“Quiet people have the loudest minds.” -Stephen Hawking
For those of you who don’t know me personally, I am an introvert. And when I say introvert, I mean introvert. Not only am I introverted, but I’m shy and sensitive. I have it all. Along with these sometimes redeeming qualities (but mostly not), come the consequences of not always being labeled a “people person.” I struggle with conversation and I often don’t know how to act in different types of social situations; however, as I am an introvert, I tend to not even face these social situations as much as many other people do. Instead of going out to parties and spending every waking moment with someone at my side, I spend my time reading books and delving into the meaning of life (which I think a little too much about).
The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve realized the importance of good conversation – something that doesn’t occur too often when you’re shy, introverted, and sensitive. Having the talent to talk to anyone, anytime, about anything is extremely beneficial in a world where opportunities are everything. I’m expected to communicate well with people infinitely and endlessly. When applying for scholarships, jobs, volunteer opportunities…an interview is almost always expected. For someone who chooses the written word over conversations, this stuff is hard. I don’t know what to say when I don’t have a sufficient answer to a question or how to make someone laugh when I need to. Unfortunately, people are always going to choose someone who is outgoing and fun to talk to over someone who isn’t as gregarious, providing that nearly everything else is identical about each other. That’s just the way it is – outgoing is a benefit in this society, but I don’t think it always best characterizes the “best person for the job.”
So, what I’m trying to say, is that I’m jealous of people and those of you who excel at conversation. I admire how good you are with people and how you don’t tire out after hours of conversation. However, I’m also attempting to relay that I don’t believe extroversion to always be synonymous with a perk – there is a lot of activity occurring inside of an introvert’s mind, because while everyone else is talking, we’re listening.