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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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.
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Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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Don't Forget About Self-Love

It's been a long winter, don't forget to put yourself first.

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For most people, spring break still isn't for another few weeks and let's be honest - it's very needed at this point. January felt like five months just by itself and it feels like winter has been going on for years. So amidst midterms, jobs, events, and everything else going on remember that sometimes you need to put yourself first.

It doesn't help anyone for you to be constantly busy and beating yourself up when one thing goes wrong. This especially doesn't help you. Everyone is feeling pressure from something, and no one is going to blame you for using some of your free time to get yourself back on track. You're much more useful when you're cup is full than when you're completely drained from trying to do everything at all times.

In college, we learn to be people-pleasers whether we want to or not. You want to impress your professor, your boss, and even your friends. You want everyone to think that you are having the most amazing time at all times. Sometimes a lot of negative feelings come up when you can't be doing something for everyone and then you feel liked you've failed.

This pressure is especially true for graduating seniors. We're all so focused on what's next and how we can maximize all our time left that we forget to take care of ourselves. We take on every project we can to prove we can do it. We try to hang out with everyone we know because we may never see them again after graduation. We constantly worry that we're just running out of time to do everything. Sometimes we forget that if we burn ourselves out now, we're not going to be able to do much later.

While the solution isn't to just give up and become a hermit, we need to realize that sometimes the best thing to do is to take a step back. If you have thirty different projects going on ask for help on some of them. Collaborating is much easier than drowning in endless work. If you have free time and you've been busy all week take a night off instead of committing to seeing every friend you have. Self-breaks are sometimes the best breaks.

In the end, remember that you're not alone by any means when it comes to anything you're feeling and sometimes it just takes getting away to get better.

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