Folks, I had a busy week with festivals lined up, series of phone interviews and a family event. I was sitting on the bed, exhausted. I curled up with book with teddy by my side. Then, there was usual tingling feeling inside me. The feeling I get only when I am close to someone I am close to. But there was no special friend around, nobody I fell in love with, no person I have special connection with, not even my parents. I was feeling relaxed as time ticked away. So, how was it that I felt rejuvenated? Oh, it was just ME.
This recharging is an important aspect of my life, just like any introvert. So, I put my pen to discuss a phenomenon that is most loosely stated and least constructively understood. Introversion is a common personality trait found in almost one-third to half of the population, but it still surprises me how little it has been acknowledged.
The misconceptions are so deeply ingrained in our culture that I encounter it almost every now and then. I see it as my reflection is considered as slow, my restrained show of affection is taken as insensitivity and my peaceful silence and need for quiet- arrogance and aloofness.
Somehow, introversion has never bothered me. From very early on, I embraced it in its full beauty. It is a part of me- just like my height (God, 2 inches more!), my complexion (thankfully I fulfill quintessential fairness criteria) and my eye color (did you say there was chance of inheriting blue, damn).
I won the genetic lottery as I inherited the introversion. I look around at the broken relationships all around and consider how beautiful it is to have lifelong friendships. I see the destruction filling people’s lonely life and consider how convenient it is to have a book as a companion. I get irritated by constant status updates, social media intrusion and phones beeping and consider how relieving it is to have a low-key profile.
- Good listening skills
- Strong relationships
- Ability to hear and direct inner thoughts
Nevertheless, it is still a matter in closet as the term is used loosely for every weakness of human mind which even a true blood introvert like me cringes at. It saddens me how undervalued introversion is, both to the world and to introverts themselves. And why not. Every disturbed, depressed person is labeled as introverted, every psychotic disorder is associated with loneliness and every show of weakness is regarded as subtlety. Therefore, if you are parenting an introvert or are an introvert, there are things you should be aware of.
Sometimes, in my mind, I relate it to the idea of feminism. Girls, if given proper encouragement and support, turn out to be better than boys as they acknowledge what has been given to them. Similarly, if you have an introvert in your life, an ounce of extra care will go miles in blossoming them to their fullest potential.
I am not advocating any revolution that aims at making introversion as an equal personality or any forum to address their degraded state of affairs. I am not selling introversion as an excuse to not being able to do anything you want to, although it requires little extra effort to work. Truth is, we all are work in progress. We all could have our developed sides of both introversion and extroversion – a stable inner life and communicative outer life.
And if you have both, trust me – it does not matter what any personality test tells you.