I was walking toward the Q train with one of my best friends. It was pouring rain, my contacts were stinging my eyes and my makeup was….well, I was wearing makeup which is always irritating if I’m not in the mood. I was just about to complain about how I wanted to go home and lay on my couch but my friend interrupted me.
“Don’t even start with you’re ‘I’m an introvert’ stuff…”
“But I am!” I said, looking longingly in the direction of a train to take me home.
“Blah blah blah. That’s a PART of who you are. It’s not all of you.”
I shrugged. She had kind of right. I didn’t want to go home because I’m an introvert. I wanted to go home because it was cold and rainy outside.
I’m all about feeling empowered by your personality type, but the inundation of “Introverts are Awesome” posts are a bit…overwhelming. We are introverts, but we’re lots of other things too and when we rest too comfortably on ANY label, we deny other parts of ourselves.
So gather around fellow introverts, I’m here to tell you why no one cares that you’re an introvert:
1. Because you’re awesome whether you’re out at a party OR you’re sitting naked on your couch.
People like you. They do. Even though you’re quiet. Even though you flake right before you’re supposed to go out. You listen well. You ask questions. You have a knack for making people feel heard. People love talking to you because you’re a captive audience. It doesn’t matter if, after an hour, you need to go home. People love you when you talk, and probably even more when you don’t.
2. Because everyone has their own insecurities.
I once met an extrovert who explained to me how awkward extraverts often feel. She told me about how they often say the wrong thing at the wrong time, and sometimes they offend people. While you guys obsess over what you could’ve said, we obsess over what we shouldn’t have. The bottom line is everyone has an insecurity that they swear other people can see, and we’re all pretty much preoccupied with our own crap. No one cares that you’re a little quiet. They’re too busy fixating about the pimple on their nose that they hope you can’t see.
3. Because telling people you’re an introvert just makes things awkward. Folks love to confuse introversion with shyness.
Whenever I mention that I’m an introvert people get all: “Noooo, not you. You’re not an introvert. You’re really funny.” It’s as if I told them I have some terminal disease. I’m okay with being a little quiet, and needing lots of downtime, but society doesn’t really view my introversion as a gift. So I keep it to myself. It saves me a bunch of awkward conversations.
4. Because the only person who has to understand and accept you…is you.
The sooner you can come to terms with the fact that you’re an introvert, the better off you’ll be. You’re friends don’t have to understand this about you. They just have to love you as much as you love yourself.
5. Because the labels aren’t important, but how you address your own needs is.
You identify as an introvert, but what does that mean? It means that you know a few things about what makes you most comfortable. The key is to DO MORE OF THOSE THINGS. Give yourself ample downtime if you need that. Balance social activity with periods of solitude. Surround yourself with smaller groups and have more intimate conversations. If you identify as an introvert, go do the things that make introverts feel happiest…otherwise, all of the BuzzFeed posts won’t make a difference.
6. Because you are far more interesting than just a personality type.
I have seen every episode of Matlock. I can impersonate Big Ang from VH1′s Mob Wives, I read Tarot cards, and I once punched a stranger in the face. See…all of those ridiculous facts are more interesting than, “I’m an inteovert.” I bet you’ve got more interesting things to say about yourself, too!
Originally posted on Men, Myself, & God by Patia Braithwaite