Being an Introvert in an Extroverted World
Being an introvert is not easy. If you’re one like me, you would probably know what it feels like to be pressured by society.
“You should go out more and be more sociable“, “Why aren’t you talking?“, “That girl is boring” are things that were either told to me or said about me.
In the end, I thought there was something wrong with me. Maybe I had a form of social anxiety?!
Well, no. I am just an introvert!
What is an introvert?
Being introverted or extraverted lies in the way people get their energy from. Whilst extraverts find their energy in social interaction, introverts find theirs spending time alone.
If you find yourself in between, then you might be an ambivert.
Introversion is often misunderstood. In a world where mostly extroverts are awarded because they aren’t scared to talk, show themselves or get noticed, introverts could live under their shadows or perceived as uninteresting people.
Well, think again.
Being an introvert: What’s behind?
People might see us as people who don’t share opinions, who don’t engage (enough) in conversations or who avoid social interaction.
However, we care waaay more about feelings and relationships than others might think.
We tend to listen rather than talk to make sure we understand every point of view. We allow ourselves enough time to think and give strong and clear opinions.
We also prefer to interact in small groups of people to go deep and avoid superficial talks.
By the way, small talk is just not our jam! Ask us our opinion on controversial issues rather than talking about the weather.
Introverts can also be perceived as people who don’t like to go out and meet new people.
Reality is, we really enjoy our alone time but we also struggle to make new friends. I oftentimes feel uncomfortable when I’m around people I don’t know and that is OK.
I used to force myself to go to events, birthday parties, baby showers that included tons of people, only not to be viewed as unsociable.
Every time I told myself “Today is the day you’ll go out of your comfort zone and talk to people” but to be honest, this never happened.
I always felt frozen with fear, not in my element and ended up going back home drained of energy.
So at the end of the day I was wondering, why should I please people at the expense of my wellbeing?
Most of the time, interacting with people for a long period of time can take us a lot of energy, and the only way to get it back is to spend time alone.
Yes, it has happened to me to lock myself in the school washroom after spending the entire day surrounded by people.
I also spent many of my lunch breaks without my colleagues because I needed that me time between two shifts.
Does that make me unsociable or a bad person?
NO, because this enabled me to fill my cup and present myself to others as a kind and patient person.
So, of course, some personality traits will make you more or less comfortable in different situations.
But whether you are an introvert, extrovert or an ambivert it says nothing on your kindness, values and emotional intelligence.
The qualities of introverts
If you are introverted, let me tell you that you are amazing, even if introversion is often considered as a shortcoming… I mean WHY?
Let me tell you one thing: being introverted is a quality.
First, in a personal way, because you get to know yourself extremely well, you know what you want and take time to process your feelings.
Plus, you never get bored alone and don’t need anyone to stimulate you (both mentally and physically lol).
Secondly, in an interpersonal way, because people know they can rely on you.
They take you seriously when sharing your ideas and will call you in their time of need because they know you are a good listener.
Moreover, your friends should know that they are special to you because you don’t open up to anyone.
Never forget that only those who can understand and accept you as you are deserve to be part of your life. Be proud of yourself and do not let anyone change you!
Did you ever feel pressured by society for being an introvert? Let me know in the comments or come chat with me on social media @vlourish!