To all the introverts out there

“To all the introverts out there, your careers are dead!” said the speaker our college had invited last year. What followed was an uncomfortable silence coupled with shared glances and forced smiles among us. We had thought it was supposed to be an enlightening talk. He was an entrepreneur after all.

Introverts are often thought to be shy, lacking confidence, boring, etc.
Introverts don’t have it all easy in this world.

What he didn’t know was that he was talking to a class where majority of the students were introverts. More importantly, he didn’t know that introversion isn’t something one can change.

So recently, I was fortunate enough to read a book called Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking by Susan Cain. No this is not a book review. I have always wanted to read this book but never got enough time until recently. Am I a completely transformed person now? No! Like I said, an introvert cannot not be an introvert. Here I am, still an introvert, trying to reach out to other introverts out there.

But do people really understand introversion? I don’t think so. What most of the people think is that an introvert is someone who is shy, probably boring or lacks confidence. Which might be partly right but surely not the ultimate truth.

As an introvert, I can assure you that ever since I was in grade four, I have been everybody’s favorite person for delivering speeches in my school, I never lacked confidence, I have had interviews as an adult and most of them went pretty well, I like partying, I like connecting with like-minded people. I am still an introvert. Now that I am an adult, I know it is a part of who I am.

The reality about introverts

Generalizing anything about introverts is a poor judgement. Not all the introverts are shy or lack confidence. If somebody has stage-fear or confidence issues, it is not equivalent to introversion. It can be overcome by practicing. But introversion cannot be changed!

If somebody has stage fear or confidence issues, it is not equivalent to introversion.
If somebody has confidence issues, it is not equivalent to introversion.

Why do we have to try changing introversion at the first place? It does no help! I did try. But could I change the fact that I felt mentally exhausted while talking to too many people at a time? Could I change the fact that I would easily burn out in an overstimulating environment? No. It is rather much better to try understanding oneself.

It must not come as a surprise that many great leaders, writers, professors, entrepreneurs were (and are) introverts. So we introverts should not try going against our very basic nature (it would be in vain). We should not feel that introversion can stop us from being who we wish to be. Nor is being an introvert a bad thing. You can be a successful professor and still be an introvert. Just do whatever makes you happy!

Food for thought

Being shy or lacking confidence does not equal to being an introvert. If you wish to become a public speaker or professor or whatever that requires you to communicate, there is always a scope for improvement through practicing, joining clubs, etc. Being an introvert means you probably do not enjoy being in an overstimulating environment. So better try to understand yourself in a deeper way, what you like, what you don’t like, what energizes you and what drains you.

Spending time alone or taking a walk in the nature energizes me.
Spending time alone mentally energizes me.

In my case, I know surrounding myself with people all the time is super exhausting for me. It drains me quickly. Spending time alone, taking a walk in the nature, listening to music energizes me. I love connecting with people who share the same interests as mine. I prefer mails or chats over calls. I do not like small talk. I like partying but not on a regular basis. I like to separate my working time and enjoying time (and I take them both equally seriously). I am emotionally very sensitive. I don’t hate people. I just need more time alone to work out my thoughts. I cannot stay with people all the time, I cannot talk all the time. I get easily exhausted that way. Knowing myself better over the last few years has helped me to be at peace with myself and with others. The inner conflict between trying to be someone who I am not and accepting myself as I am has ended. I think now I finally know what works for me. I try using my strengths and analyzing my weaknesses in both personal and professional aspects of my life.

7 thoughts on “To all the introverts out there

  1. This is beautiful, it just clears the misconception. I am a public speaker, my trainings go for about 1k, i am confident, i love people, being around them too for a limited time though cause i gotta run back, be by myself, reflect, reboot, recharge… before i become a problem to myself and everyone else

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It makes my day when someone actually reads my work. Thank you for reading this article! 🙂 Like you correctly said, we introverts need time to recharge ourselves before we become a problem to ourselves and others. That doesn’t necessarily have to mean we don’t like to be around people or that we are shy. This misconception needs to be done away with!

      Like

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