A Letter From an Introvert

If being in college has taught me anything, (apart from how to walk to class in negative degree weather without getting frostbite) it’s that I’m an introvert. 


I say that with hesitancy, because I still have trouble understanding the concept myself. When I first learned about introverts and extroverts (and ambiverts, to be all inclusive), I thought for sure that I landed smack dab on top of the extroverts. I was so sure of that statement that I would have ran for president if extroverts had a nationwide club. The more I thought about it, though, no way in hell would I have run for president. I wouldn’t have even left my house to join the club because the idea of being around that many people is enough to wear me out. That’s when I knew I was the opposite of what I so proudly claimed to be. 


Now I sit here, alone, typing away on my keyboard about how I’m an introvert. I write that sentence in risk of sounding like I’m on my knees begging for someone to pity me, but rest assured I’m actually in my happiest state. Alone? While writing? I could do this all day if given the choice.


Though I’ve learned to be content with this piece of my identity, it’s often misunderstood. 


I’ve noticed that when I claim to be introverted, especially to those closest to me, I leave them dumbfounded by my statement. 


“No you’re not,” they’d reply. “You’re too outgoing!”


To that I say, yes. I am outgoing. When put in the right situation surrounded by people I’m comfortable with, I am easily the most outgoing person in the room. But being introverted has little to do with your personality and a lot to do with where your energy comes from. 


I’ve decided to stray away from Google definitions and try to explain using my own interpretations: Introverts get their energy from solitude while extroverts find themselves most energized around large groups of people. In order for an introvert to recharge, they must find time to be alone. Extroverts, on the other hand, fuel themselves off the energy of others.


It’s common for introverts to be quieter because they tend to keep to themselves in order to be at peace, while most extroverts are the life of the party because they enjoy being surrounded. However, the class clown can be introverted and the bookworm can be extroverted. It simply boils down to where they feel most energized.


When faced with the crossroad of staying in or going out, I somehow find it more fun to stay home.


And that’s okay.


To value your alone time is an admirable trait. As Henry David Thoreau famously said, “I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.”