If you're an introvert, there is a good chance you've been perusing the posts on this blog for quite a while.
Maybe you're looking to validate whether you are truly an introvert, or you've already checked that off your list and are now seeking tips for breaking the news to the world. I sincerely hope, however, that you're not so much as entertaining the idea of ridding yourself of your introversion.
It's no secret that the world seems to favor extroverts, especially here in the United States. From job listings that stress "teamwork skills" to open workspaces (whether they make a furious return after the pandemic is anyone's guess), people tend to be less suspicious of gregarious, outspoken types.
Yet, you'd be surprised at just how many people want to come out of the introvert closet. Their reasons for not doing so are the subject of this post.
Introverts have been stigmatized as lonely, self-absorbed, or disinterested, so it's no wonder many wish to keep it under wraps. What folks don't realize is that we don't loathe people -- we simply need occasional alone time in order to recharge our batteries. It's nothing personal.
So intent are some people on hiding their introversion that they carry on as extroverts in their day-to-day lives -- that is, of course, until they can finally go home and unwind.
It's time introverts quit apologizing for the very way they're wired. Introversion isn't a flaw, it's not a condition that needs correcting.
Introverts, for their part, can make the case that extroverts need to tone it down and attach to them labels like "blabbermouth" or "insolent."
Would we really stoop so low? Of course not. So others shouldn't do it to us either.
Neither personality type is right or wrong per se. They simply differ in terms of the orientation of one's energy. For introverts, it's inward; for extroverts, it's outward.
If anything, introverts should covet the gifts with which we're endowed:
- A penchant for deep introspection
- The ability to read people well
- The capacity to keep our mouths shut until we've collected our thoughts
- The courtesy to allow others to speak without interrupting
- A sharp eye for detail and thoroughness
To recap, many introverts keep up a façade so as to win others' approval. But this is truly a mistake.
While I'm all for improving one's social skills, if we lose our sense of self, what really do we have left? Don't lead the kind of life you think you're supposed to live, but the one that brings out your most genuine self. Rest assured there are extroverts aplenty in the world as it is, and the only person whose validation really matters is your own.
Always be yourself!