Many of us tend to show more of our personality the more we become comfortable with a person. I find that there are only a very few handful of people that have ever seen my whole personality, and understand the extent of how odd but loving I am. Truly, I think everyone is a little strange because it’s not possible for anyone to be normal, because even being too normal is a little strange. It’s funny because there are moments I can give a somewhat cold, distant impression, and others where I am smiling, approachable and warm.
It’s common in society that spending too much time alone, being thoughtful, being a quiet soul, being an introvert and having a calm demeanour are sometimes frowned upon. There is an expectation that a person should be outgoing, yet I believe that confidence and skill set is not equated to the volume of our voice. I do feel that to some extent, we live in a society that praises extroverts. I referenced the quote from Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist who said, “The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”
For those who take time to open up, they do so because they feel they trust you. It can also be the person, because I find certain people can bring out bits and pieces of us. Such as, some may bring out more of our funny side or caring side. It might depend on the nature of the topic, and the conversations we engage in. I find when I get engaged in conversation of interest, I unfold more and more. Many introverts may also be thinkers, and take a pause here and there to think before they speak. Expressing oneself is often easier through art, music, writing, than it is to say the words plainly out loud. Not all the time our spoken words may fully express how we feel inside.
There are hidden layers that are slowly and gradually revealed, when it’s with the right person. For example, there are only a few people in my life who can bring out my ridiculously talkative and crazy side, because I’m willing and comfortable to let them see it. Most of the time, when I interact with people I don’t feel a connection or am not close with, there isn’t a desire to share too much. I was reading the article The Thing About Introverts That Most Extroverts Can’t Understand here, and it explains my first paragraph well. Michaela writes:
“When I am with strangers, I generally behave in one of two ways:
1) If I have the energy, I am friendly, animated and engaging.
2) If I am feeling overwhelmed, drained or out of my element, I am more quiet and reserved
The people who meet me in scenario #1 assume that I am an extrovert, and don’t know how to react when my introverted tendencies emerge. Those who meet me in scenario #2 believe that I am shy or “have no personality”. They can’t imagine that I am confident, silly, and quite bold with the people I hold dearest. The bottom line is that most extroverts simply don’t understand that introverts behave differently in public than they do with the people they love and trust the most.”
It’s natural for many introverts to show more of their personality when they feel someone is a true friend. They want to invite the people who accept them for who they are into their life. There are those who prefer to have a few close friends, than be socialising in groups. There is this craving for deep connections and minimising energy spent on interactions that don’t go anywhere. Introverts have a lot to say, but they are particular about who they choose to say what to. Something I’m trying to improve on is small talk, even if it’s not the most interesting, it’s a good level of unfolding with a stranger, without having to commit to sharing too much.
One on one interactions are a great way to understand people, and put all my focus in getting to know someone. I also find people are more themselves when they’re alone talking to me, compared to when they’re with a group of people. However, in group situations, most of the time I tend to be the listener. Unfolding takes time, and in different environments we will unfold different things. Such as in the work place, many introverts are talented, but it may take them a little more time to open up. I find it’s easier if I’m drawn or have an instant connection with someone. In our personal lives or at school, it might be a particular person that we gradually open up to.