The Gift Of Introversion

“The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.”

― Aldous Huxley

Some people have a negative view of introverted people. They view them as aloof, too serious, arrogant, rude, morose, antisocial, or awkward. I am introverted and I think that people who have a negative view about introverts simply misunderstand them.

Introverts prefer time spent alone and find less reward in time spent with large groups of people. Their energy tends to grow through reflection and dwindle during interaction. If we wince when invited to a large gathering, it’s not because we don’t like other people. Nothing could be further from the truth. Introverts like social interactions in small doses. Introverts know that all of the chattering, conversation, and noise that large groups of people produce, although fine for short periods of time, becomes like a grater on the soul if the time is extended. It’s simply too over-stimulating for us. We’re sensitive to, and begin to feel overwhelmed by, a lot of sensory stimulation. Believe it or not, most introverts need time to recover after extended time spent in groups or gatherings.

Introverts often take pleasure in solitary activities such as reading, writing, and using computers. In contrast, an extroverted person is likely to enjoy and feel energized when they spend time with other people. They usually find less enjoyment in time spent alone. They fail to grasp what the introvert is getting out of all of that solitude. They assume that spending time with others is always welcome, and when they meet an introvert, they think there is something wrong with them. When you consider that approximately 75% of people are extroverted, you begin to understand why the introverted people get a negative view.

“Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Introversion is not a choice or a lifestyle. It's an orientation. We’re not shy, depressed, antisocial, arrogant, aloof, or rude. We’re reflective, thoughtful, inspired, creative people who need a great amount of solitude. Solitude is a crucial ingredient for creativity, which is why I don’t view my introversion as a flaw, but rather as a great gift! I love to write, draw, and express myself through my creativity! My soul sings when I have solitude.
kiansi kiansi
46-50, F
13 Responses Jul 25, 2012

I just copied and pasted this into my email a few times....fantastic. I wish I had found this 30 years ago, it would have explained a lot.

Thank you for this. It's beautiful!!

YES!!!! you nailed it.

Awesome explanation. I agree and meet all these requirements. Only I lean a little toward simply not being so excited about people.

Interesting post. I do wonder what the ratio of introverts to extroverts is on a site like this.

Prolly 25:1?

Beautiful. Simply beautiful.

Yes a lot of introverts are and have been the great thinkers and creators of Beauty in the world:-)

i agree with you. i like the chance to read, think and re-charge my batteries. It is helpful to know the thought processes of extroverts in order to work effectively with them.

You are awesome.<br />
<br />
Dario (aka Mr Introvert)


Love it.

Thank you

I am in love with this story! I appreciate how well you describe the lifestyle of an introvert. Least now I'm not as confused as to why I become drained in my work environment after a while of interaction and sociality, its because my introvertism required me to recharge so I can start again fresh. Among many other things you've explained with vivid clarity. It's funny how most people don't even know what an introvert is, so when they ask you why you're distant or not as interactive, you can only shrug and sigh because it's not a an easy thing to explain. It's not a disease or syndrome, it's a way of life. I'm definitely faving this. Thank you for sharing this :)

No problem! I'm happy you enjoyed it!

This is great. I get so tired of having to explain to people why I look sad or depressed when it's because I just can't handle being around large groups of people for an excessive period of time. If I don't get my time alone to escape I get cruel and cold.<br />
For me, it has to do with caring about the comfort of others too much. I am an introverted people-pleaser so I get really down on myself for not being able to have a good time without smiling when I need to and making sure others aren't uncomfortable around me. But it's also that I really don't care what others think of me, or myself in general, or opinions, etc, so it's just hard to be around others and play the amiable, "friend" role. I like the people that surround me, but I don't have much in common with them besides pretending to like what they do just to have some companionship. I feel like this is just an innate pack-animal thing, but I also feel smarter than that. Like mind of matter.<br />
You're right, a person needs time to contemplate his or herself. It's not healthy to go with the flow too much in the world as it is now because we are surrounded by subliminal manipulation that is much more clever than we are. Some of us aren't happy with just doing what we see- we need to create and stimulate. One of my professors said "cliches mean the world is done". I'm not happy with recycling thoughts, but the people I hang around with adhere too decidedly to stagnation and simply pleasurable experiences. It's just too boring for me. I write songs to keep myself from rotting. <br />
Well that turned into a rant. From one introvert to another, I'm glad you're out there.<br />
- Johnny

Great post! when you mentioned the "pack-animal" thing, I was reminded of why I get along better with men than women. If a group of women go out together, and one of them needs to go to the restroom, they are always asking who wants to go with them. Even at work, co-workers (women) tend to linger around waiting to walk out with someone. I often hear comments like "Did you park out back or in the ramp?". If I have to make a long trip in the car, a friend will ask "Who is going with you?" If I say "Nobody", they kind of get nervous and worry about me not having any "company" for the trip.

I don't need an escort to the bathroom or my car. I don't need company on a long car trip. No really! I could even be COMPLETELY alone for an entire 3 day weekend and never once miss the company of others. I never understood why other people felt that those moments of companionship were necessary. It even used to irritate me sometimes.

I'm glad you're out there too Johnny!

I deal with so much of what you've been going through. Every time I go out with my close friends I feel like I'm trying so hard to not be awkward for them and ruin their fun, but then I just get so exhausted and end up being mad at myself. Do you deal with a low self-esteem due to your people-pleasing tendencies and your introversion?

Ev, Not as much as I used to. After a few hard lessons in life, I've learned that being a people-pleaser makes you a really good target for certain others who like to take advantage of a "giving personality". They are takers, not givers. I watch more closely for that now. I have also been working on self-esteem. Truth be told, there's nothing wrong with us. I have become better at understanding what situations I can handle and which ones I can't ... and when invited to a situation I know will be difficult, I either politely decline or (if it's just getting together with one person) I might make a suggest a different atmosphere that is easier for me. "Thanks, but I don't like to go there because it's so loud. Do you want to go to Barnes and Nobles for coffee instead?"

I do agree with all points expressed here in. I am also an introvert I do not like large crowds and can take it only momentarily. I spend most of my time writing and pursuing my interests learning and educating my thoughts.

I'll never forget the day I graduated from RN school. First there was the big ceremony at the college with all of those people! Then there was a family part (and I was still in one piece) ... but then a friend of mine threw a "late evening" party in my honor. Honestly, I just wanted to go to bed and rest! I stayed for a while, but I reached a point where my nerves could not take it anymore. I slid out the side door and took a drive. I had no destination in mind, but in North Dakota, there is a LOT of wide open spaces with nothing but fields. I drove to a small town about 30 miles away and stopped at a bar (the only place open at that hour). I sat at the bar and sipped a Diet Coke and had a quiet conversation with the waitress. There were only 2 other patrons there at the time ... at the other end of the bar. The waitress was a cousin of mine, and she could tell I was trying to relax. She offered me a quiet place to sleep on her couch that night.