If you’re like me, you’ve heard these words, “You’re not an introvert,” or “I don’t believe you’re an introvert.” Those of us living in the world of internalization understand that we do things that seem extroverted for the sake of any number of reasons: to fit in, to get a job, to finish a certain task or assignment. But inside, we all know and recognize the nature of being an introvert.
I recently started reading, “Quiet” by Susan Cain. I heard it referenced on The Current on CBC and immediately wondered how well it captured our spirit. Right away I was captured by a paragraph in the introduction that read, “Introverts, in contrast, may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while they wish they were home in their pajamas. They prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family. They listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation. They tend to dislike conflict. Many have a horror of small talk, but enjoy deep conversation.”
From my own personal experience and the introverts I know, this sounded spot on and I was glad to have picked up the book.
There is any number of famous introverts in history. Many whom you wouldn’t necessarily suspect and many are referenced in the book. If you are in the silent minority, you likely feel alone in your personality, like no one understands what you face on a daily basis in our North American culture that favours the extrovert and finds them more appealing. Trust me if you can, you aren’t alone. There are millions of us. Many who were successful on a public stage. Many in their own personal way. And you can be as well. Remember, being an introvert isn’t a negative trait. We introverts help change the world, give guidance to extroverts, create art and literature that shapes generations, and feel things passionately.
Being an introvert isn’t your story. It’s a part of it. And it’s vital to who you are. I hope you embrace your Introverted (or extroverted) nature and celebrate it, because everyone has a story; some tell it, some show, some write it. But all must live it.