In The Mind Of An Introvert

Today, we live in a world of extroverts. We, introverts, feel marginalised.

At least, I do.

shy and introverted girl

Today, what is needed to survive in this modern and demanding society? Communication skills. Voice. Team spirit.

Indeed, these are important qualities, but what about those who prefer to develop their passion in reclusion?

Albert Einstein is an introvert

Writers, painters… artists all over the world are now compelled to develop a social life, digital or not, so as to sell their arts. That’s a good thing, yes, but most of them being introverts… that’s not easy.

And anyway, these careers are mostly laughed at and no more taken seriously.

Because we now live in a world of extroverts.

susan cain and the power of introverts

As an introvert, struggling to be at least a little extrovert for basic survival, I have come to realise that:

– I tend to reach out to a solitary life, but then at some point, I just feel lonely. But when I go back to the crowded world, I also at a certain point recoil again.

– I am stuck in my own world. And I don’t mind.

– I tend to keep things to myself. My feelings, good or bad. My thoughts. And it feels like a time bomb inside my chest, ready to explode at any moment.

– I sometimes forget to pay attention to the people around me. Always lost within myself, as if there is an invisible and invincible wall between me and the rest of the world.

– I guess this all makes me selfish.

The introverted antisocial fish

– I realise that, I may have many friends, but in the end, I only have acquaintances, except for one or two exceptions.

– Indeed, I’m not an open book for anyone to read. Some might think that you know everything about me… but even my secret diary doesn’t. So.

– Plainly, I’m just so shy.

Does anyone feel the same? Or it is just me?

Are there more qualities of an introvert as I to add?

introvert sherlock holmes

Nevertheless, I’ve been making some efforts about going to the outside world. Blogging, for instance, has helped overcome my shyness. I’m still shy and reluctant to speak out, but I’m better at communication now.

At school, I have also learnt how to speak out orally in class as well.

I’m starting to be more concerned about the world around me. Open my eyes and be more active.

I’ve been able to show my deepest feelings and thoughts, to say them out loud.

I’m making efforts.

I’ve indeed never been that courageous in one year.

Yet, finally, I come back to where I was. Maybe not completely, but it’s close. I still crave for solitude. I love to be lost within my own world.

And I write. I create art. The arts have always been a solitary path, am I not right? At least, in the creating process. For the marketing stuff… that’s not of our concern for this post.

introvert artist sherlock holmes

In the end, I then wonder: why should I even try to change who I really am?

I might learn how to speak out and get these famous communicative skills that every acceptable job is looking for in an employee, but deep inside, I will always be shy. I will always be petrified in a crowd. That’s my nature.

I might learn to show off merry feelings, go with arms wide open to people and cover my face with an extrovert mask, but beneath, I’m as any introvert. Reserved. Secretive.

Mysterious? 😉

introverts are awesome

Indeed, we are!

Never try to change your personality. It’s only exhausting. Just adapt it to the world around you. Or even better: make the world adapt itself to you! Be proud of who you truly are and never deny it.

Thus to conclude, I’ll quote the most common quote ever:

Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.

By Oscar Wilde of course!

So, reader, are you an introvert or extrovert? Any particular thoughts to add?

An Evil Nymph.

57 thoughts on “In The Mind Of An Introvert

  1. I am a defo introvert and proud, it makes us more intriguing, mysterious, an enigma. This does two things to people they are so interested in you they try break through your shell, or we scare them because they are frightened of what they might find..:)

  2. I enjoy that Oscar Wilde quote and your whole post about introversion. I’m definitely an introvert though at times I’ve done some fairly extroverted things in the world. I’m still debating within myself if being a bit more extroverted would be a good idea in 2013. Thanks for the reminder to be proud to be an introvert! Karen

    1. Thank you! So you’re an extroverted introvert? 🙂 I can totally relate. Maybe it’ll be more helpful to be more extroverted but we must not forget our true and introverted personality. You’re welcome!

  3. I really like this post and the TED talk. It’s hard for me to make online and IRL friends because I am so introverted. Nowadays, I kind of just throw myself out there to meet people, but being quiet, people often think I am boring. So I am constantly developing a best foot to put forward but it is a lot of work. I just want to write books but in 2013 that just will not cut it anymore. A writer has to be extroverted or no one will buy her books. All my best ideas are in my books, but no one will know that if they find me boring online. Sad but largely true.

  4. I can relate. Around people I feel close to I can be extroverted, but in the larger scheme of things I am an introvert. I’m quiet and a lot of times prefer my own space. After a long day of dealing with a crowded commute, lots of loud energy in the office and other craziness, I just want to go home and be by myself. I turn my phone’s ringer off (unless I’m expecting a call) and try to find some semblance of peace and quiet.

  5. Nice brave post Evil Nymph. Yes…introverts are being more and more marginalized…or they are being monetized…mined for their thoughts or creations…that are then sold by others for profit. But…things may cycle around…or we will go extinct…lol…

    I enjoy being myself around people…it is just more comfortable…I’ll smile and laugh…crack an inappropriate joke or comment…that seems to make people laugh…or not…but I don’t feel the need to lead the discussion or be the center of attention….I used to worry about these things now and again…as we are told to behave differently in order to succeed…but I don’t worry about them any more. True, interviews are difficult…I don’t enjoy talking about myself in that kind of setting…trying to market myself…and say how great I am…I have…and always will…struggle with that.

    I really enjoy close relationships with a few…a special woman…a few family members…friends…to me…as you pointed out…are more like acquaintances…

    I am happiest when I am traveling and discovering…or walking outside amongst beauty…either alone…or a special person…that can also be quiet and not constantly talking about nothing….I like to observe…nature and people…and think…and writing…well…that is merely thinking peacefully and quietly out loud. I think I can see more than many people…when I am in crowds…I look up…at the sky…the clouds…or I think my own thoughts…tuning out the noise and chaos…these things make me happy…feel comfortable…feel like myself.

    1. Thank you. Yes it’s true and anyway, we need both introverts and extroverts in this world. I can see that you are torn between the two types and that’s great. Drawing your energy from nature and being alone and then spreading it among the people you appreciate. Thank you for sharing your opinions.

  6. believe it or not, I’m an introvert. My family calls me a hermit, and call my room my lair. I’d rather read mangas, play video games, than date. I don’t lack dates, but I feel lazy dressing up…

  7. I could be your mom and have always been an introvert living in an extrovert life 🙂
    Love this post, and I can relate. I enjoy people and helping people. And yet there is that solitude side of me that loves to stay in instead of being out all the time. I would rather entertain in, than being entertained out 🙂

    I hope you don’t mind if I reblog your link on my reblog page?

  8. I have found introverts to be the most interesting types of people….difficult to get to know but well worth it. There is much to be heard in silence. Excellent post—I can totally relate. 🙂

    1. Yes that’s true! I’m much drawn to introverts like myself, but since I am one as well, it’s so hard to break in and get to be closer with the person. Yet indeed it’s definitely worth to try!

  9. I’m an introvert too. Maybe for this reason, I’m not successful in my job. I should be in those jobs such as writers, painters or musicians! But it’s rather late to regret!

  10. I think the best way to be an extrovert without really trying is to blog. I relate to everything else you say though,. The world is just so noisy and invasive. Introverts always have the most interesting things to say, i find.

  11. I’m totally an introvert. I’ve recently come to accept that I’m also a loner. As you say, there is nothing wrong with that, as long as you are happy within yourself. Good on you!

  12. Great post! That pretty much describes me . . . I don’t mind it, a bit, I’ve never needed to be the center of a large group’s attention or felt like I wasn’t worth something because I’ve only got a few close friends who are more like family than my actual blood relatives, but one way I look at it too is that if you don’t develop some social skills and get a little comfortable in that arena, you can also come across as off-putting to people who don’t know you well enough to be able to realize you’re an introvert and not just ignoring them or blocking them out.

  13. This is a wonderful post. I am a lifelong introvert. When I went to school, I was also remarkably shy, and school was a trial because of it. I’m not as shy as I used to be, but I am still an introvert! Just like you say in your post, if you’re an introvert, it’s who you are, how you’re wired. You can’t change it, you can only work with it. Crowds and big parties exhaust me. I’d much rather escape to a quiet place and write. And the funny thing is, as writers, artists–we love to create works of art. But when it comes to marketing them, that is a lot harder. The two skills/traits are very different. Writing/creating is a solitary endeavor. Marketing, by definition, is an extroverted skill. It’s hard for a writer to wear both hats, but we have to. Great post, and from one introvert to another–thanks for sharing!

  14. Coming late to the party, but I do like this post quite a bit. As a strongly introverted person, I’ve struggled for years to do the things I was supposed to – especially in high school and college – and not be miserable. It took me until my mid-twenties to even realize I was an introvert. Once you know, you can balance your needs with those of the world much easier. Glad you’ve discovered this at an age where you can prevent yourself some pain.

    As for Cain’s book, the Communications team at work (mostly editors and writers, which tend to be introverts) are reading and discussing this book starting next month. Looking forward to seeing if she has more insights to get the most out of an introverted life in an extroverted world.


    1. It’s never too late to read and comment on any of my posts, don’t worry. I’ve been confused a lot as well and I thought that my introvert attitude was just an… ‘illness’ that should be cured as the years go by. Indeed, I’m glad I realised it early.
      That’s awesome! Her words should travel the world and beyond!
      Thanks for reading!

  15. Thank you for writing this post. I’m glad that more people are expressing that it’s ok be be introverted. I was fine with my introversion until I moved out of my parents house and found myself to be a fish out of water, and wondering what was wrong with me. It’s taken a long time for me to come to terms with myself but I’m learning the advantages of being an introvert out weighs everything else. Plus sometimes it’s nice just standing back and watch the world as if your a fly on the wall. 🙂

    1. Thanks for the reblog!

      It’s been a great pleasure to write this. It’s always a little harder for us introverts to get out there into the world, but we have our own qualities as well indeed. 🙂 So true!

  16. This was excellent. I am at a point in my life where I reflect a lot. Like you, I have my exceptions… but most are aquaintances. My husband spends a lot of time wanting more, nurturing, volunteering and cultivating new relationships. I know when we moved away from the home I had known most of my life….I went into a great depression. Granted it was only 4 hours away…he said, “You will make new friends” I said, “I have enough friends” Okay, so that was just a stupid comment. I would have missed out on a lot of who I now deem as my exceptions… if I had stayed THAT stubborn… but I GET what you mean.
    Though I have probably lived twice a lifetime according to time spent than you… there is no contest here… I do want to point out… that in your lifetime friendships will not know race, gender or age. I have taken time to nurture friendships with people as young as my children or as old as my grandparents and feel the connection as deeply as friends I have had in college. I have been out going and fun and I have been introverted and cautious.
    And you are right the world has adpated. But I wonder… have I missed out during times of stubborness and explained it away as being introverted?
    I know that right now, I am in a place of just wanting to write. My husband might call that depression. My social circles might see that as introverted. I see it as just being the one that wants to jump into the lone fishbowl and get some work done….
    I loved this post… it has made me think and ramble 🙂

  17. Evilny,this is an awesome post most people can relate to.Lovely pictures.l appreciate your vist and liking my post (Soltana) have a delightful day.jalal

  18. I agree – we do tend to be marginalized in this world of extroverts. But while being a social butterfly might not come naturally to us, the things that do come naturally to us are things that we often do extremely well. We just have different strengths than extroverts – often the unique and mysterious kinds that can shock and amaze extroverts. Keep up the introvert pride!

  19. I must have missed this post over the holidays, but this is a topic I think many creative types must ponder. I do my best work in long stretches of solitude. It was especially hard when I was younger, because I did need *some* social interactions, but they tended to be time consuming and make me feel like I wasn’t utilizing my creative energy well. I have a really good balance in my life right now– I’m married, but I work a lot quietly, but having that other person in the room is the level of social energy I crave.

    I read a definition once that extroverts gain energy in the presence of others while introverts expend it. This is me to a tee. I like people and I like to see them, but it drains my battery. Trying to explain this to extroverts is hard, since the world is geared towards them right now. We introverts are out there, we just aren’t so conspicuous. =)

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