The curse of being introverted

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Yesterday evening I was watching ''Expiditie Robinson'' with my dad and his wife. Expeditie Robinson is a TV show in the Netherlands, in which sixteen contestants (famous Dutch people) are put into a survival situation and compete in a variety of physical challenges. This season, a popular, Dutch youtuber participated in the TV show. Her name is Teske and in yesterday's episode, it turned out she had to leave the the show, because the other particpants had voted her away (each episode someone gets voted away). The thing is: Teske had seen this coming. During the episode it became clear that Teske had felt like she didn't fit in the group at all during her stay. And at the end of the episode, when it turned out she had to leave, she told the TV host that she is ''just a very introverted person''. As I was watching the episode, I could relate myself to Teske so much. I am an introverted person myself too. When I told my parents I could really relate to how Teske felt during her Expeditie Robinson adventure, they told me it should be an eye-opener for me. Because, although this TV show is just a game, it's kind of like how it goes in real life too: when you don't fit in the group, are introverted and a quiet person, people easily see you as a weak person. As the person who gets ''voted away'' in life. According to my parents I should take this as a lesson, but I was thinking: is it really a curse to be an introverted person in today's society? 



Pffsh, it was kind of hard to explain in English what yesterday's Expeditie Robinson episode was about. I hope it is at least a little understandable, haha. Anyway, as I said, I am an introverted person too. I love to be around people and to talk to people, but I don't like to be in (large) groups and - especially at the end of a long, busy day with lots of people - I enjoy spending time on my own. Being introverted often gets considered as something negative (yesterday the social media were full of negative comments about Teske being introverted, unfortunately) and being extroverted seems to be seen as something positive; ''extroverted people are fun!''. But I am not less fun than some other extroverted person, am I? It just takes a little more time for me to get loose, to open up to people. But what I've been told and, unfortunately also have been experiencing, is the fact that people 'don't have the time (anymore)' to wait for you to open up and take the time to feel comfortable around people. This society seems to be in need of extroverted and outgoing people only. Sucks when you are an introvert.

I believe introverts often get mistaken for not wanting to talk to people. As for me, I love to talk with people, to have (deep) conversations and to get to know someone. I am just not very good with the whole small talk thing. I never know how to start a conversation and I am not a very big fan of the basic questions you ask when you ''small talk''. I indeed find it hard to fit into a group and I am quiet, but that doesn't mean I am not a fun person to talk to. You just have to get to know me (ugh, how cliché). Oh and being introverted doesn't necessarily mean your social skills are super below average. For example, my social skills are actually surprisingly good.

I'll admit I find it hard sometimes to accept the fact I am an introvert. I'd rather be able to just talk to people without feeling shy and awkward. My introverted character sometimes even holds me back on some things and I really don't like that. I think I could've made more friends last year (when I entered college) if I wasn't so introverted and I'd maybe feel less lonely at some times. Unfortuately I cannot change my personality and so I should just deal with it. I can at least try to be more extroverted, right? Although I also don't want to 'fake' my personality and pretend to be somebody I am not. I'd rather just accept myself. Plus, being introverted also has its perks! Introverts are considered to be good listeners and good comforters and introverts are often creative and loyal people as well.


I think social media sometimes makes it seem like your life needs to be full of parties, like you need to have 100+ friends and like you always need to be spontaneous and outgoing. I myself feel huge pressure sometimes to go out more and meet new people, because of social media. It sometimes even feels like a crime to not go out on a Friday night, because every one else on my Facebook timeline seems to have the best time of their lives on a Friday night while going out. Although I'd honestly like to go out a little more, I don't really mind it if I spend my Friday evening alone, blogging or working on music. Is there something wrong with that? I don't think so.

Sure, if the fact you are an introverted person influences your life in a bad way, because you don't dare to do the things you want to, for example, than being introverted could indeed be a curse. But I think being introverted definitely has its perks and I think it shouldn't (only) be seen as something negative. Being introverted doesn't mean you can't function in this world's society, it may just mean you need to work a tiny bit harder to find your place in this world. After all, this society we live in seems to be designed for the extroverted people, like I said before. I won't say I completely accept the fact I am a really introverted person, because I honestly don't, but I don't see it as something completely negative anymore. I'm happy to be such a dreamer and eventually I will appreciate being introverted as well.

As an introverted person, cherish the amazing friends you have, dare to be a leader sometimes (because you can do it!), create beautiful things when you're spending time alone, dare to speak in public spaces (because you're opinion is truly valuable!) and remember that you are not the only introverted person in the world (more than 50 percent of the world population is introverted!) and that you definitely don't have less to offer to this world than any other outgoing, extroverted person (you might even have more to offer). :)

Q: are you an introverted person or an extroverted person?

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