I am a Friday night watching Netflix. I am a table for one. I am midnight reading sessions. I am early morning writing therapy. I am a thought. I am a moment. I am reflection. I am alone.
I have recently started reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking and I feel as if I am overwhelmed with revelation. Most people perceive me as a “social butterfly” – always eager to openly express my thoughts and emotions in writing on my blog, but let me reveal to you. I am an introvert by definition and principle. Yes, I can sit down in the solitude of my own thinking and non-bounding expressiveness and share what I feel and think. I am more than comfortable formulating my thoughts and expressing them in written forms. I thrive off of reading and writing and thinking, and I generally prefer to be alone.This is who I am most familiar with as a person. I have always chosen to be social and outgoing. I have chosen to be a leader in various clubs, events, and situations. I am outspoken in discussions but often find myself wishing I were alone and buried into a book or writings. I find myself at social events, enjoying the company of others but soon thinking about how much I would love to be at home with a big, fluffy blanket with a large dose of Netflix (Grey’s Anatomy preferably). I often accounted this to being lazy or antisocial, but now realize it’s not laziness; in fact, my brain is far more active and engaged when I am influenced only by my constantly thinking mind. This isn’t a post about me telling you how I enjoy individual activity compared to group stimulation. This is a post for all of my fellow lone wolves out there.
- Find who you are and be comfortable with that person. If you are not outgoing or talkative or the most popular person in the room, IT’S OKAY!! This is coming from someone who has always felt the need to talk to others and make others feel “welcome” or “wanted”. This has led to an exhaustive perspective when placing myself in social settings. I am not at all saying ignore others, always be kind when speaking with those around you, but it shouldn’t feel emotionally demanding to feel the need to constantly please others or even feeling like you have to “shatter” the presupposing perspective that others might have of you by being overly talkative or generally gregarious. This is especially hurtful when others don’t extend the same energy towards you, and sometimes you become the one who feels isolated, weird, or unwanted. So just find who you are, if that is sometimes talkative, sometimes quiet, or a combination of both, and be that person. People will ridicule you, probably be curious about your initial desire to remain quiet, but they will learn that you are who you are; and you will learn to love the introverted but happy soul you are.
- Don’t be fearful of not being an extrovert or of enjoying time alone. If you like to sit in a classroom and read (like I do), then do that! I wake up everything morning at 5:30 (if I’m not too exhausted from the previous night) and read and reflect. This is so nourishing and rejuvenating to me and is often my favorite part of my day. I’ve been called many different things because of oddities like this. I might quite possibly be a “loner”, but I know someone personally who took alone time like this to reflect and gain energy for the day ahead.
He took the time to relish in solitude and embrace the time to grow closer to God. That’s a good enough example for me to accept the weird girl comments. You might do things or feel things and think you are alone, but I promise you are not.
Take time to think. Not enough people do it these days. Think before you speak, think before you act, and do not fear thinking that you are different because you feel alone.
- I am mostly writing this post to tell you that you aren’t alone. You aren’t alone if you get anxiety when you think about social situations. You aren’t alone if you prefer to walk alone in the hallways or stay in on Friday night. You aren’t alone if you despise small talk. You aren’t alone if you feel socially awkward, isolated, or different. You aren’t alone if you feel like others don’t understand you or comprehend why you choose not to talk. You aren’t alone if you force yourself to speak more to others, speak out in discussions, or stand in the front of the room and address people. As ironic as it sounds, you aren’t alone.
- Although there are all of these classified “downfalls”, we among the silent are the quiet, the sensitive, the over-thinkers, the creative, the thoughtful, the meek, the useful, and the happy. Satisfied with our own thoughts and personal space; never demanding the attention or approval of others. We are okay. We are more than okay.
If I write this post and ease one person’s mind about the insecurity of the quietness, then I am satisfied with that. I may come across as outgoing and charismatic, I am those things, but I also completely relate and fall definition to the introverted. You can be both. You can be talkative and quiet. You can be outgoing but reserved. Just be you and don’t let others influence the perception of yourself.
You may notice how “vocal” (ironically) I seem on my blog, compared to my periods of quietness in person. This isn’t a false representation of who I am. It isn’t me “shielding” my words/thoughts/actions from the real world through a computer screen. This is me taking the thoughts conceived in my lone atmospheres – whether that be physically lone or mentally lone – and formulating them into a concise and somewhat clear manner. I may stammer over word selection or fail to deliver a perfectly viable thought in person, but seamlessly execute it in writing. This use to be conveyed to me as a personality flaw. Now I view it as a new dimension to a strength of avoiding “thought conformity” – a term I use to describe the way conversation tends to conform to a certain pattern of words in person, but flows with its own identity when harbored in my mind and delivered through conscientious writing.
I encourage all of you to write down your thoughts in a journal, on a blog, through conversation, somehow. And go ahead and read Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Won’t Stop Talking, it’s a life changing book.
I love you guys and hope someone can relate to my raw and exposed insecurities disclosed in this post.