In Defense of Being an Introvert
About this essay… This essay is a spinoff of Mark Manson’s “In Defense of Being Average”. Manson wanted to relay to the reader how although in life situations arise where some people are amazing at certain skills while others are not, the truth is that most of the people in the world are in fact average, and that there is nothing wrong in being so. Similarly, my perspective was to focus on how there is nothing wrong with introverted people. Manson’s primary mode of discourse in this essay is exposition, specifically exemplification, because he provides a variety of examples to strengthen his point on how being average is not something to be disappointed about. He also uses an emphatic structure to allow the reader to be invested in and relate to what he is saying. By communicating to the reader through colloquial and informal language, the author is appealing to the reader and allowing him/her to understand the essay better. Manson also asks common rhetorical questions and makes snide remarks. Manson is trying to persuade the audience that being average is in fact okay, it should just not be a goal for a person. While my essay may not be exactly like his, I hope to express similar concepts that were shown.
There’s this guy. Always partying. Enthusiastic. Never seen alone. Everyone seems to love him, his smile always lights up the room. Whenever he gets a chance he’s always speaking, and when he is not, he’s found participating in student council, or running a club as its president.
This guy, is an extrovert. But also, this guy is a figment of an introvert’s imagination.
There are some people that have a natural tendency to talk openly and aren’t afraid to approach others. These people are known as extroverts. A substantial 50-74% of the world population is said to be outgoing and expressive. These are the footsteps of people that parents always tell their children to follow. “Go talk to those people” or “Run for a position in student government” are some ways parents try to make their kids become further expressive and communicative. While this may work for some people, it is not exactly the aspirations for others.
The other 26-50% of people that are not included in the statistic above are introverts. The more nervous and reticent members of society tend to do better on their own, and are typically withdrawn from others because they are afraid of being judged. While some completely shut themselves out from the world, others are a bit more unreserved. However, the main problem for these people is that they are timid, which most individuals find unacceptable.
Introverts typically feel more comfortable behind a screen, and are seen most active texting. But when seen in person, an introvert can appear to be completely silent. Their actions tend to show their personality, usually through communication. Introverts have a tendency to speak as minimal as they can, because they just aren’t comfortable with the idea of talking.
Introverts dream to be in a position where they can talk clearly and allow themselves to participate in numerous events where they won’t be judged. An introvert always has a desire to raise his/her hand in class, but ends up holding back in fear of others.
While being an extrovert is a good thing, there isn’t anything necessarily bad about being an introvert. Yet parents and society, still disapprove of the kids who are not as vocal as others.
“If you talk more you will do better in the future” my dad would say. “Just go and talk, it isn’t that hard.”
But the reality is, for some people, it is hard. I myself am an introvert. It is hard for me to open up and talk to others because I have a constant fear of being judged. A large portion of introverts are similar to me, and will never find the need to be extroverted. But while I am introverted, that doesn’t stop me from making new friends. I have a plethora of friends that I hang out with. I just choose not to leave my comfort zone and make more friends than I need to. I don’t enjoy being reticent; it just comes naturally to me.
So if I can be an introvert, and still manage to maintain good enough relationships, then why is being an introvert so bad?
Which leads me to my main point. While being an introvert is okay, having that as a goal, is not. Someone should not decide to completely shut him/herself off from the world when it is not in their nature to be so; that isn’t healthy. Due to parents and society trying to mold the youth into this “ideal person” who can talk fluently and not be afraid of interaction, introverts tend to hold back since they are afraid of being judged. This can sometimes be disappointing, because in reality, introverts have a number of qualities that are respected in society. Albert Einstein, for example, had the greatest scientific mind but he was still very introverted. However, that did not stop him from becoming successful. So then why do people think being introverted is a bad thing, when in reality it does no harm at all?
People seem to forget the fact that everyone was shy at some point. When we were kids, and our parents would introduce us to other people who were evidently older than us, we would hide behind our mother or father’s leg. However, as we grew up, some people were able to break out of that shy boundary while others were not.
Introverts are told that if they don’t escape their shells, they will have a hard time adjusting in life. And while this may be true to some extent, it is not necessarily such an important factor for life. This pressure of being unique and outgoing to show yourself off can be stressful for a person. An introvert can reveal who they are to people he/she is familiar with, but that does not mean that that person needs to be completely extroverted in order to do that.
A person’s reticence is not inherent. It is a quality that is developed over time due to who that person chooses to surround him/herself with. If someone’s surroundings consist of frequent disrespect, inconsideration, and judgement, that person will typically tend to hold back. But, if the environment is welcoming, amiable, and progressive, there will be a lot less introverts in the world than there are today.