Introverts unite! (But not as a group)
October 5, 2012 by
Categories: Acceptance, Self, Therapy

I score extremely high on just about every introversion test that’s out there. I’ve been that way since I was little. As a teen, I remember sitting in my room, listening to music, and thinking about life, the universe, and everything (figuratively and literally). Truth be told, I still value the time I can be alone to read, listen to music, or just think. The challenge with being an introvert is that we live in an extroverted world.

Image by dimitri_c

The world expects us to be social and outgoing, engaging in conversations at parties, meetings, or other gatherings. If we don’t, we are often labeled as unfriendly, unsocial, or worse, antisocial. To complicate matters more, introversion is frequently confused with shyness. I admit that I was shy as well as introverted as an adolescent. However, I think it is possible to be an extrovert and shy as well. Shyness is one extreme reaction to not feeling worthy or valued. The other reaction is to always be loud and the center of attention. Introversion, however, does not imply feelings of low self worth; it is simply a different way to approach the world.

Rather than having to bounce our ideas off of others, or speak them out loud to develop them, we prefer to ruminate in our heads. We like to sit quietly and think about the ins and outs of ideas. Once things are well-formulated, then we may share them with those close to us, or in the case of employment, those that we report to.

In my job as an instructor, I frequently run into students who want to be a therapist, but are afraid to pursue it because they are introverted (and sometimes shy). I explain to them that I am extremely introverted and so is about half of the therapists out there. Being an introvert or extrovert is only one small component to who we are as a person. Yes, it affects the way we approach therapy, but so does every other aspect of our being.

Any introverts out there willing to share their experiences or thoughts? How about any extroverts? Do share–you know you want to!

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