A little while ago, I asked my subscribers what advice they would give to their younger introverted self. My inbox was quickly jam-packed with responses. I can’t fit all of the wonderful words of wisdom that were shared into this blog post, so I’ve chosen eleven responses to highlight here.
Without further ado, here are the answers to the question “what would you tell your younger introverted self?”
“You’re not broken or weak or a failure just because you like to be alone. Don’t work so hard to be something you’re not. I could have saved myself a lot of teenage angst if I had known that.” ~ Hannah, Fort Wayne, U.S.A
“Know there are other kids that feel just the same as you do. You are not alone. Talk about how you feel with someone … You are very brave even though you feel scared. Know you are important in this world and, as you grow up, things will get easier.” ~ Robert, Garland, U.S.A
“I would tell my younger introverted self that there is nothing wrong with you. Don’t listen to the people who are trying to change you to be their ideal of ‘normal’. Embrace your quiet strength. You are going to change the world with your inspiration. No matter what, stay true to yourself. If others can’t accept you, then they deserve no place in your life”. ~Esther, Phoenix, U.S.A
“Treasure your moments of silence for out of them are golden nuggets of insight and intuition … Appreciate yourself: introversion is not atypical; it’s your own perfect kind of ‘normal’.” ~ Anonymous, Lagos, Nigeria
“I would tell myself that you are normal. Find others like yourself and unite. My young self was in the 80’s so extroversion was KING and very difficult to rise above the din of chest thumping extroverts.” ~ Michael, Fredericton, Canada
“I’d start by showing her the first article I came across about why it’s OK to be introverted, and then I’d show her the pages I’ve found online about what makes ISFJs great. I’d tell her about the ways she has had a positive impact on people and the talents she has that aren’t shared by everybody … And I’d tell her that her needs are as valid and important as other people’s. And finally, I’d make sure she found that “If Each Myers-Briggs Type Was an Animal” page (see #5).” ~ Anonymous, Auckland, New Zealand
“The advice I’d give to my younger introverted self is that we’re not weird. It’s ok to want to play on my own. It’s ok that I would rather observe people – that is how we learn. Being a good listener is a skill not many people have, and it will be very vital to my future career. Watch, listen, love, and learn from people. Being a highly sensitive person is not a bad thing, it comes with gifts that other people wished they had. Own it.” ~ Cassie, Ladysmith, Canada
“People will call you weird, geeky, antisocial, unreasonable. When they do, remember the words of George Bernard Shaw: ‘The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.'” ~ Jonathan, Albuquerquel, U.S.A
“I would tell my younger introverted self to try to find your own groove. Don’t try to be more extroverted than you are. The loneliness of being yourself is nothing like the loneliness of trying to be someone you’re not.” ~ Maria, Ireland
“Never listen to the noisy ones unless they have something nice to say. Don’t let them decide for you. Do what you feel is right. Ask questions when necessary.” ~ Muhammed, Manipal, India
“Stop thinking about how to stay connected to the conversation, and start considering what is actually being said. It’s okay to pull back from the social circle for a few seconds to re-assess and think things through. You need this time for yourself.” ~ Phillip, Ottawa, Canada
Over to you
What would you tell your younger introverted self? Please share below.