Accepting Myself as an Introvert

“Speak up. You are too quiet. Don’t be so shy.” My class teacher told me.

And in the last day of schooling, the remark of my report card was more or less like that: “There are rooms for improvement. She should be more sociable.”

These comments have uncomfortably plagued me during my entire primary and secondary school life. If you knew me few years ago in class, you would probably realize I was the reticent one who shut her mouth and keep herself to herself. In the past, I was so on edge, as if butterflies in my stomach, in any form of public gathering. When I drummed up courage to speak for a while, it triggered great response when my schoolmates exclaimed in surprise that I finally said something. While amidst the interactions with large groups of new acquaintances, my anxiousness kept overwhelming me, which in turn, my tongue-tied words were mixed up as if something went wrong. To escape these embarrassing scenarios, how much I would like to immediately crawl back into my protective shell to seek self-comfort. Throughout those years, I have been struggling to search for my own inner voice, and to have faith to express myself well. How weird people must have thought of me. Being an introvert only makes me feel like shouldering bulky burden.

“The introvert is pressured daily, almost from the moment of awakening, to respond and conform to the outer world.” ― Marti Olsen Laney, the Introvert Advantage: How Quiet People Can Thrive in an Extrovert World

Since childhood, I have been encouraged to overcome my bashfulness, to take part in multifarious social activities, and to extend own interpersonal circles. In this extrovert-oriented world, the most popular social kings/queens are usually the outgoing ones with wry sense of humour. Whereas, being quiet or craving solitude is stereotyped as being socially incompetent, lethargic and even alienated as an antisocial nerd. To get rid of those negative connotations of meekness, in these recent years, I try hard to be lively by hanging out with talkative friends, fancying and laughing like a clown as they do. Only by not pretending a sensitively shy person would I not be condemned into loneliness. Only by opening the conversation with them would I fit in the circles and not be thrown into the abyss of oblivion. Yet no matter how I pretend to be an extrovert, it just drains me while guessing what the others thought and not being myself. It leaves me feeling odd of not behaving naturally, and leaves me no rooms for recharging my batteries in tranquility. Lying on my bed at night with exhaustion, I am not happy as expected, but experiencing much emptiness.

“Oh yes, I’m the great pretender/ Pretending that I’m doing well/ My need is such I pretend too much/ I’m lonely but no one can tell

Oh yes, I’m the great pretender/ Just laughing and gay like a clown/ I seem to be what I’m not you see” ― The Platters, the Great Pretender

That was exactly the moment when I discovered how meaningless to please the whims of people around me. It is high time to accept who I am and appreciate the subtle beauty of every part of myself, including my quietness, seriousness and introspective nature.  Instead of throwing fancy parties, it is admittedly more delightful for me to rejoice one-on-one yet in-depth conversations. Though I might not be good at telling hilarious jokes or debating with flowery words, this personality of introversion does enable me to be a good voice listener, keep one’s promises and lend my sympathetic ears to my friends in face of dilemmas.  Despite not being quick-witted, I often think twice and look before I leap.  Self-acceptance makes being in solitary more pleasurable when embracing self-companionship, achieving inner peace, actualizing own talents and discovering new pastimes. Without such consistent focus in wake of external stimuli and surrounding distractions, I would not have devoted myself into thorough years of reading, running, playing the piano and blogging. After all, treasure the merits of your personality, but not awkwardly erasing them, is the golden gateway for personal enhancements in this inescapably fast-changing environment. ♦

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” 
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Pingback to http://1000voicesspeak.org/2015/07/19/acceptance-quotes/

Advertisements

22 thoughts on “Accepting Myself as an Introvert”

  1. It indeed is worth to investigate if one rather identifies as an introvert or as an extrovert. It would be nice to find an individually comfortable balance in the spectrum in between. Your post shows the importance of self-acceptance. Something so crucial in many areas of life. It’s easier talked of than getting there.

    Like

  2. Thanks for your comment. I agree with you that striking a balance is easier said than done. Being an introvert cannot be an excuse to isolate oneself and not to interact with the others at all. Sometimes it is still vital to attend some necessary social gatherings after one recharging own batteries. I believe introvert would be comfortable and could choose to have in-depth discussions with a small group of people rather than to be in the centre of the crowd in such meetings.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Agree! Even now, I still face some challenges at school as an introvert. Attending the tutorials that require active speaking and frequent debates just wear me down, and I soon feel isolated in class. Alongside debating, adding quiet reading sections or comprising writing exercises in the lessons are also crucial for including the introverts.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Im glad you found the courage to be yourself. Im an extrovert, but I have a lot of introverted qualities, so I understand where youre coming from.

    I feel like society forces people to be in boxes, and then society gets upset when you reject the box or you dont fit in it. Stay strong.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your encouraging, heartwarming words. Admittedly, being an authentic self in the world that is constantly changing us is not easy. Throughout the years, I have been struggling with what others or the society perceive my introvert character when I opt for keeping myself to myself. Yet after several years of bitter experience, what I gradually understand is that a fulfilled life lies not in conforming to the social judgement, but feeling content towards your inner self.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You can ignore my previous response. I replied to the wrong comment. Oops.

        And that is the ultimate truth. Being true to yourself, is worth its weight in gold.Yes, being “real” in a fake world is about making oneself a target for unnecessary abuse.

        Like

      2. That’s okay. Yet to me, I won’t regard it as an abuse, I think the core reason is that not many people understand introversion as it is still not the social norm. For better exploration, I would recommend them to read Susan Cain’s “Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking”. A really nice book.

        Anyway, it is a pleasure to raise my opinions about introversion with you. Further discussions about this topic are always welcome. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Maniparna, of course I don’t mind your posting! I also feel the same way of what you described and really appreciate how you open your heart to share about introversion and your thoughts. It would be great if we could have further discussions about this personality trait if interested. Have a pleasant evening and sending all my best wishes to you! 😃

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s