I don’t remember the exact day I realized that I was introverted. It wasn’t like my first kiss or the time I came out to my parents, both moments I recall with complete clarity, it was more like a period of several years where I slowly figured out that I was destined to experience life in a much different way than most of my peers. I’ll never know if it was my experience with bullying or simply my genes that morphed me into this girl with a general dislike for parties and social interaction, but what I do know is that being an introvert is one of the best things that ever happened to me.
With studies discussing the number of introverts in America ranging anywhere from 16-50%, locating an extrovert is generally easier than finding an introvert (mostly because us introverts are at home). Determining if you are one of us can be tricky, because all introverts are equal, but some introverts are more equal than others. What I mean by this convoluted Orwellian tribute is that not everyone experiences introversion in the same way. Reading psychologist Jonathan Cheek’s interpretations of different forms of introversion helped me find inner peace with my own reflective self. Many people believe that, if you are a certified introvert, you must hate all parties and you must be quiet at all times, but I am living proof that this stereotype has its flaws. Cheek’s theory, including Social, Thinking, Anxious, and Restrained (STAR) qualities, explores the idea that no two introverts are the same.
We must learn to embrace the power of the introvert.
Gates is a contributor for The Millennial Times.