Illustrated by Abigail Dannatt

Embracing introversion

Being an introvert means that you are someone who prefers solitude and quiet environments, and you find energy in spending…

Being an introvert means that you are someone who prefers solitude and quiet environments, and you find energy in spending time alone. You may feel uncomfortable in social situations and may prefer to spend your time reading, writing, or simply meditating. 

Being an introvert can be challenging in a world that values extroversion, but it is important to understand that introversion is a normal and healthy personality trait. This article will explore my personal experience with being an introvert and how you can embrace and appreciate your unique personality.

The pressure to be extroverted

Personally, I often feel like our society puts a lot of pressure on us to be extroverted. Whether that’s in a seminar room, group projects in school, all the university parties, social gatherings or work meetings – you are always expected to talk, share your opinions and be confident because if you’re not, people might think you’re weird. But just because I don’t talk much doesn’t mean that I don’t care or I don’t have anything valuable to say. 

As an introvert, social situations can be overwhelming and exhausting – especially small talk. And that’s why it is important to remember that it is okay to sometimes say no to invitations and to take breaks when needed.

Of course, it is also important to push yourself out of your comfort zone from time to time and to practice socialising in small and comfortable settings. This can help you to build confidence and develop social skills, which can be beneficial in both personal and professional relationships. We are social creatures after all and we also can’t avoid contact with other people, so learning how to be confident around them is incredibly important!

It’s okay to be an introvert

The most important thing for introverts is to embrace and appreciate their personality. This means understanding that introversion is not a flaw, but a strength, and recognising the unique qualities and gifts that come with it. It also means finding ways to recharge and take care of yourself, such as spending time alone, practising mindfulness, and engaging in hobbies that bring you joy. When you embrace your introversion, you can live a fulfilling and meaningful life that is true to who you are. 

Hidden power of introverts

Being an introvert is often seen as a weakness, but in reality, it is a strength! Introverts tend to be great listeners and observers, which can help them to develop deep and meaningful relationships. They are also often more creative and introspective and can come up with unique solutions to problems.

When I worked as a summer camp counsellor, most of my colleagues were extremely open and loud people who always knew how to make kids laugh and smile. I struggled a lot to be like that and I would always feel like my boss was disappointed with me because I just didn’t behave in a way like other counsellors did. However, once I finished working there, I had a conversation with her and she actually told me that she valued my quietness and the fact that I would always find time to check individually on kids who were more quiet and isolated. She also said that they needed different people with different personalities and there was nothing wrong with me not being as open as other colleagues.

See, you don’t need to pretend to be someone you’re not. Recognise your uniqueness and make friends with people who value you for who you are!

While being an introvert can often be challenging, remember that there are many people in our world with this type of personality. Never let anyone think that you need to change – accept your introverted side while respecting your boundaries and needs. 

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