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.