I have found that the biggest issue with being an introvert is that the vast majority of people see it as an a problem that needs to be fixed rather than a part of who I am. I have spent most of my life thinking that there must be something wrong with me because I find it hard being around lots of people and I don’t enjoy being in crowded places like pubs. With everyone telling me that I should force myself to do these things and then feeling bad when I don’t enjoy it.
Being an introvert isn’t the same as being shy but it is surprising how many people think that they are the same thing. I am not shy, I can get up in front of a room full of people and give a talk and I can talk to people just fine. Being an introvert just means that I find socialising exhausting and much prefer to do things on my own (such as reading, writing, drawing) or be around a few people at a time.
When I do socialise I find it very exhausting and usually need to spend the next day or so away from people to recover. This is even the case for things that don’t involve much direct socialising but are in areas where there are lots of people around you, for instance going to the cinema or our for a meal. Most people don’t understand this however, they struggle to understand who I don’t want to go out all the time.
I used to care a lot about what people thought of me but I realised relatively recently that this is part of who I am and there is nothing wrong with that. Ever since I have come to this realisation I have been much happier in all aspects of my life and rather than concentrating on trying to by like everyone else I have been concentrating on what makes me who I am and becoming the person I want to be.