to have people who think you can't possibly suffer from anxiety.

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  3. I'm an introvert, but I am actually really confident. I just prefer being on my own most of the time haha! I know what you mean though, everyone seems to have anxiety now a days. I'm not saying people are lying but I do feel it's possible to get being anxious confused with having anxiety!

    India / Touchscreens & Beautyqueens

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    1. Yep, I think that's the issue. I'm not for a second suggesting people are lying but I do think people tend to self-diagnose and get confused.

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  4. So glad someone has said out loud what I've been wanting to say for so long! I used to get quite annoyed reading countless 'anxiety' posts that were clearly either getting the concept confused or just copying what a genuine sufferer had written about. I'm not calling anyone a liar, but bandwagon was a good choice of word! I've had anxiety since I was a young teen and it generally takes the form of constant worrying/overthinking rather than introversion, although I never go anywhere overcrowded like clubbing etc. I look forward to reading your post on it :) this post was really interesting xx
    Sarah
    simplysarahlou.blogspot.com

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    1. Absolutely! There is a huge difference between people suffering from anxiety and people who are a bit shy. I honestly think that unless you've been formally diagnosed, it's dangerous to start bandying the word "anxiety" around. It creates a false perception of the condition.

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  5. And a extravert can lack self confidence and be hiding severe aniexty xox

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  6. I'm deemed an extrovert but also have my battle with anxiety. I will admit that I have noticed how many bloggers have seemingly suddenly started talking about suffering from anxiety. I've always known I have, along with some other suspicions but weirdly hearing everyone else admit to anxiety makes me want to talk about mine less and less...though i suppose I've always preferred to fight my battles silently...that way gives me LESS anxiety than talking about it actually lol

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    1. That's interesting. I definitely feel the same pressure. It feels like everybody is talking about anxiety so, if I do so, it will seem like I'm just "following the trend", if you will, and almost belittles the condition.

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  7. I'm looking forward to your anxiety post. Your blog is really lovely. I love how you share your life and personality with the world.

    Kindness is the best accessory,
    Rebecca

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    1. Thank you, Rebecca. You always write such lovely comments.

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  8. I completely agree. The bandwagon comment is completely justified, I've always disliked that about the internet in some ways... anxiety can cripple people and even if you find similarities between a person with anxiety and yourself doesn't mean that you have that kind of anxiety. Be anxious yes, but anxiety is a whole other thing.

    I'll forever just be an introvert though!

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    1. Yep, suddenly everyone thinks "Wait, I get anxious sometimes. I have anxiety!" and I think it's a dangerous assumption.

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  9. Great post. I have been thinking myself about the 'anxiety bandwagon' lately but then I came to the conclusion that bloggers become bloggers as they are introverted or shy or have anxiety as it is a way to feel part of a community and make friends without having to meet people face to face. I am a naturally shy and introverted person and I like how people feel open enough to share their experiences online.
    theemeralddove21.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. I absolutely agree with this, but there's a big difference between being shy or introverted and having anxiety. I think a lot of people get the two confused and end up self-diagnosing.

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  10. Yes, yes, yes to all of this! And I totally agree with you that anxiety and introversion are completely different things, I personally don't live with anxiety but I do consider myself to be deeply introverted.
    Would recommend Quiet by Susan Cain if you're interested in reading about introversion. It's probably one of the best books I've read on the subject! Xx

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    1. Ooh that sounds really interesting. Thanks for the suggestion!

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  11. I'm an introvert, and THANK YOU for creating this post. I don't suffer from anxiety but people have commented to me that because I'm introverted, I must be "messed up" i.e. introverted or generally suffering from mental illness. It's quite hard to listen to! Regardless of what I may/may not have, I think its good to realise there is a difference between illness and personality type.
    Natalie
    www.natillie.com

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    1. It's really sad that people would think just because you're introverted, you must have mental health problems. Try not to pay them any notice and remember that you're totally healthy!

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  12. I'm naturally shy and introverted, and I also suffer from anxiety and I think most people think all three are mutually inclusive. You're so right; they're not! I'm far more confident than I used to be, and I love to socialise, go out in public, and be around people... but I just need a little time to myself every day to recharge because I also find socialising exhausting. It's who I am no matter how shy I'm feeling, or how much I'm struggling with anxiety. I think bloggers coming out as introverted anxiety suffers all of a sudden could be because large numbers of introverted people and anxiety sufferers use the net to 'socialise' and form friendships without having to leave the house and be around people.

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    1. I know I definitely use the iternet to socialise!

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  13. I think maybe people are finally starting to open up about talking about mental health? I hate bandwagons too as I always want to be somewhat unique, but hearing others talk about anxiety made me realize I could at least mention my issues. I definitely agree that introversion and anxiety aren't traits that necessarily go hand in hand though! I'm not really an introvert but I have bouts of health anxiety that keep me up at night. Not the same as generalized anxiety but still an issue nonetheless. I'm interested to read your post about anxiety!

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    1. It's amazing how many people think if you're introverted, you automatically have to suffer from anxiety too.

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  14. Every single one of those points rang so true with me. I'm shy and introverted, but being cooped up inside all day drives me battty (as does being alone all the time) and with the right people (and maybe alcohol) I'm confident. It's a bit tiring being told I can't possibly be introverted because of x/y/z. I don't have anxiety, though I have my own diagnosed crazies.

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    1. Some people just really don't understand introversion.

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  15. I think what it is, for me anyway, about discussing anxiety via a blog is that a) it's a safe, mostly non-judgemental (there are always assholes) space to discuss feelings or worries without having the added worry of feeling stupid while telling them to an actual person, and b) it's comforting to write these things out, sort of admit it and get the thoughts arranged. Like mini therapy you can do at home :)

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    1. I absolutely agree with your points. I also find it easier to communicate when I have space to consider my response, rather than feel pressured to answer on the spot.

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  16. I totally understand what you mean! I describe myself as a confident introvert as well. I'm loud, I love meeting new people, I'm happy going out and partying with friends, but I do need a lot of time on my own to just be in my own head and do my own thing :) xx

    Little Miss Katy | Fun, Food & Fashion!

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    1. Absolutely! That's all it is- Just the need to have your own time. It's amazing how many people get it confused with other traits.

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  17. I am very much an introvert but like you once I'm with people who I feel comfortable with or in a comfortable space then I am confident and it continues to build up. I love absolutely nothing more than being in my safe space on my laptop interacting with the blogging world, but I also have times when I need to be outside and taking up running has made that easier for me as I can get out for half an hour be in the countryside and have a clear head.

    I think along with some others in the comments that people with anxiety do socialize more online because it's easier to form friendships and speak to people without physically doing so. It can make it look more like a bandwagon but also once people start speaking out others also want to speak out. I was thinking of writing my own blog post on anxiety as someone who has only recently started suffering but I think there are people like you who will and do write it much better than I could, yet I might just do it anyway. x

    Beth Tinkerbell

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    1. I just worry that people see the amount of bloggers mentioning anxiety and think that, because they're sometimes shy or nervous, they must have anxiety too.

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  18. Great post Becky, I hate how people seem to separate people into two separate groups, introvert and extrovert. I wouldn't use either of these words to describe me at all! People are much more complex than that, as you pointed out :)

    Not sure I agree with the bandwagon bit about anxiety though, I think it's just a lot more common than you think! Plenty of people who aren't bloggers will have it too, it just seems like it's all us bloggers because we have created a community where people feel safe enough to open up, and ask for help, and offer help. So bloggers who have anxiety have an outlet! It's great that we are accepting each other and have somewhere to speak out! Not that I have written any posts about it, bit too personal for me, but I always read others posts on it :) I think there is a positive way of looking at this bandwagon! We're on the bandwagon together to help each other! Wow that was cheesy, I'm gonna shut up now haha xoxo
    amber love

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    1. I'm not for a second suggesting people are lying or making it up, but I think a lot of people are self-diagnosing and that's very dangerous. I'm not entirely sure I believe that everyone blogging about their anxiety has been diagnosed and therefore they could inadvertently be spreading myths and inconsistencies. Especially in the case of young, teenage bloggers, it's easy to confuse shyness, or even just the emotional feelings of puberty, for anxiety.

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I read all comments and appreciate every single one, even if I can't always reply. If you have a question or need a reply, feel free to tweet me @BeckyBedbug- I always reply to tweets!