How to Survive as an Introvert… In a World of Extroverts!

 

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Ahh! Introversion versus extroversion – an age-old debate, and one that introverts (as the quieter minority) struggle to win!

But what on earth is all the fuss about?

It’s just a question of differing personality types, isn’t it? While the quieter introverts are energised through solitude, the more outgoing extroverts gain energy from socialising with others.

So far so simple, but, unfortunately for introverts (the clear minority at just one third of the population, according to this online article https://www.verywellmind.com/signs-you-are-an-introvert-2795427), the world we live in – which, quite clearly, prizes oodles of confidence, brashness and apparent popularity above all else – is, more often than not, a harsh and hostile environment in which they, against all odds, have to attempt to survive.

I say ”they” almost as if to distance myself from a group that, at best, is regarded as mysterious and, at worst, is seen as downright weird. 😐

However, the truth must out that I, as a lowly writer who savours her solitude, am very much a fully paid-up member of the introversion society, metaphorically speaking, of course. (As an impoverished writer, I’m much too poor to be a paid-up member of anything! 😩)

And, for years, I have swung erratically between acceptance and the blatant denial of my true essence.

After all, who really wants to be seen as odd, or, worse still, somewhat lacking when compared to your societal peers?! 😳

Such has been my struggle, my dear readers, for… er… quite a while (the answer to how old I am can be found by clicking here 👉 Fabulous at Forty Plus?).

But, happily, my struggle is now over, as I have thought long and hard (as introverts tend to do 😉) about how best to survive in what is essentially an extrovert’s playground, and, finally, I have come up with the ultimate plan. 💡

It goes as follows…

1. Wear your introversion badge with pride

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As mentioned above, introversion tends to be viewed by our society in very much a negative light.

It goes hand in hand with shyness, as one of those negative personality traits which often elicits pity (normally from the extrovert camp who are at pains to understand our world view! 😐).

But why should we be pitied for not wanting to waste precious time on inane small talk, for prizing meaningful friendships over superficial ones and for learning through measured observation as opposed to haphazard trial and error?

Why should we be pitied for wanting to create a safe and peaceful haven in our homes, where we can recover from the chaotic craziness of the world around us?

No, logic doesn’t require any answers. Unless, of course, you’re an extrovert! 😉

2. Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd

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In general, people are pack animals – they like to be part of the crowd. Essentially, it boils down to the survival instinct!

Quite simply, as long as the community has your back, you are less likely to starve, or meet a sudden end, at the hands (or, indeed, teeth!) of a fierce predator.

Introverts, on the other hand, are almost a different species in that they are more independent-minded and less happy to go with the flow.

The fact that their friends can quite happily socialize all weekend long does not make it right for them too.

Sometimes, introverts just need to take a solid stand…

And not be in the least bit embarrassed about doing so!

Their very survival depends upon it!

3. Be kind to yourself

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In a world geared towards the extrovert, introverts will inevitably need to endure multiple situations throughout their lives that they will find to be utterly draining and energy depleting.

Presentations! Check!

Meeting new people? Double check!

Work meetings? Check!

Job interviews? Double check!

After work drinks? Check!

Any social situation outside of close friends and family? Double check! 😬😨😰

So, in order to best navigate those often choppy social waters, it is best to have a contingency and/ or a carrot and stick reward scheme set in place.

In other words, ”I will go the party on Friday night, but will not plan anything for the rest of the weekend so as I have time to recuperate from the emotional exhaustion that socializing causes me.” 🙅‍♀️

And if all else fails, all we need to do is to simply remind ourselves that the world’s most inventive, innovative and creative people tend towards the introverted end of the spectrum!

The actress Courteney Cox, aka Monica from Friends, has admitted to being  ”one of us”.

According to the Huffington Post (https://m.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/08/15/famous-introverts_n_3733400.html), she told Howard Stern in a 2011 interview, ”I’m a homebody. […] I’m  […] an introvert.”

The same online article also claims that the renowned classic movie star, Audrey Hepburn, was another member of the exclusive introvert club. She is quoted as saying, ”I’m an introvert… I love being by myself […].”

Other notable introverts include one of the world’s most famous geniuses, Albert Einstein…

Oh and, little old me, who, rather than attend the glitziest party of the year, would prefer to while away the weekend in a library or…

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Beautiful art gallery!

But, oh, no! My toddler son has no patience for culture and, devoid of any sense of self-consciousness, he loves just wandering up to random strangers to say ”hewo”! 😮

He could well be… one of them… an extrovert! 😱

Oh, well! At least he’ll be popular! 💁‍♀️

As ever, I’ll keep you all posted!

Until next time, my dear readers!

💋 Mostly Mum

*All gifs are via GIPHY

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