I began to progressively hate myself as the years wore on and my journey with self-sabotage commenced. You name it, I had it: A cocktail mixture of depression, anxiety, alcoholism, eating disorders, and mood instability characterized my livelihood and although the reasons are multifaceted and beyond the scope of our purposes, I truly believe that it all started because I was made to feel inferior for being an introvert. I was vulnerable and naive at the time and thereby accepted the false story that was being fed to me. In the present day, I am 25 years old and therefore better understand my identity, but it took years of reconditioning in order to reach self-acceptance. I wish I had known about introversion when I was young, alone, and helpless because it would have saved me years of heartache and inner conflict.
Nowadays, I pour my best efforts into surrounding myself with uplifting, openhearted individuals who support my personality. There are occasions in which I come into contact with people who jump to conclusions regarding my seemingly withdrawn persona without opening their hearts and minds to the truth. There is no guarantee that I can change the way these individuals perceive me and thereby lead them toward newfound insights about introversion. All I can do is try. Introversion is multilayered and is a personality type that isn't supposed to fit into a clear-cut box as the definitions are variable. From my vantage point, however, it is a personality trait that places its emphasis on internal reflection and draws its vitality from the inside out as opposed to the outside in. In other words, unlike extroverts who gain energy from continual outside interactions and social validation, we introverts actually lose energy from engaging in an overabundance of external activity. In my case, you will notice that I tend to get exceedingly agitated in huge crowds and environments in which there are too many things happening at once. That does not necessarily allude to the fact that we do not gain pleasure from taking part in otherwise extroverted pursuits, but it merely means that we may need to recharge our batteries after such loaded, hyperstimulating activities. In fact, we are passionate people with creative, insightful thoughts bursting under the surface, but we do not always have to outwardly share them with others.