Wednesday, 21 June 2017

7 Reasons Why It's Great To Be an Introvert

Hey everyone!I hope you are all coping with the ridiculous heat in the UK right now, and that you all had a lovely day, whether you braved the sun or not :) Please look after yourselves guys! Wear suncream, drink lots of water to stay hydrated, make sure you have something ice-cold to hand - whether it's a frozen 'hot' water bottle, ice cubes in your drinks or some delicious ice lollies! Alternatively, you can hide in the shade and complain about the heat like me, haha. If you have pets, also make sure that you keep them cool. Freeze bottles of water for them to snuggle up to, or make them a shaded area to relax in. Always have water available close by, too. We can get through this guys! 

So on with today's post... lately, I've been pondering a lot onn what it means to be an introvert and how that impacts how I interact with people. Over the last two months, I've been giving online dating another go. I'd used Plenty of Fish (POF) in the past and absolutely hated it, but that's another topic for another post maybe! I've been using OKCupid (OKC) at the moment instead since I'd heard it was full of lots of fellow nerds and introverted types and that it was also more kink-friendly than other dating sites. It's been going good so far, already it still has it's share of misogynistic fuckboy types... oh, the joys of being a girl on the internet. I wish we could escape them! >.<

When writing up my profile, I wanted to include all of the key characteristics that make me who I am. One of these traits was my introverted personality. Noting this on my profile has meant that it has sometimes been a conversation starter, and it's been interesting to focus on the positive parts of my introversion. It is a fundamental aspect of what makes me, me plus it has an influence on how I behave and respond to things as well as how I am as a friend and a partner. 

Growing up, the qualities attributed to my introverted personality were always viewed as negative by my teachers. My school reports stated that I was good student, however comments were forever made about how I 'was very quiet' or that I needed 'to participate more in class and answer questions'. I was made to believe that these traits were undesirable and something that the school system seemed intent on changing. I was annoyed by my inability to speak out in class, to put my hand up and answer questions or get more involved in group activities. I was far too hard on myself. I didn't know back then that alongside my introversion, I also had anxiety disorder, and I just felt like I was going to struggle to achieve my goals of going to university because of being a quiet person, easily overwhelmed by social situations. I was once even told by a teacher of mine that I basically (although I can't remember the exact wording) wouldn't amount to anything if I couldn't learn to speak in front of the class or complete a presentation. I laugh at her words noww, but at the time it really effected my depression. 

When I left the horror that is high school behind and experienced a more independent learning system, I found that there was a lot less pressure on me to try and force myself to keep up with the social aspects of class, and I could still achieve the grades I wanted in class without it depending on my ability to participate in things that made me feel uncomfortable and stressed. I could be myself and still feel like a valued student. My confidence in myself began to grow and I learnt to love my introverted qualities, even though they still made lots of things in life a challenge. 

I wanted to share with you all some of the reasons why I personally think being introverted is awesome. I hope you all enjoy reading! 

The Advantages of Being an Introvert

So, what actually is an introverted personality? 

You've probably all heard of introverts and extroverts before, but I thought I should explain what the difference between the two personality types are and what it really means to be an introverted person. Society has so many misconceptions about introverts, that they are shy, that they don't like people, that they are social recluses. These traits do not go hand-in-hand with being an introvert; just like there are shy extroverts, there are some introverts who are shy. However, what sets these two personality groups apart is how social interaction makes them feel. Extroverts are outgoing, they thrive in social environments, being around people maes them feel energised, invigorated. On the other hand, social interaction has the opposite effect on those with an introverted personality, for whom being surrounded by people makes them drained. They are deep  thinkers and need to consider a lot before conversing, and so social interaction takes it's toll on their energy levels. Introverts need time alone to recuperate after being around people. 

Extroverts and introverts process their surroundings in different ways. They react to sitations based on their personality traits; for example, extroverts can make decisions a lot more quickly as introverts need time to reflect and consider all opinions clearly before coming to a final decision. Extroverts tend to be more outspoken, in the sense that they will be comfortable with communicating with other and happy to talk through their ideas and opinions openly with a group setting. On the contrary, introverts will think about their ideas but only share them when prompted or when around small groups of familar people. Of course, traits can be shared between extroverts and introverts, and its not a 'one size fits all' set of traits, but the majority of each group share these specific characteristics. 

There are some attritubes that I love about being an introvert, things that are advantages and that I'm proud to possess. I've narrowed down my favourites characteristics and I hope that other introverts can relate and feel glad of their personalities. A post like this would have been great to read when I was in my teens. I really think that personality types need to be taught in teacher training so that children can stop being pressured to do things that make them feel anxious, and so different approaches can be considered so that all students have a fair chance to succeed :) 

1. Introverts have vivid imaginations

Something that seems to be a common trait amongst introverts is their imagination and creative abilities. I'm not saying at all that extroverts can't share this trait, but due to the fact that introverts are deep thinkers, who spend a lot of time in their own heads pondering and analysing things, they often have very vibrant imaginations. For me personally, I have always had a big imagination, and my parents used to say I was 'away with the fairies' a lot as a child, lost in my own thoughts. A lot of fantasy/fiction novelists are introverts, such as  J.K. Rowling, the writer of the Harry Potter novels. There's a mixture of characteristics that make introverted people able to focus all of their energy on writing, such as being content when they are alone with their thoughts and the fact that they reflect on everything, pulling it apart in their minds. Some of the most iconic scientists/invertors were introverts too, and their imaginations and deep thinking allowed them to contemplate on their theories and passions, which in turn helped them to make the fantastic discoveries that they did. Issac Newton and Albert Einstein had introverted personalities. 

2. Introverts make great friends

Obviously, there are dickheads all across the personality spectrum and not all introverts will be great friends. What I mean by this is that introverts can make some of the most fulfilling friends you've ever had. Introverts are naturally good listeners, mostly because of the fact that they prefer to observe the World around them and take everything in versus getting directly involved in the action. They would rather sit back and listen, instead of getting up and speaking and because of this they are more than happy to just listen to others. Being a good listener is something that is a great attribute for bonding with people and being there for your friends when they need someone to talk to. Another characteristic shared by introverts that helps them to form strong bonds with others is that they favour having a couple of close friends rather than having a huge number of friends. They can invest more time in these friendships and being averse to small talk, they want to have meaninful conversation which of course can make your connection with someone grow. Introverts are also just happy to hang out with you at home, chilled out as opposed to going out to a more social setting :) 

3. Introverts love to have deep conversations

Linking in with what I previously said, introverts hate small talk, like a lot. Introverts thrive on learning new things, on investing their energy into expanding their knowledge. Deep conversations offer them an opportunity to do this, to talk to others about interesting and intricate topics, to educate themselves through listening to the experiences and opinions of others. Small talk is often meaningless chit-chat and it can be very mentally-draining for introverts to partake in. They can often come across as rude for prefering to remain quiet or to avoid situations that might require small talk, however it's something that is a challenge for them and speaking from personal experience, I find situations where I'm made to exchange small talk with people, especially those I don't know, really stressful and daunting. Introverts like to form connections with people and have honest discussions that allow them to learn more about the person they are conversing with. Small talk doesn't let you do this. Introverts will happily discuss all sorts of deep topics with you and thoroughly enjoy it :) 

The Advantages of Being an Introvert

4. Introverts are very empathic

If someone is described as empathic, it means that they are very in tune with the feelings, thoughts and emotions of others. One of the characteristics shown by a massive number of those with an introverted personality is a strong awareness of self, as in they are very aware of their own emotions. This emotional intelligence may be attributed to the fact that introverts are deep thinkers and often keep their thoughts to themselves, dwelling on them and trying to figure out the best way forward. So, when it comes to expressing emotions, introverted people are more likely to spend a lot of time pondering over the situation and why they feel the way they do. It may be related to introverted people being introspective, also they spend a lot of time in the background watching the reactions and responses of those around them. Whatever it is, it is considered that introverts can be some of the most empathic people as they are more likely to pick up on little emotional cues and because of their own strong self understanding, they are able to use this understand the emotions of others. 

5. Introverts are well-prepared 

Introverts don't like bringing unwanted attention to themselves. They would rather stay in the background, listening to others and concentrating their energy on something they are good at. The majority of introverts do not like being caught off guard and asked to voice their thoughts and opinions in front of others, and so when they know that they may be put into certain situations, they like to be well-prepared. They will spend hours and hours contemplating the task ahead and how they can be best prepared to deal with the different possible scenarios. Additionally, being prepared allows them to plan how they can avoid potentially uncomfortable situations. They need time to consider before making decisions so you can be sure that they have thoroughly thought about any important things they have to get done. Not all introverts are great organisers and planners, but they definitely spend a lot of time considering how best to go about things and so they are mentally well-prepared. This is why I can be handy to be going somewhere with an introvert, especially an introvert with anxiety, just ask my best friend! 

6. Introverts are passionate & focused when it comes to their interests/hobbies

Introverts really value solitude, and they require alone time to recover after social activities. Spending time in their own company allows introverts the time and concentration to focus on their interests and hobbies, whatever they may be. Introverts are said to rarely get bored so long as they can give their attention to the things they find meaningful and important, and so its no wonder that there are lots of creative introverts out there! Extroverts can be just as passionate as introverts when it comes to their interests of course :) It's just that the majority of introverts would much rather stay home alone and do something that interests them than to go out, and this gives them the time to fully immerse themselves in their passions. Not all nerds are introverts, but there's a lot of us that are. Nerd is a word used to describe people who are 'obsessed' with a single or several hobbies or pursuits, and so it's no surprise that many nerdy types are introverted and as a result choose to focus their attention on the things that interest them to the point where judgemental society would see it as a obsession. There's nothing wrong at all with being really passionate or interested in something. Do whatever makes you happy and don't let people make you feel bad for investing a lot of energy and/or time into your interests :)

7. Lastly, Introverts are very observant 

I know that I've already mentioned that introverts are observers rather than participators, nevertheless I thought this trait deserved a section all to itself. One of my favourite things about being about my introverted personality is that it gives me the ability to notice so many little details that my friends/family/peers might have overlooked or not paid much attention to. The way I think makes me very perceptive of my surroundings, of the people around me, of the minor details. I always seem to remember the most random things about places or scenarios, that were not as important to others and so they didn't really pay whatever it was any thought. This probably explains why my friends back at college nicknamed me 'Google', haha! This characteristic of introversion contributes to so many other advantageous traits, such as an introverts ability to be very empathic. They notice everything! 

The Advantages of Being an Introvert

An final reason why I think it's great to be an introvert is that we are unique. The majority of the population are extroverts, and it is estimated that only 25% percentage of society are introverted (although with new studies and such, they estimate that it's actually anywhere from 25% to 40%). You may feel like I have been made to feel before, undermined, overlooked, especially at school or work in a world full of extroverted personalities. However, it's important that you remember that you are awesome and there are so many fantastic qualities that you possess. It can be difficult to navigate when society seems to put so much emphasis on being super social and confident and outspoken. 

I just want to note that extroverts are awesome, too! I thought it would be fun to end this post by telling you all about the Myers-Briggs 16 personalities theory, for which psychologists developed a test to sort people into a specific personality category within the well-known extroverted and introverted types. I really like this theory and for me, I found that my results were very accurate. I'm a INFJ, with the 'I' standing for introvert. You should totally do the online test just for fun to see which personality you get. Let me know what you get in the comments, or if you already know yours, I'd love to know :) 

Thankyou for reading!

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
Tell me a characteristic of your personality type that you love! 

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  1. I agree, introverts make great friends :D I'm an extrovert, but my best friend is an introvert, and I can tell you she's awesome! Great post!!

  2. Introverts unite! ...alone in our separate houses over the internet ;) hehe.
    I too suffered the "too quiet" report card and parent-teacher conference remarks. Honestly though, I think introverts make some of the most loyal friends.


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