It’s not easy being an introvert

wooden bench in a sunset
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Making a phone call to a stranger? Speak in front of other people? Networking? Finding friends? Shopping for clothes? Think again. An introvert needs to brace themselves mentally before doing any of those. It can be easy if you’re an extrovert to just do it. It’s not easy being an introvert. Everything is a struggle and sometimes it feels you don’t belong in this extroverted world. You might feel differently than I do. It really depends what kind of a person you are. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s because you’re an introvert. This post is about how I see it. Feel free to disagree.

What I dislike the most about being an introvert is other people pointing it out. I don’t need people saying I’m quiet and withdrawn. I won’t become what they want me to be. I don’t go around pointing out to talkative people for them to be quiet because that would be rude. Just because I don’t easily talk to strangers, it doesn’t mean I don’t want to get to know them. It just takes more time. Every time I go to Helsinki Design School my classmates don’t talk to me. They don’t ask me anything. Maybe it’s a Finnish thing. We only meet twice a month but still, they should be interested at least a little. Even it’s a struggle, I still try to talk to them. But it feels forced. I don’t like starting conversations. That’s why I don’t like networking. I get tongue-tied and I want to leave. It feels like people think I’m intellectually disabled because I give short answers if they ask something. Once when I went to business school, this classmates asked me if I had a drivers licence and of course I said no. And that was it. It was a really weird question. I don’t know what their point was. I didn’t talk to them so they tried to make fun of me or something. It’s probably only in my head I thought so. It doesn’t really matter what others think. They don’t know me. They only assuming what I’m like.

People seem to be in a hurry. If you don’t talk straight away, they don’t even bother getting to know you. They expect introverts to act like an extrovert because that’s what gives you success. Sorry, but being an introvert doesn’t work that way. We can’t just switch it off. Instead of competing against each other, we should learn from one another. Labelling doesn’t do anyone good. You would think people would want to get to know new people. But I guess you have to adapt to the extroverted society. It’s always been said you should be yourself and yet you shouldn’t be. So it must be OK if you’re extroverted but if you’re not you should change. No one should try to change you just because someone wants you to. I like to get away from people when I’m around others. Too much noise makes me tired. I don’t want to be something I’m not. Being an introvert shouldn’t be an issue. This planet is for everyone and we should all be in this together.

Everything but spartan

soap bubble with text on it
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I’m one of those people who feels most at home in my comfort zone. I’m everything but spartan. I like comfort and it takes a lot from me to get out of my bubble. Even introverts should get out of their comfort zone but it takes a lot for me to do so. I don’t easily try new things. It should be enough that I actually get out of bed every day. Especially now when it’s October, a bed is the best place to keep warm. But you have to go out sometime.

I both dislike and like routine. In the morning, or when I wake up, I like doing the same things. When it comes to work or education, I like it to be different from time to time. I like surprises too. I get bored so I need stimulation. I also learn things in practice. I hate reading so I never went to high school. In Finland it’s voluntary. I’ve never done anything out of the ordinary. I’m not impulsive either. I think probably a bit too much. I could do a lot of things if it could be done in the comfort of my own home. The other part of me wants to be around other people. I don’t want to be completely isolated. What is happening in the world, my little bubble looks more tempting. Besides, what is so wrong with people’s comfort zones that they need to step out of it? Maybe their goal in life is to experience as many things as possible before the time runs out. Mine is getting through the days and filling it with things that make me most comfortable. In some things, I wish I could be braver. If I was I would probably have achieved something more.

I think what has happened in my life has had an effect on a lot of things. The way I’m careful with my choices, for example. It’s easy to tell someone to do something if they haven’t experienced what the other has. Forcing a person to do something they’re not comfortable with isn’t the right way. The same by saying, do not just talk, do it. That’s not helpful at all. It just brings more anxiety. If you try to hurry things, nothing good will come of it. I’m everything but spartan but if you let me do things in my own time, I might get out of that so famous comfort zone.