When I was little, I always thought that I was weird for having anxiety whenever I had to answer the phone or make a phone call for appointments or even just for pizza. I know that the internet exists since a long time ago, but I only got it in middle school. Other than googling Naruto fan art and My Chemical Romance song lyrics, I discovered some personality test on a website. Curious, I took the test, and it says that I’m an introvert. Middle school me had never encountered such a term. Cambridge Dictionary defines an introvert as “someone who is shy, quiet, and unable to make friends easily”. The definition itself sounded so sad, being unable to make friends easily is a big no-no, and to survive as a member of the society, you should at least have the skills to make friends. At the same time, once there’s a real definition written on a dictionary, I feel like I’m finally not weird and alone. Using the power of a word makes people stronger. I thought that, if there’s an adjective for a person who’s unable to make friends easily, then there’s plenty of people in the world who are also struggling to make friends. That little thought in the back on my head always cheered me up a little.
Carl Jung said that the introvert is more comfortable with the inner world of thoughts and feelings, so they will see the world in terms of how it affects them while the extrovert feels more at home with the world of objects and other people and is more concerned with their impact upon the world.
Introverts are more comfortable living alone and being by themselves. They depend on their “me time” to recharge; they become immersed in their inner world and run the risk of losing touch with their surroundings or their outer world. They also tend to be introspective and keep their social circle limited. I feel that Carl Jung’s theory is spot on and I do feel ‘drained’ after I went to a party or after ordering food at a restaurant. But, it doesn’t mean that an introvert is incapable of socializing at all; we take time and more mental energy.
To survive and to get to the top of the food chain, one must have the power to have control over other predators. I think Julius Caesar said that or maybe I read it on 5th-grade Biology, but yes this is the truth. The most significant power of all (other than fear) is communication. I learned in Sociology class that to have the ability to influence over people automatically puts you in a higher social status. Being on top of the social ladder makes you accessible to wealth, popularity, acknowledgement, better future, better chance to make your dreams come true etc. etc. Being extroverted has the chances of making your opinions heard and growing your network more; therefore, this world is driven by systems that are created by the extrovert. In my opinion, one of the most extroverted system in the world is democracy. Whoever influenced people the most is the winner.
So how do we introverts break the ‘food chain’ and shove people to get to the top of the social ladder, if we find it mentally draining to socialize? As I grow older, I think that at times I should break out of my comfort zone and socialize. Humans are social beings, and if there’s no socialization, we will die. Same goes for the introvert. It’s not that I don’t want to interact with zero people at all; it’s just that I’m more cautious when I’m socializing. As I grow older, I should slowly break out of my comfort zone and make connections or else I would be alone for the rest of my life.
Einstein said, “The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulate the creative mind”. Introverts are known to have creative drives. They love to spend a lot of time in their world rather than to go to the outside world. I tend to think of this as a consolidation. Being able to spend hours and hours doing nothing but think is a blessing. Einstein spends many years trying to figure out an equation because he was driven by it, and that is what’s important to him, to dive into that curiosity. Whenever I feel lost or lonely, I gave in to my creative drive, and I try to communicate what’s in my mind through writings or art. Through my hobby, I was able to make friends and relate to other people.
In the end, my version on how to cope with the extrovert driven world is to take my own pace in making friends and diving into my creative drive. Try to think that I can influence people in other ways other than going out to social gatherings. I’m still forcing myself to make friends or to gather my courage to speak up because it’s essential to meet people to broaden my horizon and realizing my ideals, but by knowing that I have my creative drive and personal goals to work on makes me appreciate myself more.
If you have friends or family members who are an introvert, you should remember that it takes courage and time for them to answer your phone calls or to go hang out with you so be patient and understanding.