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Verbatim: It's OK to be an introvert

Posted: November 18, 2013 - 9:56am

Around Christmas time, I go to parties. I have fun, but after an hour or two I just feel like going home and curling up with a good book. I love my alone time and, though I love being with other people, sometimes I crave solitude. This is because I am an introvert.

What is introversion? To begin, there are introverts and there are extroverts. The main difference between them is how they make their social energy.

Think of extroverts’ energy as a battery. When they interact with other people the battery is recharged.  Introverts make their own energy, and it is depleted during social interaction. It is typical that an introvert would feel worn out and crave solitude after being with other people.

Are you an introvert?  It’s pretty easy to tell. About 1/3 of the people in the United States are introverts. If you are an introvert, you probably don’t like large groups. People tell you you’re a good listener (as opposed to a talker). You need your alone time (especially after being with people for a while). You like it quiet when you work. You would rather be with a few friends than go to a party.

Carl Jung said, “There’s no such thing as a pure extrovert or a pure introvert. Such a man would be in the lunatic asylum.” And he’s right! The introversion/extroversion spectrum is filled of all types of people. You could be deep into introversion, a mild extrovert, or smack dab in the middle.

For example, my sister Claire and I took an introvert/extrovert test. I was a definite introvert. She was exactly in the middle (Fun Fact: there is a name for people who are right in the middle of being an introvert and an extrovert: an ambivert).

Most introverts hide their differences from everybody; including themselves. This is a world geared for public speakers, not for people who can’t wait to be alone.

It’s okay to want to be alone. Be proud to be yourself. There are people just like you. In the ‘Manifesto For Introverts’ by Susan Cain it says, “It’s OK to cross the street to avoid making small talk.” Meaning: It’s OK to just avoid being with people sometimes. You are not defective.

Introverts unite!(Separately.)

This column is the opinion of Chloe Kincaid, a student at Soldotna High School.

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