I was just reading an article about introversion posted to Facebook by an introverted friend: So Apparently There Are Four Kinds of Introversion
(I was split about equal across all four kinds, by the way)
…And then, of course, in the comments to this article you find mean stuff accusing introverts who post on Facebook about introversion, of looking for pity and attention-seeking.
Once again, people really don’t understand introverts.
No, it’s people posting articles they find meaningful and helpful, the same as everybody else does on Facebook. My husband’s Aspie cousin also posts lots of things about airplanes.
No, it’s about trying to understand yourself and explain it to others, after spending a lifetime of dealing with people who accuse you of being stuck up, or rude, or all sorts of other things, simply because you are quiet and introverted.
Who have abused you for it, or rejected you for it, or teased you for it, causing deep scars.
Who have scolded you out of the blue, when you were simply being yourself.
And it happens quite often. It starts in childhood, when you have no idea why the other kids keep rejecting you and bullying you, or why you can’t please your teachers and other adults.
Most people want the approval of others, so telling us to just “shrug it off” won’t work. No, stuff like this works deep in your psyche, a kind of introvert-shaming.
It causes you to feel like a freak, because not only can you not behave the ways that everybody keeps telling you, you “should,”–
but oftentimes you don’t want to.
Heck, I’ve just come through YEARS of fighting to recover from the emotional damage of being traumatized by Richard and Tracy for being introverted. The whole story, the extent of how they abused me, starts here. I recently realized that I finally made it through the darkness and have rebuilt my life again.
Another person in college, Shawn, also psychologically damaged me by criticizing all my introverted and NVLD traits. I was in love with him, but he rejected me because of my introversion, while also sexually using me. You can read about him here. I had to go to counseling to untangle myself from him. Yet years later, things he did and told me sometimes ring in my head.
If these things happen to me, then they happen to others. I post my experiences to help other introverts and abuse victims get through the jungle of depression and self-pity, and to the point of accepting themselves–and not accepting abuse from others.
I had no such resource to help me, so I felt all alone. But I can provide it for others so they don’t go through what I did, so they don’t feel alone.
Finally, we introverts have found a way, through Facebook, to quickly explain to all our friends that our behavior is actually normal and common. We hope that finally, the judgment and criticism will STOP so we can relax more in social gatherings.
This is also a way to say, “We’re here, we’re introverted, get used to it!”
A way to reverse decades of emotional trauma by realizing we are OKAY.
To begin to empower ourselves.
To rebuild our confidence and become comfortable in our own skin.
To finally have the words we need and the gumption we need to tell people the next time they criticize us, “I’m an introvert, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”
To STOP taking the criticism to heart and crying the rest of the day, or however each individual introvert deals with rejection and criticism.
To STOP apologizing for how we are.
To STOP trying to change ourselves and failing, destroying our confidence in ourselves.
To realize that we do indeed have something to offer, making us more attractive to employers, mates and friends.
To have a happy life of taking care of our own needs, rather than fighting against the grain of our own natures. And that gives us the energy to take care of others’ needs as well.
…And we get accused of “attention-seeking” or looking for “pity.”
Or, another one I’ve seen, of trying to show that we’re “better,” or smarter or whatever, than extroverts.
Um, no. This is just more introvert-shaming. Quit it already!
(A Psychology Today article on reversing the effects of “introvert shaming,” on feeling self-worth instead of victimized, is here. Another blog post from a kindred spirit on introvert-shaming is here.)