Dear Introverts

Dear introverts that can’t accept it,

LLP: This author shares their story and feelings on facing social settings as in introvert. It’s tough not being able to open up as easily as others, but know that you’re not the only one who feels this way. 

Too often people get pushed to do things they don’t necessarily want to do. For quiet individuals, it is talking. I have struggled with just wanting to be left alone with my thoughts, especially during school. I also know how it is to just want to be around people that are like me, so I can feel more comfortable with myself. I had grown to dislike being around people who are outgoing, because I hated not being able to open myself up like them and join the fun of the classroom or anywhere else that required interaction with individuals whom I didn’t know personally.

I wished I could join the fun and it seemed almost impossible for me to do. People always tried to talk to me; I’d just listen and smile because I couldn’t find the words to say. It was like my mind wouldn’t let me speak. I guess it’s just because I’m so used to keeping to myself. On occasion people have inferred that I’m snotty and consider myself so much better than everyone else. That always bothered me because I am the complete opposite. I accept everyone for who they are, and I don’t want that reputation.

Some don’t mind being as quiet as they are on a daily basis, but others, such as myself, have never liked it. Lately I’ve worked on accepting it. Finding the pros of my not-so-social personality has been a hard task. That makes me realize maybe it isn’t so easy for others to work on accepting it either. I understand, it gets really emotional trying to come out of your comfort zone. All of the emotions build up and you feel irritated, stressed, upset, and mad – all because you can’t make yourself leave the place you’ve been so familiar with, your comfy place. In your mind you know what you want to do, and you can picture yourself doing amazing things. Change seems like such a beautiful thing when you think about it, but when it comes down to making a decision, you may always fall back on what you’re comfortable with. It’s easy to get discouraged.

I’d advise you to talk to people who struggle with the same inner conflict and ask them how they feel about it. Make connections with them because then you’ll know you aren’t alone. A wise person came to me and told she understood how it feels. She was the same way. As she was explained to me what her struggles were I wanted to cry. FINALLY, after explaining myself to so many people endless times, somebody understood. She said things I could connect with, and said that people like us are said to be deeper thinkers and have more of a creative mind, and that made me feel so much better about myself.

For my whole life I’ve preferred being alone and I’ve always been independent. Being an independent person is one of the only things I like about my personality. I also like that I enjoy making things. I paint, I draw, I write, and I make things out of stuff other people would consider garbage. There may be some things you’ve admired about yourself as well. And that’s the importance of this letter, is to get you to think and remember things you’ve found about your personality that you like.

Before you put yourself down, or think you’re not an interesting person just because you don’t put yourself out there, think again. There is so much that people don’t know about you that you know about yourself. It’s not about what others think, it’s about what you think. Be who you want to be. And remember, some things are better left a mystery. Always try and see the positive characteristics of yourself, because even if you don’t consider it a good thing, there’s a bright side.

Do you know any introverts who would benefit from reading this letter? Please share this with them. You can submit your own story on The Love Letter Project. Feel free to learn more about our #DearAnxiousYouth campaign with Children’s Mental Health Matters. You can also read more stories on anxiety here.