Being An Introvert In An Extroverted World

Being An Introvert In An Extroverted World

Introverts often have to adapt to extroverted conditions

I am an introvert. I tend to be quiet around people I don't know, I enjoy spending time alone, and I get drained after interacting with people for long periods of time. However, I don't really have a problem talking to people I don't know, I enjoy being a leader, and I am in two majors that heavily rely on interacting with others. Introverts are stereotyped as having no friends, being totally antisocial, and being weird. Extroverts, on the other hand, are celebrated; they are the go-getters, the leaders, the life-of-the-party.

Introversion is frowned upon and seen as a bad thing in our culture, while extroversion is sought after. Our society is geared towards extroverts. Social norms involve doing group-oriented things and being a social, outgoing person. While having a night in for Netflix is glorified, it is seen as a temporary break from social activities instead of something that happens regularly. Being quieter or doing things alone is seen as weird by some people.

Recently, I came across this article by The Atlantic about schools overlooking introverts. After reading the article, I found it very relatable; we are often pushed to participate in our classes, with many having points based on how many times you speak in class. This is meant to spur discussion but can be dreaded for introverts. I personally do not have a problem speaking in front of others; some days, I may not have anything I want to contribute to class and may rather soak information in silently and on my own.

Reading about how schools are extrovert-oriented made me think about how society is extrovert-oriented. Introverts often have to adapt to extroverted conditions, both in school and the world. It's not always a bad thing; I've grown much better at being outgoing when needed and look forward to having a career that involves working closely with others. But why should we have to change our underlying personalities? Why should we have to completely change and adapt to fit what is seen as the "norm?"

Being an introvert in an extroverted world requires a lot of energy. Sometimes I have to push myself to be outgoing and work with others. Sometimes I wish that society could accommodate introverts more and respect the strengths that we have rather than mainly focusing on our weaknesses and encouraging us to change.

Great leaders can be introverts. Introverts can accomplish great things and be in a social field of work. Introverts can do anything an extrovert can but just may have different preferences. Rather than looking to go out with a group of friends to end a busy day, I prefer to stay in and be alone. I thrive on the energy of being alone, and alone time at night is necessary to power me through the next day.

Maybe one day, society will become more accommodating and be accepting of introverted qualities. But, for now, us introverts will continue to live an extroverted world and power on.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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9 Things 'Type A' People Know All Too Well

To all my fellow 'try-hards.'

“You are SO Type A.”

This phrase is one that people like to say about those of us who seem a little “too organized,” try a little "too hard," or tend to be "overly ambitious" and driven. At times, this reference can sound a bit derogatory, but it’s how people like us excel in our lives and what sets us apart. Am I right my fellow “Type A-ers”?

I bet you know all too well how familiar these things are:

1.You write absolutely everything down.

Thank goodness for your planner.

2. You’re always in a rush.

And you’ve never really been a fan of slow walkers or talkers.

3. 'Competition' is your middle name.

And 'winning' tends to be your last.

4. You have a million different to-do lists.

What would you do without post its, scribbles, and reminders on your phone?

5. You plan out every hour of your day.

Including bathroom breaks!

6. You don't waste any time.

Multi-tasking while waiting for other things comes second nature to you.

7. You're constantly stressed.

Even when there's no need to be.

8. You have an insane work ethic.

Including the inability to go to sleep until you get everything done.

9. You're a perfectionist in EVERYTHING you do.

Because giving anything other than 100% is unacceptable to you.

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10 Things Lefties Know All Too Well

It's a right-handed world, and we're living in it.

Making up 10% of the world's population, us left-handed people are the vast minority. We are constantly reminded of this statistic which is, yes, flattering but also a reminder that the world is prepared for a population of right-handed people. Hey, we have neither outnumbered the right-handed population nor gone extinct which suggests that our dominant hand has not given us any survival advantage or disadvantage. But we do have our shared experiences and challenges of being lefties living in a right-handed world.

Here are 10 things us lefties know all too well:

1. Other people's amazement when you sign your name.

Oftentimes when I have to sign my name or fill out a form, people act like they're witnessing a lunar eclipse because I'm using a pen with my left hand. Yes, sometimes I enjoy getting told how unique I am, but come on, I'm just putting my name on a line. It's not that exciting.

2. The crippling inability to write on a straight line.

Because we (inconveniently) have to write left to right, it can be awkward to do that when we're left-handed. When I'm not writing on lined paper, I write pretty much on a diagonal. Even when I am writing on lined paper, sometimes, I write pretty much on a diagonal (notice my English notes above).

3. Ink covering the side of your hand.

Once again, the whole writing left to right rule is awkward when you're left-handed. When I write in pen, the side of my hand drags over the words I have already written and by the end, my hand is covered in ink. People have looked at me in horror and asked about the "bruise" on the side of my hand. It's from a pen, calm down. Yes, this is actually my hand after I took an essay-based exam.

4. Elbowing the right-handed person next to you.

All lefties know (and can probably calculate the frequency of) how often they elbow a right-handed person sitting to the left of them when they're doing something with their left hand. The person may get mad, but hey, we can't help that we're so special. One time, I sat in a very cramped lecture hall only to discover that, to the left of me, was another lefty! Never had I felt luckier to not have to apologize every time I elbowed somebody.

5. Using everyday tools is a struggle.

From the discriminatory design of three-ring binders to the scarce supply lefty scissors in art class, most people automatically assume that every single person in this world is right-handed. One time, I was trying to use the right-handed can opener in the kitchen and I had to figure out a more creative way to open up the pumpkin puree, a creative way that left me with a bleeding hand.

6. Identifiable handwriting.

Many of us lefties are known to have "lefty handwriting." At least I know I do. With a distinct slant and "odd" ways of writing certain letters, people recognize my penmanship. I learned the hard way that I can never hand write anonymous notes because everybody knows my printing.

7. "Are you a lefty?"

I love when I complete a task with my left hand and I always get asked this question. If I'm feeling snarky, I respond with, "I'm not. My right hand is just tired." Of course I am! I would never choose to have my handwriting look like a kindergartner's or awkwardly try to lift food into my mouth, so therefore I will not use my right hand.

8. Right-handed desks.

As a college student, these right-handed desks in big lecture halls are the bane of my existence. I often have to lean or twist my body in weird ways to reach over and write on the opposite side. Believe me, it's not fun to have a backache after I try to take notes in class.

9. Making the transition to become ambidextrous.

Maybe ambidextrous is an exaggeration, but I did have to train myself to switch to my right hand for certain tasks. Since my guitar teacher could not teach me how to play guitar with my left hand, I learned with my right. I also played field hockey and had to learn how to use a hockey stick with my right hand since left-handed sticks were illegal.

10. Coming to the realization that the world isn't built for you, but you're special anyway.

Studies prove that lefties are more accustomed to doing right-handed tasks than righties are to do left-handed tasks because of the world's bias towards righties. Lefties are also quicker thinkers with an ability to process information faster across both sides of the brain. While often the odd ones out in many respects, we actually have neurological and physical advantages. Our dominant hand can be our secret weapon!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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