Struggling in my Introverted World The comfort of being quiet, reserved does have its drawbacks

As introverts, we’ve been the subject of many myths, such as how introverts absolutely loathe being around people. What people don’t know is that it’s simply isn’t true. Photo credit: Kristin Bernasor

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been an introvert most of my life. I’ve struggled with making friends, ordering food without the fear of messing up my order, attempting to avoid making phone calls, etc. If you were to come into my world, there would just be comfortable silence. And while it’s nice to be introverted, there are some problems that I face a lot of the time. 

A majority of introverts are normally not comfortable reaching out, starting conversations and staying in touch. Unfortunately for us, in many cases, we’re forced to socialize with other people. For example, in school, an introvert is assigned to a group of other students for a project. Some might dread it, and some may simply dislike it, but one thing is for sure — most of us would rather stay in our rooms reading a good book or playing a video game.

In other words, it takes a while for us to open up and become friends with someone. We know some people we’ve been acquaintances with for a long time, yet we’ve never had any deep conversations. And it’s all because we’d much rather have them reach out to us instead of the other way around. From my personal experience, I’ve had moments where I had to work with other students for an assignment or project, and when we were finished, the rest of my group would start to socialize. You’d already see me as the black sheep in the group, being the only one who’s completely quiet. 

This brings up a misconception that introverts are antisocial, but that isn’t true. We can have friendships just as well as extroverts. The only difference is that we prefer to socialize with our friends. If an introvert only has a small amount of friends, those are the only people they feel comfortable socializing with. Around others, an introvert is dead silent. Our friends know who we are, inside out. No matter how weird we think we are, they don’t care and still choose to hang out with us anyway. That’s why introverts are thought of as antisocial; no one sees them socializing unless it’s with the people they connect with.

When it comes to the online world, it’s a whole new story. It’s been shown that introverts are more socially active online, compared to the real world. Surely, being able to socialize online should give you the confidence to socialize in real life, right? No. That’s not the case. Online, introverts feel more comfortable writing their thoughts and joining sites promoting their interests. The internet pretty much gives introverts a place where they can feel comfortable making friends without feeling drained. 

In a world where being extroverted is the norm, introverts can feel out of place. And it doesn’t really help the fact that sometimes we can be misunderstood due to our quiet nature. I could only hope that people will start to understand our struggles and what they can do to make us feel comfortable around them.