Let’s Make 2015 the Year of the Introvert

Introverts have come a long way, since Jonathan Rauch’s tongue-in-cheek article Caring for Your Introvert was published in The Atlantic in 2003, and the “Introverts’ Rights Revolution” was born.

Whether we like it or not, we introverts have been getting a lot of attention lately. We have introvert coaches and introvert books and introvert retreats and even holiday presents for introverts.

Some say they’re tired of hearing about introverts, like the author of this post here. Others worry that “introvert awareness” is nothing more than a passing fad.

Still others say that introverts now rule the world and the Internet is having a love affair with introverts. And do introverts really have a secret plan for world domination?

Despite all the attention we introverts have received, we still have a long way to go. Most people don’t know what it really means to be an introvert. When people casually ask me what I write about, the conversation comes to an awkward halt when I say, “introverts.”

“But you’re not an introvert,” they say. “You talk, and you have friends, and you go out.” I try to explain to them that many introverts, like me, are social, enjoy certain types of conversation, and have deep friendships and relationships. Being an introvert is about creating energy by going inward and preferring minimally stimulating environments.

Some people get it, but most people look at me like I’ve just told them I have a new rare disease. These conversations just go to show how misconceptions about introverts still exist. On some level, introversion is still considered a second-class personality trait.

Decades ago, when author Anaïs Nin wrote:

Our culture made a virtue of living only as extroverts. We discouraged the inner journey, the quest for a center. So we lost our center and have to find it again.

she probably never dreamed of an Introverts’ Rights Revolution. Yet she recognized that something in our society was off, something had shifted, and by valuing only the extrovert ideal, we were losing touch with a powerful force that could move us toward wholeness — the inner journey.

My wish for 2015 is that together we’ll move closer to that center. That we’ll finally shed misconceptions about introversion. That “quiet” will not mean “second-class.” That people who have a small circle of friends, think before they speak, and are excited by big ideas more than by small talk about their weekends will be considered just as “normal” socially as extroverts.

You can take the first step toward helping eliminate those negative connotations by signing the Introvert Redefined petition, which asks dictionaries to change their definitions of the word “introvert.” (Here’s our preferred introvert definition, if you’re wondering.)

Then, on Jan. 2, which is World Introvert Day, share an image from our World Introvert Day Gallery on social media to show that your introverted nature isn’t something to be quiet about.

Let’s make 2015 the Year of the Introvert.

… and can someone get me in contact with those introvert world domination people? Thanks.

What’s your introvert wish for 2015, for yourself or for others? Comment below.

Image Credit: Deviant Art

Jenn Granneman is the founder of IntrovertDear.com and the author of The Secret Lives of Introverts: Inside Our Hidden World. She also cohosts The Introvert, Dear Podcast and blogs for Psychology Today. For most of her life, Jenn felt weird, different, and out of place because of her quiet ways. She writes about introversion because she doesn’t want other introverts to feel the way she did.