I was 30 years old before I found out I was an introvert. In the 4 years since finding out that my brain does actually work differently than some, I’ve learned so much about myself, gained true confidence, and now feel a real peace in being who I am for the first time in forever. With this, I feel a great sense of duty to let my fellow introverts know that we are in no way lacking because we are wired differently. I want to let them know that being who we are is not odd, strange, nor is being an introvert a weakness in any way. That being an introvert is actually a superpower that we can possess if we take the time to harness our awareness and knowledge on why we are the way we are.
Here are 3 things you can do to tap into your Introverted Superpower–
- Research – Read books, articles, scroll pinterest and Instagram for introvert communities. When I first began my introvert deep dive, I was thrilled to find there were so many avenues I could research for information. There are some amazing books out there. Susan Cain’s “Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking” was a great read and Introvert Dears very own Jenn Granneman’s “The Secret Lives Of Introverts: Inside Our Hidden World”. (I’ll admit I read Jenn’s first and felt instantly connected and engaged. I read it front to back in 2 days and my mind was blown! Felt like I wrote it myself.) With each book I read I felt a sense of the old me falling away, along with some deep seated insecurities that I’d been holding onto since childhood. I also read tons of articles discussing the science and biology behind introversion and how it is not something you necessarily choose, but rather something you’re born with (along with other factors like your environment etc). Do yourselves a favor and read about our dopamine pathways and how they are different from extroverts. It’s fascinating. When I first found out I was an introvert (I did the mbti personality type quiz) I found out I was an INFJ (Introvert. Intuition. Feeling. Judging.) and I immediately took to pinterest to find out more. I was AMAZED at how many things I found. From articles, to quotes, to personality facts. I was lost in it for what seemed like days and felt so seen and heard that I was sending everything I could to myself (to research and analyize on later, like any good INFJ would do) and sent some things to those closest to me because I felt I could finally go ‘Here read this!! This is me!’. I then jumped over to Instagram and found tons of introvert communities with hilarious memes or deep meaningful quotes about the life of an introvert. It was all there, right at my fingertips and I felt I had hit the identity jackpot.
- Acceptance – This may seem like a silly one, but if you’ve always felt different or misunderstood, you’ve proabbly built a barrier around yourself to keep yourself protected, so it’s going to take some time to accept this new empowered version of yourself. You may finally have these answers and know that the stigma about who you are is no longer something you see in the negative light, but it doesn’t change the fact that the rest of the world probably doesn’t really give a damn, right?! I remember feeling so GOOD knowing that I had answers for the way I was feeling, thinking, and acting, but when I realized the world around me was still the same as it was pre awakening, I felt a little bit deflated. That is where I had to truly dig deep and find my confidence as an introvert and decide that even if the world would typically gear itself towards extroverted types, that there was room for me too. Accepting myself for myself was the true lesson. Before I could ask the world to accept me, I needed to learn to accept myself. Obviously finding out that you are an introvert won’t solve all of our problems, but it allows you to have the insight to accept who we are instead of pushing away from it.
- Self Care – As a Life and Wellness Coach I know first hand how little we truly give ourselves the time to sit back and relax. COVID happened and at first it was all funny little jokes about how Introverts are in heaven, that we didn’t have to sit in crazy traffic, that we didn’t have to go into our hectic office spaces, and that we had to sit in our homes all day wearing our pjs and all was well for us. Then as time went on and things got more ‘real’ the jokes started to phase out and we started discussing how introverts were in fact, in hell. Being forced to be stuck at home 24/7 alone or with their families with very little alone time to recharge was causing major issues for our mental health. When we do not give ourselves the space to be alone (and I know it’s hard) we are drastically reducing our quality of life. For introverts, alone time is not a luxury, it is a necessity. When we have that time to be with our thoughts, we can come back to our loved ones, our jobs, our responsibilities, and most importantly to ourselves, a better, happier, and more centered us. When we are in that space, we are unstoppable. It is not selfish, rude, or unkind to ask for this precious space, it is actually good for all involved. Since we are constantly in our heads, it can sometimes be hard to justify these actions to ourselves, but I’m here to tell you there’s plenty of good reasons to ignore those thoughts. When those things start circling our brains and the obligations feel overwhelming, you need to step back, calm your mind, know you are wise and aware, and that you are simply asking to nourish yourself in this moment. This also means taking a look at your schedule and removing things that no longer serves you and your mental health. Obviously, there will be some things that you can’t toss; like work obligations or your dentist appointments you’ve already been avoiding for months, but you should take a good hard look at some of the things you place into your week and ask yourself if these activities are moving you towards maintaining your super introvert powers, or draining them.
In finding out I was an introvert, I feel I found a missing part of myself. The things that didn’t make sense about me before, suddenly all made sense. I was different, we are different, and that is okay. Learning how to tap into my introverted superpowers (as I hope you tap into yours) has helped me grow more aware of my strengths, my weaknesses and in those I learned priceless lessons that have helped in all facets of my life. I know who I am, I know I am strong, I am an introvert.