dear introvert open letter to introverts

Dear introvert,

I see that you’re hurting. And I think I know why. Like so many of us quiet, sensitive souls, you feel broken. You see yourself as that beat-up old stuffed teddy bear with a missing eye, and limp limbs. You aren’t puffed up and outgoing like the other bears. Your personality seems dull in comparison to theirs.

Somewhere along the line, someone told you that they had the magical cure for your brokenness. They told you that the antidote to your pain was to put on a new personality – one that was shinier, more talkative, and more enthusiastic than your true self. They told you to do more and feel less. While you’re at it, stop thinking so much for goodness sake!

You took their medicine, and I guess you know what happened next.

It seemed to work at first, but it had strange side-effects. The harder you tried to be up and on all the time, the more exhausted and empty you felt. When overwhelm set in, you began shutting down, and pushing people away. This made you feel even worse.

“Why can’t I just relax and have fun like everyone else?” you asked yourself, as you checked your watch for the tenth time. What you were really wondering was …

“Why can’t I just be an extrovert? Life would be better – I would be better – if I could just fix my personality.”

Needless to say, the extrovert’s quick-fix for introversion never works. And it’s not because it makes you exhausted and irritable. Or because it eats away at your soul. Or because it forces you to live life on someone else’s terms. These are all consequences, but they are not the true reason why trying to fix your introversion doesn’t work.

The real reason is that you can’t fix what isn’t broken. You are an introvert. You like people, but sometimes you like your alone time more. You think deeply, and choose your words carefully. You enjoy different pastimes than the extrovert down the street.

None of the above makes you a bad person. In fact, there are billions of other people who share your preferences.

So, let’s try a different approach, shall we?

Let’s try on a little self-acceptance for size. Instead of trying to fix or cure, let’s celebrate our strengths. For the longest time, I saw my quietness as a fatal flaw, a sign that I am not friendly, or feminine enough. Now, I see it as just another piece of the intricate mosaic that is my personality.

Alongside my quietness, there is also intuition, wisdom, and an ability to read between the lines. Sure, I speak slowly and pause often, but I am singing on the inside. Those who matter can hear my silent song.

They’ll hear yours, too.

What about you, dearest?

Have you ever felt broken as an introvert? Did you try the extrovert’s quick-fix? And what did you learn in the process?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Lots of love,