The introverts of our generation have been led astray in many ways. There are about a bazillion (approximately) things the average introvert coulda-shoulda-woulda done differently if we weren’t raised in such an extrovert obsessed culture.
In fact, one of the comments I get most from introvert readers is “I wish I’d understood my introversion sooner — my life would have been so different!”.
Now that the world is starting to see the power of introverts, we are coming home to our introversion, and living with fewer regrets. Still, many introverts continue to hover in a purgatory of confusion and guilt about our personality.
Hopefully, the below list will help you see your way through the fog, and live life on your own blissfully introverted terms.
Here are 10 things I wish I’d known sooner as an introvert:
1) Busyness is not a virtue.
I wish someone had told little innie me that busyness is not a virtue. It’s a lifestyle choice. For me, it was a fruitless one. It’s okay to leave empty spaces in your day. In fact, adding some nothingness to your day is productive because it reduces angry grumpy thoughts and increases your overall awesomeness.
2) Stop viewing yourself through a distorted lens.
Some people are going to think you’re weird, or snobby, or sad because you’re a daydreamer and solitude seeker. Don’t give into the pressure to view yourself through their distorted lens. Embrace and love the true you, and one day the right people will see you in all your gloriously strange splendour.
3) As an introvert, fewer friends is more fulfilling.
Popularity is overrated. Focus on the few friends you truly care about. This is what will feel most natural and fulfilling to you.
4) Stop trying to fix yourself.
No, really — just stop. You’re not broken.
5) Find meaning from within.
You don’t need to go out and “make meaning” in life. Meaning is cultivated, discovered, and understood by turning inward. Yeah, leaving the house might help you connect the dots, but you’ll just go in circles if you don’t take the time to reflect in solitude.
6) Frequent peopling is optional.
Sometimes, you just won’t be able to people anymore. This doesn’t mean you’re lazy or deficient. Frequent peopling is not a prerequisite for being a good person. Like busyness, it is simply a lifestyle choice. It’s okay to stay home, and it’s okay to like it.
7) You’ll outgrow those crappy people.
For a while you might attract frustrating people into your life. These supposed friends or lovers will see your quietness as a form of weakness. Or an invitation to talk at you, and never truly listen to you. Or they might try to manipulate you, not knowing that you can see right through their charade.
If you learn to embrace your introversion, and all the goodness that comes with it, the assholes will magically disappear from your life. Guaranteed.
8) The Internet is your friend, not your home.
The Internet is going to make your life easier and better in a lot of ways. Just don’t expect it to replace human love and affection. Take an Internet hiatus every now and then, so that you can make real life connections. Too much plasma screen = brain no worky no more (it’s true, Google agrees). 😉
9) Extroverts are NOT more attractive.
That extroverted guy or girl you envy is not more attractive than you. Beauty is not measured by how outgoing you are, or how many words you can say in a day. You really can be subtly seductive, and quietly charismatic. You can be an Irresistible Introvert.
10) About that mind of yours …
It’s beautiful, complex, insightful, and amazing, but …
You might want to reign it in a little (or a lot). Your mind is like a puppy that needs training, so that it doesn’t wreak havoc on your life. Take your brain for a walk now and then. Give it oxygen by breathing deeply. Let it stretch out in downward dog, or play dead in meditation. All of the above will quiet your mind and rejuvenate your mental landscapes.
The only thing you need to remember
I hope you found these ideas helpful. If you forget everything you read here today, just remember this:
You are enough just as you are.
Breath in. Breath out. And say it with me.
I am enough just as I am.
If you know other introverts who might feel uplifted, inspired, or just plain vindicated by my words, please share this post in your favorite Internet cozy corner — Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ (yes, people actually share stuff on there),
My Space, LinkedIn (If you are a grownup and you actually understand LinkedIn, which I don’t), email — you get the idea.
Also, feel free to share what you wish you’d known sooner as an introvert in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!
Lots of love,