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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wilfrid Laurier chapter.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been labelled an introvert. Most people will associate this word with mousey, shy and socially anxious people who avoid human interaction and stay in their rooms all day in order to do so. But here’s the catch: I’m an introvert, but I’m not shy. I actually love other people’s company, look forward to meeting new people and love striking up conversations with those I don’t know. Being an introvert doesn’t mean I hide away and avoid the world; it simply means I recharge in a different way.

A common misconception about introverts is that we are hermits who hate socialization. It’s also quite common for people to prefer extroverted people, as they are associated with being upbeat, bubbly and social. And fair, who wouldn’t prefer to be talking to someone who’s easy to talk to rather than a mouse who doesn’t want to talk to you in the first place? But this labeling of introvert and extrovert has become too specific to include everyone. There are introverts who love people just as there are extroverts who are difficult to talk to. The real fact of the matter is that introverts find strength and energy by spending time alone in order to be able to strike up conversation and have a productive, social day. This opposes extroverts, who gain their energy by surrounding themselves with people.

The realization struck me after a long day at work, where I spent almost nine hours interacting with both coworkers and customers. It was an amazing day, because as a cashier, I love small talk with customers and gossip with coworkers. I began wondering that if I were truly an introvert, why do I love the fact that I had just spent majority of my day talking to people I don’t even know and why did it come so easy to me? After the shift was over, my coworkers were discussing going out for dinner, but I expressed how I just wanted to go home and be alone. “It’s how I recharge,” I said, without even thinking. I then acknowledged my words for a moment and finally understood that in order to be social the majority of the day, I needed my alone time. Whereas my coworkers, despite being exhausted from the day, needed to be around each other in order to gain energy from one another.

This was a small realization, but an important one at that. This made me appreciate the differences in every individual’s personality. I realized all the times I felt drained after being around people for a long period of time was just my mind needing to be alone to recharge. It wasn’t me being anti-social, it was just my personality as an introvert. At the same time, it allowed me to understand that to be an introvert, I don’t need to be in the background and shy during social interactions. Realizing that as an introvert, wanting to be social and strike up conversations is normal and just means I am recharged enough to do so.

So, the next time someone describes themselves as an introvert, don’t automatically assume they’re going to be shy and difficult to make conversation with. Instead, consider that they may just be a person who values their alone time to recharge and be at their best when they’re around people. Introversion allows us to connect with ourselves when we’re alone as well as with others when we wish to. I’ve come to understand that introverts can be social butterflies as well; they just understand that we need moments of solitude to recharge and enjoy connecting with others when the time is right. So, be proud of your introversion and embrace it, knowing that it’s a part of what makes you truly you.

Kaileigh Klein

Wilfrid Laurier '25

My name is Kaileigh & I am a communication studies student at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. I am the Vice President of Writing for our Her Campus chapter & love everything there is about writing. My career goals range from journalism to marketing, with interests in all creative fields as I love reading, writing and content creating. I love reality TV & am a huge gym rat, as the gym is my favourite place to be. I am also quite obsessed with Taylor Swift & true crime podcasts.