The Lone Introvert

The longer we are away, the more introverted i am becoming. I’m tired, and after a long day of site seeing and functions, I just don’t have much left in me for the evenings. Lately, the evenings have been dinners and fellowship – i.e. a party.

As an introvert, I get energy from being alone. I find crowds draining, and struggle to make conversation. At home, it isn’t so bad as I usually know people, and can find a nice, quiet corner to chat with someone. I’m good with small groups, just not large ones.

The last week or so, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed at the dinners. We switch towns every few days, so it is always a struggle for me to keep making new acquaintances.

My teammates are all extroverts, and get their energy from being around people. So they are all doing well, entertaining our new hosts, dancing, singing, being the centre of attention. I’m struggling in the corner, trying not to look like a wallflower, but essentially, that’s what I am. I would love to have a place to hide for a while every evening, but the fellowship is as much a part of this exchange as anything else.

I wish I could just turn on the gift of gab, or the ability to be more outgoing, but it just isn’t there. I’d been hoping to develop this more on the trip, but it isn’t working. I’m starting to feel like the only introvert in Asia! I’ve discovered some tricks that help me out at home, but I haven’t been able to use them here.

In order for me to feel more comfortable in a group, I like to have someone I’m comfortable with as my buddy. If I have one person I know with me, I don’t find the crowd overwhelming, I also like to sit in the middle of the table so I can be in the middle of the conversation. If I’m off to the side, as a quieter person, I’m not involved in it. If I had my choice, I’d always be able to sit with at least one of my teammates so I would be more comfortable.

While we have been on the trip, people keep insist on splitting us up for the benefit of ‘more fellowship’. While I get the intention, it makes it much more difficult and overwhelming. I can’t choose who I sit with. The loud, bubbly people tend to want to sit with each other. I cant blame them as that’s who I want to sit with as well! But, that usually means I am at a table with people who end up talking to each other, often in their native language.

This has been one of the most difficult parts of the trip for me. I love the daytime stuff and chatting with people one on one with no pressure. But the loud evenings are this introvert’s least favorite part of the trip.

Any other introverts out there? Any advice for how to make these events easier?

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2 thoughts on “The Lone Introvert

  1. Hi Angela. It is quite normal, especially after being in close quarters for such a long time. I’m an introvert myself so, our trip to Canada was a surprise to me because I found my own ways to adapt and to cope.

    I guess one quick “solution” is to develop an OCD trait. It gives you instant gratification that you are in semi-control of your life. My OCD behaviour was to pack and organise my suitcase. Another social behaviour that allows you solitude is to pretend that you are a super avid photographer. You can excuse yourself to walk around the same place to take photos and “take in the view”. Its maybe just a 5-10 mins of solitude, but they are little breathers that make the quirks in the group more bearable. Just my 2 cents….

    But very soon, once you go back home, the irritating quirks are well forgotten, and when you look at the photos, you’ll realise that it was an adventure that you can never get as a normal tourist.



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