7 Reasons to Celebrate Being an Introvert
There is magic in being an introvert.
Posted Jun 30, 2018
Have you ever been told you're too shy, you're too quiet, and you don't speak up enough?
Or maybe you've been called too sensitive, anti-social, or boring?
I have — and sometimes still am. And that's simply because I'm an introvert, and not everyone understands what that means. If you answered yes to some of those questions, maybe you are too.
I originally come from Finland, a country which has one of the highest percentages of introverts in their population. We are a quiet, reserved country with an appreciation of nature and respect for each others' life choices. We prefer deep, meaningful conversations over small chat about the weather, and we value modesty, calmness, and empathy. Most introverts do.
Fortunately, as I grew up in multiple countries (including the highly extroverted Brazil), I got a beautiful perspective and appreciation for different people, cultures, and personalities. That meant I also learned a lot about extroverts and the extroverted world we live in. I understand the value both introverts and extroverts bring, and I respect each for their differences.
Yet, somehow, the rest of the world still doesn't. Introverts are constantly being told to speak more, to be more social, and sometimes even to get treated by psychiatrists for being introverted. Extroverts, on the other hand, are continuously praised, because they're naturally charismatic, socially confident, and the loudest to respond. There are many things introverts are better at than extroverts, yet they are rarely spoken about.
That's why I want to highlight why being an introvert is such an amazing thing. This isn't to discredit the extroverts out there, but to give some credit to the introverts who are constantly being told to change.
So, if you're an introvert, here is what you can celebrate:
1. You're a great listener.
Which turns you into a great human being. You listen more than you shout, and as a result, you make others feel like they're being heard. This also makes you more likely to respond with meaningful words that you've thought about. This is the best foundation you can lay to any type of relationship.
2. You're naturally more empathetic.
You are naturally more emotionally responsive, because you're more sensitive to the different stimuli around you. The stimuli around you include the people around you and what exactly they're feeling. This means you're better able to sense what others are feeling, show more understanding, and hence treat them with more compassion.
3. You're a deep thinker.
You have a more complex brain with longer neural pathways for processing things. That means you dive deep into your emotions, thoughts, and experiences. You experience them in a much more powerful way and are able to reflect on them from a more philosophical viewpoint. All of this will help you to make deeply thought-out decisions, as well as fuel your fulfillment in life.
That means you need less to feel happy. Literally, less is more for you. If you have too much of a good thing, you might get overstimulated and feel overwhelmed by the power of your emotions. Which is why the simplest of things, like reading a good book, having a deep conversation with your best friend over the phone, or journaling about your inner musings, is enough to make you feel happy.
5. You're more likely to appreciate the world around you.
Because you are sensitive to the stimuli around you, you are more likely to notice and appreciate the world. The singing of the birds, the colors of the trees, and the scent of the flowers are all more available to you. You are even physiologically more thin-skinned (really, apparently you are!) than extroverts, so your senses are heightened when it comes to touch. This means you can truly experience everything in the world in all its magnificence.
6. You cherish alone time.
In fact, not only do you cherish it, but you need it. Alone time restores, recharges, and re-energizes you, especially after periods of heavy social interaction. This means you're more likely to be better connected to yourself and who you are, which in turn leads to you living a life true to you. Equally, it makes you less likely to suffer from loneliness, because you're perfectly happy by yourself.
7. You're extremely independent.
You don't need the company of others to get things done or to think creatively. In fact, you do both better on your own. That means you can achieve incredible things by working on your own. For example, think about the amazing achievements of these introverts: Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Eleanor Roosevelt, Steve Wozniak, and Elon Musk.
Whether you're an introvert or extrovert, listen to what is right for you, and do exactly that. In the words of Jane Austen, "I wish, as well as everybody else, to be perfectly happy; but like everybody else, it must be in my own way."
Cain, Susan (2013). Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. New York : Crown Publishers.
Olsen Laney, Martin (2002). The Introvert Advantage: How Quiet People Can Thrive in an Extrovert World. New York: Workman Publishing Company.