I never liked the cliched portrayal of introverts as “late bloomers,” that all they needed was to come out of their shell. They tend to go through a life-altering experience that helps them grow and open up. I also wasn’t too keen on those catchphrases extroverts like to use, such as “get out of your comfort zone.” It’s disheartening to see because there’s nothing that needs changing or developing. If you’re an introvert, then that’s perfectly normal. That’s what World Introvert Day is for, to understand and appreciate us introverts.
I remember people telling me to stop being so shy or to not be such a loner. I consistently heard the recommendations: “Step out of your comfort zone” and “You need to open up more.” They didn’t seem to understand that those truly weren’t options for someone like me because not only were they unappealing, they were mentally and sometimes emotionally not possible. It’s not that I’m painfully shy or antisocial, I was simply content keeping to myself.
The point of today isn’t about changing introverts or teaching them to be more extroverted, it’s about appreciating them as they are. When we do gather with other people, we need time to “recharge” in a sense. Not all introverts want to be alone all the time, but we do require some alone time. Like all people, we want relationships but having large groups of friends is not something we seek. Having friends for the sake of it isn’t something we need. We tend to have small groups of friends that genuinely care for us and understand us. Introverts tend to be rather gifted. Many successful people are introverted, such as scientists, artists, and even some celebrities. There’s nothing odd or different about being introverted, it’s simply the type of person you are.
If you’re not introverted and are lucky to be friends with one, know that we cherish meaningful relationships. Introverts are great listeners, observers, and we tend to be more thoughtful. Some introverts are very analytical while others are better attuned to understanding emotions.
For us introverts, World Introvert Day is about relaxing, recharging, and getting our much-needed rest after the busy holidays. For everyone else, learn about the introverts that may be in your life, or the famous ones who have shaped life as we know it. One way to do that is to check out this eBook called Happily Introverted Ever-After, by psychologist Felicitas Heyne, the founder of World Introvert Day. Every day, not just today, people should make the effort to accept introverts just as we are.
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