The older I get, the more I understand myself better (or so I think LOL). If I were to look back at the many situations in my life, from childhood all the way till adulthood, my mental make-up is basically that of an introvert. School and work have often forced me to step out of my comfort zone, to push the limits on an extremely frequent basis.
Have you ever felt so glad to be home alone after an outing with your buddies, where you have the fun of your life but once you get home, you take deep breaths and boy are you just relieved to be all by yourself again? Have you ever given such confident and suave presentations at the workplace, only to feel that sensation of solace the next moment you are able to be alone in the toilet cubicle or be back at your desk? Goodness LOL this often happens to me and for a long time, I never quite understood why I often go through such a roller coaster of emotions on a daily basis. This is basically being the introvert that I am, and after all of these so called ‘high tension’ situations, a recharge is normally due.
I usually recharge by spending time alone. This could be sitting at the balcony or garden to look at the scenery; possibly read a book, have a beer. This could be going onto Youtube to watch videos, especially those recommended ones based on the search algorithm. My favourite ones are the teachings of Buddha and the principles of Stoicism. TED talks are also a great way to get immersed into the life experiences of others, and very often after watching, it’s really comforting to know I’m not alone in these struggles. On the other hand, one could also play with the kids, or simply chat with the family.
So the questions begs: ‘Is it wrong to be an introvert?’ No, not at all. Just be yourself, and that’s what I always say to myself. Is it embarrassing for people to know that you are an introvert? I used to be really self-conscious and thought so, but age has really opened up my horizons and gave me wisdom. You are who you are, no matter the form of your personality. No doubt, where there is room for improvement, go ahead to work on it but it doesn’t take you away from the core of your self-being. If you make mistakes or somehow embarrass yourself (or so you think), just take it on the chin, forget about it and move on. Many times, people suffer more in their imagination than in reality; this as spoken by Seneca, the famous Greek philosopher.
It’s perfectly fine to be an introvert. That’s the way you were born, based on your genetic make-up and the environment you grew up in. There are many successful introverts in history and in the world today. A quick google will show you that famous personalities like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Elon Musk are all introverts. Being one myself, and having accumulated more than 40 years of life experience, I can quite easily spot the introvert. Here are some tell tale signs (you may disagree though):
- Smiles or laughs gently
- Frequently eats alone or with one or two persons max
- Quiet to fairly quiet in groups of four or bigger
- Tells jokes that requires one to think deeper
- Takes a lot of deep breaths when talking
- Drift into their own world every now and then; blank eyes (but not sad)
- Enjoys hobbies alone; this could be reading, exercising, cycling, swimming, watching movies etc
You know growing up, people all over the world are normally taught to ‘speak up during lessons’, ‘don’t be shy’, ‘be brave, you can do it’ and so on. This happens very much at the workplace too. It really doesn’t feel normal to be an introvert in such settings, and worse, most of these occurrences take place when the person is awake at school or at work! One-third of the day! That leaves very little time for introverts to be normal people since another one-third of the day is spent sleeping. This world isn’t designed for introverts but despite that, a lot of them find success.
Introverts are actually great strategists. They are deep thinkers. This also explains why they like to be alone to just think, think and think. Pros and cons I would say. Sometimes overthinking can bring about a lot of unnecessary trouble and pain. Nevertheless, introverts can come up with very good ideas and have an equally strong perseverance to see things through. I can say this for myself as a lot of my great thoughts come either before sleeping or during the night when I suddenly wake up for no reason. Don’t ask me why but this happens very consistently. I realised it became a pattern in my life, especially once I passed the age of 30. These ideas don’t come during daytime but in the wee hours hahaha. Oh goodness.
Alright so you have read the above till now, what are your thoughts? Are you also like this? Not easy being an introvert right? Hahahahaha. It’s a long journey ahead. Feel free to share your comments so that I can take it from your perspective too.