There are countless reasons why knowing you are an introvert can change your outlook on life. It can make you feel more confident, more at peace with yourself and less alone.  It can put an end to constant guilt. Recognizing and understanding your own introversion even has the power to transform the way you live your life.

Before we understood introversion

Lets rewind to a few years or months or days ago when we didn’t understand our introversion.  Based on the comments I receive regularly and my own personal experience, this was probably a time of self-doubt and inner conflict.  Why?  Many introverts are told implicitly or outright that there is something wrong with our behavior. 

We felt defeated because we weren’t talkative or outgoing enough.  We didn’t understand why we were drained so easily by activities that seem to energize and excite others.  We grew up with the extrovert ideal hanging over our heads and we couldn’t help but fall short.  All these factors led us to believe that there is something wrong with us.

Before I knew I was an introvert, I really thought that I was an inferior human being.  I didn’t understand why I got tired so easily.  I felt ashamed that I wasn’t as talkative and outgoing as other people. I thought that I must be a horrible person because I would get grumpy and irritable after a lot of socializing or activity.  It didn’t make sense to me.  I tried so hard to be a good person, but always ended up feeling inadequate instead.

A personal story

My view of myself completely changed when I took a personal psychology class in university.  As part of the class, I took a personality quiz that revealed that I am an introvert.  I realized that all those little things that I saw as deficiencies were actually traits that all introverts share.  All of a sudden, I wasn’t a freak or a bad person.  The missing piece of the puzzle had been found.  I was an introvert.

I can remember walking a little taller that day.  I smiled at strangers, not because I thought I should, but because I felt happy.  Somehow, knowing I was an introvert gave me a feeling of vindication.  I realized that I was a good person after all.

A new approach to life

Understanding my introversion has changed my approach to life. I am now more aware of my strengths and limitations.  I know that I can’t handle the same amount of social activity as an extrovert. Instead of wasting energy by pretending to be extroverted, I focus on more worthwhile endeavors.

I also feel less guilt about staying in, being the quiet one and enjoying different pastimes than my extroverted friends.  I still feel inadequate sometimes, but that is part of being human.

What about you?

Thanks to all who shared how knowing you are an introvert changed your outlook on life on my Facebook Page.  I was really inspired by everyone’s answers.  If you haven’t already, please do share your personal thoughts and stories related to this topic.  I look forward to reading them.

You can also tweet to me on Twitter.