3 Biggest Complexities of Life As an Introvert And The Cure
It isn’t about the world you’re living in; it is about you.
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” — Aristotle
Introverts make up to one-third of the world population. And now more than ever before, our world is recognizing us — and our quiet mood but loud minds.
Susan Cain’s book ‘Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking’, brought a revolution in the world of introverts. The myths associated with introversion are slowly dying.
But not everyone gets it yet.
Life as a confirmed introvert still isn’t easy as per my experience. Introverts are the inhabitants of two worlds and it’s incredibly important to make a balance between the two.
The moment our focus wavers, we find ourselves in the middle of nowhere for a good while.
3 Complexities of Life As an Introvert and solutions
1. A fluctuating balance between isolation and interaction.
As introverts, we create a private world that replenishes our energy for approaching gatherings. All of us believe, the more time we spend alone, the more energy we’d reflect to benefit others.
I’m one of those introverts who believe being grounded for a week or two would be the best gift we can offer to ourselves but this is just the tip of an iceberg.
We need connection as much as extroverts need.
During the early pandemic days, I enjoyed my introverted nature as much I could. Solitude for me was a well overflowing with intrinsic motivation and energy.
I was planning a life in a similar direction.
But soon enough, the thing that had been my haven was now offering nothing except for confusion. Enjoying my company erased the thin line between being alone and loneliness.
I realized solitude has a limited reservoir of energy — and sometimes we don't even notice the depleting reservoir until we are drained of energy.
The research on introversion and extroversion is far from settled but a couple of studies show that by acting extraverted, introverts gain energy as well. We need as much connection with the world around us as our fellow extroverts.
Loud and stimulating environments drain our energy but what we often forget is the fact: we aren’t immune to loneliness as well.
Solitude is a finite well, we cannot expect ourselves to draw energy when the well starts depleting.
If you start feeling like being drained of energy, it might be a call for company and conversation. To fill the well again, we all need more interaction.
“We are complicated creatures, and ultimately, the balance comes from this understanding. Be water. Flowing, flexible, and soft. Subtly powerful and open. Wild and serene. Able to accept all changes, yet still led by the pull of steady tides. It is enough.” — Victoria Erickson
2. A thin distinction between fear, shyness, and introversion:
Introverts like me are the owners of a small world, where they can intrinsically motivate themselves in doing things they like. We aren’t influenced by bold, dominating voices. As Jenn Granneman said,
“Introverts live in two worlds: We visit the world of people, but solitude and the inner world will always be our home.” — Jenn Granneman
But what if this introversion chains your and my feet in the comfort zone?
When we limit ourselves to fewer things, little by little we step towards a familiar mindset and it becomes a comfort zone.
The introversion that’s helping us all in being creative in our lives and endeavors may intensify the fear or shyness when we misinterpret our emotions and feelings.
Self-exploration is always a tricky business. There comes a time when we need a strict self-analysis to define our whys.
In this fast-paced world, going at one’s pace is bravery but it comes with equal challenges. But a little deviation from the growth zone has catastrophic results — as an introvert.
Whatever reason we have had for a particular mindset, we should assess it, to define ours why.
Whatever you do as an introvert, challenge yourself to define your why. Feed the lines between fear, shyness, and introversion. When we know the motive behind our choice, it becomes easier to assess our growth.
3. Concealing the true self in small talk —a barrier on road to deep conversation.
A study shows more and more people now aren’t shy of embracing their introversion and accepting it publically after reading the book on introversion by Susan Cain.
But the diversity among introverts still makes it harder for others to understand an introvert.
My quietness, for example, was/is often misinterpreted as unfriendliness or shyness. It does not feel okay to be misunderstood but we, as introverts, don’t help others to understand a complicated introvert.
We crave sincere friendships, community, interactions as much as our fellow extroverts.
However, only a deep conversation pulls us out from the peace we have with our thoughts. The bittersweet truth is, the deep conversation does not start on its own.
We do not like small talks either and when we force ourselves for small talk in a detached manner, we sound like a concealed shell — which, of course, isn't helpful.
In his book, ‘Never Eat Alone’, Keith Ferrazzi writes, there’s one way to succeed in the art of small talk and it is to be yourself. He tells a few words can break the ice and awkward silence for that matter only when we speak from the heart.
Michaela Chung in her book shared the biggest lesson she learned from her coach that brought the biggest change in her communication skills,
“To find the right people you have to be the right person. Because who you are being every moment of every day will determine your ability to make meaningful connections.” — Elizabeth Purvis
On the other hand, when put on the mask of superficial conversation, and sacrifice our secret desire to indulge in-depth, we go against our hearts. It only acts as a barrier because people can smell ‘reciprocation with little genuinity’ from afar.
When we speak from the heart, we create a way in or a way out. (Not too bad! Isn't it?)
So, don’t be afraid of choosing your true introverted self in conversations. It, of course, isn’t always easy but when we try to be ourselves, it becomes easier to befriend the extroverted world and honor our uniqueness. Because,
"If you want impact, you have to work with people.” – Patrick Pichette
- As introverts, we gain energy from solitude and introspection, but interaction we make with others creates solitude from torturesome loneliness. The balance between interaction and introversion is the core of better-introverted living.
- The ownership of a calm private world comes with equal challenges. To ground ourselves in the growth zone, there’s a continued need for strict self-analysis.
- Having meaningful interaction with our fellow beings is a part of human nature. To honor the gifts of introversion, choose to follow your heart every moment, in every conversation.
Introversion varies from person to person but life offers more or less similar complexities to all of us. To draw a firm line between loneliness and solitude, to work on our potential, and to enjoy life by being ourselves, all we need is to embrace, analyze and present our true selves.
When we understand our true selves, the world recognizes us. As Carl Jung said,
“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” –Carl Jung