I am writing this letter to the introverted individuals who are just internally conflicted about who they are — to let them know they are not alone. Alone in feeling like life, just seems a bit more complicated than it is.
Because of our minds. And the way we process information and data.
The constant internal dialogue could alone be so draining.
To begin, I must admit that I had a hard time coming to terms with, making sense of and really admitting to myself about my introverted side and furthermore, using it to my advantage.
Note: I am completely confident about the type of person I am now at 28 years old — an ambivert. However, throughout my early 20s — I felt I was in some sort of an internal struggle and felt I had an identity crisis.
I knew I enjoyed the social activities and being with friends and conversations, however, I just as much enjoyed having that me time, my time alone…
…Alone with my mind and my thoughts, and why I was at peace when I had that time with my mind and my thoughts to just “re-order” and “re-structure”.
This is not to mean I was ashamed of it in any way, but I was bothered. I felt that sort of reserved nature, however small it may be, was not something that the world and life demanded.
Rather, I just wondered…
Why (at work) did I just not enjoy too much talk and preferred to just keep my head down and focus on the bigger things?
Why was I constantly getting drained after a long social streak?
Why did I never enjoy “small talk”? and thought it was a complete waste of my time?
Why did I constantly get extremely frustrated/annoyed when someone (just to make a silly conversation with me) would ask me about the weather? or how my weekend was?
Why did I just prefer silence, instead of making “small-talk” just to make “small-talk”?
Why did I talk less, listen more?
Why was I uncomfortable with being put on the spot?
Why did I enjoy reading, analyzing, writing and creating rather than the superficial night time activities on some weekends?
Why did I much rather prefer a close, intimate group of friends as opposed to having a large circle of just friends?
Why did I feel misplaced in workplaces where they had “open spaces”?
Why did I just despise office meetings to the very core my being? Okay, I’ll answer that one, because nothing was ever accomplished from those meetings. HUGE waste of time.
Why was I always battling myself, when a social event was taking place also wondering if it would be “useful” in attending?
Why was I always losing focus when others would get in to detail as opposed to just explaining to me what the end goal was?
Why was I more than comfortable in spending many weekends staying in? Focusing on myself; my well-being and to continuously better myself and calling it a great weekend after? But, people would never understand it.
Why did I just enjoy the peaceful nature of nature and felt at peace in its presence?
Why was I just obsessed with personal development, bettering myself and reading every piece of literature there was to it?
Why did I just love to think; to plan; to analyze, instead of just “going with the flow”?
After much “soul-searching”, I realized that there was nothing wrong with asking those questions, but I never personally felt at peace with my introversion.
I knew I enjoyed the social scene, conducting social activities, but I enjoyed my personal alone time just as much, if not more.
Susan Cain, Author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking and Founder of the Quiet Revolution Institute, empowering introverts to be secure with themselves in what is perceived to be an extroverted world, put a lot of answers to those questions in perspective.
That book helped me understand that it is okay to be that way. It spoke to me.
It helped give me that security about myself that I was searching for, and how I could actually harness the power of my introversion especially in situations that really demand it.
I learned to set boundaries personally and professionally.
It showed me that it is okay that you gain energy from within. It reaffirmed to myself, that I am self-reliant.
I do not depend on any one else, but myself regarding my own well-being.
Phil Jackson, 11-time NBA Champion as a Head Coach, had a quote that I love:
“You Win From With In”
Originally published at medium.com