Stop Trying To Change Introverts And Start Learning How To Understand Them

Stop Trying To Change Introverts And Start Learning How To Understand Them

Telling someone to change themselves is never acceptable, so stop trying to make someone fit a mold that's not made for them.
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It's easy to get caught up in the world of expectations and desires set by other people. We live in a society that craves moderation and perfection simultaneously. People are expected to be outgoing but not annoying. Talkative but not oversharing. Reserved but not stand-offish. Smart but not arrogant.

These expectations are established by everyone yet no one fits the mold. But the people who have the hardest time fitting the desires of others, in my opinion, are the introverts. These people are oftentimes misunderstood and forgotten. Their wants and needs seem frivolous to those who are extroverted, and can even be seen as annoying, all because of a lack of understanding, and sometimes a lapse of compassion.

Introverts tend to live in their bubbles of speculation – they watch the movements of the people around them, they observe the likes and dislikes of these other individuals, and can very easily bend and comply to make others feel understood, whether the other person realizes it or not. They don't need to be told what someone likes – they see it for themselves. And they also don't say when they're trying very hard for someone else, which can oftentimes make their actions overlooked.

Extroverts, on the other hand, are people who need to be told what someone wants. Because they are so outgoing, they are able to meet and speak with so many people, and instead of choosing to take the time to observe another person's likings, they prefer to be told at face value. Neither group is wrong, each is just different. Yet for some reason, it is the introverts who get told that they need to change.

Someone I know, not too long ago, was told that in order for her to make it anywhere in society, she needs to speak up. She needs to make her presence known and demand to be known, otherwise, she won't amount to anything.

In some sense, I agree that in order to advance your name and career, you will need to network and speak up for yourself more, but I don't think it's necessary for a person to completely change themselves to meet what society wants them to be like. Not everyone has to follow the same path to success because it worked for another person. Everyone is different and deserves their own chance to prove their method of achievement.

I know so many introverts who are professionals. Instead of excelling in a group environment, they do their work best from behind their computer with headphones in their ears. They get their jobs done, and they do them well, yet for some reason, there is still an air that tells people that in order to be successful, they have to be outspoken, which is completely and utterly false.

When someone is outspoken, it just makes the situation easier for everyone else involved. They are able to wow the group with their bubbly persona, they can share their demands and findings with complete confidence not only in their work but of themselves, and they are able to tell others what to do with ease. It's in their blood, and although it is incredibly admirable, not everyone can fit this personality.

What I'm here to say is we need to stop putting people in bubbles. Let introverts be introverts, and let extroverts be extroverts.

If someone prefers things to be quiet, try to understand them and comply with their needs. If someone else is a naturally loud person, they too need to be understood and given grace. Not everyone is going to be someone else's favorite person, but it's about meeting in the middle and respecting one another.

Cover Image Credit: Christian Fregnan

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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My New Infatuation with Instagram

Who knew double-tapping could be so much fun?

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I refused to make an Instagram for years. My friends begged me. Strangers asked me to follow them. Organizations asked me to like their pages. Even my own parents told me to make an Instagram. Everyone wondered why I did not have an Instagram account. Part of it was that I did enjoy seeing people's incredulous expressions. Secondly, it was a fun way to drive my friends crazy by adamantly refusing to make an account. The other reason was that I was too conscious of how having an Instagram account would affect me.

Therefore, on April Fools, I gave in and made an Instagram account. All my friends immediately followed my account in the first hour of its existence. I followed them back and explored the app to become familiar with it. I wondered who to follow and mulled over what to write as my bio. Are emojis too childish? Would quotes be too cheesy? I was already worried about people's perception of me before I even posted my first photo.

After the initial excitement wore off, I realized I had spent too much time scrolling through my feed (that wasn't refreshing to show me anything new since I didn't follow that many people yet). Like any other app, it was addicting, and I was only getting started. I have read article after article about how Instagram damages self-esteem, accustoms people to seeing idealized versions of everyone else's life, and its effects on mental health. As an avid Snapchat user, I did not expect myself to become too bothered by the images I would see on my feed. I saw hundreds of images and videos daily. If I kept in mind that people take the time to only show the best portions of their life, then I thought I would be fine. However, as all things, that is much easier said than done.

I have only had my account for a little over two weeks, and I have tried my best to not become obsessed with comparing myself and my life to other people's. What I didn't anticipate was the feeling of excitement as my notifications overflowed with comments and likes from my friends (and some random people I don't know). It felt invigorating to see the number of likes my first post received and the praise in the comments. Eventually, when it slowed down I was surprised to feel a bit disappointed.

This moment made me remember the real reason why I did not want to make an Instagram in the first place. I did not want to rely on other people's likes and comments to feel good. There is nothing wrong with complimenting other people and recognizing their hard work or talent. I enjoy praising my friends. Yet, it felt odd to want others to praise me because I took a few nice photos in front of pretty flowers. I love to appreciate aesthetics, but now that I have an Instagram, I must constantly remind myself that when I post, it should be for me first, and not for likes.

As long as I keep that in mind, I'll double-tap to my heart's content. What's not to love about beautiful photos all in one place?

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