27.03.16 INTROVERT

Already for a long time I have known that I am an introverted person, however only a few months ago I have truly accepted this fact and I think you should to.

There is nothing wrong with being introverted, or extroverted for that matter. Just like there are morning people and night owls, it is just a character trade. However often people feel like they should be one or the other, without accepting and acknowledging their true nature. And this, in my opinion, is wrong. Why do we feel the need to be or act different? Why is it so hard to be yourself? Is it because of others having certain expectations of you, or is it your own mind that tells you, that you have to be different? I suppose it is often an combination of the two and only when we truly listen to our heart, without noises from the outside, we can maybe hear or rather feel the soul within.

This generation can be seen as a very social one, always connecting through different platforms and sharing their lives with one another. However can one compare this type of connecting to real life conversations between to persons looking each other in the eye? I don’t know, maybe this could be a topic for another time. But what I have noticed among people my age, is the fear of not belonging, the fear of being alone or left out. The anxiety of not being able to twitter, Facebook, instagram etc, the need to always be online. With this comes the notion that being alone for a day, not seeing friends or family, just you and yourself, is bad or means that you are unsocial. That you always have to be around others, or otherwise you are a loner. Why do we think this? Why should we feel bad when we want to spent some time on our own?

I don’t think we should. I actually really enjoy my free time, now that I let myself do so. I do not feel bad, when instead of going to a party, I stay at home. Whereas before I would feel guilty or unsocial, now I understand that I need this alone time. It makes that when I do hang out with people, I truly want to be there and can be more present, which results in better relationships.

There a lot of  misconceptions people have on introverts and I would like to adres a couple. Not saying that every introvert is like this, or that extroverts can’t feel the same, after all everyone is different. However these are common misunderstandings on introverted people;

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Introverts do not like to talk: We actually can and often like to talk, if we are very into a certain subject, it’s hard to stop us from talking. However most of us do not like small talk and often avoid this. In addition we often need some time before giving a response, we need to proces the conversation first and relate it to previous talks. This doesn’t mean we do not want to talk or we are hiding things, we just need some time to think about it.

All introverts are shy: Being shy is not  the same as being introvert. There are a fair share of extroverts that are actually really shy. Being shy means that you have a lack of self-esteem in social situations, they are very self aware and afraid to talk. This doesn’t have to be the case with introverts. Introversion is often defined as recharging and gaining energy through alone time, whereas shyness has more to do with discomfort and anxiety in situations involving social interactions. A neuroscientist who studies shyness said, “Shyness is a behaviour – it’s being fearful in a social situation. Whereas introversion is a motivation. It’s how much you want and need to be in those interactions”

Introverts aren’t socially skilled and don’t like to be around people: Introverts can seem absent at times, because in our mind we are very busy. We actually need and enjoy more solitude, but the notion that introverts don’t want the company of others is false. We just socialise in a different way. We often put ourself in another person shoes and try to see things from his’ or her’s perspective. We are often very curious and have no problem to show interest in the people around us. Introverts do like people, but favour quality of quantity in relationships.

Introverts are boring: Just because we don’t say much, doesn’t mean we have nothing to say. People often think introverts are boring because we don’t participate in many activities and have less contact with other people. But with introverts the quantity doesn’t count, the quality does. We experience everything very intensely, from activities to relationships.

Introverts have more negative personalities: because we like being alone, we are often seen as more depressive. This misconception is coming from a genuine concern from more extroverted people, putting their feelings on us. When extroverts are alone for too long, they feel sad and depressed, therefore they think we feel the same. But introverted people don’t associate solitude with loneliness.

It is easy to tell whether someone is introverted or extroverted: Many introverts have mastered the role of behaving like an extrovert in social situations, acting more outspoken than they would really feel. They may enjoy the social interaction and attention, but later crave time alone to recover, to regain energy. The longer we keep up the show, the longer we need to recuperate. So introverts do like people and socialising, just in a different way.