When I was growing up, one of the memories from school I have is sitting in numerous parent teacher conferences that happened a couple of times a year and my parents being told that I was “so quiet” and that I “didn’t like to put my hand up in class,” which was all completely true. But the sad part is that at that young age I remember thinking to myself “what is wrong with being quiet?” and I always felt confused at why it was being treated in a negative way.
I grew up with a lot of different personalities around me, usually louder than me, and I would sometimes curse my fear of speaking up and being ‘the quiet one.’ At secondary school I thought that only the louder girls who seemed ‘fun’ would be the most popular, which they were until about year 9, and then the realisation that being loud and charismatic does not mean you are a nice person started to become apparent.
Whilst growing up spending time in my own company was completely fine by me, and I always kept myself entertained one way or another, however I would always have that niggle in the back of my mind that feeling that was strange and not normal. ‘Is it normal to like being on my own’ was a thought that popped into my head every so often.
Now that I am in my late twenties I have learnt that enjoying being on your own is totally normal and for some people a necessity. For me, having anxiety means being around groups of people for a long period of time can be pretty exhausting. Gone are my social anxiety days where I would have to pep talk myself into walking into a gathering or party, but the worry of people judging me can exhaust me to the point that I need to get fresh air to clear my head or even have a sit down on my own. Not everyone is a social butterfly and that is what makes us all different.
Being quiet is absolutely fine.
Not wanting to be the centre of attention is fine.
Being by yourself does not mean you are lonely.
Introverts are no less important than extroverts.
Gone are the days of forcing myself to go out if I didn’t want to, and that is because I have accepted who I am and the fact that being introverted is absolutely ok.
PROS OF SPENDING TIME ALONE
- You can recharge your ‘batteries’
- You will stop seeking validation from others
- You can get in touch with your emotions better
- You get time to focus on what you like to do
- You can be very productive on your own
- You stop relying on others
Have you ever experienced judgement for being introverted or quiet? Leave your thoughts in the comments.