Many of us have spent our entire lives feeling that being quiet is a sort of flaw that makes us less good than our more extroverted friends.
We may have been told repeatedly, by teachers and parents, that we need to speak up and stop being so quiet. I was lucky; my parents understood my introverted and sensitive personality. But my teachers weren’t so tactful. I was often told I would never amount to anything unless I learned to be more outgoing. And many of my friends had parents who forced them to join in with activities and constantly nagged them to be more sociable.
This kind of upbringing leaves a mark. Introverts often carry an underlying feeling that they are not good enough, that they are in some way flawed. But our character traits are just as valuable as those of our more extroverted friends.
Here are just a few reasons being quiet is nothing to feel guilty about or ashamed of:
1. Being introverted is not a failure
There is room in the world for all types of personality. Both introverts and extroverts have qualities that are valuable. Our current society seems to value extroverted personalities more highly than introverted ones but this is changing. The positive side of quiet personalities is becoming more valued in the media and the workplace.
So don’t be ashamed of being an introvert, there is nothing wrong with you just the way you are.
2. It isn’t necessary to be constantly socializing to be okay
There are many reasons we’re quiet and all of them are valid. It is perfectly acceptable to stay home alone if we want and to limit our circle of friends to a few close companions we feel comfortable with. You don’t have to accept an invitation to a big party or night out that you know you will not enjoy.
It’s perfectly acceptable to spend time on solitary pursuits such as reading, watching TV or pursuing a hobby. It doesn’t make you wrong, anti-social or grumpy. So be true to yourself and give up trying to be something you are not.
3. Being quiet is not something you need to apologize for
Often us quiet folk feel guilty that we do not contribute as much to the conversation or that we are not hyped up on a night out. We may constantly apologize for being quiet and not being fun enough. We may make excuses to avoid certain situations and then feel guilty afterward. But there is no need to feel bad for being the way you are.
Be honest with your friends and tell them that you need some alone time, or that you are happier in a small group. Some of your friends will no doubt feel the same way, and some will accept that this is just the way you are. Anyone that rejects you for being an introvert was not the right friend for you anyway!
4. Your value is not dependent on what others think of you
Other people will have opinions about you and they may sometimes label your behavior as good or bad. But this has nothing to do with you. You are not defined by other people’s opinions of you.
Unfortunately, quiet people are often labeled snobby or anti-social. But there are people out there who know better than that and who will value you for who you are. But most importantly you must value yourself and embrace your introvert traits because they make you the unique and special person you are.
5. You are making a valuable contribution to the world
Quiet people have much to offer. They listen, they evaluate and they think before they speak, all traits that can help this world to be a more peaceful and joyous place. So be proud of your quietness and celebrate your unique gifts. Words are powerful, their use can cause damage as well as being creative – and introverted people understand that.
That’s why quiet people don’t speak up when they have nοthing significant to say, why they don’t babble on just for the sake of easing an awkward silence and why they take a moment to think about the potential of their words to harm or heal. Never be ashamed to be that kind of person.
The world needs us quiet types just as much as it needs the most outgoing ones. Our quiet, thoughtful personalities provide a balance to the exuberant, sociable but sometimes rash natures of our extroverted friends.
When we come to accept ourselves the way we are, we can gradually heal the negativity and guilt we absorbed in our formative years. With this new acceptance, we can embrace our true personalities and start bringing our unique strengths and gifts to the world.
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