When I first heard of the term ‘introvert’ I was quickly led to believe that it was filled with negative connotations. Phrases such as recluse and loner had initially provided me with a very narrow view of what this actually meant, where in turn, I had left being feeling quite negative about myself when I was labelled as such.
If you are new to this concept then essentially an introvert is a way of describing a particular type of personality. An introvert is typically somebody who enjoys their own company, they are generally quite self-aware, they like to plan things and they are thoughtful and they are quiet. They may find being in social situations with large groups of people somewhat draining and may often need to recharge their batteries after such events. On the opposite side to this an extrovert is somebody who gains energy from social situations and who are said to be generally outgoing and confident, particularly when surrounded by others. It is easy for me to identify which category I fall into, even from this very brief explanation.
Going back to my earliest childhood memories I was always quite shy, I would always be known as the quiet one of the group and this has continued on into my twenties, albeit the group is now even smaller than it once was. In fact, I can honestly count my closest friends on one hand and even then I never make it to all five fingers. For the longest time I had felt as though I was missing out on things due to being too shy, due to feeling awkward in social situations which would quickly lead me to making my excuses in order to get out of them, which of course inevitably only made things worse. As a teen I would generally always choose to stay in reading my books instead of going out with my friends, I would opt to hang out with just one friend as opposed to six and don’t even get me started on boys! Whilst everyone else was holding hands with their boyfriend of two weeks I was sitting playing Crash Bandicoot on the PlayStation with my brother.
Moving onto university I once again felt like a bit of an outcast. Typically university is party central, there is more alcohol in the shared kitchen than on the shelves of Tesco and there is always something suspect sitting in the sink. Whilst of course I did go out with my friends at university, I was just never one for being out all night every night. I loved nothing more than getting back to my room and enjoying the time alone to watch my favourite TV show or to write a new blog post.
Looking back on how I felt for all those years I realise only now that it didn’t matter, I wasn’t abnormal and there certainly wasn’t anything wrong with me. It was just who I was; it is who I am.
Generally speaking I am relatively happy in my own bubble. Being an introvert doesn’t mean you sit at home all day alone feeling miserable, it simply means that you are content on your own and that I think is a really nice quality to have. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy meeting new people and I loved being in a relationship. I am certainly much better in social situations than I used to be, however the fact still remains that ultimately, I am a bit of a homebody and I am now confident enough to say that I no longer feel bad about that.