Are you an introvert or an extrovert? I myself am most definitely an introvert. I love to take walks by myself and take in the smells and the sounds that surround me. My idea of being social is meeting up with one, or maybe a few good friends for lunch and enjoying quality time talking with each one. “Alone-time” for me is precious and I can become quickly irritated if I’m forced into social situations without time to mentally prepare for them. I become socially awkward and have a hard time talking to new people in these situations. Once I get used to the idea, I’m fine and enjoy it, but I think a lot of times people don’t understand those moments of fumbling for words and fidgeting before I finally begin to open up. Unfortunately, introverts are often misunderstood people. We are commonly thought of as standoffish, aloof, shy, stuck-up, or a combination of all or any of these. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this from people who are now close friends of mine: “When I first met you I thought you were so stuck up.” For a long time growing up, I thought that there must be something wrong with me – I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t be as animated and talkative and seemingly well-liked as others. I’ve always admired people who can talk to basically anyone. But, I’ve since realized as I’ve become an adult that I simply have an introverted personality and that has its advantages too. Don’t get me wrong, I still have my moments of doubt about that, but for the most part I accept myself as who I am.
I wanted to share this TED Talk by Susan Cain that I found recently. She gives good reason to celebrate introverts and gives encouragement to extroverts to better understand people like me. Please take time to watch it. You’ll be happy you did (and your introverted friends will be happy you did too).
PS. If you are having trouble seeing the video above on your browser or phone, here is a link: