Monday 27 June 2016

Why I Am Proud To Be An Introvert

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I have always been an introvert and I am pretty sure I always will be. I covered the topic lightly before in my 20 myths about introverts that aren't true post which you can read HERE. Today, however, I wanted to go more in-depth. I wanted to talk about what being an introvert means to me as an individual and why I am proud to describe myself as an introvert.

Whether you are a fellow introvert, extrovert or even an ambivert, I hope you find this post insightful or at least semi-interesting, I try my hardest.

First of all, I would like to clear up that introversion and extroversion are personality traits, not mental illnesses. Just because you are more of an introvert it doesn't mean you have social anxiety. Although saying that, being an introvert can predispose you to social anxiety. But I wouldn't say introversion alone would cause you to have social anxiety- if that makes sense?

For as long as I can remember, I have always been shy and quiet. On every school report growing up, they told me to put my hand up more in class to help boost my confidence. I am not going to dismiss the fact for some children this may help them out, for me, it just wasn't going to be the case. I was always going to be the shy one, the listener and not the talker. Although I did try and put my hand up more, it just wasn't for me and didn't help at all- it just made me more anxious. 

However, this is actually one of the biggest reasons why I am proud to be an introvert. I am a fantastic listener. I hate talking about my worries and troubles with others ( ironic I know as I write a blog) but I would much rather listen to other people's. I have ears like a bat, no, not aesthetically (although that would be quite funny) but is in their ability to function. 

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Even just in passing conversation, when someone is recalling what someone was saying, even if I wasn't involved directly in the conversation I remember exactly what they said! Strange eh? I put this down to me being an introvert . I don't enjoy talking and I definitely hate the idea of talking to people about pointless shit. Small talk basically. I SUCK at it! I really can't stand talking about the weather, like I'm sorry I can't control it. I really don't care. Can we move on now, please? I know that small talk becomes part of adulthood and if you want to 'adult' successfully you need to master the art of small talk. But, who says I wanted to be an adult, anyway?

This leads me on nicely, to my second point about why I am proud to be an introvert: my ability to have deep and meaningful discussions with other fellow introverts. I can't bear talking about the weather, summer holiday plans or the latest shades of lipstick in Macs new collection but get me talking about ethics, morals, society or feminism and I could go for hours. I know this can be pretty intimidating or bizarre for some people but it's just the way myself and so many other introverts are. My mind is constantly going, whizzing around like a washing machine with ideas and thoughts- sometimes I just need to share these with others! 

However, please bear in mind that when talking about introversion, there is no blanket answer that is the same for everyone out there. Some introverts are happy to talk to thousands of people on stage but talking to those individuals alone, is extremely challenging and almost impossible. For me, I struggle to talk to large groups of people and much prefer one to one conversations.

You see talking to others really wears me out. It exhausts me, even just the thought of it tires me out. This is why I have never had a friendship group bigger than four people. I just can't get my voice and opinions across, I hate it! I love one to one conversations with people (bearing in mind I am comfortable with them and we are talking about something that is generally interesting.) This is another reason why I am proud to be an introvert. When given the chance I can develop one to one meaningful relationships with people that are really worth while.

Of course being an introvert isn't all plain sailing. Sometimes I wish I could be more involved in social gatherings, hold better conversations with people or just get involved with life more. However, taking into consideration my mental health issues and my past, I am happy to be an introvert. I will always get lost in my overactive brain and the inter-wiring of over analysing everything, forgetting that I actually need to talk to the person I am sat with.I will always pick a movie night in over a mad night out...
The real question is... Who's going to join me?! 

Let me know if you are an introvert or extrovert in the comments below and if you are proud to be so? 

Thanks for reading, as always X

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