What is it like to be shy? To be an introvert in a loud world?
Our way of thinking is divided between two personalities. Those that are outspoken, that steps up to the challenge and makes friends as fast as a cheetah. They are the extrovert group.
And those who don’t tend to speak out, that studies the challenge for so long before making a move, and it takes a dedicated person to make friends with them, they are the introverted group. For many extroverted people being shy is a term directly correlated with being anti-social. Or with being just a plain weirdo. But for me, an introverted person, being shy is one of the things that makes up the mysterious personality we have.
Actually being shy is actually just being observant of the world. We take the time to know our surroundings including people and ways to exit an awkward situation. It’s being articulate and precise in your work, no matter if it’s just cleaning your room. We tend to analyze every situation before jumping in. We like our “quiet time” to just recharged from battling every day with a whole what is too upbeat and cannot understand the needs of those who are introverted. It can also be a curse. In my experience it is hard to make friends and not because I’m anti-social. I enjoy meeting new people and I’m quite open. It’s just the process of making me open up that is hard. Perhaps many introverts have felt this way, but it takes much more patience and dedication to actually have someone to consider a friend. The challenge many extroverts have is become friends to someone who likes being quiet at times and who likes personal space.
Constantly I’ve had been cast off of group project or social gathering for the mere fact that “I don’t talk much.” And that bothers me. Take the time to know an introvert and don’t give up too quickly on them. Understand that they study the person before becoming friends with them. Be patient, outspoken people. Introverts are generally afraid of small conversations; I know I am. But they can go on for hours in deep discussions. So we do talk! And if provoke our voices can be heard loud and clear.
For a long time, I wanted to be extroverted, to let my voice rung out and be heard by many. I cannot because I am an introvert and that is who I will always be. But I can try to be heard, in different ways. Many introverted people are musicians, poets, authors, creators, inventors. They renovate the world not by words but actions. As Susan Cain said in her book, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking”, “The secret to life is to put yourself in the right lighting. For some, it's a Broadway spotlight; for others, a lamp lit desk. Use your natural powers -- of persistence, concentration, and insight -- to do work you love and work that matters. Solve problems. make art, think deeply.”
Introversion is not abnormal. It is not something that can be cured, it is a personality. It’s the way many people live their lives. Sometimes to be powerful you have to remain quiet. And know when the opportune moment arises.
“Don't think of introversion as something that needs to be cured. So stay true to your own nature. If you like to do things in a slow and steady way, don't let others make you feel as if you have to race. If you enjoy depth, don't force yourself to seek breadth. If you prefer single-tasking to multi-tasking, stick to your guns. Being relatively unmoved by rewards gives you the incalculable power to go your own way.”
Stay true to you, and no one else.