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7 Steps To Embrace Your Inner Introvert And Not Feel Bad

7 Steps To Embrace Your Inner Introvert And Not Feel Bad

Have you ever done a personality test? When I got the results of my Myers-Briggs last year I had an epiphany. INFJ all the way. Of course, I’m an introvert! Are you an introvert as well?

Unfortunately, the excitement over my new insight wore off quickly and was replaced with worry: Does that mean I suck at networking? How can I ever be successful if I’m not a people person? Will all my friends abandon me if I embrace my introvert personality?

If you’re an introvert like me, you probably feel bad about yourself quite often, because you think your personality is holding you back in life. But over the course of the last 9 months I found plenty of reasons that that’s not true. I discovered 7 ways how you can embrace your introverted personality and feel great about it, here they are.

1. Listen to music when you leave the house on your own

As an introvert, I often walk around outside alone, for example to the pool to go for a swim or to shop for groceries, or even just take a walk. I found that listening to music makes me a lot more confident. You can listen to your favorite songs and get pumped on the way to the gym, or play a funny game called eye-gazing: you look people in the eyes as they pass you. Don’t look mean, smile, but look them in the eyes and don’t look away. You’ll see most people will avert their gaze faster than you do!

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It’s a great way to boost confidence and make you feel great about who you are. Dance your way through the streets, not caring what anyone thinks. You’re an introvert and you’re just fine.

2. Use social media. A lot

Remember how everyone always says social media aren’t all that social, because now people just stay in and socializes on their computer? This is what makes them perfect for us introverts! You can talk to and connect with millions of people – without having to leave your living room.

Imagine having 20 people in your house, exhausting, right? But talking to 20 people throughout the day on Twitter, Facebook and even Skype, that can be fun! You can reach out to old friends or get to make new ones, learn tons of new things and find mentors, without having to say a single word, if you don’t want to.

3. Start something creative, and be bold in creating

Have a passion project, for example a blog, an Instagram account where you take photos, or write a book. When you create you can be as bold as you want to be. Your imagination knows no limits and none of the limits that others might put on you matter when you quietly work on something that shows your genius.

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I chose to start a blog and it’s been great fun to write for myself, for other blogs and try all kinds of content to grow it and create something valuable that helps people. This is your chance to show the world your brilliance, passion and even become an authority. Those who teach are always perceived as experts. A lot of people who might criticize you at work, will commend you for what you write on your blog, giving you a confidence boost and showing you that you DO have a story that’s worth telling and showing the world.

The world is split into consumers and creators. Becoming a creator is one of the best ways to feel great about yourself (whether you’re an introvert or not).

4. Pick up a solo sport

You know exercise is important, and maybe you even do sports with your friends on occasion already, but chances are a team sport is not for you. Even if you play one, a solo sport can be a great way to balance things out.

For us introverts exercising solo is one of the best times to think, so get a treadmill, buy a ticket to the pool or pick up yoga, running or another sport you can do all by yourself. It’ll just be you, your thoughts and maybe some music – you’ll feel great during and after!

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5. Say no to meetings you don’t want to do

Especially for business, people love to do in-person meetings. Everyone just gets together and chitchats. These meetings are often much more about socializing, than they are about solving a problem. Often there’s a much faster way that doesn’t even require a meeting to take care of the problem.

So when you feel like a meeting won’t help you make any progress, politely decline and suggest an alternative solution. The same is true for meeting with your friends. Do it as often as you like, but never be afraid to say no when you don’t want to. You’ll always be glad you did it afterwards.

Do you know that awkward feeling in your stomach after you said yes to something you didn’t want to do? This will make it go away.

6. Inspire yourself by reading books about famous introverts

You’re not alone. There are many introverts out there in the world, who have become wildly famous and successful. You just need to surround yourself with them. Books are a great way to do this. For example “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, “Quiet! The Power of Introverts” by Susan Cain or the Sherlock Holmes series by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are a good start.

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All of these people are introverts, but they didn’t let that stop them and neither should you.

7. Come up with a powerful mantra

A mantra or affirmation is a short little statement you can recite to yourself over and over again. For example this can simply be you, standing in front of your mirror in the morning, telling yourself: “I’m an introvert, and I’m great the way I am. My life is my message to the world and I’m going to make it inspiring in my own way.”

You can also develop a very short mantra that you can repeat to yourself before difficult situations, for example when you’re about to enter your office in the morning, such as: “I am strong.” or “What I do matters.” Just repeating this one sentence over and over again for a minute or so will program your subconscious mind to live the words throughout the day.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via images.unsplash.com

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Niklas Goeke

Student, Technical University of Munich

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Last Updated on June 24, 2019

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

A study [1] published in Depression and Anxiety found that social media users are more likely to be depressed. This was just one of the huge number of studies linking social media and depression[2] . But why exactly do platforms like Facebook and Instagram make people so unhappy? Well, we don’t know yet for sure, but there are some explanations.

Social Media Could Lead to Depression

Depression is a serious medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and behave. Social media may lead to depression in predisposed individuals or make existing symptoms of depression[3] worse explains[4] the study above’s senior author Dr. Brian Primack. So, the problem may not be in social media per se, but how we use it.

Signs You’re Suffering From “Social Media Depression”

If you feel like social media is having a negative impact on your mood, then you may be suffering from “social media depression.” Look for symptoms like:

• low self-esteem,

• negative self-talk,

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• a low mood,

• irritability,

• a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed,

• and social withdrawal.

If you’ve had these symptoms for more than two weeks and if this is how you feel most of the time, then you are likely depressed. Although “social media depression “is not a term recognized in the medical setting, social media depression seems to be a real phenomenon affecting around 50% of social media users. As explained in a review study[5] published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, if a person has a certain predisposition to depression and other mental disorders, social media use may only worsen their mental health.

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Social Media Could Crush Self-Esteem

We know that social media and depression are in some way linked, but why is this so? Well, according to Igor Pantic, MD, Ph.D.[6], social media use skews your perception about other people’s lives and traits. To explain this further, most people like to portray an idealized image of their lives, personal traits, and appearance on sites like Facebook and Instagram. If you confuse this idealized image with reality, you may be under the false impression that everyone is better than you which can crush your self-esteem and lead to depression. This is especially true for teens and young adults who are more likely to compare themselves to others. If you already suffer from low self-esteem, the illusion that everyone has it better off than you will just make you feel worse.

Causing Social Isolation and Other Negative Emotions

Another commonly cited reason for the negative impact of social media on mental health is its link with social isolation. Depressed people are more likely to isolate themselves socially and chose only to interact indirectly through social media platforms. But communication online tends to be superficial and is lacking when compared to real-life interaction explains Panic. What this means is not that social media leads to isolation but the other way around, possibly explaining why we find so many depressed persons on these sites.

Lastly, social media use may generate negative emotions in you like envy, jealousy, dislike, loneliness, and many others and this may worsen your depressive symptoms.

Why We Need to Take This Seriously

Both depression and social media use are on the rise according to epidemiological studies. Since each one has an impact on the other, we have to start thinking of healthier ways to use social media. Teens and young adults are especially vulnerable to the negative impact of social media on mental health.

Advice on Social Media Use

Although these findings did not provide any cause-effect explanation regarding Facebook and depression[7], they still do prove that social media use may not be a good way to handle depression. For this reason, the leading authors of these studies gave some suggestions as to how clinicians and people can make use of such findings.

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One suggestion is that clinicians should ask patients about their social media habits. Then they can advise them on how to change their outlook on social media use or even suggest limiting their time spent on social media.

Some social media users may also exhibit addictive behavior; they may spend too much time due to compulsive urges. Any compulsive behavior is bound to lead to feelings of guilt which can worsen depressive symptoms.

Having Unhealthy Relationship with Social Media

If you feel like your relationship with social media is unhealthy, then consider the advice on healthy social media use provided by psychology experts from Links Psychology[8]:

Avoid negative social comparison – always keep in mind that how people portray themselves and their lives on social media is not a realistic picture, but rather an idealized one. Also, avoid comparing yourself to others because this behavior can lead to negative self-talk.

Remember that social media is not a replacement for real life – Social media is great for staying in touch and having fun, but it should never replace real-world interactions.

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Avoid releasing personal information – For your safety and privacy, make sure to be careful with what you post online.

Report users who bully and harass you – It’s easy to be a bully in the anonymous and distant world of social media. Don’t take such offense personally and report those who abuse social media to harass others.

The bits of advice listed above can help you establish a healthy relationship with social media. Always keep these things in mind to avoid losing an objective perspective of what social media is and how it is different from real life. If you are currently suffering from depression, talk to your doctor about what is bothering you so that you can get the treatment you need to get better. Tell your doctor about your social media use and see if they could give you some advice on this topic.

Reference

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