From technology, businesses and lifestyle, the world appears increasingly fast-paced. And with this comes the hurried pace to achieve and accomplish desired goals. While it is good that the world is evolving, I sometimes cannot help but feel that the hurried system of this world is designed to highlight my flaws as an introvert.
So, the question is, how do I fit in, especially as someone who absolutely values my privacy and solitude? The truth is, solitude is the time I get to recoup, re-energize and sometimes re-strategize. Staying and having to partake in social functions is most times a chore and though I enjoy it sometimes, I’m often left feeling drained.
However, life is happening quickly, and as I grow older, I have to contend with employers, managers and relationship partners. Am I suddenly expected to change myself to appear less of an introvert? This is one of the challenges I have to wrestle with as a life-long introvert. And here are a few tips that may help you if you are in the same boat with me.
It’s important to know that what differentiates an introvert from extrovert is how and where we gain energy. An introvert mainly gains energy from being alone while extroverts, on the other hand, gain energy from engaging in highly stimulating activities such as social events. So, introverts prefer to spend more time in quiet settings, while extroverts like to be where the action is.
Acceptance means coming to terms with who you are, appreciating your uniqueness. It also includes knowing your strengths and weaknesses as a person. Take pride in your strengths, focus on them and harness them.
Surround Yourself with People Who Love and Understand You
It’s commonplace for people to mistake being an introvert as being lazy or boring. But we know that is not true. So instead of staying around people who don’t understand you, choose your company wisely. This doesn’t mean limiting yourself to only fellow introverts, it means taking care to watch out for how people in your company relate with you. Is there an understanding of your person, do they appreciate your strengths even though they know your weaknesses? Only those who understand you can fully appreciate and love you well.
Challenge Yourself Occasionally
Challenge yourself to do something new, explore new opportunities, and enjoy new experiences. It could be spontaneous (like singing at a karaoke) or if you’d like to, make a plan. Try not to reject new opportunities out of fear. Assign yourself a role at a social event that you’ve to attend. Having a sense of purpose makes introverts feel comfortable in social situations as it takes away the pressure of having to start conversations from scratch but try not to work all the time away
Be Expressive In Your Way
Find outlets for expression, all the thoughts and reflections we do in our heads need to be expressed. The expression can be in the form of art, yoga, athletics, essentially the form that suits you best.
Finally, and in the word of Susan Cain, in her book ‘Quiet’, find your flow by using your gifts. You have the power of persistence, the tenacity to solve complex problems, and the clear-sightedness to avoid pitfalls that trip others up. Indeed, your biggest challenge may be to fully harness your strengths.
Don’t be so busy trying to appear like a zestful, reward-sensitive extrovert that you undervalue your own talents, or feel underestimated by those around you because when you’re focused on a project that you care about, you probably find that your energy is boundless.