Why Society Needs To Stop Overlooking Introverts
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Why Society Needs To Stop Overlooking Introverts

The truth is being an introvert isn't a limit.

Why Society Needs To Stop Overlooking Introverts

Being slightly reserved it is easy for one to call me an introvert. A title that although accurate, angers me. The title bothers me because in America being an introvert is viewed as a bad thing. You see whenever someone is talking about a person who is outgoing it is like, “John is so outgoing. Everyone just loves him.” And they smile and nod. Then, when people talk about someone who is an introvert it is like, “Oh he is a little bit shy...” Cue the pity face and light chuckle as everyone feels bad. But why is that? Why do people feel bad for someone who is reserved? Being introverted isn't a bad thing, and by the end of this article, you will see why you should stop pitying the shy, and instead appreciate them.

In the words of Carl Jung, the great psychotherapist who created the field of analytical psychology, the definition of an introvert is someone who focuses on one's inner psychic activity. In contrast, he says that an extrovert is someone who focuses on the outside world. What this means, is that an introvert is not inevitability shy, but that he or she is focused on creating dialogue, rather than speaking, and creating an external dialogue. This is not to say that they can't, or don't want to talk, but rather they are more methodical, and like time to think through what they want to say. They want to talk to express meaning, rather than talk to talk. For an introvert, it is better to speak less and mean more. A skill that is often underrated in the war of words.

I think most people feel bad for introverts because they view it as a limit. They can't be a good leader because they are too quiet and can't demand a room. It's harder for them to make friends. They aren't as good at networking. They can't have as much fun because they are self-conscious, and are nervous when around big groups of people. And on and on...

The truth is being an introvert isn't a limit. It may be a lifestyle that closes some doors, but it also opens plenty of others. I have stood up in front of a crowd and performed stand-up comedy. I have done poetry at an open mic. And you know what? I love getting up in front of crowds to give a speech. I love demanding everyone's attention.

As for being a leader, it doesn't take someone talking your ear off to get you motivated to do work. In fact, by being an introvert, when I go to lead a group, I have already gone through hundreds of situations in my head. I have really thought through what needs to be done and how to do it. I may not have talked to everyone, but I have observed them. I have seen the concerns of the group, and most of all I have listened. See when people are talking, they aren't always listening. That being said, sometimes the one who is the quietest is the one who learns the most. They see all sides and have taken into consideration all arguments. Instead of wasting energy thinking of a response to someone's argument, or voicing their own concerns, an introvert listens. A skill that all great leaders should possess.

When it comes to making friends, I have never had a problem meeting new people and spending my free time hanging out with people my age. Do I struggle to socialize in a group larger than 4 or 5? Yes, but I don't need to be hanging out with more than 5 people at one time. It is more meaningful to be around fewer people and has a deeper connection than many people that you barely know, or care to get to know.

As for the benefits, being an introvert is immensely rewarding. First off, remember how I said that introverts are very deep inside their own head? Well, some of the greatest ideas come from deep inside the mind. In fact, many of the greatest minds have been introverts. To name a few, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Steven Spielberg, Sir Isaac Newton, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mark Zuckerberg and current commander and chief, Barack Obama. Oh, and if you are yawning at how boring these individuals are, here are some famous performers that are known introverts. Steve Martin, Meg Ryan, Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, Beyonce, and Ellen Degeneres.

Being a writer, the ability to disconnect from external stimuli, and focus on my work has always been an advantage. It allows me to find a new place and spend my time filling it with all the passing thoughts that many let drift by. It's not surprising that there are comedians on the list of famous introverts. Having a solid routine involves writing, writing, and more writing. Speaking of which, it's hard to write a novel when you are always hanging out with your friends, and in an endless loop of the go go go lifestyle that so many extroverts find appealing. Lucky for the world JK Rowling is an introvert, and we have Harry Potter to thank for it.

Lastly, being an introvert, it is easy to say no to going out, and instead staying in and focusing on ourselves. Spending our free time doing whatever we want, we find out more about who we are. We have a deep understanding of our emotions, and what we stand for. Sometimes it is hard to know who you are when you are lost in a crowd. As much as society wants us to believe being alone is a bad thing, sometimes being alone is what we need most.

So, next time you see someone sitting alone at a party, or notice that someone in your class is a bit reserved, don't count them out. Instead, approach them, and let a meaningful conversation ensue as you constantly find yourself saying, “I have never thought about that.” Neither extrovert nor introvert is better than the other. They are equal, and both come with their pluses and minuses. Something our society forgets about all too often.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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