“As an introvert, you can be your own best friend or your worst enemy. The good news is we generally like our own company, a quality that extroverts often envy. We find comfort in solitude and know how to soothe ourselves.” – Laurie Helgoe
Being an introvert, since my childhood, I felt that something was very off about me. Growing up was a challenge as I didn’t behave like most other kids and spent a lot of time thinking and doing stuff by myself. When I grew up, I avoided social interactions and parties that all my friends used to be excited about. I kept feeling something is wrong with me. But when I was alone in my room, everything felt right. It all felt great. It was my own sweet world full of endless possibilities and I could do and create anything my mind could conjure up in my wildest fantasies.
The sheer joy of solitude is something that mostly introverts experience. Although some might view introversion as a disadvantage, the fact is there are numerous advantages of being an introvert. We may not enjoy chatting with random strangers or wasting our time in social gatherings or even going out to the world unless we have to, but we have our own unique set of skills, qualities and advantages that allows us to live a happy successful life in our own way.
Are you an introvert?
Do you feel you are different?
Do you prefer being alone?
Do you enjoy your own company?
Do you feel tired of talking too much or being with people for too long?
Congratulations! You’re probably an introvert. Introverts like me, prefer to spend their time in a calm environment with minimal stimulation. While socializing, we often feel drained and feel the need to be alone to recharge ourselves. Why? Our mind reacts to dopamine in a completely different way than how extroverts react.
Introverts are usually born the way they are. However, our upbringing and childhood experiences like teasing or bullying or being forced to be like others can lead to social anxiety and make us find peace in solitude. But not all introverts are similar. We are all different people and we all behave in a specific way even though we share some similar characteristic traits.
Here are some signs that you are an introvert:
- Introverts prefer spending their time alone instead of going out with friends or being actively social.
- Introverts are usually very creative and enjoy doing solitary activities like writing, painting, reading, gardening etc.
- Introverts prefer spending their time with their small circle of close friends than going to a crazy party.
- Introverts are at their best when they are working alone.
- Introverts do not like needless social interactions and hate small talk with people.
- Introverts prefer intimate, one-on-one interactions than interacting with loud crowds.
- Introverts closely observe their surroundings and process information effectively to their advantage.
- Introverts can accurately read facial expressions and body language of other people.
- Introverts never seek approval or validation from others as they are self-reliant and have a strong belief in their abilities.
- Introverts are calculative speakers as they carefully think before expressing their opinions.
- Introverts value ‘alone time’ the most as it essential for their survival for their soul, like water and oxygen for their body.
Introverts are not necessarily shy
The notion that introverts are shy is perhaps the biggest myth about introverts. Yes, some of us are shy, but not every introvert is shy. Some introverts are rather very confident about themselves and can be very funny and charming. Shyness usually refers to feeling anxious and nervous in a social situation. Introverts usually don’t feel nervous while talking to people in a social setting. They simply feel drained and worn out. Introverts avoid social interactions as they will need to recharge themselves later after feeling drained. We just like conserving our energy for better and more meaningful things. And this is one of the best advantages of being an introvert.
Introversion is not a disease
“Don’t think of introversion as something that needs to be cured. Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to.” – Susan Cain
In a world where extroverts are celebrated and rewarded, being an introvert may seem like a disadvantage. Extroverts get all the attention, opportunities and fun. Extroverts become popular and are good at pleasing people which provides them better opportunities to succeed in life. Meanwhile, as an introvert, you may get ignored and your effort and work may go unnoticed.