4 Ways To Create Healthier Habits Towards Cultivating A Successful Introverted Life
It's 2021 and there is still a TON of widely arranged misconceptions about introverted personalities. For example, introverts are shy, we don't have any emotions, (as an INFP personality-type, based on Myers Briggs, I have a plethora of emotions roaming around... all the time), we don't like people or parties, we're flaky and my all-time favorite is the lack of awareness that introversion/extroversion exists as a spectrum and not simply a matter of "this or that".
When I was younger these under-evolved perceptions used to frustrate me, so much so, I shut off my voice. Honestly, at 28 years old, I'm still uncovering the depths of what caused my lack of expression. I know now that abandonment issues stemming from childhood played a huge role in my inability to honor my truth. Hence, I became the Black sheep. I became the hermit that stays in her room all day and celebrated when the whole entire house was free!
These days, I enjoy the hypocrisy and the inner joy that comes with surprising people with the dynamics of my personality …or personaLITies...(see what I did there); from speaking in front of an audience to traveling solo, (to explore the world on my own terms), or simply interacting energetically within a crowd…if only for an hour or two. Then, you'll surely catch me looking for the nearest exit.
Personally, I find that by developing my intuition, (really taking heed to the voices in my head), taking risks on a whim, (like traveling solo 8,892 miles overseas to study Communication Arts abroad in Salaya, Thailand), and lastly, making a commitment to never abandon myself...and my truth in exchange for popular narratives, views, or opinions.
Also, I found that the unhealthy sides of making myself small and hiding who I am can get pretty scary, lonely, and just outright sad. For example, thinking that I can just escape into drugs, (mostly Mary-Jane), alcohol, and even other people...never works out well and just deepens my sadness.
So, in CHOOSING to live my best life, I decided to develop a list of 4 things I do as an introvert to create healthier habits and live more authentically.
1. Build awareness of who you are on your own terms.
“After an hour or two of being socially on, we introverts need to turn off and recharge. This isn’t antisocial. It isn’t a sign of depression.” - Jonathan Rauch
People who don’t understand you and your personaLITies...will often try to fix you and make you believe there's something deeply wrong with you. Especially when those people are members of your family and more so if you care about what they think of you like I once did. You may need to give up how people think of you and accept the freedom of not giving a …you know.
Growing up in a traditional southern-Christian household, and all the hypocrisy that comes with that, I knew early on in life that my quest for truth would be a super lonely road. With that said, I find it empowering to continuously develop my "spiritual toolbox" and self-care practices. I pull from as many resources as I need to, in order to explore what works best for me.
2. Solitude is a game-changer, but be wary of comfort zones.
“I really like to stay in my nest and not move. I travel in my mind, and that's a rigorous state of journeying for me. My body isn’t that interested in moving from place to place." - Bell Hooks
Literally, the best thing about solitude for me is to never have to explain why I’m not talking. Period. Recently, I moved (on a whim), from my hometown of Virginia across the country to live in Colorado, just to detach from all perceivable knowns, explore the air of a new environment and honor my soul's need to create and heal...free of judgment and human interception.
3. Develop your voice and learn when, where, and how to use it on your own terms.
“I'm self-sufficient. I spend a lot of time on my own and I shut off quite easily. When I communicate, I communicate at 900 percent; then I shut off which scares people sometimes.” - Bjork
Being a Black woman, I’ve noticed how people have commonly mistaken my observant nature for insecurity, simply because I'm not blabbing all over the place. I AM highly introspective. I tend to use my words wisely, so excuse me if I like to think before splattering energetic voice waves into the universe. However, it's the nature of wonder and curiosity that overpowers my inability to speak, therefore, I shall remain curious!
4. Be IN the world, but not OF the world.
“Sometimes I just shut down and don’t talk to anyone for days. It's nothing personal." - Soya Teclai
Actually being of the world is quite impossible if you truly appreciate your observant- introverted nature. So, give in to your honest nature, because isn't the goal is to live better within your own skin? If your purpose-driven like many of us are, you will find your voice in solitude where you can finally hear inside your own head.
However, the truth is, I still get drained. I get lost in the paralysis of being stuck in my bed. It could be self-doubt lagging around or I just simply don’t have the energy for humans. But even in those spaces, I look to learn from other successful introverts or introverted TV characters.
A few of my favorite on-screen introverts are, Poussey Washington from "Orange Is the New Black", Issa Rae from "Insecure", my childhood fav Daria Morgendorffer from “Daria", Rami Malek's characters in both "Mr. Robot" and "Papillon", and Katniss from the" Hunger Games" series.
Lastly, push yourself out of your comfort zones and never exclude your extroverted friends!
PSA: Trust me they love you!
The people who truly love you will always give you grace and the freedom to be you... without the desire for you to be them.
Let’s face it, as awesome as it is to connect with your inner nature as an introverted soul, the world is still created for extroverts. So, always remember to give yourself some grace, (and most likely some space for your energies to breathe), and never neglect the power of inspiration from other introverts who have triumphed fearlessly on this planet way before you even existed.