Just a few of the things said to me this week have been “You’re quiet, are you ok?” “Are you always so quiet?” “You’re kinda shy aren’t you?” “You should be more confident.”
I get this alot, I think alot of people that are more introverted do…quiet is mistaken for shy and well, that’s mistaken for having no confidence. Truth is, anyone that knows me well, knows I am confident, in who I am, in what I want and in what makes me happy. Sure, I have my moments of doubt but everyone does.
I keep my circle small…and if I do open up to you then your pretty special. Don’t get me wrong, I love the times that I do go out in a group and socialise or go to choir and be around people that make me smile. I can do that and I enjoy it, but I also enjoy being alone, whether it’s taking myself for dinner, to the cinema, just writing. It’s one of those things I really value. It’s often seen as a negative thing, associated with being sad or antisocial..it’s not, it just means that people like me are comfortable being alone and they don’t need to share all their thoughts and opinions out loud.
I’ve often had people ask me what my plans are and if I want to go out with them that night and when I say no, it’s expected that it’s because I’m busy, I’m not…my plan is to be by myself, probably watch a few films and read a book, I’ve got no shame in admitting that.
Anyone can be shy and being quiet doesn’t mean that someone is. Being in my own world is something I am very good at, sticking in the headphones or singing to myself out loud, dancing around in random places and not caring what people think, that’s me and I wouldn’t change it. I’ve had moments where I’ve not been so sure, where I’ve let other people’s words and thoughts take over what I think but actually…I’m happy with those moments too because I know it’s normal.
I like being different, not being as loud or chatty as others because when I actually do make connections with people it’s because I want to let them into my little world and to get to know theirs, they are the people I love spending time with. When it comes down to it, I believe the only persons opinion of you that matters is your own. As long as your happy and comfortable with who you are then it doesn’t matter what they think, you’re you, own it and work it.
I’ve had it said before that I’m kind of emotionless sometimes, I’m not I just know how to handle my emotions and I know what works for me to deal with them, very few people would ever know exactly what I’m thinking or feeling. To some that’s a bad thing, to me, it’s good and it’s something I developed when I had cancer, because as much as you’re supported during that, it’s your battle and you gotta face it, the tears, the fear, all of it, no one can do it for you. That’s what it taught me, that I can and I will deal with whatever I have to and I actually prefer to do that alone.
It also taught me that it’s not the amount of money you earn or the type of clothes you wear that matter, it’s the memories, the people in your life that lift you up and the things that make you smile without hesitation.
Something common I think is being judged to be rude, stuck up, antisocial, depressed or something similar when you are introverted…because people just don’t understand, it’s kind of taboo to do things like go to the cinema alone, I get lots of people saying “Really?” “Oh but on your own?” Yes, on my own, no I don’t want you to join me or look at me like I’m a lost puppy, this is what I want to do, quit being freaked out by it!
One of those things that I like to spend time doing is writing, someone told me they could tell I was comfortable in my own space just from reading what I write, which was really nice to hear because it’s what I love…if I’m not doing it I’m usually thinking about whatever the characters in my latest story will be doing next or wishing I had time to write.
So to summarise, yes I’m usually quiet, I’m not super chatty (unless your one of the lucky few who I don’t shut up with) or always sociable but that doesn’t mean I won’t chat (I do know how!) or that I’m unhappy. I can be assertive when I need to be, I can get up and talk to groups of people, put together presentations and travel the country doing volunteer work connecting with lots of strangers along the way.
It’s just who I am and I don’t need approval or for you to like it, because I’m proud of it and the only person I ever want to be better than is the person I was the day before.
Own who you are, work it and believe in yourself.