Breaking the Stigma: Embracing Introversion and Its Unique Approach to Socializing

You have been long been misunderstood as being shy, unsocial, or unhappy. Yes, you’ve found it hard to navigate the large social settings and buzzing parties but you were willing to learn how to get better at it. However, throwaway comments like ‘don’t be shy’, ‘why don’t you talk?’ or ‘you look sad, is everything ok?’ made you believe you are shy, unsocial, and unable to maintain a healthy social life.

Resonate with any of these?

What if I say, this is far from the truth? 

As introverts, we are made to believe that something is wrong with us because we are not loud, boisterous, outgoing, always bustling with energy. As if we are somehow not fit for society and will always struggle to make friends. Having 1-2 strong friends was considered pitiful while those with large friend groups were considered ‘happy’ and ‘thriving’.

So we start to believe these untrue, unasked for advises, labels and damaging beliefs of other people. We believe that we are not good at networking, we believe we are awkward in social settings, we believe we are less and therefore don’t have much to offer.

We learn these in our early years of development. Many of our children are learning these today too. Damaging beliefs that weren’t ours to start with. Systemic issues asking us to become something that we are not, and paying the price through hardship and lack of belonging.

I’m here to tell you: You are enough. You are capable. You are perfect, exactly the way you are.

Don’t let the world tell you what happy and thriving means. What socialising looks like, and how to define success. Define your own path, get clarity on your beliefs, do things which align with who you are and what brings you joy.

As an introvert, you may be more reserved than the rest in social situations and perhaps prefer to spend time alone or with a few close friends. You are a good listener and observe what others miss, which makes you great at conversations in the right setting. You have a strong sense of empathy, which makes you great at understanding the emotions and needs of others. And despite your preference for smaller social gatherings, you can still have a fulfilling social life. How? Let’s explore.

  • You value meaningful connections with others
  • You are drawn to deep and interesting conversations
  • You tend to invest more time and effort in building these types of relationships (whether you have realised it or not)
  • You are eager to listen and understand other’s point of view
  • Your intellect comes through without trying hard

This leads to stronger and more lasting friendships, as well as a sense of community and belonging. Because of these traits, reflect on relationships in your life. How many people would you love to catch up 1-1 over great coffee, or go out with a select few over delicious dinner and pottery painting, or perhaps go to the beach and hang out with a few close friends?

Despite knowing the above, there was a time when I used to believe that doing activities with large groups of people equalled I’m a social person. If I socialised with large groups, it meant I am likeable and have a happy adult life. Everyone around me was doing it, so clearly if I didn’t, something was wrong with me.

As we have already uncovered, bustling social life or joy in life has nothing to do with number of people and everything to do with quality of people. So ignore what you see out there on social media and beliefs that are passed down which don’t serve you. Create your own haven based on what you value and believe to be right for you. Socialise the way you feel happy. Socialise with as many or less people that give you energy and contentment.

For me, the best type of socialising is one where I go home feeling content and happy. It’s all about how I felt when I was there, and how I feel when I left. You can do this too. Just start noticing cues like how you feel, your energy levels, your interest levels, types of people, activities etc. The more you notice, the more in-tune you will be with your needs. Once you understand your needs, you can craft more of it so you can live life authentically and joyfully.

Introversion is not a flaw or a weakness. You have unique strengths and qualities that make you an excellent friend, inspirational leader, and a reliable problem-solver. You can be social and happy in your own way, and you should celebrate YOU for who you are.

So the next time you don’t want to celebrate your birthday because you don’t want attention, remember: You are lovely, unique, capable and YOU ARE WORTH CELEBRATING EVERY DAY.

By embracing and celebrating the diversity of personality types, we can create a more inclusive and empathetic society. Our workplaces will be better and more productive, and we will have happy employees who will have equitable opportunities to grow. Interested to know how I can come to your organisation and speak about how employees can step into their authentic introverted power and lead inspirationally? Book a call today.

Categories: Growth, Meaningful Life, Personality types