There are times in the life of an introvert when peer pressure gets harder to deal with. For some, this might mean adopting new habits and developing sociability traits. For others it will create an inner dilemma: you either become an extrovert or keep on being an introvert and embrace it.
Many times in my life I have faced this dilemma. People have pressured me to talk more and to go out more, even if I would’ve preferred not to.
Introverts are more comfortable spending time alone, or with 1 or 2 friends. They usually prefer listening rather than talking. They don’t have the energy to be surrounded by people all the time.
I have expressed these feelings repeatedly. And yet, I still have to deal with the same kind of comments:
- “You are so quiet, you should talk more”
- “Why are you so quiet? Are you okay?”
- “You should go out more”
- “Don’t be so shy”
- “SAY SOMETHING!” (literally yelled at me while eating a taco – and I was chewing)
This might not come across as the harshest kind of criticism, but the constant reminder that something is wrong with one’s innate personality is exhausting.
If you have an introverted personality, you might have experienced something similar. And there might come a time when you are faced with the introvert dilemma.
You could give it a try and bring out your extroverted side. It’s okay if you want to become more sociable or if you want to be louder. It doesn’t mean that you are conforming to someone else’s standards. You are choosing what you think will make you grow.
Personally, I’ve never felt the need to change that aspect of my character. I decided that this is who I am and even if my decision is not set in stone, I live by it. If you are content on the introverted side but sometimes need support to embrace it, remember that introversion is a part of who you are.
There are a few other things that I would like to remark:
- If you are not hurting anyone and you are happy with who you are, you don’t need to change.
- You might be quiet, so what? That doesn’t mean you don’t have anything to say. The important thing is that you know it.
- It’s not rude if you don’t want to make small talk, most people would forget about it anyway.
- Maybe you’d rather stay home than go out. That doesn’t make you anti-social, you can still have a healthy social life.
- It’s okay if you need time to recharge after going out with people.
- It’s not okay if people harass you to be more social, even if they have ‘good intentions’. You can let them know that politely.
- Don’t be afraid to stand your ground when you are being pressured. But don’t condemn all attempts to get you out of your comfort zone either.
Hopefully you can find a balance between embracing who you are and accepting constructive criticism. I know it’s a difficult task; it’s been a constant challenge for me.
But ultimately, everyone has the right to make their choices. And it is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are.
(-Felt like Dumbledore for a second-).
I look forward to hearing other experiences. Do you ever get overwhelmed by social pressure? Do you wish you were more of an extrovert? If the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right, and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good and kind and brave because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort.
(-I’ll see myself out-).