You’re in good company.
As an introvert, my energy drains very quickly when I’m around people.
I have no interest in being the centre of attention, and I’m grateful every day that the world is becoming easier to navigate without the need to be in the spotlight.
These days, I can kick back on my sofa and ‘socialize’ via social media rather than having to psyche myself up to head to crowded event after packed party after tiring, exhaustingly buzzing bars. I can video-chat in my pyjamas, and nights in are the hottest thing since nights out.
In fact, the world has become so switched on to people who aren’t wired to be in the spotlight, it’s never been easier to be true to your introverted self. To be clear, introverts dislike large groups, prefer spending quality one-on-one time with friends, and have no desire to be people-pleasers – but it doesn’t mean we’re rude, stand-offish or shy; it simply means we have to recharge after socializing.
In 2010, Christina Aguilera told an interviewer she has always been “intense and introverted” and, as a result, has “felt like an outsider” her entire life. This insight really shows us how much society has changed, because today there are plenty of celebrities who have talked openly about being introverts, and are grateful that society has become ever-more welcoming of the quiet power-breed.
The revolution started in 2012 with Susan Cain’s bestselling book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, which (quietly) made the world aware of the power of introverts and inspired millions of spotlight shunners to stop trying to change their natural wiring and accept their true selves.
Her TED talk clocked up more than 13 million views, and her follow-up book, Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts, brought this confidence to a younger audience. Packed with examples from school, friendship and family life, this insightful book helped bring out a whole new generation with inner armor. It gave them the strength to remain quietly confident with their hushed superpower, and the knowledge they are not alone.
This young wave of introverts are joined by a growing line of celebrities, from Courtney Cox to J.K. Rowling, who have confidently confessed they’d rather be home alone with their thoughts than out in the wild.
Having wowed us on screen, Emma Watson is equally inspirational off-screen with her happy admission “People say things to me like, ‘It’s really cool that you don’t go out and get drunk all the time and go to clubs’, and I’m just like, I mean, I appreciate that, but I’m kind of an introverted kind of person just by nature. It’s not, like, a conscious choice I’m making, necessarily – it’s genuinely who I am.”
Even Lady Gaga says she isn’t naturally confident and outgoing. “I don’t meet that many other artists because I’m actually kind of shy…I always feel shy in the Hollywood scene. I feel a bit like I did in high school, like I don’t really fit in,” the singer recently admitted.
Introverts are everywhere. We’re comfortably lounging about in our homes, watching Netflix and tapping away on social media. We’re on stage impressing with performances and wowing with bestselling novels before we tuck ourselves into bed with a hot cocoa and take time out from the world . And we’re coming to an office near you.
In addition to her books, Cain has created ‘Quiet Spaces’, five workspace layouts that are perfect for folk who do their best work away from the crowd – because sometimes creativity doesn’t like company. So the more we understand things in life, the more we accept them, and the more we can look forward to this year being the year of the introvert.
Image via flickr.com/Carmen Jost.
Comment: Do you identify as being an introvert?