But Your ‘Good Time’ Is The Stuff Of Nightmares For Introverts Like Me!

Introverts need peace and quiet to feel comfortable with their lives, and are often judged by most people as 'snobbish'. Here’s a nuanced experience of being an introvert!

Introverts need peace and quiet to feel comfortable with their lives, and are often judged by most people as ‘snobbish’. Here’s a nuanced experience of being an introvert!

You walk into a party filled with people you hardly know. They are laughing, giggling, and having a good time, with loud music playing in the background. If it sounds like an ideal evening for you to enjoy and socialize, then you are made for the buzzing life. 

But… this happy scene is the stuff of nightmares for an introvert like me. 

My instincts in this party I just described would be to dash towards a corner, and sit and observe everything around me. Life is much more thrilling inside the head of an introvert, than it really is or feels outside.

But, this seems completely different from the perspective of another person. And, that’s truly where the problem begins. So, this journey of understanding where I  fit (or don’t) in the social world has been internal as well as external.

Coming to terms with my introversion

I am almost 30 now. I feel oddly free from the social pressures to fit in. I am absolutely unapologetic about choosing my cocoon of peace over the starry chaos of social life. But reaching this stage hasn’t been an easy ride, especially during my late teens and early twenties. 

Our society makes coming of age a community endeavor. It is rather unsympathetic towards people who choose the path of quiet introspection into adulthood.

It took almost a decade, many life-altering experiences, and a deep dive into education to reach this level of certainty to accept who I am. And more importantly, knowing why being the way I am is okay. 

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One of the biggest inspirations in that journey has been Susan Cain’s astounding and well researched book, Quiet- The Power of Introverts in A World That Can’t Stop Talking (2012). It blew me away in unimaginable ways. 

It’s a must read if you are an introvert who’s trying or struggling to fit in or if you have been made to feel bad about your personality all your life. I highly recommend that everyone should read this book for that extra insight.

After a great deal of inquisitive research into the subject, I have come up with a few perks and the perils of introversion that may help you see introverts, whether that’s you or someone you know, in a different light.

One of the biggest perks of introversion is no FOMO

One of the things that I have stopped missing is mingling with the not-so-intimate social circle. Accepting my introversion freed me from the shackles of my social dilemmas and allowed me to do what truly feeds my soul. 

So, if you are young and your Instagram is filled with photos of your pals’ hangouts sessions, you ought to feel bad and that’s normal. But once you realize and accept your truth, external things will stop bothering you as much.

I now pick and choose why, how, and with whom I want to socialize. Ever since I have made a conscious decision of having connections that aids my growth rather than just make me look ‘fun and happening’, I have been a much happier individual.

Judgements cease to matter

I had a friend who shamed me for not having a big social circle, for being a weird loner. The word ‘loner’ has stuck with me for most part of my life. It was often weaponized against me to ‘show’ me how dysfunctional I was. I don’t blame anybody for having that idea because it may seem so. 

I disapprovingly understand that.

The truth, although, is a little different. I may have looked alone but I wasn’t a loner. I quite enjoy my company. I read, write, and usually always think about a thousand unrelated things when I am alone. My ideas, thoughts, plans keep me occupied. And once I became aware of that, the judgements ceased to matter.

The gift of time

I know many talented individuals who are so busy having a perfect social media life that they miss out on having time for anything else, especially their hobbies. And that’s the gift that introversion has allowed me in plenty – time.

Time to pick up and invest in many skills and relationships, especially as adults, is probably a luxury that only a few can afford.

Introverts are prone to being passed over

The world we live in celebrates extroversion. Historically, it has been associated with greatness and intelligence often. So, at schools, colleges and offices, the quiet ones are always looked over and ignored.

After the first event I hosted at my office, people were shocked. A kind, elderly acquaintance came and shook my hand. He expressed his shock to me because he never saw me speak that much. He said that sometimes the quiet ones surprise you the most. 

Well, I felt flattered, but it does sting a bit to know that I was never considered ‘praise-worthy’ until I publicly spoke.

Nervous, serious, boring, or judgemental?

Just because introverts take time to open up, people often conceive various notions in their minds about us without really taking the time to know us. It’s okay because we all do that sometimes.

And so far, people have thought of me as nervous, serious, boring and in one particular case, judgmental. In reality, he was just not interesting enough to command my attention, which drifted away mid conversation. My apologies to the phony young man.

Like most introverts, I can intuitively sense superficiality that can shut me down completely during an interaction. We don’t make efforts to get along with such individuals which, in some cases, can be a loss for us. I am working on that. I say learn and grow to both the introverts, and the ones dealing with them. Let there be room for growth.

Missing the big connections

Extroversion has its benefits in certain fields. Superficial charm can get us into important rooms fast sometimes. There’s no point denying that. Introverts lose out on making and taking advantages of such connections.

It takes someone with a keen eye to spot talent within an introvert and provide them with a chair in a table. My suggestion for introverts would be to take note of the people who see you and make an effort to be in their good books.

Not all experiences will be bad

Introverts can get too comfortable in their cocoons and never feel the need to leave. It is great for their inner peace but not always great for their lives in the long run. We need people, places, and memories too.

Our aversion to certain kinds of places or people often stops us from many learning experiences. Note to myself and introverts: put your dislike aside and do that thing that you don’t want to because you may end up with an unforgettable experience.

Lastly, to all the introverts out there, be unafraid in being yourself. To others, we are not all serial killers. But again, you never know. Just kidding!

Take a chance on that quiet introvert you know because he or she may surprise you!

Image source: triloks from Getty Images Signature Free for Canva Pro

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