I Will Not Feel Guilty About Being an Introvert

The life of an introvert! Sure feels complicated sometimes. When I was younger, I tried so hard to be someone I wasn’t. I would try and be loud because all the other kids were loud. It surprised me every single time someone said, “You’re so quiet!” because in my head, I thought I looked like everyone else.

Mbona umenyamaza ivyo?

Unakaa umejam!

Kwa nini hupendi kukaa na watu wengine?

Eish! Si you’re so serious.

The first time I met you I thought you were a snob.

These are just some of the questions and comments I’ve gotten used to hearing. I would defend myself “No! Aki I’m not a snob!”. “No, I’m not angry!”

It was in my second year in campus that I realized I had spent so much time trying to be what most people find more acceptable. The life of the party. The person who commands attention when they walk into a room. The friend everybody wants to have.

I am not anti-social. I just socialize different.

Many people believe that introversion is about being antisocial. Reality is that we are social, but in a different way. Most times, I would prefer to have a glass of wine with a close friend as opposed to going to a loud party full of strangers. However, there are times when I love to be surrounded by all these strangers, and just absorb the energy around me.

Whenever I go Salsa dancing, if I’m not on the dance floor, I am seated somewhere watching the amazing things people do. And I’ll just quietly sit there alone, and be happy to watch. I love people! I really do!

I am not shy. I am quiet. There’s a difference.

I can talk in front of people. I have danced in front of hundreds complete strangers numerous times. Yes I feel nervous, as much as anyone else does, but I will go ahead and do what I need to do. Introversion is an introspective approach to life, a life with less noise.

The truth is, we cannot all be one thing. The world needs variety.

From Gandhi to Joe DiMaggio to Mother Teresa to Bill Gates, introverts have done a lot of good work in the world.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s important to network. It’s important to enrich relationships. There is, however, more than one way to kill a rat.

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