Lux Thinking Aloud

The Power Of An Introvert

7:00 PM

The Power Of An Introvert

The Power of an Introvert

For years I was trying to find my place in the social world. I don't understand why growing up, I didn't enjoy large crowds, parties or group activities as people my age did. It was confusing that I found going out, partying, meeting new people and trying to socialize boring while I revel on staying home curled up in a corner reading a book or watching a movie. I found one-on-one conversations are more interesting and elating than a group discussion. Late have I realized the power of an introvert.

Labeled as a nerd or geek, weirdo, naive, spoilsport, boring or even a snob didn't bother me that much because I was and still am happy and comfortable with myself. 

Introverts uncomfortable with people

I once tried to go with the majority thinking maybe I really was missing something or I have had a personal issue I needed to deal with. 

So, I went out and partied and tried to move in a fast pace just to keep up with everyone else and see if the grass is really greener on the other side of the fence. 

No luck. 

I found loud music, disco lights and parties in general shallow and boring. 

I can sleep right in the middle of the party out of boredom. 

Introverts: alone and comfortable

Then I came across a word that describes me best: introvert

According to science, introverts are people who are over-sensitive to Dopamine, so too much external stimulation overdoses and exhausts them.  

Their counterpart, the extroverts on the other hand, cant get enough Dopamine and so their brains require Adrenaline--- the hormone that's responsible for the increase in heart rate, pulse rate and blood pressure.  

Needless to say, extroverts are "out there", gregarious and the life of the party while introverts become more alive and are switched on in the wilderness.  

Sometimes when it gets too much talking, socializing and just listening to people chatter, I find myself locked up in the bathroom. Not really doing anything but just finding solace about being alone in the quiet. Recharging because being in the company of others sucks up so much of my life battery.
Introverts avoid people

All the while, I was feeling like an outcast and a weirdo. Little did I know I was being normal. I was just being myself.

According to Susan Cain, a Wall Street lawyer and a self proclaimed introvert, introversion is more on how to react to a stimuli. She said it is often mistook for shyness which is the fear of social judgment but they are different. 

The problem with our society is that institutions like schools and workplaces are designed for extroverts. In school or in the office, you are forced to work with a group even on tasks that you can and would rather work on alone.  

Introverts in school

According to Adam Grant, introverts make better leaders because they deliver better outcomes by letting their members run with their ideas unlike extroverts who tends to get too excited with their ideas.

There are many great leaders who are introverts like Gandhi and Eleanor Roosevelt who led not because they want to but because, as Susan Cain puts it, they are driven to do what they thought was right.

Check Susan Cain's video here.

We often hear that we can find true wisdom and peace only in solitude and silence. 

Even in the Bible, God spoke to Moses when He was alone. God spoke to Elijah in the calmness. 
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. -1 King 19: 11-12 

Sometimes I find it unfair when people force me to go out and tell me to have a break or let loose or relax a little bit and have some fun. People, I am having fun! 

Just because I am alone and quiet doesn't mean I'm bored and miserable. 

Just as not because some people are loud and going crazy shouting, screaming, being in the center of the party doesn't mean they are totally, perfectly, absolutely happy.

It may not appear that introverts like me are enjoying because we don't move around and talk a lot but it is in the quiet that we are more comfortable---and thus, happier. 

Introverts love cancelling plans

This is where we thrive and where we find bliss. It may not seem much, but to us, it's heaven. Don't get me wrong though. It's not that I hate extroverts or I'm anti-social or that I'm agoraphobic.

In fact most of my friends are "socially active" and we have tons of fun when we're together. 

Carl Jung, a psychological theorist said extroversion and introversion are typically viewed as a single continuum. According to Carl Jung:

No one is a pure introvert or a pure extrovert. Jung compared the two processes to the heartbeat-there is a rhythmic alternation between the cycle of contraction (introversion) and the cycle of expansion (extroversion). 

However, each individual tends to favor one or the other attitude and operates more often in terms of the favored attitude. Introverts see the world in terms of how it affects them, and extroverts are more concerned with their impact upon the world.

So balance is the key. I wish I can say that I am an ambivert and I live in euphoria but I cant. I am and I think will always be primarily "inward-oriented".

Still, I think I am blessed that I know my strengths and I embrace my flaws that I don't need to try and fit in so that people will approve of me or accept me as I am.

I have a gift. I am special. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am rare. I am exquisite. I am an introvert.  

I don't shout it out. I just revel on it and continue to watch how the world gets amazed on how my gentleness and quietude can change lives one hush conversation at a time.

Tatsuya Ishida

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  1. i am still trying to figure out what it is

  2. As an introvert, I enjoyed this post very much! Like you, there was time when I tried to go out to socialize but it was not really for me. Now I'm comfortable the way I am :-) The cartoon is so funny :-)

  3. I have become one along the years and I am having my own fun as an introvert. Enough of socialising, I am enjoying my own company.

  4. This is a very comforting read!

    I think that most people got the concept of being an introvert wrong. Schools are not an exemption. In my primary class, extroverts were rewarded for having the "social skills", while introverts were persistently encouraged to get along. For quite sometime, I thought that something was wrong about me. It negatively affected the way I thought and felt about myself.

    Introverts are unique, and yes we are powerful!