Yesterday, I was searching YouTube for something to watch while I ate my afternoon snack when I stumbled upon what might be the best video I’ve seen in a long time. By Amanda Bucci, one of my favorite entrepreneurs, “If You Are or Know an Introvert Watch This” took me through a part of Amanda’s life that reminded me of my own. She told the story of her introverted life and her struggle to accept who she was. So today, I want to share my introvert story in the hope that it shows others that they aren’t alone and helps others understand.
For me, being an introvert never was a problem until I got to high school. Up until that point, going to parties or hanging out with a large group of friends wasn’t really a thing that I had to deal with. In elementary school, being social meant hanging out with my neighbors when I got home from school and going to a birthday party now and then. In middle school, I usually just hung out with my parents on the weekends…Saturday was for soccer games and football parties and Sunday was for church and errands. The only time I really went out with friends was on Friday nights, and even then all we would do was go to the movies and get frozen yogurt afterwards. If I didn’t want to go, all I had to do was tell my friends that my parents said I couldn’t go. It was easy, and I had plenty of time to recharge
Fast-forward to high school, and things began to change. High school is when going out with friends is something that’s expected. It’s when drinking and partying starts to come into the mix. It’s when kids get their drivers license and have more freedom. High school was a great time for some, but certain parts of it weren’t easy for me because I was never interested in the things normal high school students enjoyed.
A lot of the time, I’d muster up the strength to be social. When I was at parties, I definitely wasn’t the center of attention or the debbie downer. I just talked to friends and danced a little bit. I had fun and enjoyed myself, but I’d run out of energy at a certain point. I knew that when I got that knot in my stomach I needed to find somewhere quiet to recharge.
College was still a little hard. Finding college kids that like to chill on a Friday night is one of the most difficult things for a freshman to do. Thankfully, I did and they are friends that will last a lifetime. But I still struggled with accepting myself all the way through the end of sophomore year. I still remember telling friends that I couldn’t go out because I had homework to do or because I already had other plans that I didn’t really have. I just needed “me time”, and it was hard for people to understand that.
It took me until the end of sophomore year to really be okay with who I am and to be able to tell my friends that I really just didn’t want to go out…that I’d rather lay on my bed and watch Netflix. But I didn’t come to this realization until I accepted that there’s nothing wrong with being an introvert. There’s nothing wrong with wanting alone time because when I don’t get it, I can’t handle the world. I fall behind on my schoolwork. I can’t sleep even though I’m exhausted 24/7. I get irritable. I get worn out, and to be honest I don’t enjoy feeling that way.
I need my “me time” so that I can be my best self. I need that time, so that when I do go out with my friends I can really enjoy myself. The thing is I do like hanging out with people, and I do like being social. For me, being an introvert doesn’t mean locking myself in my room 24/7, it just means that I enjoy a balance of alone time and social activities that fit with who I am like getting dinner, watching movies, and going to Busch Gardens. When I do those things, I like doing them with a small group of friends and not a large crowd…and that’s perfectly okay.
It took a while, but my friends and family now know that. I don’t have to give them excuses or force myself to fit in. They know that I need my “me time” because it’s what I enjoy and what makes me happy. So please don’t get me wrong, I go out with friends every week, and I’m enjoying life. It might just be in a different way than most college students.
By no means do I speak for every introvert out there, but I wanted to share my story to show everyone that one of the first steps to happiness is accepting who you are. No matter if you’re an extrovert, introvert, or ambivert, being authentically yourself is one of the best decisions you could ever make. If you be yourself, love yourself, and own yourself, world will be yours.
To close, I want to leave you with this quote:
“Yes, I’m an introvert. No, I’m not shy. No, I’m not stuck up. No, I’m not antisocial. I’m just listening. I’m just observing. I can’t stand small talk…but I’ll talk about life for hours. I’d rather be home with a close friend or 2 than among a big crowd of acquaintances. Don’t scold me in public. Don’t embarrass me in public. Respect that I’m reserved. And if I open myself up to you, know that means you’re very special to me.”
As always, thank you for reading! Don’t forget to like and share the post. I’d love to read some comments from you all, so please don’t hesitate to leave one below! Tell me if you feel the same way or tell me if you feel different. I’d love to know 🙂
Have a great week everyone!