To be an introvert is a strength. Introverts have a capacity to be contented and a personality to be admired. The introvert in my life, my best friend, is an anchor like no other. Strong, ambitious and opinionated, she is a laughter riot whose happiness is contagious. Her smiles are plentiful and so is her advice. Being an introvert is her biggest asset, and this is what my introverted best friend taught me:

1. To Listen

Be it a voice of reason, a tone of caution or an ego being loud, she always listens. She listens, she agrees or disagrees, but regardless, she always listens. In this fast-paced life, this ever evolving cacophony of disturbance, she taught me to listen. Not to hear — we all do that — but to listen. Truly, carefully, mindfully. To listen to the voice inside my head, to listen to the voices guiding me, to listen to the voices of change around me, to listen to the whispers of the trees, to listen, mostly, to myself. She taught me by listening to me.

2. To Show

The post of glorious achievements when I’m blue, the green tea when I’m upset, the hot cocoa when I’m missing home. She barely, if ever, tells me she cares but every day, ever so often, she’ll show me she cares. From her I learned to show, to convey not just by words but by actions, and to love so deeply and show it with a simple touch.

3. To Find Happiness Within

She’ll often sit huddled up in her blanket with a rather questionable choice of book and be perfectly content. She’d often rather take a ‘different’ path to class and find happiness in that. She’ll have a food that she may have eaten often before and yet, today, she’ll find time to praise it. Be it night or day, sunny or gloomy, she’d always find something to be content about. She taught me to be happy inside, to be alone and yet not lonely. She taught me to find happiness in the little things in life.

4. To Trust

Whether she was thousands of miles away or merely on the next bed in a dorm, she taught me how to trust. For every broken heart, mean word, or bad grade, she stood by me, holding my hand and letting me trust her. Every word and insecurity was one that she simply patted away as she patted my hand when I was near tears. She taught me to trust from my heart not my eyes or ears. So even though we’re miles away, my heart still trusts: my secrets, hopes, dreams and aspirations all tucked within me and her. And with every passing day she encourages me to trust her more without ever saying a word but by always respecting mine.

5. To Be Goofy

A simple text, a movie night, a horrible dance party: she will live it up. She’ll enjoy life every second and do so without a sound (sometimes). She carries her heart on her sleeve and every day she’ll spend a little time just being happy and goofy. She taught me to loosen up. She taught me that the child inside isn’t always loud and that being goofy can come in silent dark nights or blazing summer mornings. She taught me to find my inner child in the absence of sound.

6. To Be Honest not Brutal

In no argument is her voice ever the loudest. It is there, it is vibrant, but is also the kindest. She isn’t a woman of few words, she isn’t weak and she definitely isn’t naïve. Her mind is strong and her direction firm. Her ideas are flexible but most of all, her words are calm. Things have been said, mistakes were made, yet every time her words were gentle. They were strong but gentle. They never hurt, they made a point. She taught me to be honest without being hurtful, and to convey without disrespect. She taught me to be kinder and use my words better.

Featured photo credit: Becca Peterson via flickr.com

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