Is It Okay to Be an Introvert?
Being an introvert can be cool for a while but eventually, it starts to get old. You may have been an introvert from when you were a child and it may be something you’re proud about but what’s there to brag about?
Before we get into whether the title of being an “introvert” is appropriate, I use to consider myself an introvert but as of recently, my perspective has changed. Being an introvert doesn’t mean you’re someone who always likes to be alone but you’re someone who is the most productive at most at peace when you’re alone.
Let’s be honest though, everyone is these two things when they’re alone whether they’re an introvert or an extrovert. Everyone has a different definition of the term introvert and they should.
Everyone viewing this title differently only puts more insight into the true nature of what that person identifies with. When’s the last time you called yourself an introvert? How did it make you feel? If you’re constantly calling yourself an introvert even though you wish you weren’t you need to stop.
It is possible to go from introvert to extrovert, or even better someone who calls themselves an omnivert. Most people can identify with being an omnivert because it shows traits of both extroverts and introverts. All titles have their pros and cons but it’s good to have a balance between the two.
Do you want to keep being an introvert? What’s motivating you to do so? If you think that it makes you stand out from others and makes you sound cool and mysterious then you may be in your head a little too much. When someone hears that someone is an introvert, they almost immediately put a depressing connotation with it, even if they’re an introvert themselves.
Why do you think that many introverts aren’t friends with each other? They can't reach out to one another because they both “like being alone.” Being an introvert is something that you can be confident with and identify with if you truly please, just know that there are consequences that come with it. Not only from social norms but also from your own thoughts trying to break you down.
Why Not Be an Omnivert?
You may be comfortable with being an introvert by now but you have to admit that it isn’t always fun. Sometimes you crave human interaction because that's what we were put on this earth to do, to interact and help one another.
Even when you start getting older, different employers start to become realistic with their potential candidates for a job opening. They want someone who is willing and able to work with their co-workers without complaint, even if you get into a job that you like as an introvert, you will be forced in many situations to interact with people.
There are jobs out there that don’t require you to interact with many people but those jobs can literally drain you if you’re always working alone. This is the case for many people who are working from home as if currently or in the past.
It may be more comfortable to work at home but you would go a little crazy if you weren’t able to communicate with someone who works with you or someone you know.
This is why people couldn’t wait for places to start opening back up during the pandemic, not only to go outside but to interact with other human beings as well. There can be a balance of introvert and extrovert in your life but you're going to have to get out of your comfort zone a little bit.
The pandemic has made a lot of people become more introverted and stuck in comfort. Now, when the opportunity to work outside of the house or to go out to socialize is available again, many people use the excuse of being an introvert to stay inside.
I was guilty of this too, then I started to realize that knowing different people is important. The more people you know and build a relationship with, the more opportunities will be presented to you, and the easier it will be to step out of your shell.
People View You Differently
If we’re being honest, people can relate to people who are loners but they never know how to approach them. It’s hard to envision building a friendship with someone who is an introvert because that’s giving off the idea that you don’t like to be around a lot of people.
Even if you do value your alone time, you shouldn't be calling yourself an introvert everywhere you go. This is making your perceived value go down a ton.
Imagine if you were at your friend's get-together at his home. You spot someone who is in the corner of the room looking down at their phone the whole time and avoiding eye contact with everyone. Would you feel comfortable approaching that person?
Now, imagine someone who is making conversation with almost everyone in the room and is taking risks during the party with their interactions. You would probably feel more comfortable approaching this person because you can see that they know how to talk to people.
You may have some empathy for the person in the corner on their phone but the reality is that you wouldn't walk up and talk to that person. This may be a tough pill to swallow for any introverts out there but this is true, your perceived value matters.
It’s good to have extroverted traits in your back pocket so that you can bring them out whenever it’s appropriate. Do you remember your first day of school? This can be any grade level where you were entering into a new school, even college.
Do you remember how quiet the class was until that one person may ask you for a pen or pencil and introduced themselves? Not only did that person become one of the most social people in the class but they also gave you comfort in that new environment you were in. Don't you want to be the person who adds value like this to social gatherings?
Too Much Time Alone is Unhealthy
Even as an introvert you’re going to want to make new friends eventually. It’s probably hard to determine when but you’re going to do it. Spending too much time alone can cause you to have a lot of negative thoughts, it starts to become unhealthy for your mind.
Also, what happens in this state of mind is you get stuck there and it’s really hard to get out of. You start avoiding everyone you meet, you start to feel sorry for yourself and depression may even kick in.
Start striving to be an omnivert so that you don’t have to rely on this condescending mindset for happiness. You will get happiness from genuine interactions with others and in that process of meeting new people, you will meet someone who you really like as well.
If you’re an introvert now, start to consider some of the consequences that come with it, you may not like to hear them but it’s the honest truth that you need to know.
Being an introvert is a choice you get to make and something you have to deal with in the long run. Push yourself to meet more people and to get outside of your comfort zone so you can build more confidence in yourself. I’ll leave you with a quote from Gary Vaynerchuk that says
“I attract a crowd, not because I’m an extrovert or I’m over the top or I’m oozing with charisma. It’s because I care.”