Do you find yourself identifying as an introvert but feeling like you can’t truly be yourself? Do you feel judged for not joining in with the after work socials? Do you reluctantly oblige to those coffee dates because you don’t want people to think you’re a recluse?
I get it. As a self-proclaimed introvert I understand exactly how you feel.
Society has branded us all with the SHY name tag.
“She doesn’t talk much, she must be shy”
During my school years, teachers always referred to me as; shy and quiet. It had an effect on me. I started to live up to the label. Even on the very few days that I felt extroverted I always had this quiet voice reminding me that I’m the ‘shy one’ so I better keep quiet.
That’s why today I am going to dispel some myths about introversion. I am going to get rid of the negative view you had about your quietness.
Newsflash! It’s not a problem and you’re not strange.
Introvert = Shy
In today’s world, introversion has ended up with a lot of negative connotations. Somehow, introversion has ended up meaning shy, socially awkward and recluse. If you don’t believe me just take a look at our dictionary definitions!
A shy, reticent person – Oxford Dictionary (1)
Someone who is shy, quiet and unable to make friends easily – Cambridge Dictionary (2)
These definitions do not accurately describe the personality that so many of us hold! Unable to make friends easily? Introverts actually pride themselves on making strong and deep connections with people and do not necessarily find it difficult to make friends. It’s just that we would rather have a small group of friends…because…well…it’s less draining for us!
But false definitions such as this will continue to remain…and no one is challenging this! I guess we can put it down to our non-confrontational approach! Instead we all just accept the definition and write passive aggressive blog posts such as this ! lol
But if we actually look at what the word means you’ll realise it means something completely different!
The word introvert actually comes from the Latin word intro and vertere. Literally translated as ‘to the inside to turn’, (3).
This basically means that introversion is the preference of turning your thoughts inwards. For example, rather than speaking to friends and family about an idea, an introvert may ponder over it for hours/days before telling anyone. They focus inwardly and direct their thoughts to themselves first.
Introversion is all about gaining energy and your sense of being from the inside out. It’s not about being shy (although there are shy introverts – but equally there are shy extroverts). It’s definitely not about just being socially awkward, because I believe communicating effectively is a skill you can develop (if you choose to.)
And if you’re still unclear…
An introvert can be all of these things and more! They can be bold, confident and quiet. When you focus your energies inwardly you are still free to express yourself in any way you choose. You just know what you need to do when you want to recharge! All the other definitions we know today are merely false extensions of the true meaning. They are misrepresenting what it truly means to be introverted!
So hopefully I’ve dispelled a few myths today!
Now how do you start a petition to redefine a word?
How do you feel about being an introvert? Have you accepted it ?
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