After years of being unsatisfied, I am a proud introvert.
What has taught me to enjoy being an introvert is growing deeper in my knowledge of Jesus and watching some really powerful introvert examples in my life. When did I learn to like being an introvert? It was gradual. Then one day I realized that I liked being me. I wouldn’t want to be anyone else. I have learned many things, one is that being an introvert or an extrovert does not put you in a box. No two people are exactly alike. I have been misunderstood so many times by well-meaning people (“You sure are shy.”, “She needs to learn how to speak to people.”, “Do you have tonsillitis?” I’ve heard it all, and it crushed me.). So today I decided to make a list of what I think most introverts would like you to understand. If you would like a description of introverts vs. extroverts, please take a quick moment to read this article by Personality Hacker. Anywhoo, without further ado…
1. Shy is not the same thing as being quiet.
Being quiet is either to have a soft voice or to not talk very much; being shy means having a fear of displeasing people. So, one is simply how a person is made to be, and the other is a fear. This means that there can also be shy extroverts. We live in a culture that worships a louder type of person because they appear to be the most confident; however, as introverts, we can have quiet strength.
2. We do actually like to talk.
A lot of us are great listeners, but untrue to a common belief, we do actually talk. We can communicate. In fact, if we think you care, we might talk a lot. We simply have a different style of talking.
3. Our brains work differently.
I found this super interesting. There is nothing wrong with us; our brains are literally made differently. Extrovert’s brains were made to give them energy when they focus outward, while introverts brain’s were made to give them energy when they focus inward. I recommend this article called Why Introverts and Extroverts Are Different: The Science from Quiet Revolution. This article explains more in depth what I’ve said above.
4. We are not boring.
I have worried so many times whether someone thought I was boring. Because we often times keep our thoughts to ourselves in groups, some people might think we are. However, we have so much going on in our minds that I don’t know how we possibly could be. Having a rich inner world is really never boring. I also wonder if I worry whether I am boring because I am often bored myself. It’s not a bad thing, necessarily, as long as I respond to it the right way.
5. We like adventures.
Sometimes being reserved can come across as not wanting to have fun, go on an adventure, climb a mountain, try new foods, experiment with spagetti, be weird–no, it’s not true. Some people are more inclined to go adventuring than others but that is not because they are introverted or an extroverted.
6. We still need people.
Some introverts say they could live on a desert island with no one for miles and be plum-happy. I could not. And really, the fact is, everyone needs people. I process by talking to someone even though I’m an introvert. I’m just more likely to confide in one person than an extrovert may be. If anyone never talks to people, they become unhealthy. That’s because we were made to work together.
7. “I don’t want to be alone, I want to be left alone.”
When introvert are drained of their energy, they need to be alone, but I love how Audrey Hepburn said it, “I don’t want to be alone, I want to be left alone.” This connects to number 6 above, no one wants to truly be uncared for or alone. We all like to connect in some form or another, but there are times we need to be physically apart from other people because that’s how we recharge our energy.
8. Introversion is not as simple as whether someone is social.
Some introverts occasionally get excited around people. Some extroverts are really deep thinkers and like to be alone to get more of it done. Some extroverts use physical projects, not people, to exercise their extroversion. Some extroverts are so focused on novelty that small-talk drains them. What distinguishes introverts from extroverts is where they focus their attention most of the time: in their minds or in their surroundings. Both types are beautiful, but they are not simple. The easiest way to distinguish between the two is whether they seem drained after being around people even if they seemed to be having a good time.
Is there anything you would like to add? I would love it if you would give your thoughts below in the comments.
So, if you are too tired to speak, sit next to me, because I, too, am fluent in silence.