It is around midnight and I just got home from hanging out with all of my friends. I’m not sure why but late at night is the best time to reflect on the many different aspects of my life. I guess it is because everyone else is asleep and it’s just you and your thoughts. With this in mind, I couldn’t help reflect what’s been on my mind for the past few weeks and I hope you learn a thing or two out of this.
Like I said earlier, I just got home after hanging with all of my friends and everyone had a good time. I had fun as well, but I feel like I’m missing out on a lot of things that go on during these get togethers. It wasn’t just this night where I’ve felt this; in fact, I’ve felt this frequently as the years have gone on. Whenever all of us hangout, I’m always the quiet kid that doesn’t speak unless he’s spoken to. I don’t know how to effectively stir up a conversation and keep it going. I’m just sitting there taking up space and I hate it. I know I’m not alone when I say this. The feeling I’m describing is the life of an introvert and at times, it can be the worst feeling a person can feel.
Don’t get me wrong, there are times where I love being an introvert, but there are times where it can be frustrating. I hate the feeling you get when nobody is listening to you. Or even when they do, people just kind of shrug it off and act like nothing was said. This is why I love being a journalist. No matter who you are, people have to listen to you and consider your point. Journalism allows me to have my voice heard, even if it is in writing. I love it when people complement me on my articles or they ask me when the next one will be written. People want to hear what I have to say and it’s such a great feeling.
One of my least favorite things about being an introvert is the backlash I get for sometimes not wanting to hang out with my friends. I do this from time to time to “recharge” and my extroverted friends don’t quite seem to understand this. I can spend a whole day hanging out with my friends, but I still sometimes need a day or two to recuperate afterwards. While my friends may be thrilled to spend the following day hanging out again, I may feel tired or drained. Does this mean I hate my friends for purposely avoiding them? No, absolutely not. I have the best friends anyone could ask for and they’d have my back if any conflict ever came up.
The thing extroverts don’t understand about introverts is why they have such a hard time in certain social situations. In the perspective of an extrovert, the need to be the center of attention controls them and they naturally respond to that need. The extrovert thrives in social situations and that’s why people are more naturally drawn to extroverts rather than introverts. It also explains why introverts get misunderstood sometimes.
There’s a common stereotype about introverts in the sense that they are self centered jerks and don’t want to be around other people. This isn’t true at all. The reason people think this way is because social events can be mentally stimulating to introverts. It’s not that they dislike people; it’s just that socializing requires more effort and it’s more tiring than it is for extroverts. When social situations become too much, introverts want to be in a calm environment, not wherever they currently are. Extroverts view this as the person being a narcissist and they don’t understand the stimulation the introvert is under because it’s natural to them.
I fall victim to this from time to time; I just don’t lash out at my friends when it becomes too much, I’m usually pretty calm about it. I believe shyness is a quality that all introverts share to some degree. I’ll admit it; I’m generally a shy person. This explains why I don’t feel the need to be the center of attention like my friends push me to be. This also explains why I don’t feel the need to impress a girl 24/7. If the relationship was truly meant to be, then I’ll find myself in one right now. It frustrates my friends when they ask me who I like and I don’t have answer for them. They say I lie and that I’m full of you know what, but it’s the honest truth. I don’t believe that I have to like someone and I have to “have my game on” at all times. Do I want a girlfriend? Absolutely. But I’m not going to stress about it like the people around me do.
Let’s flip the script. If I had the option to choose to be an introvert or an extrovert, I would definitely still choose to be an introvert despite the hardships I face everyday. The reason I love being an introvert is that it’s more self-rewarding whenever I do something great. An extrovert feels the need to constantly impress the people around them; I don’t have to do this. Now don’t get me wrong, I want people to recognize my accomplishments, but it isn’t as big of a deal if it goes unnoticed. I also love being an introvert because I love the idea in investing in myself. An introvert constantly feels the need to improve their life whether it is academics, sports, or trying something new. I will always be open to learning new things if I find it useful.
The last thing that I’m going to talk about is that fact that I am a great observer and listener. I love looking at the world around me and I often catch things that other people don’t bother to notice. I also like to listen. I constantly solve problems for my friends and that’s something I take pride in. You can come to me for any problem you have, big or small. If I don’t know the solution to that problem, you can bet the house that I’ll try my best to find it. I don’t want to let people down and I’ll do anything to not let that happen.
I’m not really sure why I wrote this to be honest. I guess I felt the need to explain myself a little more because I often waste the opportunity when it comes up. I have a message for everyone whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert. My message is this: extroverts include the introverts. Don’t be afraid to give up the spotlight because us introverts want to be apart of different things as well. If they struggle in the spotlight, help them out. They will greatly appreciate it. Lastly introverts, don’t be afraid to branch out and get out of your comfort zone. I struggle with this and I know you do as well. Take risks and be yourself. Show the people around you who you truly are because it will be rewarding once you do.
I hope after reading this, you now have a good understanding of what goes on in the life of an introvert and how he or she thinks. Hopefully their decisions make sense now and you know how to respond to it. Everyone is different and we as a society need to embrace that.