“Don’t think of introversion as something that needs to be cured…Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to.” –Susan Cain
Introverts with our quirks and habits are often misunderstood by society. Some people can’t fathom why we would read a book in the comfort of our own home instead of going to a legendary party. Everyone thinks and acts differently, so being an introvert isn’t something to be ashamed of. In this article, I’ll list off seven reasons why introverts shouldn’t be judged for the way we are.
1. Having a small group of friends isn’t terrible!
When a person can have five thousand ‘friends’ on Facebook, it seems strange to only have a handful of friends. But having a group of close friends limits the possible drama and gossip from interacting with large groups. Introverts also are able to act more like ourselves in smaller groups instead of being anxious about multiple people focusing on us at the same time
I’ve never felt the need to surround myself with a large group of friends. I like being able to trust and connect with the same friends on a daily basis, and if I misspeak or make a mistake, I don’t have to feel embarrassed because I trust my close friends completely.
2. Small talk < deep conversations
Introverts are known for being creative thinkers. When we’re sitting in a class or staring out a window, we often think about the bigger picture in life, searching for meaning or creating our own meaning. We possess a unique perspective, like every human being, so introverts prefer conversations with meaning. Small talk only makes us feel uncomfortable when we have nothing to add to statements like: “Crazy weather, right?”
If you start a conversation with me about an amazing book or my opinion on an issue, I can dive right into a conversation without worrying about eye contact or not saying enough. Introverts may not excel at small talk, but we still have plenty of things to say about meaningful topics.
3. Introverts need time before they start sharing details
Introverts have comfort zones, so we don’t immediately trust everyone we talk to. It takes time for us to feel comfortable with sharing, but when an introvert does come out of their shell, you should feel special because we believe that you can be trusted and confided in.
I don’t think taking the time to warm up to new people is a negative quality. My whole life I’ve never jumped into a friendship headfirst except for a friend I met on the playground in K5.
4. Being ‘too quiet’
The number one quality that people say about introverts is how quiet we can be. Extroverts especially don’t understand why we formulate our thoughts before speaking. Our quietness can result in people thinking we’re disinterested or unfriendly when we’re observing and processing our surroundings. Sometimes we can be overlooked because of this, so introverts need to be able to stand up for themselves in situations where we’re pushed aside.
I’ve noticed that people refer to introverts as being ‘too quiet’ with a negative connotation. Being quiet isn’t a shameful quality. All of my friends describe me as quiet when they first met me. It’s just how I am, and I accept that instead of feeling uncomfortable in my own skin. Here’s a quote by Laurie Helgoe that connects to introverts’ quietness: “If you ask an introvert a question, wait until she thinks about it. Introverts think before speaking, not through speaking. If you want to get to the good stuff, you need to slow down.”
Since introverts don’t feel the urge to speak immediately, people are attracted to us. We listen without interrupting or inserting our own opinions. With a couple of nods and agreements, people trust us with their issues and inner feelings since we don’t press for more information. Introverts may not always have the perfect advice for someone’s problems, but we truly listen.
I love hearing people’s stories and experiences. It’s inspiring to me, and although I’m awful at giving advice and consoling, I try my best to listen and understand someone’s perspective. As a writer, it helps me write different and complex characters because there’s so much I haven’t experienced yet.
6. Recharge and Relax
For introverts, real comfort is staying at home. After a day full of interacting and stress, introverts find the time to recharge ourselves at home where we’re in our element and alone. We enjoy watching movies, reading books, and spending time with our own thoughts. From observing and thinking all day, we have to sort through all the information in our brains, so breaks are productive for us. Without time to recharge, introverts can shut down because we feel drained.
Every day I try to find time to read, write, or scroll through the internet, so my brain can relax and checkout for a while. People can be overwhelming to me especially when there’s one nerve-racking and big event after another. Taking a break is healthy way for me to relax.
Yes, introverts can be awkward because of our nervousness in large groups or during small talk. We overthink situations since we spend time in our own heads. Introverts experience awkward moments such as mistaken eye contact and being asked if we’re okay or why we’re so quiet, but that’s okay! Everyone makes a social blunder every now and then, and it’s better to laugh about it than obsess over it.
I’m awkward. It’s a fact that I’ve been aware of since the first grade when someone kicked a soccer ball in my face, and I’ve improved in small talk, but large groups, especially ice breaker activities, and presentations stress me out and send my heart into overdrive. Over the past couple years, I’ve learned to embrace my awkwardness.
As Edgar Allan Poe says, “There is no beauty without some strangeness.” All introverts have unique qualities that shouldn’t be judged. Now the purpose of this article isn’t to explain why introverts are better than extroverts or other personalities but to help introverts relate to each other and love their personality.
Do you have any other reasons not to judge an introvert or an awkward moment to share? Write in the comments below! 🙂