Being An Introvert Means Being You're An Equalizer

Being An Introvert Means Being You're An Equalizer

I was more comfortable knowing who I was when no one else seemed to know who they were.
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I was always the quiet kid. Any quiet kid will know the pressure to perform socially. Just the simple act of speaking makes me feel like I'm giving away my voice rather than sharing it. Being quiet rests on the balance between selfishness and selflessness too. I never intend on being alone to mean that I'm selfish nor do I revel in having an audience to judge my performance. From my middle school days, I started to realize that I was more comfortable knowing who I was when no one else seemed to know who they were themselves.

That is what groups are for: you belong so you don't have to bother with who you are, only what we are. What good is a group if you do not know who you are or have yet to define yourself and you have others continually lost in mystery rather than actively solving the question of "Who am I?" As an introvert, part of the joy and the strife is getting to know someone other than yourself, to have an extended connection with another person without compromising who you truly are.

The effort I put into listening and giving advice is not always reciprocated by the person I speak to. They do not know that they have stopped the conversation short because they received the solace they were after. They do not know the other half of it. That half is the person they are speaking to and are not speaking to. That half is the rest of the rounded person they could be, not to appease the other, but to understand them and adapt to them.

I enjoy having my own internal narrator. I do keep to myself but I wouldn't say I'm reclusive. I'm happy inside my mind maybe more so than outside it, but expressing that inner happiness through the words I choose and steps I take helps me reach a balance. I don't enjoy talking at great lengths. It's not that I won't talk to you, I just don't want my persistence to make me unwanted.

I enjoy being emotionally intelligent. I think with my feelings but I'm not blindsided by them. I'm more sensitive than my stone-face shows too. I don't enjoy being intellectually siphoned. Sometimes I expect more out of people but I can't assume too much of someone or too little. I see it as a learning opportunity before they decide to take advantage of what I know or who I am.

I enjoy being with myself. It gives me a chance to improve without an audience. I can't be careless and I can't waste time. I don't enjoy being alone or in groups for too long. I have to remind myself to ease back into those connections. I usually wait for someone to address me first instead of making the first move. I go from I-don't-want-to-be-a-bother shy to I-couldn't-be-bothered shy but I don't mean it selfishly. I'm present, not absent, in an unassuming, observant way.

I enjoy my work ethic. Sometimes it's cluttered, sometimes it's organized, and sometimes it's controlled chaos. I don't enjoy interrupting my work. Once I'm invested it's hard to detach from its importance. I enjoy being soft spoken. I get to show people we have two ears and one mouth for a reason. I don't like being loud. I never had the need to show pride or fake my excitement. The only drama I like belongs on a stage. I enjoy one-on-one conversations. I get to hear original you. I don't enjoy over the shoulder and within earshot influence. Anytime I can't be myself because of a group is not a group worth being a part of.

I think you have to compromise with the qualities that you could improve on. I'm not saying I'm giving up being an introvert and I'm not saying I will become an extrovert instead. I can be an extrovert but only as an introvert finds it suitable to be. An extrovert has to prepare differently to be an introvert. I have the potential to be a social equalizer, so I don't mind being on the fence. It just means I get to walk on both sides of the grass.

Cover Image Credit: Simon Migaj

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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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Being Ugly

What it means to me

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Due to a series of ongoing events throughout my semester, I've reconsidered what it means for someone to truly be ugly. Though it is often used in terms of appearance, I do not see it as such-- now more than ever. Ugliness runs deeper than appearance-- it runs within one's soul and festers into other areas of one's life, particularly in their treatment of others.

I view ugliness as someone's conscious capacity and implementation of malice. Taking time and energy out of your day to hurt someone else, that's what I view as ugly. Some offenses are more minor than others, however, it is still a conscious effort to hurt or affect someone else negatively-- and that's the source of the problem. I truly wonder what causes that sort of behavior in someone, as I, along with most people, simply do not invest time or energy into hating or plotting against others. It seems like a full-time job.

I can theorize all sorts of reasons as to why someone would act this way: hate, jealousy, vengeance, etc. Yet, all of these reasons don't hit the root reason. It almost seems that some people are just innately ugly in their soul. This alludes to the timeless debate of whether one's personality is due to nature or nurture. Again, although our surroundings and environment do have a large effect in our behavior, that alibi only goes so far when multiple people are placed in the same environment, in the same situation, and only some are willing to cross moral boundaries in order to hurt the others. Just because an environment applies pressure to people, does not mean everyone is going to act out in malice, and it certainly does not give everyone an excuse to do so. Some people are simply conniving and, well, ugly inside.

If you have ever encountered people like this, I know from personal experience that it is such a drag. You have an enemy, essentially, whether you chose to or not, however based on their hatred towards you, they are now considered an enemy, a hater, and any other associated term. Know that they will do anything in their power to bring you down, even if it requires bending the truth and creating elaborate schemes, but you have to keep on doing you. Let them obsess over ways to bring you down. At the end of the day, their time and energy is being invested into bringing you down, while yours is being used to build yourself up. They will fall by default. So, keep your head high, act in grace, and make your money. They can sip on their Haterade and watch from below.

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