Contradictions are sexy.
Lucky for us introverts, we are brimming with qualities that seem to contradict each other. Here are a few examples:
Quiet + Confident
Serious + Playful
Intense + Mellow
So, why is it that contradictions are so sexy?
As humans, we are naturally drawn to inconsistencies. Imagine seeing five white dogs lined up in a row, plus one black one. Which one will you notice more? The black dog is actually not such an anomaly. But in this context, it contradicts our expectation of uniformity and sameness.
As introverts, we naturally defy other people’s expectations of what we ‘should’ be. They assume that a quiet person must be shy, unassertive, and bland. Our ability to simultaneously embody so many seemingly conflicting qualities sparks confusion, but also fascination.
What introverts can learn from Marilyn Monroe
Of course, it’s not just introverts that harbor intriguing incongruities. Iconic sex symbol Marilyn Monroe is a classic example of this phenomenon. She was an outrageously successful, gorgeous and sexy goddess of a woman.
With this in mind, you would expect her to have been vivacious and incredibly confident. And she was … on the surface. But just one thin layer beneath her public persona, she was heartbreakingly fragile.
Monroe’s unexpected vulnerability is fascinating. We stand with mouths agape at the idea that one person can be dripping with glitter, glamour, and out of this world sex appeal, and yet, still be so … what’s the word?
The gentle lioness
Like most introverts, I am overflowing with opposing qualities that constantly drive a wedge in people’s expectations. This became very clear to me as I was reading my introvert friend, Sarah Jones’ free ebook, Why PUA Doesn’t Work For Introverts & What Works Instead. The ebook is meant to teach introverted men how to authentically attract women, but I found many nuggets of wisdom that apply to all introverts.
In the ebook, Sarah shares an exercise to help you find your values. She provides a long list of values and you circle the ones that really resonate with you. In doing this awesome exercise (it’s on page 20 of the ebook, in case you want to try it), I realized that many of my core values seem to completely contradict each other.
Freedom + Groundedness
Fierceness + Gentleness
Focus + Fun
Society might tell us that the above qualities are in conflict with one another. But they are not. The gentle lioness really does exist. So, too, does the introverted adventurer, and the quiet catalyst for change.
I just finished reading Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker (yep, I read that kind of stuff). One of Eker’s “wealth files” states that, “rich people think ‘both.’ Poor people think ‘either/or.’”
The common way of thinking is that you have to choose between desires that appear in conflict. Love or money. Career or family. Adventure or security. But, wise and wealthy people know that you don’t have to choose. You can have both.
So, as an introvert, must I be shackled to one narrow definition of what people expect me to be? Should I choose to embrace only my gentle side, instead of the inner fierceness that drives nearly everything I do? No!
I choose both.
And I am all the more intriguing for it.
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