Introversion [in-trə-ˈvər-zhən]: The act of directing one's interest inward or to things within the self
From the outside looking in, introversion can be seen as a call for company. When someone is alone, it could be natural human instinct to want to communicate with that person and make them feel cared about. However, some people take solace in their time alone.
Introversion is a basic personality style characterized by a preference for the inner life of the mind over the outer world of other people.
From what we can read in this excerpt from Psychology Today, we can understand that introverts prefer their inner lives compared to external stimuli. This brings up the polar opposite of introversion, which is extroversion, where people enjoy being in large groups and are more prone to be outgoing individuals.
In a world that seems to value the strong and loudly opinionated individuals, there is a quiet strength in being an introvert. Instead of always speaking our mind, we tend to stay inside our heads a lot of the time and only open up to the people we trust. This makes our social circle much smaller, but we tend to feel more connected with the ones we keep close.
A common misconception is that introverts are anti-social. On the contrary, a lot of introverts love talking with people, but they are not so fond of small talk. Instead, they prefer to have one-on-one chats that could be about more contemplative subjects to try and get to know the other person more. When introverts are in larger groups, it is harder for them to have this connection with others, thus making them feel drained in larger social situations.
Introverts need time to recharge their social batteries, and because of this they need time to themselves. As an introvert myself, I feel we tend to reflect a lot on our past experiences and even try to find meaning in the little moments in life. Sometimes, this leads to overthinking as well, but we tend to get lost in our inner world for a while.
However, introversion does not have to be black and white. A lot of people could be mostly introverted, but could be extroverted in certain situations, thus making them ambiverts.
Now, if we are to analyze what makes an introvert an introvert, we can probably trace it back to childhood. From my personal experience, I was pretty socially awkward as a child and this made it hard to keep certain friendships. I often relied on friends as a crutch, as maybe some of you did back in high school and elementary, and I wanted to be part of a group. However, it was only later on in my life that I started to realize the joy in being alone.
This could have stemmed from the fact that I was often bullied in school, and eventually I learned to rely on myself. I decided to be more by myself in my senior year of high school, and it was challenging at first. I felt like I was being stared at and ridiculed because I was alone and not with a designated friend group like everyone else. In reality. that year I learned to be comfortable by myself, and that later changed my outlook on life.
Fast forward about a decade and I am now someone who, while in a very happy long-term relationship, loves to eat at restaurants alone, do solo activities, and enjoy time with her own self. I learned to not rely on others for my happiness, and that it was okay for me to put myself first. In fact, my introversion was responsible for the creation of my blog, website, and everything else Common Sense Living!
In short, introversion helps us be more self-reliant, although this is not to say that extroverts are not self-reliant either.
We all have our own rich inner worlds, and they are worth exploring. I find that we can learn a lot from introverts, because they see the world in a different way. Although we do not need to conform to a certain label in order to enjoy our own company, it is important to acknowledge that we are all capable of thoughtful reflection and a little bit of self-love.