Inside The Mind Of An Introvert

It is no surprise to anybody who has met me that I am an introvert by nature. For the better part of 18 years, I always trembled at the thought of social engagement. Despite my best attempts to feign confidence, it never really seemed to work…until recently.

The past year (or two, actually) have been different in many regards. Firstly, I adopted what was the seemingly “golden rule” of self-confidence: fake it till you make it. This tactic in itself has changed a lot for me recently. The underlying realization is the fact that we are all, to some extent, insecure. We all worry about the way we look, how we sound, how we smile…the list goes on. I just had to realize that in some way all confident people had an internal struggle as well that they overcame.

I remember a particular moment when I changed schools that I was expected to introduce myself to my new peers. That moment and those kinds of conversations were the banes of my existence for a long time. For the most part, I wasn’t a person with many standout qualities or hobbies. When I was asked to mention something about me, I don’t think I could muster more than talking about a random sport I’m not even sure I played?

I then realized that the greatest joy of being this way is being able to really explore my own inhibitions and perspectives. What are my likes, my dislikes? Who are the few people that I consider my best friends who add perpetual value to my life just by being in it?

Part of this realization was the fact that I enjoyed the small nuances of being reserved. It is a great gift, in my opinion, to view the world from a distant perspective. A bit more on the fringes of society from where you can have intellectual conversations in the late nights with a select few people who truly understand respect your introverted nature.

 The shy aren’t awkward around everyone; they are tongue-tied around those who seem most unlike them on the basis of a range of surface markers: of age, class, tastes, habits, beliefs, backgrounds or religions. – The Book of Life

Growing up I didn’t really understand this in great detail. But when I did, I was happy. I enjoyed being the quiet one, the shy one because it was a reminder that the ‘true me’ was reserved for a certain group of people that I really treasure in my life.

It was tough watching my friends hang out amongst themselves on weekends, going for dinners, late night drives. As an introvert, it almost always felt like I would be intruding to impose myself on their plans. I felt like I would be too much of a nuisance and so for many years I chose to watch from afar, and though inside I was happy to see my friends happy, there was always an inner extrovert in me that wanted that validation.

We may appear to know nothing sometimes, but we observe everything. We may take a back seat when it comes to group conversations. Sometimes we don’t even bother to reply to things that we think aren’t worthy of a reply. But no matter what, our observing never ends. – Benefits of Being an Introvert

It took some daring to open up, but I have managed it well these past two years. From being able to hold a conversation, to talking about my interest and inquiring about the interests of others, particularly those that they don’t talk much about in the fear that they may be too unconventional, because I know what it’s like to have unconventional hobbies. (Because staring down a tube into the night sky is totally normal, right?)

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Every introvert knows that one question. That one dreadful question that people feel prompted to ask us as if it doesn’t bother our subconscious in the slightest. That abomination is the question, “Why are you so quiet?” Jeez. I couldn’t pay you enough to not hear that question again. I am quiet because I can’t stand small talk. But I’ll take about life for hours. I’m not anti-social.

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There’s a part of me that is an extrovert. Lately, that’s the part I’ve been trying to manifest more than the other. To the people I am comfortable with, I can be a laugh riot. Yet to the others, I’m not much. The way I see it, being able to change the way I’ve been for 18 odd years, naturally, won’t happen overnight.

As we spend more time with ourselves, we are more aware of who we truly are. We are more aware of the negative traits in a person. We generally know the genuine aspects of the masses. As we spend time understanding ourselves we also try to understand others instead of judging them.

Being an introvert automatically meant that I had a small group of friends. These are the few people with who I am a chatterbox and can seem like anything but an introvert. Now that I look at it, it’s really been a blessing. I’ve had the good fortune of making friends that have positively impacted my life immensely. From taking interest in my hobbies to dusting me off and picking me up when I failed, to you, my friends, I say thank you.

For an introvert like myself, my group of friends can seem quite ironical. Most of my close friends are extroverts, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it is that opposites do attract. A lot of the traits about myself that I am proud of now wouldn’t have been if it weren’t for this amazing group of people; who showed me with their confidence and strong-headed nature that I too, could be like that.

This is a big year indeed. Going from High School to University has meant that the people I’ve interacted with at social engagements aren’t necessarily from the same background as me. The challenge has become in establishing a common ground of likes and dislikes with new people because I can’t rely on the same “school” banter to acquaint with people anymore.

As an introvert, you are secretive and the ones around always find it hard to know what goes on in your mind. There are certain things about you that make you stand out from the lot and are only known to the ones you’re close to. – Confessions of an Introvert

Life as an introvert is tough. Apart from the fact that people assume that we have a reason for being so, whether that is concerning us being unhappy, under-confident or feeble, we are often considered outliers solely based on our social natures.

Lastly, being introverted comes with a lot of trust. I’ve found that in my group of friends, I am often the depository for people’s secrets. It is a special feeling I can’t compare to anything else in the world: and I’m grateful for the fact that they could trust me with their secrets and here’s vowing to never betray that confidence.

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3 thoughts on “Inside The Mind Of An Introvert

  1. You nailed it! I’m an introvert too and I think there is something powerful about being an introvert as well. If you havent read it already, I recommend checking out ‘Quiet Revolution’ by Susan Cain

    Liked by 1 person

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