7 Ways To Overcome Introvert Guilt And Embrace Your Inner Introvert


Overcome Introvert Guilt Embrace Inner Introvert

Do you feel guilty for being an introvert? Do you feel ashamed for choosing alone time over social interactions? Introvert guilt is a real thing and here’s how to deal with it.

Why introverts feel guilty

All introverts, including me, love their alone time. We love spending time with ourselves in our home and in our bed, reading, listening to music, watching movies, thinking & reflecting or just simply being. However, this blissful experience can often turn uncomfortable as we soon start feeling guilty about it. Of course, we love our family and friends and we do enjoy socializing at times, but incessant social invitations make us feel stressed and compelled to say ‘yes’. 

Marketing expert Marilyn Rogers explainsWhen you’re an introvert, it’s challenging to live in a world where extroverts set the social standards.” So we simply choose to bail out of these social gatherings. However, when we constantly keep declining countless invitations to parties, events and hangouts with people we love, it can often lead to an excruciating feeling of introvert guilt.

Professor and author Christina Berchini writesMeeting an introvert’s needs for quiet and privacy, for many extroverts, has become a zero-sum game. Moreover, meeting an extrovert’s needs, and failing to, can result in considerable guilt on the part of the introvert who fails.We end up feeling like a bad person for avoiding the people we care about, for disappointing them, for choosing our own company and not around others. We feel selfish, ashamed and downright terrible. And due to this guilt, we often end up in events and around people we would have just avoided otherwise. This can have a negative impact not just on our relationships with our friends and family, but also on our mental health.

Read also: 5 Reasons Why Introverts Love Their Bedroom So Much

Don’t be driven by introvert guilt

Introverts spend a great deal of time and energy feeling guilty,” writes introvert author, coach and entrepreneur Michaela Chung. For some unknown reason we tend to believe that enjoying our alone time is nothing but a selfish act. We believe that a selfish person is a bad person who doesn’t deserve to be loved. We often feel guilty for avoiding the social norms established for and by extroverts. In her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, author Susan Cain explains “Now that you’re an adult, you might still feel a pang of guilt when you decline a dinner invitation in favor of a good book. Or maybe you like to eat alone in restaurants and could do without the pitying looks from fellow diners. Or you’re told that you’re “in your head too much,” a phrase that’s often deployed against the quiet.

So we struggle all the time between paying attention to our own needs for solitude and other’s needs for being social. This guilt often makes us wonder if we are a failure for not being able to enjoy the life that makes extroverts feel so alive. We wonder if something is wrong with us. “We feel bad for not being extroverted enough. Perhaps, our guilt pushes us to do things that we normally wouldn’t do.  Maybe good things happen as a result. Fine.  But do we really want guilt to be our primary motivator? We should be driven by our convictions, not by guilt,” adds Michaela.

We need to realize that being alone is a crucial aspect of our introverted being, says Michaela. When we allow introvert guilt to dominate our thoughts and emotions and influence our decisions, we fail to embrace our most authentic and genuine selves. Solitude allows us to recharge ourselves, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It allows us to face the extroverted world once more and overcome the challenges it throws at us.

Read also: Dear Empath. Do You Feel Guilty For Taking Care Of You?

How to deal with introvert guilt

If you want to overcome your feelings of guilt for being an introvert and enjoy your solitude, then here are a few ways to get started, as suggested by Michaela Chung:

1. Identify your guilt

If you want to cope with your guilt, then you need to start by finding the reason for it. Why do you feel guilty? Is it because you think spending time alone and avoiding others is a sign of selfishness? Do you think that repeatedly isolating yourself will alienate you from your friends, family and others? Do you believe that people will judge you for being who you truly are? Calm your mind and think about which particular aspect of being an introvert gives rise to your guilt.

2. Let go of negative beliefs

Once you have successfully identified the source of your introvert guilt, understand what particular beliefs you are still holding on to which drive your guilt. Recognize your beliefs that don’t serve you anymore and let them go. Irrespective of what you feel about yourself, unless you truly embrace your introversion, you will feel that you’re selfish and a terrible person, leading to more guilt. 

Read also: 5 Tips For Setting Healthy Boundaries As An Introvert

Michaela explainsUsually the worst thing that can happen is something that’s already happening – you feeling bad about yourself. At a certain point you see that it’s all in your head. No one has any real power over you. No one’s opinion of you matters more than your own.

3. Believe in yourself

One of the primary reasons for this guilt is that we do not accept our inner introvert wholeheartedly. We do not trust our introverted instincts, inner needs, dreams and desires. We don’t trust our own selves. Instead, we start believing what extroverts think about us. We fail to realize that we ourselves know what is actually best for us.

If you want to get rid of guilt, then have faith in yourself. And you can gain this trust only through evidence and practice. Michaela writes “Practice giving yourself what you need in small doses at first, and see how it feels. Snatch an hour or two of alone time here and there. Then try a whole evening, or weekend. It’s up to you to decide how much alone time feels good to you!

Read also: 10 Guilty Pleasures All Introverts Secretly Share But Won’t Admit To

Here are some other quick tips for dealing with introvert guilt:

4. Maintain relationships the way it works for you

If you prefer more intimate interactions than loud parties, then let your loved ones know that. Take initiative to meet your family and friends the way you find it convenient for you. You don’t have to force yourself to be more social, if you don’t want to. Do what makes you happy from within, in the real sense. 

5. Stick to a daily recharge routine

If you have your own family, then enjoying your solitude will surely lead to introvert guilt. This is why it is crucial to set a recharge routine that allows you to enjoy your alone time on a daily basis without ignoring your family or responsibilities. For instance, set 30 minutes apart for yourself each day and let your family know you will be unavailable during this time.

6. Practice mindfulness

Instead of wasting your time mindlessly scrolling through social media or unimportant activities, practice mindfulness meditation for 10 minutes everyday. This will help you connect with your inner self and find the peace you are looking for. 

7. Create a balance. 

The key to getting rid of introvert guilt and finding happiness as an introvert is to find a balance between solitude and socializing. Actively make some time to meet your loved one once or twice a week and you can enjoy the rest of your leisure time with yourself… guilt-free.

Read also: Why Socializing For Introverts Is Exhausting, According To Science

Acceptance is the secret

When you unconditionally accept who you are and embrace your inner introversion, you will see your introvert guilt disappear sooner than you can think. Accept that your alone time is valuable, but also understand that your friends and family need you to be with them at times. Accept yourself, but be responsible for others as well. If you do that, you can enjoy your solitude anyway you want.

Author and coach Michaela Chung concludes “Introverts have the right to make their own path and construct their lives as they see fit. Unless you’re hurting someone else, there’s no need to feel guilty about your preferences. That’s why they call them ‘personal’ preferences; you are not obligated to justify them to anyone else.

So if you want to spend an entire evening alone at home and not go to the hippest party in town, then that’s okay. It’s absolutely fine to enjoy your own company and not feel the need to seek attention from others. 

Read also: 4 Guilt-Free Steps To Deal With Guilt Trippers In Your Life

Here is an interesting video that you may find helpful:

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