If you are an extrovert, you are lucky, in the sense that the world thinks extroverts are where it is at. You can socialize well, do business well, work well in public environments, have fewer issues with public speaking and so many other traits. And introverts are not extroverts. “If extroverts are assertive and enthusiastic individuals who thrive in highly stimulative social environments, then introverts are the opposite. End of list. What introverts think about it doesn’t really factor in.” Science of us
Our culture made a virtue of living only as extroverts. We discouraged the inner journey, the quest for a center. So we lost our center and have to find it again.” – Anaïs Nin
But I don’t like this idea we are the lack of an extrovert. Because I like being an introvert. There is really nothing about being an introvert I don’t like. I like I can easily entertain myself. That I ‘in my head’ most of the time. That I think before I speak. I love being introspective, thoughtful and self-reflective. I like that I am a reserved and private person. I also like that I prefer one on one interaction or small groups rather than crowds. It just seems more personable to me. So crowds exhaust me and I am not fond of parties. Well, I am fond of a really good book and writing. These are the classes of Introverts here. I am not sure which one I fall under. I suppose it is likely thinking since I am often engrossed in thought and am very introspective. I consider introspection a damn hobby.
Point is, we have a lot of value in society. We are not crippled extroverts. Which seems to be the way we are perceived. Socially awkward and may be prone to being hermits.
As I said earlier, shyness is not the same as introversion. Shyness can most definitely change with time and effort. Introversion, on the other hand, is a personality type that endures throughout our life. A study by American psychologist Jerome Kagan found that introversion is present from infancy. In Kagan’s study, four-month old babies were subjected to various forms of stimuli, including new sounds, faces and objects. Babies who reacted dramatically to the new stimuli (crying, thrashing limbs, etc.) were defined as ‘high reactive’.
High reactive babies were found to have over-active amygdalas. Put simply, the high reactive infants were easily overstimulated. They later became quiet, careful teenagers – introverts. Kagan’s study shows that introversion is present from birth and endures throughout adulthood. Our behaviour might change, but our innate needs do not.
You cannot magically “cure” a person’s introversion. And why would you want to? Introversion comes with many unique gifts. The world needs more calm, more quiet, and more depth. Introverts are the best people to provide all that and much more. Instead of trying to change us into extroverts, society should thank introverts for bringing balance to an exhaustingly extroverted society.Introvert Spring
I was shy when I was younger. I am not now. I am still introverted. I may not like small talk but I have adapted well to do it in the course of certain jobs. I am friendly, polite and courteous. Still introverted. I’m just not socially awkward. Maybe I don’t like going to a party full of people I don’t know, but I will if I have to. I generally stick to people I know at such things. I listen very well. I am perceptive. Thoughtful. I consider what I say before I say it. In fact, when I was younger I used to think all people were the same. That everyone considered before they spoke. And was pretty offended by careless remarks. Took me some time to realize it wasn’t the case. We grow up and realize not all minds are the same, eh? And it took me longer to realize introspection isn’t a universal thing either.
Nevertheless, the world isn’t designed well for us, but we are actually quite successful in ways that are rather underappreciated.
I personally think when we were young children we reacted more to stimulus. We were just biologically set up that way. Our brains were overstimulated by the environment. So we became a little more closed off to it. And we need a little more downtime from it. And we get energized by our alone time. And we enjoy it. Thrive in it. We can work well by ourselves. Entertain ourselves. Do well one on one with people. Engage well with just one person or small groups. If our environment fits our nature we can thrive in it. For example, I like working in an actual office, away from others, with just one on one with a customer or working by myself. I know I could also thrive working from home. We know what works for us.
Being more thoughtful, considerate and reflective are all good traits to have in this world. So rock your introverted self. We are not the lesser of the extrovert. We are the introvert. We are a whole damn segment of society. When a see an introvert wishing they were more extroverted it makes me cringe. You can push yourself out of your comfort zone and do things like go to a party with friends. Interact with strangers and adapt and become more comfortable with it. You’ll still be an introvert but you can engage more comfortably socially if you want to. Unless you have social anxiety, which is different. It isn’t a Limitation. You can do as you want. Adapt to new skills and settings. Like how I taught myself small-talk. And taught myself how to be good at customer service. All these things we pick up to engage in ways we want to socially. All it really means is that you need your downtime to recharge and an extrovert gets energy from being around more people.
So rock your introverted self. And those traits you have are awesome traits. Awesome traits as a employee. In business. As a person and a friend. We rock! Don’t change a thing.