Living In A World Built Upon Extroverts

-Emily Fraysse

I can’t leave. I’m surrounded.

I hear the one-minute knock on the door and the President hushes for us to be quiet. They’re almost here and I have to do it all over again. To me, this is a fancier version of a holding cell, but with 150 other girls who look like carbon copies of one another.

The freshmen file into the sorority house in a snake-like fashion, and I am going straight into the mouth full of venom for the third time that night.

I make a beeline for the grand staircase in great haste as my friends look at me in a terribly confused manner.

What was wrong with me? Why wasn’t I able to talk to the potential new members for the third night during the six-day recruitment process like the other girls in my sorority?

As it turns out, nothing is wrong with me. My name is Emily, and I am an introvert. Chances are if you’ve experienced something similar to me, you may be one too.

Introversion is oftentimes mistaken for shyness or social phobia. In actuality, it is the feeling of getting drained or overwhelmed during social encounters. The best way for an introvert to refuel is by being in quiet environments or by themselves. Extroversion is just the opposite, finding energy by socializing with others.

Because introverts typically spend more time processing ideas and thoughts more in their head, they digest whatever situation they may be in before acting upon it. An article from Psychologytoday.com explains that, “As American life becomes increasingly competitive and aggressive, to say nothing of blindingly fast, the pressures to produce on demand, be a team player, and make snap decisions cut introverts off from their inner power source, leaving them stressed and depleted.”

Extroverts feed off of other people, while introverts find comfort by themselves. Extroverts love to ask questions and talk, while introverts tend to do the listening. Extroverts feel at ease with thinking as they speak, while introverts think first, then respond.

While there are people who sit on the extreme sides of the scale, most people in the world lie somewhere in the middle with traits from both sides. It is uncertain how many introverts there are due to the fact that extroverts usually hog the spotlight and, therefore, are overestimated.

But don’t get me wrong—the world needs people on both sides of the scale in order to function properly. Extroverts act upon the ideas that have been mulled over in an introvert’s brain.

For years I felt like I was an outsider in my own culture and that the world was not built for people like me. Now, I look at being an introvert as a privilege and the upside in whatever I peruse.

But don’t get me wrong—the world needs people on both sides of the scale in order to function properly. Extroverts are needed to act upon the ideas that have been mulled over in an introvert’s brain.

For years I felt like I was an outsider in my own culture and that the world was not built for people like me. Leaders and people of social hierarchy tend to be the extroverts, the doers, the ones with a voice. But President Obama would be nowhere near as powerful as he is today if he did not have the introverts on his team. They are the ones who are not always acknowledged, but are the brainpower, the source of creative thinking behind Obama’s actions.

Today, I look at being an introvert as a privilege. I may have to plan out my days ahead of schedule to make sure I have some time by myself, and I may get overwhelmed sometimes in social situations, but living the slower-paced, out-of-the-spotlight life full of creative ideas and thought-out answers is why I call myself a lucky one.

Image from http://www.cannibalisticnerd.com/

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