“I think a lot, but I don’t say much”
- Anne Frank
This quote holds true to all the introverts in the world. In the following paragraphs, we would be comprehending the meaning of an introvert in brief, myths surrounding introverts and its effect on them.
Who are introverts?
Introverts are typically considered to be shy and timid, prefer being socially excluded from the society. Other characteristics include spending time with self, expression of thoughts and emotions through writing or any other creative medium, introspective nature, considerably small friend circle.
The mind of an introvert is filled with sea of thoughts and ideas flowing within them, which sometimes fall short of words. They often feel hesitant to speak in a social gathering, which others might mistake for arrogance or shyness. They don’t reveal their true nature with anyone except for a few of their ‘intimate’ people in their life.
Essence of introversion
In the movie Kal Ho Na Ho, the character Naina beautifully depicts the disposition and life of an introvert. Her daily routine juggles between home and work and vice versa, and the time spent with herself at the Times Square. She refrains from social situations. As a result, she conveniently draws herself into a nutshell with only her few dear ones. However, she partakes in a party with her best friend Rohit. In addition, this conveys how there is occasionally an inner desire to associate with others. Moreover, this may go unnoticed until forced to look upon.
Recently, I stumbled upon a short writing on introverts by Ajay Mishra, an internationally renowned Success Coach, Law of Attraction Coach and a Life Changing mentor. He had said (failed to get the exact wordings) that the world’s best magicians are introverts. They considered their personality traits a boon that allowed them to introspect on themselves and their existing talents; spent time with themselves and worked on their gifted talents persistently. Embrace it and take advantage of it for a successful life.
Stereotypes on introverts
Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung had discovered the terms extroversion and introversion for distinguishing between various personalities that existed in the society. Today, I see people using the terms in the wrong sense. Extrovert are received with praise but not introverts.
Common stereotypes –
- All introverts are often timid and quiet
- Introverts refrain from social situations
- They have negative thinking and personality
- They are more creative and intellectual
- It’s easy to distinguish between introvert and extrovert
- Inability to be good leaders
- Considered as lonely and depressed souls
- Large sufficient circle of friends
Effects of societal pressure on introverts
Consequences of people acting towards introverts on the basis of the above myths are drastic. I have listed a few of them below-
- Subjected to peer pressure and excessive bullying
- Having and inward personality, they retain a lot of information to self
- They retreat themselves into a nutshell covering their mental bruises from the world.
- Introverts have high unused internal energy. As a result, they may direct this energy to an unhealthy source.
- We underestimate them to an extent where we do not uncover their mental networks until they take an extreme step like suicide or committing crime.
If we can accept extroverts, why not introverts? Is it fair to underestimate their value in society? Plenty of famous personalities who despite being an introvert has succeeded in casting an impression in the world (assuming that you can take a little pain in searching for them) just like the social issues that remain unanswered.
How can we help them?
The least we can do is to honor them for they are and being non-judgmental. Provide opportunities that are most suitable for them, without hindering their ‘private life’. Do not pressure them to become whom we want them to be, rather respect them for who they organic nature and let them contribute to the society in their own creative way.
There must be a time where we accept introverts. Being called so does not cause embarrassment, but rather a sense of pride for being who they are. There is nothing wrong in being an introvert or anything great to be an extrovert. Let’s embrace ourselves openly and join together to make this world a beautiful place to live in!