Introverts are labelled many things: stupid, antisocial, cold, rude, stuck up etc. Sadly, this only reveals the insecurity of the people making these judgments.
No one is the same. We are not born with the same temperaments. Some people are loud, in your face and full of energy. They love people and conversation, some can talk for hours and feel amazing.
Then there are introverts. No, we are not always shy, no we are not rude or even hate humans. We simply love quiet, being quiet and having short and straight forward conversations.
Some of us need to get to know you first before opening up, so give us time to do so. Personally, it takes me years before I consider someone a friend or someone I can trust. If I am pressured to trust and open up before I am ready, best believe I will withdraw or never speak to you again. Give people room to make decisions for themselves. Sadly, I believe a lot of people look for validation from others. So, if an introvert doesn’t give them the attention they seek, they feel…less than.
Everyone wants to be a motivational speaker these days. It’s quite infuriating, honestly. I don’t mind others wanting to do it, but I surely do not. And I’m quite sure, there are others that feel the same. They will force you, shame you and nag you into public speaking, as if your worth and future depends on it. Give people the freedom to choose their own path and their own lives without the guilt trip. That’s right, saying someone isn’t going to make it in life because they don’t live up to your standards is controlling.
It takes a lot of strength, as in introvert to say ‘NO’. We are shamed everyday for being who we are. We are not allowed to shine in our strengths but forced to change, to see ourselves as faulty. I believe true strength is quiet, sometimes. It takes strength to be different, to quietly assert your confidence in a way that is unseen. To be so secure in yourself that you do not need the validation of others, you do not need the company of others to define your worth or your future.
I had to learn how to speak up for my needs. I had to learn how to enforce boundaries and make it clear that I’m not changing and I’m not doing anything I am uncomfortable with or don’t believe in.
We need all kinds of people to function and strive in this world. Introverts have a great role to play. If you are a manager of a company, a teacher, a spiritual leader, a parent, or anyone in position of authority, please do not change or shame the introverts you lead. Be observant and you will begin to see a whole list of traits and skills that these wonderful introverts can add to your company, etc.
Introverts carry many valuable soft skills that are often overlooked and needed in a company. Some include : analytical skills, attention to detail, excellent written communication, patience under pressure, and the ability to work and stay focused. It does differ from person-to-person, but this is just to give you a general idea of what to look for.
A great leader observes a person as an individual with their own skill sets, not someone to mold into their image.
My hope is that this will bring some awareness to those that have an ear to hear, but also a source of comfort and encouragement to fellow introverts, who feel as if they are not allowed to be themselves, completely. I’m here to tell you, that while it will be a life long battle, you hold the power in your hands. ‘NO’, is a powerful word – use it to enforce your boundaries. Trust me, you will feel so much better that you did.