In my first post of the year, I shared my most important goals for 2015. Some of the goals were to communicate better and pursue what makes me happy. I also wrote that I wanted to try my best to share my personal posts on this blog because I never wanted my blog to be a place filled with solely materialistic content. (Sometimes I think about things other than shoes and makeup, I promise.)
Well, here goes.
I am an introvert. If you don’t know what that means, Dictionary.com defines an introvert as a shy person. I am not the President or a professor or claim to be more knowledgable than a dictionary but this is my blog (aka I am the ruling power of this corner of the Internet because I pay Internet rent for this space) so I’m going to say right now that this definition is completely wrong. At least, in my case.
You can be shy and an introvert. You can not be shy and be an introvert. Like almost everything in life, things aren’t black and white. I don’t cringe at the thought of speaking in front of crowds and I find interviews to be exciting. So what is an introvert? Rather than try to write you a definition that I deem fit, I just wanted to start a conversation about introversion and share my thoughts on this topic. A little different from the other content I’ve published but hey, trying new things is good for you.
Probably over a year ago, I first watched a TED talk by Susan Cain “The Power of Introverts” where she states introversion is not shyness because shyness is fear of social judgment and goes on to explain what introverted people offer society. Just recently in my Organizational Behavior class, we debated about whether introverted leaders or extraverted leaders are more successful. After hearing a few ignorant, typical statements about introversion, I just started thinking more about the concept of introversion and personality. There is a common misconception that introversion is bad and all introverts are socially awkward people who are no fun. Aside from the fact that generalizations like so are completely laughable, it shows that our society has somehow come to the conclusion that the types of situations that stimulate a person also dictate how well they can perform as a person.
As an introvert, I just want you to understand that by saying something like “Introverts make bad leaders because they’re shy and they don’t know how to talk to others and they’re just boring, closed off weirdos” you are also saying that because someone feels more stimulated by being in a quiet, laid-back setting than being in a loud bar making small talk with strangers that this has a direct correlation with their ability to motivate others and think strategically to further the well-being of who they are leading. A bit of a stretch, if you ask me. Introverts simply don’t seek as much dopamine as extroverts. Whether or not you can be a good leader has a lot to do with you as a person (not just one trait of your personality) and there is more to a person than how much of one chemical they need to feel most alive.
If you’re still reading this, I’m impressed and thanks for having the interest to keep reading. I’m almost finished…let me wrap up here. // The reason why I titled this the way I did is because I only recently accepted that I am an introverted person. I used to be affected by societal misconceptions that urged me to believe this could only mean bad things for myself but part of growing up has turned me into someone who is more comfortable in my own skin than before. The more I live my life and experience all sorts of things, I realize I am not bound by this word. Introvert. I also realize that I am not a stereotype. I still like to go out, just not all the time. I like to go out when I want to but if I’m exhausted from a crazy week, staying in on a Friday evening to blog and watch Gilmore girls is okay too because smart people do what makes them happy. I can make really good small talk with you, but yes, I will find it a bit tiring after a while because I prefer to have a real conversation about something that we both find interesting. I don’t find it exhilarating to talk about how my classes this quarter are. (They’re good, is what I’ll say because that’s just what you say.) Since this epiphany, I’ve been more open minded to the different types of people around me. It has also done wonders for my happiness – another one of my 2015 goals. The pursuit of joy starts with learning how you can make yourself happy first so that you can spread it to others and tapping into your personality is a great place to start. I’ve also been able to put more energy into my creative hobbies and it’s so fulfilling. Last but not least, it has let me be brave enough to share what’s on my mind with you. My only hope is that you think about this for even a minute and that you are encouraged to either 1) reflect on your own personality type so that you can focus on doing more of what is right for you and/or 2) help you understand a little bit more about introversion.
If you have any thoughts about this, I’d love to hear them so comment or reach out to me on social media! Or if you just want to chat about anything..shoot me an email. Hugs to you all that have made it to the end of this crazy ramble. You rock.
*Photo courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo