For as long as I can remember, I've always been an introvert. I don't like participating in small talks and I hate attending parties. I enjoy a lot of me time and would rather read a book or play with a dog as opposed to making friends and greeting strangers. I love one-on-one conversation and find it difficult to settle down in a group conversation. I hate loud people, noisy places and crowded situation. I am all the opposite of an extrovert loved by society.
We all know what society loves to do: being judgmental. As an introvert, I've been judged for how I behave, what my preferences are and the choices I made. The world favors the chatterbox over us, the silent observer. Whether it's in a working environment, among friends or in a discussion, there are misconceptions floating above our head. At one point in my life, I thought my introversion was a hindrance, an obstacle that needs fixing and in order for me to be accepted, I need to be more talkative, more...extroverted.
That was stupid and pointless. As time goes by, I realized that there's no need to change us. We are introverts and we are proud to say we own the game too. Imagine if the world is only filled with chatterboxes and outgoing party-goers — it won't be balanced! While I know there are people who identify as ambiverts, I am here to tell you that if you're a pure introvert and you have been mistakenly judged or misunderstood, you don't have to change and force yourself to be extroverted. You don't have to force yourself to attend parties and get drunk or spend a lot of time with anyone, even if that person is someone dear to you. If you don't feel like going out today and would rather read a book at home then don't.
Regardless what the world says, introversion is not a bad thing. We're definitely not the coolest folks ever walked on planet Earth but we're cool too, in our own ways.
1. We are good listeners
Generally, introverts talk less and listen more. In a world where everyone feels the need to open their mouth and talk at the same time, we introverts prefer to listen and observe. While everybody else is busy talking about themselves, we are there to listen to every single word you said. Besides, we listen to understand and not merely to reply.
2. We are observant
We are good observers as we are good listeners. Whether it's people, situation or body language, we observe everything. I know, that sounds kind of creepy but trust me, we're just being attentive to even the smallest detail. In fact, some of us know what you're thinking before you even tell us about it. Pretty psychic, huh?
3. We can be your chill pill
When extroverts unleash their energy, it's obvious, loud and clear. For us introverts, our energy is the complete opposite. Generally, introverts are a lot more relaxed, chill and laid-back. We don't like rushing and we hate to be rushed. Some of us can even be the chill pill to balance your busy, hyper personality in a world full of everything instant.
4. We dream too, you know
One of the most common misconceptions regarding introverts is how we are boring individuals who don't know how to have fun. Aside from the fact that I find such stereotype rude and degrading, introverts can be dreamers too. According to psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman, a wandering mind is a new personal intelligence perspective which aids the process of creative thinking. To us introverts, ideas and possibilities are endless and the only way to find them is to let your mind wander on its own.
5. We talk only when necessary
For most introverts, small and empty talks are a big no. People who enjoy interruption discussions midway are a big no too. Most of us introverts will think before we speak and may sometimes say nothing at all if there's nothing worth mentioning. I personally hate it when someone rushed to speak for the sake of just because. I also find it unattractive when they decide to speak first and think later.
6. We are independent lone-wolves
We don't have a problem with being alone. We know how to handle the situation. You'd probably see us read a book or something instead of sulking about feeling lonely. People mistake being alone for loneliness which is not true for introverts. For us, alone time is a way to recharge ourselves before we go out to meet people and participate in real life.
7. We are intelligent
Extroverts are often deem intelligent for their ability to adapt and socialize, meet and befriend new people. On the other hand, introverts are often overlooked for being too quiet. We are often misunderstood as arrogant snobs who are less intelligent, less charming and less charismatic. This is stupid. Naturally speaking, introverts are drawn to books and reading. We may be bookworms or nerds but we certainly are intelligent. I myself enjoy reading about conspiracy theories, scientific research and psychology. This proves that while I don't know how to be a solid entertainer in a grand party, I know better than to sound ignorant and empty-handed.
8. We are curious and creative
A study by Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Gregory Feist states that "the most spectacularly creative people in many fields are introverted." Some people also believed solitude to be the key ingredient for creative success. When it comes to solitude, we introverts will (more often than not) embrace it as a friend rather than a foe. As such, we get in touch with our inner monologue and welcome our curiosity by asking questions.
“Without introverts, the world would be devoid of: the theory of gravity; the theory of relativity; W. B. Yeats’s “The Second Coming”; Chopin’s nocturnes; Proust’s In Search of Lost Time; Peter Pan…” — Susan Cain, author of The Power of Introverts
Alright, before anyone decides to bite me, keep in mind that I respect extroverts too. In spite of not having a lot extroverted friends, I do know several awesome extroverts. In fact, I am dating an extrovert. All I'm saying is, it is necessary to stop judging and break the stigmas and stereotypes surrounding introverts and introversion. I am not arrogant, bitchy or snobbish. I'm not boring, stupidly quiet or unfriendly. I know how to have fun, enjoy my alone time and crack stupid jokes. Just because you don't see me talking doesn't mean I'm mad, hateful or angry. I just need a break from the world, people and society in general and a break is something I'm entitled to have.
So if you're an introvert, be proud and pwned it!