I remember the first time someone called me an introvert. I quickly looked it up and realized that these pieces about me that always felt different, were finally explained in a way that made sense. I just had no idea that there was a term for people like me that actually enjoyed spending time alone, or got drained by having to socialize too much. The ones who secretly felt relief when plans are canceled or get anxiety over the idea of having to have small talk with someone.
I remember the stress of having to speak in front of people at school or panic that would come over me when I was asked to read out loud. I hated going to sleepovers as a child as I was much more happy sleeping in my own home. I was never good at small talk and probably came off much more awkward and cold to people who just couldn’t get a read of me as they first met me.
All in all, was very much an introvert growing up (I also had no idea this was a thing until I got to my 20’s) and that’s never changed.
The more I learned about it the more I felt at peace for who I was and I realized that the fact that I am an introvert, never stopped me from doing great things or pursuing my dreams. I just go about it in a much quieter way. Most importantly I realized that me being an introvert was directly connected to many of my strongest business habits. The side of me that loves to work alone on big projects, and excels in organizing ideas and turning them into actions has a lot to do with being an introvert. I just wish more people out there realize that regardless of being an introvert, or extrovert, you can apply the things you’re great at and make them work for you.
For a long time, however, I thought that it would mean I wouldn’t be good at being a business owner. Truthfully, all these things just never translated into fitting into traditional roles in today’s world.
I spent years trying to fit into a premade box of what I felt I needed to be, be more personable, better at small talk, smile more, pushed myself to talk in front of people, and engage more.
But every time I did, it felt like I had a horrible social hangover because of it because it never came naturally to me. People like me physically feel drained from having to socialize with others. We prefer to spend time alone, within our thoughts and ideas, where it’s quiet and calm.
I love spending my days pouring myself into creating. It could be within photography, or editing, or writing. Days where I merely lose track of time because I’m so far deep into my own world. It probably looks pretty boring to those on the other side. It’s always been my happy place to be in my thoughts and creating.
And it’s the fact that I enjoy solitude and working so much that gives me the most significant step up as a business owner. I enjoy having to put in the work, the hours, and time into making my dreams happen.
As my dad always reminded us; We are wolves, we don’t need others approvals, and we do not need others to occupy us as we are more than content to spend time with ourselves and nature or whatever we want to do.
I think people will usually fall into being either an introvert or extrovert. It’s not often you have extroverts pretending to be an introvert, but I promise you that many introverts feel like they should try a little harder to connect with people, be better friends, become more comfortable in crowds, try to understand small talk, and just that once, pick up the phone when they see it ringing. Push themselves into being a little less introverted.
Instead of trying to re-wire who I was and one day decided to stop and took the time to understand myself more. I used that as my guide to creating a life that made sense to me. A life that felt right. A life that didn’t feel like it drained me.
This is a little note for those of you like me, who would rather create than talk — the ones who have to recharge by being alone. You probably spend a lot of time driving with no destination in mind, and perhaps wonder why you even have a phone. You look for friends not by the conversation you can have with them, but how comfortable it feels to sit with them in silence.
“Our desire for solitude is more than just preference; it’s crucial to our health and happiness.” – Michaela Chung
If it’s one piece of advice I can give; It’s that as long as you are true to who you are, and build a life around that, you’ll find happiness with it all. Have it be relationships, business, art, and ideas. You are at the heart of it all. You don’t have to fit into any premade box society has made for us. Instead, build a life that lines up perfectly with who you are on the inside.
Take two minutes to make a list of all the things that make you happy, the things you love spending your time doing. Then make a list of things you currently do every day. Compare and adjust accordingly.
I’d love to know, are you more of an introvert or extrovert?