Most introverts have wished at some point that they were more extroverted. We are constantly bombarded with propaganda that implies the extrovert way is the best way – or, for some, the only way. It has been coined “the extrovert ideal” and it is a standard that has been hanging over our quiet heads our entire lives.
We are told that success in school, business and our personal lives depends on our ability to behave like extroverts. Fast talkers, social butterflies and larger than life personalities are celebrated. Introverts … not so much.
If you’ve ever wished you could tell funny stories like the class clown; or always knew what to say like the prom queen; or how to speak up in groups like everyone in the popular crowd – you are not alone. We have all felt this way at one time or another.
It wasn’t always this way. From what I can gather from my extensive research of Jane Austen books (okay, maybe just the movies based on her books), quietness and a reserved demeanor were once considered virtues. I’ve often thought that I would have fit in better in the 19th century.
When I was in high school, I was devoutly religious (now I’m religiously open-minded). I mistakenly thought that church would be a safe haven where my introverted nature might be accepted and even admired.
Wrong! The giant church I attended housed a large and bustling youth group. It was one of those new age, hip and happening youth groups that attracted “cool Christians”. Ugh.
Even at church, the scarlet “I” of introversion made me stand out like a pig in a chicken coup. All the popular girls at church were extremely outgoing, outspoken and the exact opposite of me.
I felt awkward. I felt overlooked. I felt inferior. Even when no one is saying it explicitly, the world is whispering, introverts don’t belong here.
Nowadays, I still don’t feel like I fit in. And that is a very good thing.
Why struggle to fit in when you were made to be extraordinary? Click to tweet.
So, do introverts feel inferior? Whether your reply to that question is “sometimes”, “all the time” or “seldom”, the all-encompassing answer is too often. We should never be made to feel that who we are isn’t good enough.
Introverts have so much to offer the world. The sooner we recognize this, the sooner everyone else will too.
As introverts, we have the gifts of focus, thoughtfulness and deep reflection. Click to tweet.
Introverts know that great ideas flourish in quietness.Click to tweet.
Introverts have beautiful minds and majestic inner worlds. Click to tweet.
Introverts know how to listen, both to words, and the subtle messages carried on the wings of silence. Click to tweet.
In short, introverts are awesome. And anyone who disagrees should spend three hours locked in a room with 40 new age, hip and happening, hyper-extroverted, teenage Christians.
If this post resonated with you, please spread the word by sharing it through your various social networks. Invite others to join the quiet introvert revolution.