One of the challenges I face in trying to live my life being true to who I am is society`s tiresome aversion to the personality trait of introversion. With the majority being on the extraverted side of the personality spectrum, it is difficult to feel accepted, let alone understood by most people. Trying to explain yourself or your behaviours to others starts to get old after a while. Why is it so difficult for people to understand that the inward-focussed have a comfortable bent for solitude? Why must we always be made to feel ashamed because we enjoy alone time connecting with ourselves and recharging to regain the energy expended during long periods of engagement with others? How can we explain that we are not sad or shy or lonely, but in fact feel very content, energized and at peace with ourselves when we are alone?
It doesn’t seem that the world`s aversion to introversion will dissipate anytime soon; there is simply too much value placed in our society on the more statistically represented out-going, out-spoken and socially inclined personality types. In this personality war, it seems the majority most definitely wins. The rest of us who are not compelled to fight for the limelight get jostled to the side, or at the very least, ignored. Get out of the way if you have nothing to say. If you are quiet and prefer to hold your tongue in the absence of what you feel is useful and meaningful output, it is assumed you must be depressed, or timid, or that there is something else not quite right with you. Or even worse, it may be assumed that you simply have nothing to say; that you are uninspired, without thought or opinion, or lacking ideas or creativity.
Of course we introverts know, and research has shown, that nothing could be farther from the truth. The inward-focussed are a highly introspective type, spending hours upon hours deeply reflecting on matters of interest or importance to them. They have a natural tendency towards deep thought and analysis, and need and want to give their full and prolonged attention to issues before sharing their insight with others. This propensity for thinking stimulates a highly developed imagination, ripe with well-honed internal visual acuity, which leads to an incredibly rich inner landscape. The well-tended inner landscape can be nothing less than fertile soil for the seeding of independent thought and creativity. Exactly the opposite of what people might assume.
Most of the introverts that I know love to write and are good at it. This is not surprising given that this medium provides the necessary time for introverts to ponder and get their thoughts in order before putting them down on paper. It`s the perfect vehicle of expression for those not inclined to do so in a more verbal and public way. As a result, the web is full of introverts speaking their minds, quite often on the issue of introversion. This is a good thing. The message is slowly but surely breaking through that introverts have much to offer society despite the fact that we may walk to a slightly different (and quieter) beat than most.
The following passage was taken from a great blog I found on introversion. See http://extremeintrovert.blogspot.com/ This blog is full of ridiculously well-written posts, that I for one, can completely relate to.
The passage reminds me that we introverts are in very good company indeed :).
My passionate interest in social justice and social responsibility has always stood in curious contrast to a marked lack of desire for direct association with men and women. I am a horse for single harness, not cut out for tandem or teamwork. I have never belonged wholeheartedly to any country or state, to my circle of friends, or even to my own family. These ties have always been accompanied by a vague aloofness, and the wish to withdraw into myself increases with the years.
Such isolation is sometimes bitter, but I do not regret being cut off from the understanding and sympathy of other men. I lose something by it, to be sure, but I am compensated for it in being rendered independent of the customs, opinions, and prejudices of others, and am not tempted to rest my peace of mind upon such shifting foundations.
written by Einstein, 1930