Introvert in Denial

I always want to have me-time

After going through a long period of identity crisis, I finally know who I am. As I grow old, I get to know myself better. The more people I get to know, the more I get to know myself. And it is a revelation for me to know that I am an introvert. This is not how I would want to describe myself ten years ago. But real life situations have brought me to this self-diagnosis. Yes, I am an introvert. I am just in denial.

 Here are some of my introvert signs

  • When people give their first impression about me, they always say I’m quiet.
  • I develop social anxiety when I’m joining a new group.
  • I always talk to myself.  This is why I find it necessary to own a blog. This is also the reason why my writings are lengthy.
  • I always want to have me-time. People don’t understand this but I am very much satisfied shopping by myself, eating by myself.
  • It is easier for me to be lonely (or at least people see me lonely. I’m alone but it does not mean I’m lonely) than to be with someone I have to make so many adjustments. Loneliness is better than stress.
  • You can hear these lines from me in real life: “I need to find myself” “I need space” “I just want to be alone.”
  • I value privacy. I share almost every highlight of my life online, Hence, I’m not comfortable with people who are nosy enough to ask me things that I don’t share in Facebook, Instagram, or my blog. If I don’t share it online, it means I’m not also willing to share it offline.
  • I am not a fan of big parties, big group. I prefer small and intimate conversations.
  • I have a hard time to start and sustain conversation with people (1) who are pretentious, (2)  share nothing in common. “Don’t you think how boring people can talk. Making smart with their words again, well I’m bored“- Lorde
  • I dream of traveling alone.

It is hard for me to admit that I am an introvert. For one reason, our society has a culture bias towards extroverts. The student who always raises his hand for graded recitation is the smartest kid in class. The person who is assertive and aggressive gets a high position in an organization. The cheerleader is popular in school while the girl who reads a lot may not be recognized in yearbooks. The people who are quiet are perceived boring and the people who are noisy are perceived interesting.

Thanks to the talk of Susan Cain – The Power of Introverts. I learn to appreciate my introvert qualities. She said that teachers often think that the ideal student is an extrovert but introverts are in fact knowledgeable. Sometimes, the students who excel in exams are the quiet ones. When it comes to leadership, think about the world’s major religions. Moses, Jesus, Buddha, and Muhammad have been to the wilderness. They meditate and contemplate. They have moments of solitude. And according to Cain, solitude is a crucial ingredient for creativity. And I’ll never forget what she said:

“Groups famously follow the opinion of the most dominant or the most charismatic person in the room even though there is a zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.”

I believe in her cause to let introverts be themselves and I support her call for action: to stop the madness for constant group work and to go to the wilderness and be like Buddha.

This is just one side of me but it tells a lot of my introversion. To my closest friends, it might be slightly different. I might be described someone rowdy, talkative, and frank. There is a wide spectrum between introvert and extrovert. I just wish wherever I am in that spectrum, the environment welcomes my personality without bias.

If you are an introvert, I highly recommend to watch Susan Cain’s  TED talk on The Power of Introverts.