As an introvert, I enjoy myself in my own way, and I don’t feel the need to justify it.
In my teens and early 20s, I was a self-described wet blanket, wallflower, and/or boring, shy person. I was quiet, reserved, and certainly thought I was no fun to be around. I thought something was “wrong” with me… and I really wanted to be an extrovert.
I longed to be outgoing, gregarious, and spontaneously articulate. I envied the perky cheerleader, the easygoing public speaker, the witty colleague, the life of the party…
But no more.
Now I love being an introvert. Here’s why.
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10 Reasons Why I Love Being an Introvert
1. I’m better at my job. (I get to use many of my introvert strengths.)
I have a career that I love, where it is an advantage to be introverted. I am a psychotherapist and get to meet with people one at a time and join them in their deep, introspective dives. I’m guessing that more introverts choose therapy because they are excited to be self-analytical and inner focused. They make great clients!
2. I’m living a writer’s life.
Over the years, I’ve learned that I love to write. I am grateful that I’ve been alive during the days when blogging became a thing. It is a format that was made for me and my slightly quirky, short form writing style. Crafting a blog post is my antidepressant. And, in my town, maybe in yours, it is common to see a singular person with laptop and coffee at the corner café.
I have read that Susan Cain wrote a lot of her book, Bittersweet, at her favorite café. I am out in public enjoying the ambience and coffee, and yet no one bothers me or asks me the latest football scores or if I’m training for the next marathon. (I live in Eugene, Oregon. There are a lot of runners here!) Writing is an ideal form of introverted creative expression.
3. My journal is my best friend.
What would I do without my journals? Because looking inward is a favorite pastime and writing is how I know who I am and what I think, I have been keeping journals since I was 19. That’s a lot of journals. (If I had any artistic abilities, I would be the introvert who designs art journals with striking watercolor images and clever collages.)
My journals are full of words. Emotions. Stories. Reflections. Questions. Events. Any type of journal is beneficial. Years when I have not been in counseling, my journal has become my therapist; they’re the perfect coping mechanism. Processing life’s traumatic events this way has gotten me through many a dark night of the soul.
4. As a client in therapy, I’m in introvert heaven.
Personally, I feel that being in counseling is an introvert’s heaven. I have been in therapy for many years. (You will want to find a therapist who has been a client!) I love experiencing a connection with someone whose purpose is to understand me, to see me, and to welcome my secrets, my shame, and my grief.
Having a skillful therapist is like finding a companion, guide, teacher, and healer all in one. Over the years, through therapy, I have healed from childhood trauma and developed self-confidence, healthy relationships, and a life of meaning and purpose.
5. I am comfortable being single, childfree, and petless.
In another article, I described myself as single, childfree, and petless! For some, these states might be uncomfortable. But I have never been a person drawn to pets or child-raising. I do love being with children and was a teacher for some years, but I never wanted to take any of them home with me. Similarly, I appreciate the sweetness of animals, but never felt called to live with one. I have managed to feel fulfilled and loved without children or pets.
Relationship-wise, I have had two partnerships over the years that were significant and healing in different ways. For the past eight years, I have been single. As an introvert, this has been mostly fine, too. I entertain myself quite well and know how to build intimate friendships. I have a spiritual community as well. That said, I’d be open to a partner if one who met my high-ish standards would appear. (He would not have to be an introvert, childfree, or petless.)
6. Argentine tango is the perfect dance.
I have found a fabulous way to be social while being an introvert. Have you heard of the Argentine tango? This dance is a magnet for smart, sensitive, creative introverts. It requires a special capacity to tune into your partner, no words required. It is a difficult dance to lead, so it attracts people who love complexity and beauty. (Plus, there is no small talk!)
The dance requires concentration and practice. It has been a great way for me to experience my embodied sensitivity in communion with another human. Even if you’re not a dancer, per se, I suggest finding some hobby or activity that lights you up.
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7. I have my own definition of “fun.”
I have fun. It just may not look like “fun” to an extrovert. I define fun my way and no longer feel defensive about it.
My sister used to say I was the only person she knew who read textbooks for fun. I love reading. There is always a pile of partly-read books nearby. Where some people buy lottery tickets or ice cream, I buy books. (Okay, I buy ice cream, too.) I take at least two books with me wherever I go.
I have other fun, too. Blogging. Starting a new creative project. A deep emotional conversation with a close friend. Seeing my counseling clients and meeting new consulting clients from outside the U.S. This is all fun to me.
Sure, I have some “normal,” everyday fun. I like eating at cool restaurants. Kayaking. Laughing with a partner. Watching Shrinking and Jon Stewart on Apple TV+. It has been a big relief to let myself have fun, my way.
8. I can build a following of fans without leaving home.
With the capabilities of technology and social media, I am able to share my writing and get my message out from the comfort of my cozy home. I can even participate in conferences where I write the script, design the PowerPoint, and record my talk — without having to interact with actual people!
There are no anxiety-provoking Q&A sessions (if I don’t want them). But I’m still able to build a following of fans through blogging, writing books, and creating memes and videos on Instagram and TikTok.
9. I am low-maintenance.
You might think an introvert would be just the opposite. But think about it. I can entertain myself. I am happy with a good book and scone. I take good care of my mental and physical health by seeing practitioners regularly. I don’t smoke or drink. I love my own company and am comfortable at restaurants and movies on my own.
Plus, I’m good at making friends because I know how to listen and can spot the good ones pretty easily. When I feel lonely, I can write a funny story about it that will become a scene in my future memoir and in the chick flick about my life starring Meryl Streep.
10. Introverts are now the “cool kids.”
It may have started with Susan Cain’s research where she made the case for the strengths of introverts in her book Quiet. And now, of course, this site and founder Jenn Granneman’s book, The Secret Lives of Introverts, which makes the case for why you’d want an introvert on your team.
It could be that in many workplaces, the louder, slicker, over-talker is still the most admired — but I’m betting that your quiet, thoughtful presence gets more respect. At the very least, you and I can now recognize our introvert strengths and rest more in our reserved confidence.
Through the talker’s bravado, I often see their insecurity and surface-level approach to problems. You probably do, too. When I think about it, the power lies with the ones behind the scenes. The writers, the stage managers, the choreographers, the composers. The introverts!
If you want to learn more about what this author has to say about introverts, HSPs, and people she calls rainforest-minded, look for her book Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults and Youth.