For the longest time in my life, I have been an introvert. I like staying alone, doing my own thing without much outside noise. Whenever I mingle with friends or family, or a group of people, I need to recharge myself soon after.
At first, it seemed pretty lonely. People constantly pointed out how alone I was. They would tell me to make the small talk and try to fit in. I tried. I tried to fit in the crowd, be part of conversations that drowned me down and yet, I knew I didn’t feel so good inside.
I felt that being an introvert is keeping me from participating. All the while, I spent time with people who I didn’t think suited my personality and interests. But, I tried to fit in for the sake of not being labeled as an introvert or lacking communication. I got involved in negative self-talk and cursing myself at not being able to fit in a group.
Then something changed. With time I understood something that I should’ve long ago. It would have saved so much of my time and energy. I understood that I never belonged. That I am more comfortable in my skin than when I surround myself with people. I accepted this idea.
I am not at all saying that you must become an introvert too. The whole point of me writing this is to convey the one thing we rarely adopt as a solution. Acceptance. Before, I didn’t accept who I was inherently and tried to fit in conversations that I never belonged in the first place. Now, I have accepted my vulnerabilities and the fact that I drain in energy if I’m out with people more than I need to be. I have accepted that I need “off-time” to perform in any field I’m interested in.
I can read books, write and cherish my lone time without any prejudice. I don’t feel guilty doing that now that I know where peace for me lies.
That’s what it is all about. Acceptance. Knowing who you are and accepting yourself not only allows you to invest your time carefully but also helps you to engage in the right conversations. It makes you choose the right company. It sets right your perspective of who you should be every day.
The time that you steal from accepting yourself completely will allow you to explore new hobbies and passions. Knowing yourself, your personality, and then walking on the path of acceptance rather than retreat shall only make you merrier and successful in whatever you do.
Some quotes, rather facts from Susan Cain that helped me in accepting myself are:
- “Shyness is the fear of social disapproval or humiliation, while introversion is a preference for environments that are not overstimulating. Shyness is inherently painful; introversion is not.”
- “Don’t think of introversion as something that needs to be cured.’’
- “Introverts, in contrast, may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas. They prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family.”
I am proud to be an introvert now. I have accepted myself. Now, I know the importance of soulful conversations. I do not invest my time in shallow conversations that don’t add up to my growth as an individual.
You can do it too. All you need to do is introspect your qualities, point out what you like, and what you don’t. Let go of the outside interferences that shut you down. Listen to yourself and along the way, you will become the best version of yourself.