Noticing a lack of groups in my area that serve the introverted, quiet, deeply thoughtful and highly-sensitive women like myself, I decided to start one. If you're not sure what I mean by "highly sensitive" then I recommend the self-test by Elaine Aron http://hsperson.com/test/highly-sensitive-test/. Being an HSP is not a "negative" trait as it is often depicted, but it can make it hard to coexist in a world that is largely driven by extroverts and their preferred behaviours. To find out more about whether you are an introvert, I suggest exploring the Myers-Briggs self-tests that are available online. Learning about these separate, but often coinciding, (I have both) traits can be HUGELY powerful and positive for those with them, like a piece of their jigsaw finally falls into place, but it can be hard to explore their positive side all alone; which is where gathering with others that have similar traits, for conversation, encouragement and all the numerous benefits of having a social life, is such a benefit
A selection of oportunities to meet up on WEEKDAYS during the daytime is my real focus, to serve introverted women who work from home, recuperating or retired and don't get to meet many other people as a result. I will also aim to schedule one WEEKEND event every month or so for those who have other commitments.
If you are truly INTROVERTED, you will already know that this is not an ailment but a gift and this group's aim is to celebrate that. Its not that introverted people "need" to be around a lot of people but...we all know that too much time spent alone is a challenge for our health and it can start to make us feel tunnel-visioned as we cope with all the stresses and strains of modern life (though I want this group to be a break from all that). By making some friends, we can regain balance in our lives since the outside world is heavily geared towards an extroverted way of being; though my vision is to see that change within our lifetimes.
Perhaps you've always liked the sound of a meet-up but feel daunted by typical groups, by the need to speak up in front of others or you are worried that people find your hesitancy, quietness and thoughtfulness rude, weird or unfriendly. In an introverted group, we all know what its like to need to take our time and to feel comfortable before sharing, to speak softly and at our own pace or to just one or two people at a time...or even to be quiet and just enjoy getting out of the house. This group isn't meant for clique forming, team building, judging one another, fixing our personality traits, social pressures or friendship politics...its a space where we can be ourselves, collectively and kindly whilst benefitting from the realisation that we are not alone.
It may also be that, like me, you have struggled with health issues for a number of years or that you are facing new health challenges, as many women approaching their middle years often do, in which case having good friends and someone to talk to is even more important in order to gain perspective, pool resources and to lighten the mood with people who understand where you are coming from. When we smile at our own foibles, we can get back onto the path of our joy, which is just so important to do. Being introverted is a wonderful trait, we notice and even feel so much more than other people but it can also mean that we are highly-sensitive to emotions and triggers. Being amongst people who understand that can be such a gift when you are exploring these traits as the gift they really are.
My instinct is to make this group women-only as I would like it to serve as a safe space for relaxed and free-flowing chat on all sorts of topics that particularly impact introverted women as they grow into all the wonderful maturity, wisdom and intuition of their best years! Mindfullness and spirituality are a personal interest but not a prerequiste of joining. It could be that we meet in a café...or that we go for walks or other outings, perhaps even a theatre trip or cinema matinée but what matters most is the company. I enjoy country walks and visiting gardens, for instance, plus I'm also an artist/photographer and enjoy craft, galleries and so on, but am open to other suggestions from members.
The group is aimed at all age groups that fit the description above, though I am in my early 50s and am at that classic "empty-nest" stage with a daughter now away at university. Introversion and highly-sensitive traits put women at a disadvantage, health wise, from their middle years as their family responsibilities switch down a gear and I believe it is possible to navigate around that by finding friendship with similar natured people. Open to suggestions from the floor...please get in touch if what I propose resonates and we can take it from there!