I used to be ashamed of being an introvert for such a long time. I guess, that was all necessary, for me to grow into the person I have become now, who gives zero apologies to extroverted friends for who I am, and what I want.
But when I was younger, I used to assume that my introverted nature was something to hide – like a dirty disease that everyone would point their finger at, and laugh. I assumed that I had to behave like everyone else in my school and at home.
It seemed like everyone else around me loved being around people all the time, no matter what time of day, or how long it had been since they had been alone.
All of that stuff seemed to matter only to me.
I was the weird one. Therefore, I had to be the one who had to hide my oddity.
I had to hide it away into a box, and pretend to fit in with all of the extroverts around me.
Thankfully, I Realized Through Online Communities That I Am Not Alone
I know everyone thinks negatively of social media, but for me, online forums, and communities, Facebook groups, and Instagram posts, YouTube channels, and blogs, have been a major boon.
Before all of this information online, I absolutely believe that I am weird, crazy, strange, odd, and I should hide all of my quirks as deep into my heart as possible. Or stamp them out completely.
But now, of course, I know that I am not odd, I’m just one of many people who is an introvert, who likes their company over others, who needs more time alone than others do, and who is happy spending time staring off into space in her cave, rather than going to a baseball game.
It’s okay! And that’s one of the main reasons I started my YouTube channel as well – to show young INFJs that they are not alone. They might be weird and strange, but that’s okay, because there are millions of similarish people out there. This makes people feel so much alone, and so much more OK with themselves.
Every single video I do, my mission has become to show INFJs and other introverts that they are fine as they are. In fact, they are more than fine, they are perfect as they are.
Many viewers message me on the daily telling me how these words have never been spoken to them before, and how they just feel a huge sense of peace and contentment, some of them after being on this planet for 50 or 70 years!!!
Explain To The People Around You Who And What You Are And Your Preferences
The thing with introverts is that we are so used to hiding parts of ourselves that extroverts might find unacceptable, that it’s unthinkable to us to share those introverted parts of ourselves with the world.
“I can’t possibly tell my extroverted friends and family that I need a lot of time alone. And I would rather spend time on my own than go to most social events.” That’s what we think.
But I have realized from 36 years of being on this planet that this is the false attitude to take with our loved ones.
The problem in my opinion arises when we don’t explain ourselves and our habits to the people we love and they become confused and frustrated by the different diametrically opposite faces we present to them.
They think to themselves, “She used to be so extroverted all the time. But now she doesn’t want to hang out with me anymore. She’s been spending so much time at home. Is she unhappy? Does she hate me? Is she not in love with me anymore?”
And on and on their mind goes on these crazy tangents.
If we just explained to them, “Look here, I’m an introvert. Sometimes, if I feel comfortable, I like to spend time with people, and I might appear to be an extrovert. But mostly, I like to spend all of my time by myself. Well, mostly. It doesn’t mean that I hate you or that I am unhappy. It’s just that I need that time alone to recharge my social battery.”
Just Having This Conversation Above With All Of My Extroverted Friends Has Changed My Life Completely
Now all of the people in my life know exactly who I am, and what kind of an introvert I am.
It’s funny to me, because they will invite me to an event. And say, “Hey, I know you only have enough social stamina to go to one or two events a week. So I am inviting you to only this one this week. Even though I also have this other event that I am going to. But you pick which one you want to come to. And if you are too tired, then don’t worry about it. I still love you.”
I mean, wow!! This liberates me from so much mental anguish and denigration. I don’t spend any time hating myself, and my introverted nature. Because my extroverted friends have accepted that part of me. And have actually integrated that into their perception of me, so that they adjust their invites to social events accordingly.
What a brilliant way to live!
This relief-inducing way to have extroverted friends is what I want for all of the introverts in the world.
I’m not saying that every extroverted person in your life will understand this right away. Maybe it will take you a few days or weeks to train them on it. Maybe they will never ever understand, and will drop you as a friend. Because you don’t fit some criteria they have in their heads for their friends.
Either way, the ones who stay are going to be the friends you need, the friends who will care about you, and love you for who you truly are.
And the ones who leave, they will find other better-suited friends.
It’s a win-win all around!
I hope you will give this a try and let me know how it goes for you!!