It is a normal workday and you are on your way to the office. From a far, you see, in your peripheral view, an officemate, and the worst part is, he sees you too. What you did is that you readily cross the street and create a new route to work.
Does this seem to be a familiar scene? If yes, then you might as well be an introvert.
And if you are a true introvert, then you’ve probably know what’s going to happen next. Upon arriving at the workplace, this officemate of yours will approach you, surprisingly happy, and say, “Why are you so snob earlier?”
We, introverts are not snob. This is just the way we are. And learning to embrace my introversion was the first lesson which Doc and I tackled in that little room in Lagmay Hall (see About page).
On our first few sessions, Doc asked me to read a book written by an American writer and psychology enthusiast, Susan Cain. The book was entitled, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. The book mainly discusses, in a magnificently introverted point of view, how we, introverts, are simply being discriminated in this extroverted world of ours.
And I think this doesn’t only apply in America, but in most countries as well. For instance, in a job interview wherein an introvert and an extrovert are vying for a certain position, people will always say that the latter will definitely be the one to be hired. The same is said to be true when choosing leaders, and in particularly most of the major life scenarios.
“Talkative people, for example are rated as smarter, better-looking, more interesting and more desirable as friends,” explained Cain, ”Extroversion is an enormously appealing personality style, but we’ve turned it into an oppressive standard, to which most of us feel we must conform.”
Introverts, on the other hand, are highly-reactive to everything around them, according to the book. Introverts tend to feel exaggerated, even in the smallest of things like smell, noise, and most importantly, people. This is why we choose to rather spend time with our own selves than to spend enormous amounts of energy just to calm down our reactions towards the world.
And this is where the discrimination comes in. “If you’re an introvert, you also know that the bias against quiet can cause deep psychic pain. As a child you might have overheard your parents apologize for your shyness,” explained Cain, and then added another batch of scenarios that would just trigger all of your long forgotten, mostly bad, memories.
But the book is not created to make every depressed introvert be more pained. “Don’t think of introversion as something that needs to be cured,” added Cain. The book is created so that we introverts can realize that we are not really born to be loners. The book is created for us to realize that this is just who we are.
“Stay true to your own nature,” explained Cain, “The trick for introverts is to honor their own styles instead of allowing themselves to be swept up by prevailing norms.” Cain also said, as in the title of the book, that introverts have the power to change the world.
The list of successful introverted people around the world is truly long: Rosa Parks, Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln and so on.
The key, according to Cain, is just simple, “Figure out what you are meant to contribute to the world and make sure you contribute it.”
In the end, it is just all about finding your purpose, and how you can only do that purpose by accepting the true nature of yourself.
All photos are taken from pixabay.com and are thus in public domain.