A theme has developed on the blog over the past year or so. A small pocket of the responses I get when I write about introversion and being introverted are very consistent.
They essentially go along the lines of ‘wow, he seems a bit self-absorbed, finding something to blame for a certain level of rudeness’.
I get something to this affect every time I write about it. Expected I guess, but it can also be slightly frustrating. To be fair it is not helped when some of the responses from those who DO identify with what I say use it as justification for certain somewhat rude actions and attitudes toward others.
But I know that there are many readers who need freeing from self-damning attitudes that say: ‘there is something wrong with me, I feel uncomfortable in certain social situations and I feel totally drained when I’m around others and making small talk for too long’ (and other things to that affect) etc.
When I write about introversion I attempt to do so, not from an ego-centric, woe is me perspective. But rather I do it with the hope of helping other people who maybe haven’t identitfied the root of their frustrations better understand themselves.
OK, this possibly appears defensive and self-focussed. But it comes from the fact I care deeply about people, and empathise whole-hearedly with some of the discomfort and assumptions about people that are made by an extrovert-centric society.
Introspection and Introversion
When introspection leads to unadulterated, energy sucking narcissim then there is cause for concern. But if we have no introspection then we have very little space for personal growth and development. Introspection is not our end goal. It’s a necessary part of the process to becoming a growing and adaptive social being.
Do we seek to understand ourselves, or do we think we have it figured out?
My writing about introversion is intended as a tool to help stimulate this introspective process of self-understanding in people that click with it. It is absolutely key that we help one another understand and work through their mental and emotional processes. If we do so then we become better relational beings, more socially acute and happy in the company of others.
After all we project our internal conflicts outwards upon the world.
My passion is also driven by the fact that it wasn’t until fairly recently that I was finally able to see my own processes in light of an introverted temperament (after a lot of personal research and self-educating). If I had known at a younger age then a lot would have been different and I could have managed my time, relationships and education a lot better. It is imperitive therefore, in my eyes to encourage others in accepting this about themselves.
It’s About Developing Self-Understanding.
The main objective is always to ask how we, with introverted temperaments can better adapt and cope with certain things in such an extrovert-centric world, while maintaining and producing space and time for the way we work too. In addressing the root of how we feel we can know our limits, boundaries and the things that it is OK to say no to if we want to be more affective in our social interactions.
We can start to understand WHY we feel like we do.
The intention is not to change the way we feel, it is to understand and become empowered by it. Rather than letting it (and the general expectation of extroversion) control us and make us feel miserable.
I never have and never would advocate that we can justify being rude, aloof or anti-social. The opposite is always my aim. For if you don’t understand what lies at the heart of something it is nearly impossible to get deep enough to make progressive and meaningful change around it.
Anti-social and self-aware rudeness that is self-justified through the use of such psychological labels is one of my absolute bugbears.
You can read and interpret what I write any way you like, but just know that my intention and objective is always to help, inspire and empower other people. Not all of us have ourselves, each other, and the world all figured out just yet.
If this article resonates with you then you may well enjoy my free e-book:
The Gentle Rebel Manifesto: An introduction to high sensitivity for people who want to make a positive difference to a world that can overwhelm them. Get more information and download it for free, here.