On Introversion

I was the shyest human ever invented, but I had a lion inside me that wouldn’t shut up!
— Ingrid Bergman

I have posted a lot of resources related to introversion on this site. As you’ve probably guessed, that is because I am an introvert. Realizing that I’m an introvert and what that means was such a huge discovery for me that I post these things in the hopes that other introverts can also have a similar discovery.

Growing up, I was always the shyest person I knew. I thought something was wrong with me. Everyone always asked why I was so quiet, and that further cemented the belief that something was wrong with me, that I was different. I didn’t know why I was so quiet.

Years later a therapist gave me a book called The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World by Marti Olsen Laney. I also read Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. I began to understand what it meant to be an introvert – someone who prefers quiet, minimally stimulating environments. I was also socially anxious – I feared negative judgment in social situations.

I learned that being an introvert is something I can’t change – nor do I want to. I’ve learned to appreciate its advantages. I am a good listener, I think before I speak, and I may not have a lot of friends but those I have appreciate me for who I am. Once I was able to separate out social anxiety from introversion, I have been able to make a lot of progress working on it, to the point where I no longer think of myself as shy.

If you're an extrovert, I hope you think twice next time you think about asking someone why they're so quiet. If you're an introvert, I hope this helps you realize nothing is wrong with you.

Are you an extrovert or an introvert?