It’s World Introvert Day today (2nd January). Well, I think it is. I’m not 100% sure because not many people are talking about it. What do you expect from introverts!?
Awareness of introversion and its effects has increased in recent years thanks to the likes of Susan Cain and her wonderful book Quiet, but there remains a dismissive attitude towards it. It’s something to be overcome, to be beaten: a weakness that one must eradicate to be a whole and better person.
I think there are good intentions in that attitude. If you see someone who’s quiet, you want to help them come out of their shell a little bit and get them to talk more. It’s natural and I’ve had many people do that over the years. I’m always very grateful for their help because it comes from a good place.
However, we need to move past the idea that introversion is somehow a weakness, because it’s not. In a world of noise, quiet contemplation is a vital necessity: it gives us the opportunity to analyse and properly understand a situation. It helps us reflect on our feelings and better empathise with others if they’re feeling a similar way. It helps us become better people.
Introversion isn’t just the absence of talking, it’s the presence of listening, and we could all do with a little more listening in 2017. That should start, I’d suggest, with listening to introverts. It is our day, after all!
Now, I’m off to sit alone in a quiet room and read. Have a nice World Introvert Day everyone.