I am by nature an introvert.
I like books + blankets + hot chocolate more than I like clubs + lights + booze.
I get overwhelmed by crowds of people I don't know.
I don't initiate and am sometimes uncomfortable during small talk
and I prefer small groups of friends to parties where I only know a handful of people.
I've written before that I struggle with comparing myself to others. One of the ways this manifests is that I am convinced all of my friends are more exciting than I am. This sounds like a small thing, but it changes the way I think about myself.
Because of this belief I've felt obligated to go out when all I wanted to do was stay home and watch a movie. I've spent a few nights resentful of my friends or myself for not speaking up and being brave enough to express what I wanted. I wanted my friends to like me, not get frustrated with me never wanting to go out.
I've allowed how I imagine people feel about me (boring, vanilla, etc.) to create animosity in the way I feel about them.
I'm not shy. Or at least, not usually. I love public speaking (in fact, I've been in several plays, spoke at my high school graduation and also gave an hour-long presentation that year!) and I love getting to know new people.
But I am an introvert.
A recent issue of TIME Magazine had several articles on introversion vs. extroversion and vs. shyness.
Before this issue, I struggled a lot with my introversion. I actually didn't even have a name for the source of discomfort I had in the situations listed above. TIME actually helped me understand a lot about myself. They talk about how introverts have been some of the most powerful leaders and how we're uniquely suited to be leaders.
I'm trying to understand myself better, and to believe that my introversion isn't (always) a bad thing.
Some of the benefits I've found of being an introvert?
As a writer, it's not a bad thing to be an introvert. I can notice more sometimes about how people are feeling/projecting/reacting. It also doesn't bother me to stay home and read or write all weekend.
When I was a resident assistant, I think it gave me a better understanding of a lot of the girls on my floors. Freshman dorms can get really cliquey, and there's always those on the outside. Since I was on the outside my freshman year, I looked out for my fellow introverts. Or tried to.
Since starting this post, I've also come across this video about introversion, which I love, and this list of the top ten myths about introverts. They're so interesting to me!
Any of this sound familiar? Maybe you're an introvert too! TIME also posted a quiz to help you figure out where on the introvert-extrovert spectrum you might lie.
I'm working on loving who I am. I feel like learning about myself--and learning the good things about the parts of me I haven't always liked--is a big part of that.
Have any of you learned anything about yourself recently, or learned to love something you once didn't?