Introvert’s Archive

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Introspection is the process of conscious self-awareness. Learn why it’s important, and how to cultivate it for spiritual growth.

It is crucial that you become an expert in yourself. A self-expert — a master of your ‘self’, and hence your thought process, behavior, habit, and life.

However, modern life, culture, and society has made this harder than ever before.

It’s ironic that during the last three hundred years modern humans have consistently generated the knowledge, found methods, and created tools for mastering nature and the world around them, while failing to create the knowledge or the tools to master themselves.

As a result, we observe a plethora of specialists — people who have in-depth knowledge and understanding of things and people, and who can share insights and offer tools and solutions for problems others are facing.

At the same time, finding self-experts has become a rarity.

We are experiencing a total inversion of what it means to be.

As we grow older, most of us find that we are less in tune with ourselves and hence more dependent on externalities.

We live, desire, and struggle to achieve, without knowing what we truly want — without knowing ourselves. As a result, we have externalized meaning, and hence every aspect of our lives.

We’re trapped in a culture of doing, and where pause is literally a waste of time.

It’s time to get out.

And the only natural way (that we humans have practiced over the ages, in every civilization) is through introspection.

What is Introspection? When does it happen?

Introspection is the process of conscious self-awareness. It is a critical assessment of our actions and behavior. It happens when we look inward and examine our behavior, emotions, thoughts, and motives.

What Happens When We Fail At Introspection?

We fail at introspection because it’s hard to control our flow of thought and to master the brain.

Two primary causes include:

  • Our education system and society offer us methods of critical evaluation of things outside of us. Hence, we readily judge and analyze people and environments around us without analyzing and reflecting on our own thought process and behavior.
  • Our culture of consumption (i.e. consumerism) has made us more open to external, readily consumable forms of content (visual and aural) instead of being introspective of the content that we, ourselves, are creating.

As a result, we readily judge others (because watching someone else behave, talk, react, and respond to you is a form of consumable content), instead of allowing our consciousness to expand and understand them.

Consequently, we become conscious of how our actions and thoughts might be judged by others.

This forces us to avoid making mistakes while we cultivate our own personality, parent ourinner child, and allow our inner voice to grow and move to a higher, expanded consciousness.

As a result, we become locked in a vicious cycle where we remain cynical, critical, and judgmental about what others have to say instead of listening to our inner voice and doing what we want to do and say — in a phrase, what will make us grow.

We can outgrow it by investing in creating and sustaining an ethos of introspection in our lives.

Why is Cultivating an Ethos of Introspection important in our lives?

Our souls are growing continuously. They perceive every event in our lives, take wisdom from it, and build intuition.

As we avoid introspection and self-reflection, that knowledge and wisdom (“those unconnected dots”) remain untapped and unorganized.

As a result, we feel troubled, and experience meaninglessness in our lives — we hear a troubled calling, as our inner voice (which though suppressed due to lack of self-reflection and introspection) calls more often, with irritable urgency.

Like a child pulling at us to change our direction and to see what it wants us to see.

Introspection allows us to become more self-ware. It allows us to:

  • Observe negative patterns in our lives
  • Know, prioritize, and face our fears
  • Define what happiness means to us, from within, instead of borrowing its definition from without
  • Avoid worrying about things beyond our control
  • Remain focused on the bigger picture
  • Parent our inner child and connect with the wisdom within our souls
  • Become masters of ourselves
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Learn How To Cultivate Your Spirit

Posted March 14, 2016 By Mark

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Gain clarity of purpose and live a more meaningful and internally peaceful life by learning the habits of people who have cultivated their spirits.

Spiritual cultivation is different from cultivating your mind. It is about becoming one with not just your current environment, but to understand that all of us are part of the reality of the cosmos, we are from it, merge with it, and reborn from it. Hence, you find tranquility and oneness with time itself.

Why is cultivation of the spirit important?

Because it makes us more emotionally intelligent and aware of ourselves. Every one of us is responsible for cultivating our spirits.

Think of it as mental hygiene, and just like we have trained ourselves to take care of our physical body, we must also take care of our spirits. And just like we cultivate habits for maintaining a healthy body, we can cultivate habits for keeping our spirit and, consequently, our minds, healthy.

Only by cultivating our spirit can we occasionally rise above ourselves and towards a higher consciousness.

The following are some powerful habits that help you can cultivate your spirit on a regular basis. The good news is that all of them can seamlessly fit into your routine, without much effort.

Set a fixed time for Spiritual Cultivation

Making time for something is often the hardest part, and given our busy work lives, it often comes as an additional commitment that we find hard to abide by.

But what if you could simply make the act of waking up as part of your commitment to spiritual cultivation?

Rising early has been the de’ facto time for cultivating the spirit across civilizations. The pre-dawn wee hours allows the body to summon energizing energies from the environment and purify your body and spirit.

When you rise early, the body is already refreshed — your mind and body are empty, relaxed, active, and refreshed.

It is during this time that a few minutes of meditative silence, followed by the right food, can dramatically increase your attunement to your spirit.

So make the habit of sleeping and rising early according to your work-schedule. I say this because many people have late night shifts, hence have a different sleep cycle.

Although the pre-dawn hours are undoubtedly the best time for cultivating your spirit, going to sleep and waking up early will still allow you to wake up refreshed — and your mind and body ready for absorbing the right energies.

Inculcate Respect for What You Consume

Your spirit takes energy from its surrounding. This includes the energies that you directly or indirectly allow it to absorb. For example:

  • The company of the people and the environments you hang out in for appreciable time,
  • The amount and type of content that you consume (audio, video, text, thoughts etc.),
  • The food that you eat.

The fact is that like your physical body, your spirit is also prone to contamination and toxification. Hence, as you turn inwards to cultivate and nurture your spirit, respecting and paying attention to what you allow yourself to consume becomes very important.

Start with your food. Introduce a dieting plan that focuses on healthier eating habits (and not just the food that you eat) and fasting at certain times of the year.

By respecting the food that you consume, you are also committing yourself to an ethos of healthy eating habits, something that our culture of fast-food consumption is destroying.

Move towards reducing your consumption. Most of us consume too much content (ranging from movies to reveling in our fancies or self-critical talks).

As a result, we do not spend time crafting our responses to stimuli (e.g. how we react to a bad decision, a bad day, our happiness, someone else’s happiness, etc.).

Reduce it and you will automatically gain more time for your inner journey.

Connect with the right people and right environment. Start saying no to toxic people and environments.

Whenever you feel that your mood and energy is draining, walk away and spend a few seconds reflecting on why you were bothered by it.

At first, it will feel awkward, but with time you will gain better insights about yourself and your triggers. This will allow you to connect with your personal values and understand the principles you want to abide by.

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Our sensitivity can empower us in ways we can’t quite understand. Find out what kind of an empath you are and how you can become a better person through simple awareness.

In today’s society, sensitivity is viewed as a weakness, which is kind of ironic because our sensitivity can be quite empowering.

So, how can we become empowered by a trait that makes us soft and delicate, in a world dominated by loud and overpowering people? Yes, it is true that many empaths may seem weak and even get overpowered, but there is another aspect to this sensitivity.

Deep down, way beyond the veil of our superficial personas, all empaths have something distinctly quiet and quite powerful. This power doesn’t dominate or overpower people but rather empowers one in an extremely useful way.

This gift allows empaths to benefit in the long term by gathering psychological, emotional, and physical information from their surroundings. This information is usually inaccessible to the unreceptive mind.

Although it is indeed correct that empaths cannot bully people or use brute force, they can however, protect, guide, heal, and deeply understand the people around them.

In this way, they can gather incredible amounts of information and how they use this knowledge is at their discretion. Knowledge is, after all, the greatest power.

Think You Are An Empath?

If you suspect that you are more sensitive than the people around you, then continue reading to find out if you too are an empath in an insensitive world.

If you really are an empath, you will recognize some of these experiences that are faced by most empaths:

  • You tend to absorb other people’s feelings and emotions and experience them as your own
  • You consistently feel mental and physical fatigue
  • Your emotional state tends to swing throughout a day based on external stimuli
  • If someone close to you is in physical pain, you can feel their pain in your own body
  • You cherish solitude, which helps you refresh and recharge
  • People prefer to come to you with their problems
  • You simply cannot bear violence or cruelty
  • You are naturally caring and nurturing
  • You are an excellent listener
  • Your awareness of our physical environment is greater than normal, e.g. your sense of taste, smell, hearing, touch, etc.
  • Crowded places tend to overwhelm and drain you
  • Animals and children seem to be attracted to you

Different Types of Empaths

Yes, being an empath can have many benefits, but at the same time, it can also weigh you down and cause anxiety. This is one of the reasons why it is important to understand our individual experiences in the hope to better understand ourselves.

The following is a list of different types of empaths and a small description to help you understand what kind of an empath you may be.

1. Physically Receptive Empath

Many empaths seem to be receptive to the physical pains and illnesses of other people. The pain can manifest in the empath’s own body – an ability which has proven to be extremely useful in healing.

2. Emotionally Receptive Empath

Almost all empaths are extremely receptive of external emotional states. This can result in physically and emotionally feeling other people’s emotions before they are expressed.

3. Claircognizant Empath

Claircognizant empaths have the ability to know if something needs to be done or if a statement of a person’s intentions is true or misleading, without any rational reasoning. Such empaths have the ability to know if they should do something or not.

4. Geomantic Empaths

These empaths have the ability to read signals and energy transmitted from the soil or earth. Meaning, they can feel if a natural disaster is impending.

5. Fauna Empath

Fauna empaths can feel, hear, and interact with animals.

6. Medium Empath

Medium empaths, as the name suggests, can either feel, see or hear spirits.

7. Flora Empath

Slightly similar to Fauna Empaths, as they can communicate with plants by being able to feel or receive their signals.

8. Psychometric Empath

These empaths develop the ability to receive energy, impressions, and information from inanimate objects such as jewelry, photographs, etc.

9. Telepathic Empath

Telepathic empaths can accurately read another peron’s unexpressed thoughts.

10. Precognitive Empath

Such empaths can feel a situation or event before its occurrence. These usually manifests in the form of dreams of emotional or physical sensations.

In this insensitive and coarse world, empaths can often find it difficult to maintain their inner harmony. But with self-awareness, everyone, including empaths, can learn to appreciate their unique gifts and abilities.

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Spirit guides are always by our side during the challenging moments of our lives and whenever we are asking for their help. The way they interact with us may not be the most obvious one, but they are always there — so pay attention!

Do not be too quick to dismiss your gut feeling as paranoia because the universe gives each one of us strength to fall back on. You do have to be overly spiritual to accept that spirit guides exist, but if you will dedicate every day some of your time to spirituality, you will start seeing the evidence.

Every soul has a guide that watches over, educates and nurtures it in all aspects of life. Most of us grew up calling these spiritual beings our guardian angels and this is the role that they live up to.

Spirit guides are instrumental in finding our life’s purpose and in fulfilling our spiritual and earthly responsibilities.

Although in our human form we cannot see or interact with them, there are ways of listening to them and knowing that it is them who are speaking to your situations.

Signs that spirit guides are watching over us:

Intuition

It is almost impossible to explain what intuition is because it is more of a sensation than a feeling or thought.

Intuition occurs in flashes that provide insight into situations we are facing at the time. Although the origin of the intuition cannot be traced, it is invaluable in saving us from bad eventualities.

Gut feeling

This is a feeling that seems to originate from the pits of the inner soul and, most often, indicates the need to be more alert of a situation.

There is a popular saying that gut feeling can save a man so there is need to pay close attention to what is happening within us.

Difficult situations

Spirit guides are able to see danger long before it happens and when they change our routine to avert the consequences, we fall into a situation of near impossibility.

Cases of people who forgot something important in the house, only to be late for the bus which had an accident, are common indications that spirit guides do actually exist.

Synchronicities

There is no such thing as coincidences in the spiritual realm, because every event that happens is dictated by what we may call “supernatural forces.”

Take, for instance, bumping into someone that you haven’t seen for decades, somewhere across the world.

You may find yourself saying “it’s a small world,” but the low probability of such an event happening, points to something greater arranging our lives.

These events are called synchronicities and you can learn more about them from David Wilcock’s amazing book, The Synchronicity Key: The Hidden Intelligence Guiding the Universe and You.

Although science has not been able to explain the presence of spirits that guide each human being, incidents of people recounting how close they were to danger yet they were saved by anout of sync incident makes it hard to refute that they exist.

While many people are busy finding fault in thinking in these lines, spiritualists who have embraced this line of thought have, in time, managed to perfect their interaction with their spirit guides. This makes them more conscious of their surrounding by listening to their gut in times of uncertainty.

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We all have default modes, the place we go to first, especially when things get rough. This default setting, or foundational habit mode, is very important because life has a way of throwing us curve balls, so whatever our default setting is, we are going to end up going there a lot.

So my question for you today is: What is yours?

What world view arises when the “stuff “ hits the fan?

Do you turn toward greater faith and belief in the bigger picture or do you begin to bemoan life, your lot, etc?

I have found that there is one habit that all my happy, well-adjusted friends share, and it is this: when things get rough, they look UP. They believe that there is higher power and an order to their existence. No

This one fundamental belief changes everything.

Einstein is often quoted as saying, “The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.”

And I couldn’t agree more.

If you believe you live in a hostile universe, you tend to look down. Down on situations, down on others, just down. This leads you, not surprisingly, to feeling down.

But when you believe you live in a friendly universe, you tend to look up. You believe in a higher power, that you’re being supported by forces beyond your own will and that love is the connecting spirit between all living things. You look up with awe and reverence.

Lately, I have been traveling around Europe, which means I have been seeing a lot of cathedrals. It seems every town in France has a “Notre Dame.”

Sitting in the energy and beauty of these temples is amazing, but what I noticed about all of them that was so special for me was this:

They were obviously designed by people who look up.

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Every single cathedral you go into has intricate paintings or mosaics adorning the ceilings. Yesterday, in Lyon, we saw lotus type flowers protruding from the ceiling there. The detail, the love, the inspiring beauty is a testament to the Divine.

So, my simple suggestion for today (that I really believe will change your life) is this: practice looking up.

Notice the colors in the sky and the way the clouds move. Admire the birds flying in unison. Enjoy the way the trees dot the hillside. And if you happen to be in a town with lovely old cathedrals, enter one and tilt your head back so you can appreciate the years of work that have gone into the sacred art created for and by those who like to look up.

It’s a deceivingly basic thing, but if you practice looking up, you will soon find yourself filling up and feeling up.

 

 

 

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16 Habits Of Highly Sensitive People

Posted February 24, 2016 By Mark
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Loving woman embracing man on city street

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Do you feel like you reflect on things more than everyone else? Do you find yourself worrying about how other people feel? Do you prefer quieter, less chaotic environments?

If the above sound true to you, you may be highly sensitive. The personality trait — which was first researched by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D., in the early 1990s — is relatively common, with as many as one in five people possessing it. Aron, who has written multiple studies and books on high sensitivity, including The Highly Sensitive Person, also developed a self-test (which you can take here) to help you determine if you are highly sensitive.

While recent interest in introversion — driven largely by high-profile publications on the subject, including Susan Cain’s book “Quiet,” — has brought more awareness to personality traits that value less stimulation and higher sensitivity, Aron notes that highly sensitive people still tend to be considered the “minority.”

But “minority” doesn’t mean bad — in fact, being highly sensitive carries a multitude of positive characteristics. Read on for some of the commonalities shared by highly sensitive people.

1. They feel more deeply.

One of the hallmark characteristics of highly sensitive people is the ability to feel more deeply than their less-sensitive peers. “They like to process things on a deep level,” Ted Zeff, Ph.D., author of The Highly Sensitive Person’s Survival Guide and other books on highly sensitive people, tells HuffPost. “They’re very intuitive, and go very deep inside to try to figure things out.”

2. They’re more emotionally reactive.

People who are highly sensitive will react more in a situation. For instance, they will have more empathy and feel more concern for a friend’s problems, according to Aron. They may also have more concern about how another person may be reacting in the face of a negative event.

3. They’re probably used to hearing, “Don’t take things so personally” and “Why are you so sensitive?”

Depending on the culture, sensitivity can be perceived as an asset or a negative trait, Zeff explains. In some of his own research, Zeff says that highly sensitive men he interviewed from other countries — such as Thailand and India — were rarely or never teased, while highly sensitive men he interviewed from North America were frequently or always teased. “So a lot of it is very cultural — the same person who is told, ‘Oh, you’re too sensitive,’ in certain cultures, it’s considered an asset,” he says.

4. They prefer to exercise solo.

Empty Gym

Empty Gym

Highly sensitive people may tend to avoid team sports, where there’s a sense that everyone is watching their every move, Zeff says. In his research, the majority of highly sensitive people he interviewed preferred individual sports, like bicycling, running and hiking, to group sports. However, this is not a blanket rule — there are some highly sensitive people who may have had parents who provided an understanding and supportive environment that would make it easier for them to participate in group sports, Zeff says.

5. It takes longer for them to make decisions.

Highly sensitive people are more aware of subtleties and details that could make decisions harder to make, Aron says. Even if there is no “right” or “wrong” decision — for example, it’s impossible to choose a “wrong” flavor of ice cream — highly sensitive people will still tend to take longer to choose because they are weighing every possible outcome. Aron’s advice for dealing with this: “Take as long to decide as the situation permits, and ask for more time if you need it and can take it,” she writes in a recent issue of her Comfort Zone newsletter. “During this time, try pretending for a minute, hour, day, or even week that you have made up your mind a certain way. How does that feel? Often, on the other side of a decision things look different, and this gives you a chance to imagine more vividly that you are already there.” One exception: Once a highly sensitive person has come to the conclusion of what is the right decision to make and what is the wrong decision to make in a certain situation, he or she will be quick to make that “right” decision again in the future.

6. And on that note, they are more upset if they make a “bad” or “wrong” decision.

You know that uncomfortable feeling you get after you realize you’ve made a bad decision? For highly sensitive people, “that emotion is amplified because the emotional reactivity is higher,” Aron explains.

7. They’re extremely detail-oriented.

Highly sensitive people are the first ones to notice the details in a room, the new shoes that you’re wearing, or a change in weather.

8. Not all highly sensitive people are introverts.

In fact, about 30 percent of highly sensitive people are extroverts, according to Aron. She explains that many times, highly sensitive people who are also extroverts grew up in a close-knit community — whether it be a cul-de-sac, small town, or with a parent who worked as a minister or rabbi — and thus would interact with a lot of people.

9. They work well in team environments.

Because highly sensitive people are such deep thinkers, they make valuable workers and members of teams, Aron says. However, they may be well-suited for positions in teams where they don’t have to make the final decision. For instance, if a highly sensitive person was part of a medical team, he or she would be valuable in analyzing the pros and cons of a patient having surgery, while someone else would ultimately make the decision about whether that patient would receive the surgery.

10. They’re more prone to anxiety or depression (but only if they’ve had a lot of past negative experiences).

“If you’ve had a fair number of bad experiences, especially early in life, so you don’t feel safe in the world or you don’t feel secure at home or … at school, your nervous system is set to ‘anxious,'” Aron says. But that’s not to say that all highly sensitive people will go on to have anxiety — and in fact, having a supportive environment can go a long way to protecting against this. Parents of highly sensitive children, in particular, need to “realize these are really great kids, but they need to be handled in the right way,” Aron says. “You can’t over-protect them, but you can’t under-protect them, either. You have to titrate that just right when they’re young so they can feel confident and they can do fine.”

11. That annoying sound is probably significantly more annoying to a highly sensitive person.

While it’s hard to say anyone is a fan of annoying noises, highly sensitive people are on a whole more, well, sensitive to chaos and noise. That’s because they tend to be more easily overwhelmed and overstimulated by too much activity, Aron says.

12. Violent movies are the worst.

Man watching a movie in empty cinema

Man watching a movie in empty cinema

Because highly sensitive people are so high in empathy and more easily overstimulated, movies with violence or horror themes may not be their cup of tea, Aron says.

13. They cry more easily.

That’s why it’s important for highly sensitive people to put themselves in situations where they won’t be made to feel embarrassed or “wrong” for crying easily, Zeff says. If their friends and family realize that that’s just how they are — that they cry easily — and support that form of expression, then “crying easily” will not be seen as something shameful.

14. They have above-average manners.

Highly sensitive people are also highly conscientious people, Aron says. Because of this, they’re more likely to be considerate and exhibit good manners — and are also more likely to notice when someone else isn’t being conscientious. For instance, highly sensitive people may be more aware of where their cart is at the grocery store — not because they’re afraid someone will steal something out of it, but because they don’t want to be rude and have their cart blocking another person’s way.

15. The effects of criticism are especially amplified in highly sensitive people.

Highly sensitive people have reactions to criticism that are more intense than less sensitive people. As a result, they may employ certain tactics to avoid said criticism, including people-pleasing (so that there is no longer anything to criticize), criticizing themselves first, and avoiding the source of the criticism altogether, according to Aron.

“People can say something negative, [and] a non-HSP [highly sensitive person] can say, ‘Whatever,’ and it doesn’t affect them,” Zeff says. “But a HSP would feel it much more deeply.”

16. Cubicles = good. Open-office plans = bad.

Man in his office cubicle

Just like highly sensitive people tend to prefer solo workouts, they may also prefer solo work environments. Zeff says that many highly sensitive people enjoy working from home or being self-employed because they can control the stimuli in their work environments. For those without the luxury of creating their own flexible work schedules (and environments), Zeff notes that highly sensitive people might enjoy working in a cubicle — where they have more privacy and less noise — than in an open-office plan.

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9 Struggles Only Introverts Can Relate To

Posted October 3, 2015 By Mark

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In a world that often leads us to believe that extroversion is the norm, it’s not always easy to be an introvert. You may feel like you’re the only one who feels the way you do right now, but don’t worry. You’re definitely not alone in your struggles or feelings!

Trust me, there are millions of introverts around the world that can totally relate to your feelings and experiences. Introverts are everywhere, but they often go unnoticed. If it feels like no one around you can understand introversion, check out the following 9 struggles and take heart in knowing that there are millions of introverts who experience the same things you do.

1. You feel under-appreciated

You usually don’t talk much. Sometimes you don’t know what to say, other times you don’t have anything to say, and still other times you just don’t have the energy to talk. Regardless, you still wish people would take more time to get to know you, or you wish you had more energy to talk to them.

2. You enter a group and become invisible 5 minutes into the conversation

When meeting a group of new people, you try your best to give a good first impression and appear sociable. Eventually, however, you lose people’s attention because small talk isn’t your strong suit and you can’t think of anything good to say. As you continue to feel invisible, you beat yourself up or feel you’re uninteresting or lack charisma.

3. You hate throwing parties, especially at your own house

You don’t like to be in the spotlight and letting people into your home is a big deal for you. It almost feels like they’re invading your sanctuary. As a result, you rarely, if ever, throw parties at your place. When you do, you’re reluctant to invite people you aren’t extremely close with. When your friends ask if they can bring a guest, you’re forced to say yes even though it makes you anxious.

4. You feel lonelier at social events than you do when you’re by yourself

You could be standing in a room full of people but you still feel isolated and out of place. You crave deep conversations, but all you get is small talk. You consider yourself lucky if you find someone to talk to in the corner of the room.

5. You feel totally exhausted when you have to spend significant amounts of time with a large group of people you don’t know

If you have to spend a day or more with new coworkers or classmates you feel completely wiped out by the time you’re done. By the time the day ends, there’s only one thing on your mind: going home and enjoying some alone time. Finally! You often wonder why these situations are so much more draining for you than they are for other people, and you wish you were more outgoing and energetic.

6. You find it hard to think when you’re in a group

You can’t keep your thoughts straight when people around you are talking. You think before you speak and often need silence to gather your thoughts and offer insights. You find yourself frustrated at the completion of group projects because you don’t feel you contributed as much as you could have.

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7. You feel like everything you say must be invaluable and perfect

You don’t raise your hand in class or speak up at work because you think that everything you say must be profound and flawless. You carefully filter your words and feel enormous pressure to say the right things.

8. You hate phone calls

You hate receiving phone calls and you absolutely dread making them. You frequently ignore a ringing phone and call the person back later or wait for them to call you back later on. You relax if you see that the caller is someone you’re close to, because it’s less draining to talk to someone you know well.

9. You secretly wish you were an extrovert

On many occasions, you envy the energy and social prowess that your extroverted friends have. You wish that you could share more of yourself with other people. However, group situations are so draining that you rarely have the energy to talk to someone for long enough to get their attention.

 

Appreciation goes to: http://www.lifehack.org/310388/9-struggles-only-introverts-can-relate

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