It’s time for introverts to stop feeling like they should be more like them…extroverts, that is. It seems like there are many more of them than us, or at least it did when I was growing up. I was encouraged to be more outgoing, speak up and, “for heaven’s sake, raise your hand more in class.” Research is now showing that there are differences in brain chemistry and in the way these so-called personalities respond to stimuli and recharge energy. Extroverts are energized by being around others while introverts thrive when they are alone or spending limited time with a close friend. Too many people, loud noise or constant activity drains their energy. However, there is no such thing as a one-hundred percent introvert or extrovert; the majority of people fall somewhere in between.
Introverts, give yourself permission to be you—the deep thinker, the intellectual, the writer, the poet, the artist or silent creator who looks at the world from a place deep inside yourself. If you are happy in your world, don’t allow others’ expectations to be forced upon you. They may perceive your quiet tendencies as uncaring, rude or stuck-up. That’s their stuff, not yours (unless you really are). The only reason that some people may call you out is because of their own emotional response to you. They worry that you are judging, or thinking badly of them, and that makes them feel uncomfortable.
Parents and educators, teach your children, introverts or otherwise, to love and accept themselves as they are. A little person who is made to feel “less than” will waste years trying to measure up. Sadly, some go on feeling defensive about themselves their whole lives. Those who learn to appreciate themselves as children are more likely to embrace their full potential as adults if they build upon a solid foundation that celebrates their special talents and uniqueness.
Introversion has graced us with many brilliant and talented people, i.e. Bill Gates, Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt, Albert Einstein and even, Christina Aguilera. It’s okay to be quiet—some of us need our silence and thrive within it. Don’t make us try to fit into a mold. That’s the quickest way to destroy our spirit.
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