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No matter how much I wish to be a social butterfly, my social battery simply runs out too fast. I have spent the greater portion of my life trying to force myself to thrive in social situations and ignore my need to spend time with myself. I grew up being told that being on the more reserved side is anything but a good thing and will give me a life without friends or success in my career. People around me treated my introverted nature as if it were an injury: something that needed to be healed or fixed.

I wish I had known how to embrace my quiet side and learn to take care of my genuine self. Here are a few reasons why embracing your inner introvert can be incredibly beneficial.

The Best Listeners

Introverts are incredibly observant and spend most of their time truly listening to others and processing their words. This can be extremely beneficial when it comes to personal relationships.

Everybody values being truly heard. Not only is being a great listener fruitful in personal relationships, but it can also benefit professional relationships. Employers love attention to detail and strong observation skills. Just because someone prefers to have time alone, does not mean that they are incapable of giving professional relationships the fuel that they need. Introverts rely on having time to recharge but are more intentional with the time they do spend enriching the relationships in their lives.

Comfortable Silence

Harry Styles once said, “comfortable silence is so overrated.” While I would never dare to disagree with Mr. Harry Styles, I see comfortable silence as a sort of superpower. In an age of constant content consumption and short attention spans, many people cannot stand a few moments of awkward silence. Introverts, however, are more tolerant of these moments of complete silence. I have found that these moments can be used to our advantage. These moments of silence can bring stories and ideas out of other people. When other people start to get uncomfortable, they often talk to fill the awkward space. Whether you are trying to get to know someone or seeking participation for a project, allowing silent pauses to run their course can prove to pull engagement from other people. This can also be beneficial in professional settings. Allowing silence can show confidence and strength, especially during a negotiation of some sort.

Being Your Own Best Friend

One of the things I have come to appreciate most about my introverted nature is the fact that my peace comes primarily from spending time alone and recharging my mind and body. I am not reliant on any other individual but enjoy going places and doing things by myself. I am my own best friend. When I say this, I don’t mean that introverts don’t have social lives or that our lives are depressing. It is an incredibly liberating feeling to put yourself at the forefront of your own happiness and allowing that happiness to flow throughout your other relationships. Once I learned how to take care of my own mental health and allowed myself that time to recharge apart from others, I was able to pour into other aspects of my life much more enthusiastically.

If there is one thing that I want you to take away from this, it is not that introverts are superior or that everyone should be introverted. I am here to tell you that you do not have to change who you are for anyone or anything. If you are a person that thrives off social interaction, feed that side of your body. If you are a person that needs time alone, spend that time alone. Recognize what you need to do to feel your best and do exactly that. We are all made to be unique individuals and only you know what is best for your own mind, body and soul.

Racheal Jones is a senior at the University of Florida studying Sociology. She's completed research on family violence and is currently working on a new research project. She loves Marvel movies, sapphic fantasy novels and Taylor Swift. Outside of school, she's learning how to roller skate, take care of her plants and rock climb.
Desiree Anello is a second-year public relations major at the University of Florida. She is passionate about photography, videography and embracing all things creative. She hopes to enter the entertainment industry where she can bring positivity and joy to the lives of others. When she is not creating, you can often find her at a coffee shop, at a thrift store, listening to Harry Styles, or at Walt Disney World.
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