I should be writing about women because it was International Women’s Day but no, I’m going to give that a pass. As you can very clearly see through my blog posts, I celebrate womanhood almost every single day to the point where I feel like “we run the world” (to quote the famous Queen B).
Today, I have a different cause to talk about. There is an on-going underground movement which has started gaining momentum over the past couple of years. There are dedicated blogs, websites, YouTube videos, books, research studies, trolls, Reddit threads etc. which further exemplify this movement. It’s called Introversion.
In a largely extroverted world, how do introverts survive?
Introversion is not an affliction. It’s not something one can choose to be. It is how you are. You don’t have a choice in the matter. What you do have a choice about is how you deal and cope with it to adjust with your external environment. Introverts are constantly being nudged and prodded by the world around to “cure” themselves. But much like, how homosexuality is not a disease that can be cured nor can introversion.
There are tons of preposterous myths surrounding this concept or state of being. Obviously the funniest one was about how an introvert can become an extrovert. The other one that drives me nuts is “Introverts are crazy people (read perennially depressed and survive on happy pills)”. That’s not true. I feel like shouting from the rooftops and busting every myth there exists but a lot of my other introvert friends are already doing that job for me, take a look at this link:
When introverts see how effortlessly others can mingle with their social circles it makes them uncomfortable and question themselves. You start wondering if something is wrong with you and a lot of us fellow introverts have to go through this terrible social trauma during our teenage years, those critical years where you are developing your self-esteem. If you don’t navigate yourself well around it, you are left feeling handicapped.
I went through that. I questioned myself a lot. I loved being with myself so much that I never needed anyone to be with me and I still have a major tendency to be like that. If you ask me one person who I absolutely unabashedly love to death (yes, Benedict Cumberbatch comes pretty close) then it would probably be, Me. I’ve invested that kind of time in me, probably that’s why. But I had to fight this.
Man is a social animal. No matter how comfortable you are in your skin, you need others to survive and make a willful existence for yourself.
I stopped fighting my internal battle of how I’m being perceived in a very Elsa kind of a moment.
I embraced myself for who I was. One day, I looked at myself and decided a few things.
I am not going to be bothered by what people think about me.
- I will make myself heard
- I will say exactly what I think
- I will laugh a lot more often
- I will act out all the things that I think in my head instead of daydreaming about them.
It wasn’t a one day process. It took me years to get this right and everyday I’m still practicing. It’s like I am that person who used to stammer as a kid but learned to get over it. You practice, practice, practice and one day you’ll get it right. In your head, you know that you are still a stutterer but you can work around it.
I love being around people. I genuinely do but I have to take a step back sometimes and I’m okay with that. I’m trying to walk the tight rope. But at least, I’m trying.
A lot of others just give up on it. That’s what I have a problem with.
“Maybe, I should talk to her. Na.. it’s okay. She doesn’t care.”
“Oh the professor got that sum wrong! Someone else will point it out to him.”
“He completely ignored me. I feel hurt. He should apologize. It’s cool. I don’t want to deal with that shit.”
These are some of the internal struggles that we as Introverts go through. There is a gap between thought and action. We need that extra push, of energy and will, to do the next step and more often than not, we don’t do it. My question is Why?
We miss out on so many opportunities because of this one drawback. I’m not saying that we should convert ourselves into Extroverts. No sire! But we need to go that extra mile and force ourselves to action our thoughts. The world needs to see the awesomeness (I can’t believe I just used that word) that we are. They need our critical thinking abilities. They need our insights. They need our observation skills. They need people who are perceptive of almost imperceptive changes and details.
We need to make sure that we are nor bull-dozered by the Extroverts of the World. Not because we are in a competition or a race but because we can do a much better job sometimes, thanks to all the books that we’ve been reading. All those hours you spent in making inconsequential connections and drawing patterns - is the need of the hour in most businesses today. All those notes you scribbled at the back of your notebook about random facts and figures has turned into a well-established industry today.
The Arts have always celebrated the creativity and eccentricity of talented Introverts, the other are catching up.
If you want to stand out on a public platform in the age of virulent social media, you need to have substance. Anyone can talk but can you be heard? You need to have concrete matter to be of significant consequence in any sphere. People are smarter today than they were yesterday. Showmanship alone can no longer grab the increasingly shortened attention span of the masses.
This is your chance. Step out of your shell and see the light of the day. The awkwardness is only momentary, let it pass. No one needs to know if you are an Extrovert or an Introvert. What they do need to know is - You.
Links you might want to have a look at:-