If you’ve ever been accused of being rude, self-centered, cold, or distant for withdrawing into your shell for a period of time, you know the pain and guilt of trying to meet your quiet needs.
This misunderstanding can be confusing, and hurtful, and can place a strain on our relationships.
Of course, our recoiling back into ourselves isn’t something we do out of selfish ambition, but rather from a desire to refuel, restore, and renew our mind and body.
We don’t mean to hurt others during this time, but a lack of understanding and acceptance of our motivation for seeking solitude is just one of the many times introverts may be pressured to feel guilty for taking time for self-care.
The truth is this: we are urged, even from our earliest experiences, to accept and conform to an extroverted idea of happiness.
We’re told that to be successful, you must attend a never-ending array of social events – to be happy, you must be surrounded by a sea of people – and to be liked, you must be energetic, talkative, and effervescently engaged in small talk and endless chatter.
But here’s the thing: an introvert’s idea of happiness, success, and likability is based on very different factors.
To us, happiness is finding a quiet place to read, listen to music, or become lost in nature.
To us, success is finding one true friendship or making a difference in the lives of those we care about – even if that’s just a couple of people.
To us, being liked is much less important than being genuine, authentic, and real.
You see, finding contentment isn’t about accepting the world’s pre-written standards for your life – it’s about carving out your own path and seeing it through to the end, where you’re free to create whatever you want – no judgments allowed.