Imagine you’re attending a social event at a friend’s house. You debated on whether or not you even had the energy to come today, but you decided to push through and make the best of it.
You feel like you’ve been blending in quite well, as you’ve been actively participating (in true introvert fashion) by nodding, smiling, making eye contact, and listening closely when anyone speaks.
Then, one of your friends turns to you and says, “Are you alright? You’ve been so quiet today I’ve barely noticed you were here.”
Everyone agrees and turns to look at you, their faces full of genuine concern for your well-being.
At first, your mind goes blank. Yet you feel a familiar surge of shame and uncertainty almost instantly. Then, a thousand thoughts race through your mind:
“How could she say that?”
“What’s wrong with me?”
“I thought I was doing so well today…”
This was me for most of my teenage years. I struggled with feeling good enough, as I compared myself to my extroverted friends.
But as I grew in self-understanding and compassion, I realized that questions like these reflect more on the speaker than the listener.
Some people are uncomfortable with silence.
Some people don’t understand how so much can be going on inside your mind.
But these aren’t statements introverts struggle with.
We know exactly how valuable silence can be! And we also know that “the quietest people have the loudest minds”.
Over the years, I learned to embrace my quietness as a gift.
Most importantly, I realized that I didn’t need to be like everyone else to be just as valuable as everyone else.
In fact, I’ve found that my quiet qualities have become my most prized possessions.
Being quiet is a strength that many people have to work really hard to cultivate.
But, for introverts, we’re naturally full of quiet contemplation and thoughtful imagination!
You don’t need to be like anyone else to be good enough – not then, not now, not ever.
Never forget that.