Many of us lead lives that are harder than they should be because we haven’t realised a basic thing about ourselves: that we are introverts.
We therefore keep driving ourselves into situations and challenges that should best be avoided and neglect our distinctive style of being content. We should dare to learn whether we belong in the introverted camp.
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”The modern world purports to respect both introverts and their opposites but in practice, the action, the rewards and the glamour are all precisely designed to synchronise with the talents and sensibilities of those in the extroverted camp.
To have any chance of seeming normal or achieving success, one must pull off a range of feats to which extroverts seem inherently well suited: impress strangers, attend conferences, make speeches, outshine competitors, manage people, join in with prevailing enthusiasms, reflect public opinion, socialise, travel a lot, go out often and date widely.
It can take a very long time before we realise that – however much we might hope for this to be otherwise – this is not in fact us at all. For our part, we happen to get very worried before going to parties, we have felt close to death before giving speeches, any kind of social occasion perturbs us heavily, we’re left extremely jittery by encounters with news and social media, we start to feel sick if we haven’t had the chance to sit on our own and process our thoughts for a few hours every day, new places (especially bedrooms) worry us hugely, we’re very awkward about having to be responsible for anyone at work and we are extremely wary of jolliness or demonstrations of group fervour of any kind.
We don’t actively hate hugs but our bodies do stiffen when someone rushes forward to embrace us (we may be working on this)…”