You might find it strange to be receiving this from me at this time, but I heard a rumor that you needed this more than ever right now.
I know that you are surrounded with well meaning people who expect you to come out of your shell and make something of yourself. To step up to the plate and be heard, to boldly voice what it is you are thinking of, working on, creating or trying to solve. I know the pressure they are putting on you. Things like “Create your platform, sign up to be a speaker, join us in the fun of making live Facebook videos”. I know you would rather show up at the park in your underwear than have to figure out what to say during a live streaming. A root canal would be preferable to answering on the spot and winging it in front of a live audience.
So here’s the thing. Don’t do it. Don’t be pressured to be and do something that will literally give you hives and make you want to stay in bed until Christmas.
No one understands the temptation more than I to believe that their boisterous and very extroverted way is the only way, the fastest way, the better way. That by being quiet, preferring to steep your ideas before displaying them, and longing for the space to really think and create in your own world and at your own pace cannot possibly yield the fruit you are trying desperately to complete. I want you to instead trust yourself. Trust what your heart is telling you about the things you need and the things you love and especially about the way you need to create them.
Introversion is not the negation of Extroversion, regardless of what society might seem to value. Introversion is it’s own version of being. It isn’t a pathology, a lack of interest in the human race, or one step away from the looney bin. Introverts merely work best in an arena that allows time, space, solitude, diversity and mutual respect.
I know your extroverted friends mean well and just want to help you out of the rut they believe you have gotten yourself into. They do it believing they’re granting you a gracious favor by forcing you to “join in.”
I can’t think of any two words that put introverts more ill at ease then “join in”, especially when you don’t really want to and are already doing that in exactly the way you prefer — on the sidelines, listening, observing, or imagining something different altogether then what they assume. They just don’t get that you are participating.
Don’t be too hard on them though, they really do want to help you out. They feel an insatiable need to fill the void. The void that seems like a boring party for them. They live and thrive on external stimulation. It’s now or never. Respond or be considered that absolute threat to human society, a dullard.
Have a bit of compassion for their intentions. They really do know what they love best! And that is really what I want to say to you now. Know what you need and love and thrive on best! Don’t be fooled into thinking your way isn’t good enough!
This extroversion/introversion thing is not a competition – where half of us is trying to convince the other half they’re going about it in all the wrong way.
The very fact that half of us are introverts should tell you this isn’t a sad mutation of a normal jolly personality gone bad. Introversion is beautiful in it’s own right and has it’s own advantages. Our world is big enough for the other 50 % of the population who are not going out on a limb saying the first thing that comes to mind and wearing their feelings on their sleeves, while simultaneously posting on social media, catching up on the latest with their snap chat friends and happily going from one huge gathering to the next.
I won’t go on forever about this, but I will leave you with three things I’d like you to think about. Remember these especially when you feel like someone is pushing you and no one’s there, when you feel guilty for needing to unwind and get away by yourself, and when you simply can’t concentrate one more second as others speak on and on a mile a minute and you’ve got something else you’d like to do.
Remind yourself these three things
1. Saying no to participating in something you do not really want to participate in is the very essence of kindness.
Hanging around feeling miserable is not going to get you any real kudos and certainly isn’t going to help you win friends and influence people when your resentment starts to kick in — especially after you’re forced to down yet another margarita just to survive.
2. It’s okay to be happy on Twitter and leave the rest of social media alone.
I know, it’s not the most popular social platform these days, but that’s exactly why it’s perfect for you. Everyone else in the universe is not there. And that’s a good thing. Besides, 140 characters helps you distill what you really want to say into a sweet nugget of wisdom as opposed to another late night gut spilling of every piece of gossip you can conjure up about your life and every one of your Facebook Friends.
3. Your desires and preferences are just as valid as the next person’s.
Yes, you are a great listener. Yes, you don’t mind lending a hand and no, you don’t mind doing things that you don’t like to do — occasionally. But always feeling like everyone else’s desire for you to be present and rowdy isn’t any more valid than your desire to go home, give the conversation a rest, or simply escape into your own thoughts without having to talk about it until you’re ready to share.
And believe me, I know you will be ready to share. Introverts are not stingy bastards who couldn’t give a fig for anyone else’s agenda but their own! Far from it. So much of the ruckus going on in your own head is quite frankly about others in the first place. You are very caring. You thoroughly enjoy others, granted in smaller doses than your extroverted friends, and you are one of the kindest, thoughtful persons anyone could want to know.
Until next time dearest!
Your adoring friend