As I’ve mentioned once before, I am an introvert by nature. Someone who likes spending time alone, prefers being with a small number of close friends rather than a big party of people and someone who loves to get lost in her own thoughts.
I used to be comfortable with who I was. After all, this was me. Nothing more, nothing less.
This was until everyone else noticed how much quieter I am. Those who didn’t really know me – and there was a lot of them – would constantly ask me why I was so quiet. I even had teachers who would ask this! And I had no real answer for them, other than “I don’t know. I just am.” Most times, they wouldn’t understand. They thought I was weird. Suddenly I wasn’t so comfortable about myself anymore and I became more and more reserved than usual… shy to the extreme. I only felt comfortable around the few people who I knew well. Anything else, and I would retreat into my metaphorical shell.
There were so many thoughts going through my mind… Why AM I quiet? What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I be normal? Even the teachers think it’s a little strange! Being quiet must make me weird!
However, recently, I’ve learned what being an introvert really means – all thanks to an inspirational Adam Young, also known as the magical force behind the musical project Owl City.
To begin with, I was very much in adoration of his music but he became particularly inspirational when I found out that he himself is a shy and introverted individual. In the world of the outgoing and super social, he became the first popular artist/celebrity I could truly relate to. And one day, I stumbled across an entry on his online blog called 10 Myths About Introverts. Everything I read was ringing “this is so true…”
But it was Myth #9 that really got me interested. Particularly this bit…
“Their [introverts] brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.”
Really? There’s some sort of chemical explanation behind this? I just had to look into this.
After some research, I found it – Introverts are more sensitive to Dopamine (produced by any source of activity or excitement). Too much of it can exhaust them and they need to recharge, usually on their own. Being alone means less hustle-and-bustle around them, reducing Dopamine production. Extroverts on the other hand can’t get enough of the stuff and require large doses of Dopamine to keep them happy. That explains why they love to talk and be around people a lot.
Additionally, introversion is genetic. It is something that is inherited and is biological. Only 25-40% of the population are introverts but we do make up 60% of the Gifted population 🙂 (Reference: this page from About.com)
Since then, I’m back to being comfortable with myself. I have met more people, many of whom accepted me for I am. I have developed ways to deal with the inevitable social situations that will occur sooner or later. But most of all, I’m just happy to know that introversion is starting to be understood as something ‘normal’. I hope the younger ones nowadays have teachers who are more understanding than some of the ones I had. 😆
I’m still learning more about this ‘introversion’ concept but I definitely understand myself a little better now and know how to get on in the world of extroverts. All that’s left to say is thank you, Adam Young. He deserves a huge hug from me. It may be a small thing, but for introducing me to what introversion really means, I’d give him the stars and the ocean blue sky if it were possible. He probably deserves a piece of my heart since it was him who helped it to accept myself and all my quirks.
Whether you are an introvert, an extrovert, or a mix of both, just remember that no matter who you are, remember to love yourself. It may sound cliché but we should all embrace ourselves and everything about ourselves. It makes us who we are and that’s just the way things should be. Nothing more, nothing less.
I know I’ve written a lengthy amount but it was something I really wanted to share. If you managed to read this far, I thank you 🙂