Introversion necessitates perspective, understanding

Dana Sim, columnist

Sometimes, I get a text on Friday nights. I’m home alone watching a movie or reading a book, and this text would be my only link to the outside world. It would say something like, “Hey, come on out to the football game!” or “Where are you?”. And I would respond with, “I’m busy. Can’t go.”

But I’m not busy. The car is ready to go, I don’t have any demeaning parents stopping me from leaving the house and I’m not swamped with homework either. There is actually no real excuse to not go.

So why did I feel a need to lie?

Simply, I am afraid to admit I am an introvert.

In a society where extroversion is a prized quality, introversion is seemingly not held in the best light. From participation grades in classes to social media popularity schemes, there is a demanding push towards extroversion. It’s now part of my grade to speak up in English class when really I prefer to sit back and listen. Earning likes on a Facebook photo has become more and more urgent for me when I really prefer for it not to matter.

Seemingly, introverts are being squeezed out of existence.

Is that really okay though?

J.K. Rowling, Bill Gates, Abraham Lincoln and Albert Einstein are all introverts, according to the Huffington Post. Without them, where would we be? God forbid, we wouldn’t have any computers without Gates or Harry Potter without Rowling. Lincoln would never have ended slavery in the United States, and the theory of relativity would be impossible without Einstein.

In the end, introversion or extroversion doesn’t make a person. I can be the meanest person in existence, yet still be an introvert. Likewise, the nicest person ever may be the biggest extrovert in the room.

Being an introvert is a part of someone’s personality, but it should not define the person.

I don’t have to go to football games. I don’t have to attend the homecoming dance. And I definitely don’t have to go out if I don’t want to. Introverts often feel a need to stay home with a couple of choice friends and a good movie or book, and there should be nothing wrong about that.

The worse thing an extrovert friend can do to an introvert is to reject such a concept. Partially, the reason I feel inclined to lie or pretend to be an extrovert is my fear of losing those extrovert friends. I don’t want them to see me in a poor light or envision me as a person that does not value such relationships.

Extroverts, please remember your introvert friends are still people. We also value friendships and enjoy spending time with you, just not in large masses or as often as you might expect. It’s important to respect that.

Introverts, celebrate your introverted nature. There are plenty of others like you, and it’s okay to be that way. It’s part of who you are. The worse thing you can do is reject your very being.

        So instead of answering, “I’m busy. Can’t go.” I should be able to answer back with, “I don’t really feel like going.” And there should be nothing wrong with that. Introverts should feel comfortable giving that answer, and extroverts should understand that. In the end, there is nothing wrong with being an introvert.