If you are an introvert looking to find others like you or an extrovert trying to better understand their introverted loved ones, this blog was created for you. Why? Introversion can be downright painful. And for some, we are desperate to change but know it’s baked into our DNA.
For many years, I thought I was the only one who felt uncomfortable in my introverted skin and often fantasized about being somebody else. The truth is, this activity cements the idea that you don’t like or accept yourself and I got tired of feeling this way.
You Are Not Alone
With some research, I found a sizable community of people who felt similarly:
No Cure Required
Extroverts make socializing and loving the company of others look so easy. It even looks fun but for some reason it’s not always fun for me. Outside of the occasional Red Bull and vodka binger, I haven’t found a cure.
The key is to stop wanting to cure yourself. Noticing these distinct differences between introverts and extroverts cause introverts to ask themselves questions like:
Some introverts have even said they’ve been made to feel like they have some kind of disease that needs to be cured. For about 90% of my life, I thought I was the only one who felt this way. I didn't want to feel so awkward or weird anymore but didn’t know what was wrong. Knowing I wasn't alone helped me to accept myself and I wanted to help others do the same.
I Didn't Realize I Didn't Accept Myself
In life, some of us want to be just as social, outgoing and charismatic like the greatest of extroverts.Now, I can see that I was forcing myself into groups and social situations to "get over it" hoping with practice these things would become easier and more comfortable.
I would enroll in "fun" things like kickball teams with strangers and wonder why I approached each game with nervousness, hatred and dread. I signed up for group martial arts classes and wondered why I came home so depleted and drained. Now, it seems so obvious. I was just an introvert, throwing myself into extroverted situations and expecting myself to buck up and perform.
Stop Trying to Change
I thought more practice with people would change me. I wasn’t aware of who I was or what made me happy. I spent time trying to force happiness in all the wrong ways. I started to read more about introversion and notice subtleties in my day to day activity:
These were all hints nudging me to understand who I truly was so I could accept it, leverage it and STOP trying to change it.
This isn’t totally simple...why?
Just the shear amount of times we are told to:
We Are Fine - The Way We Are
I used to feel this pressure daily. Now, I know that introverts don't need to change or act differently. Introversion itself is a strength and if those around us don't accept that, then they're not our friends.
Various books on strengths have shown something I deeply believe in -leverage your strengths and stop focusing on weaknesses and areas of improvement. Instead we need to take the time to focus where we are strong so we can build up our confidence and capabilities in ways we've never seen before.
As introverts if we simply stop wondering why we aren't more extroverted and start focusing on the positive side of introversion, we can make an impact as we are. This eliminates what I call a "lack mentality" in our minds which happens when you focus on what you DON’T have versus what you DO have.
This quote from Oprah Winfrey says it best:
"Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never have enough."
Together through Rising Introverts, let's cultivate a community that focuses on what we HAVE as introverts. I want every one of us to find our strength and grow it. Let's show ourselves and the extroverted world how OUR introversion makes a positive difference.
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“Rising Introverts gave me a roadmap that involved affirmations and I started reading them everyday. Due to the constant reading of my affirmations in the morning and evening, I started feeling positive about the things I needed to change. After three weeks of reading the affirmations I started seeing change because I believed in the changes I wanted. I had five affirmations and have achieved three of them so far.”
“While working with Amanda at Rising Introverts, I’ve learned to see myself in a much better light. I have gained more confidence and I am able to do things now that would have caused major anxiety before. I was depressed and feeling down and now I’ve learned to manage my feelings in a way that allows me to zap negative thinking immediately versus days later. Thanks to Rising Introverts, I can honestly say I’ve gone from feeling depressed to a happier person and I don’t even take my anti-depressants anymore. “