Why it's ok to be an introvert

For years I thought there was something wrong with me. I preferred my own company, I liked hanging out with friends but I found hanging out all day, every day exhausting. I would be super talkative in small groups or around people I know but be quiet in larger groups or if someone new was introduced. 

Turns out I am actually an introvert. Introversion is a personality trait characterised by the focus on internal feelings and we make up 25-40% of the population.Where as Extroversion is the polar opposite and characterised by sociability and talkativeness.

I think introverts are often misunderstood and theres a lot of misconceptions about being an introvert. Firstly it seems people assume introverts are shy and retiring where as introverts can be just as outgoing as an extrovert. If you google 'What is an introvert' literally the first thing that comes up is 'a shy, reticent person.' 

Whilst introverts can be quiet, quiet doesn't always mean shy. And whilst we're at it, there is nothing wrong with being shy. Shyness is often seen as bad trait and being loud and outgoing is good. Neither is wrong and neither is right, they are just two types of personality."Oh look Hannah's gone all shy". You wouldn't comment "Look Hannah's gone really talkative and won't shut the fuck up"so why do I people comment so much about being shy or quiet.

It is also assumed that introverts are socially awkward or we hate people. I'm a confident person and can hold my own but that doesn't mean I'm not still an introvert. And I love people, I just love spending time by myself too and that is perfectly k.

So what is an introvert?

An introvert is someone who prefers calm, minimally stimulating environments. We tend to feel drained if we spend too much time with people and we regain our energy by time alone. And extroverts are the exact opposite, they gain energy from being around people and can feel drained by spending time alone

I love spending time with my friends but I also crave time alone and sometimes I'm super talkative and sometimes I value quiet and I think that's hard for some extroverts to understand. Nothing is more annoying than when I go quiet and someone is constantly asking what is wrong. I'm definitely someone who would speak on a situation if I was annoyed. Sometimes silence is ok.

Can you be successful and an introvert?

It's often thought that extroverts are more successful in life due to their outgoing nature.  Introverts can be just as successful. Some very successful introverts include Meryl Streep, Lady Gaga, Tom Hanks, Jessica Lange and Amy Schumer.

I think it is also often assumed that all introverts wish they were an extrovert. I love being an introvert and I wouldn't change anything about that. Some studies say that you are born either an extrovert or an introvert and its largely to do with how your brain responds to dopamine and how it recharges which to me is completely fascinating.
But also they say that no one person is fully extrovert or introvert and its to be thought of as a spectrum rather than one or the other. But either way, its ok to be either. No one is better than the other we just are who we are.

Signs you might be an introvert too

1. I prefer one on one conversations to group activities
2. I enjoy solitude
3. I dislike small talk but I enjoy talking in-depth about topics that matter to me
4. I do my best work on my own
5. I enjoy work that allows no interruptions
6. I tend to think before I speak
7. I feel drained after being out and about even if I've enjoyed myself. I need solitude to re-energise
8. In classroom situations, I prefer lectures to seminars

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