The Plight of the Introvert
Have you ever been called shy, quiet, or reserved? have you ever opted for a nice night in versus that super awesome party that your friends swear will be the most amazing night ever? chances are if you've answered yes to any of the above you might be an Introvert. According to the MBTI scale index, introverts account for approximately 50% of the population. Yup 50. That means half of us out there are introverts. Weirdly enough however we seem to be underrepresented? I mean think about it. You or your brother, sister, parent, friend, heck even cat may be introverted. How often however, do you actually hear someone mutter the words. "I am an introvert." The very word itself can bring up images of someone wrapped up in a blanket in the corner of a room or something. Some of us wear this title like a proud badge while others shudder with fear at the very thought of being singled out as one. Others probably have no idea what the heck an introvert even is but fret not friend you've stumbled onto the right place.
You see I've always considered myself to be a pretty normal guy. Sure I have my quirks but don't who doesn't? Ss I got older however, I came to realize the stark difference I shared with the others around me and to a bit of an extent; society at large. I mean yeah I like to do normal things such as go out and hang with friends but I am not particularly fond of going out every weekend. My idea of a good time does not involve going to a packed club drinking alcohol and awkwardly trying to find a dance partner (I can honestly say this with experience as I've been in situations like that many times before). Introverts in general tend to prefer more quiet and less highly social situations. That's not to say some don't know how to have fun or don't posses the gift of gab, It just states a preference over one's environment.
Extroverts in comparison are the exact opposite. An extrovert can thrive in social situations for hours on end without feeling a need to retreat afterwards. Where an introvert will prefer to quietly recharge at home perhaps with a book or "me time" the extrovert re-energizes in social situations and needs constant "people time" to get by. According to Psychology Today "Introverts are drained by social encounters and energized by solitary, often creative pursuits. Their disposition is frequently misconstrued as shyness, social phobia or even avoidant personality disorder, but many introverts socialize easily; they just strongly prefer not to." I feel like the last bit really hits home. "Just strongly prefer not to."
When people sometimes ask me how my weekend was and I reply with a "nothing just stayed home" I start to get this weird feeling as if I disappointed them somehow by not having gone out. I've had situations in which I simply didn't feel like going out after a friend invited me cause I knew the type of place they were going to wouldn't interest me. Funny thing is that most Introverts aren't boring wallflower types. I love going out. I love discovering that new restaurant or grabbing a few drinks at a low-key bar with a friend. My preference for low volume places is just a natural fit for my personality type.
Western society prides and values extroverted qualities and frowns upon people who prefer more downtime alone. Not that there's anything wrong with extraversion, but Introversion isn't something that should be ruled out and classified simply as "shy" or "socially awkward." We all have strengths and weaknesses that make up who we are. It is also a point to mention that no one falls neatly into the introvert or extravert. We all to some degree exhibit traits from both ends but usually tend to lean more towards one.If your a fellow introvert, Just know you are not alone!