A culture is formed when people make a series of agreements. We’re born into cultures, and we tend to unconsciously adopt the cultural agreements as our own. This adoption is normal and makes sense from an evolutionary perspective; in order to survive, we have to adapt. But, as we’re all aware, there are cultural agreements that don’t serve some of us and agreements that don’t support positive growth as a whole. Some agreements become outdated and need to evolve to care for our community as a whole.
In order for things to increasingly get better we need people who are willing and able to see the big picture, find the gaps, challenge the status quo, and innovate. Here, introverts come to the rescue.
Introverts teach us that it’s OK to be alone.
In a world where we value social engagement above alone time, the introvert is paving the way to place a higher value on taking care of ourselves. Introverts need alone time to feel sane, to recharge, to restore. They feel depleted when in constant engagement, so they learn to take time out for themselves. We all need to recharge and allow ourselves to skip a social event without feeling like there’s something wrong with us. Teaching our society to value “me time” is important for us to live healthier, sustainable lives.
Introverts show us that silence can be a good thing.
The popularity of meditation is on the rise. The health benefits are being touted from scientific communities worldwide. Introverts already have the sitting in silence thing locked down. We live in a world where we’re constantly being engaged; it’s information overload. Our minds incessantly buzz, and many of us don’t know how to control our own minds. Most introverts are very comfortable with their own thoughts and some have mastered the craft of controlling the mind. In times of conflict, introverts excel in taking a breath and reflecting before acting from raw emotion.
Introverts are good listeners.
Listening is a skill that is essential for progress. We need to really hear one another to be able to understand each other’s needs. True listening means that we care about another person’s needs, feelings, and desires. It means that we’re interested. Listening is an active art that introverts are highly skilled in.
Introverts see the big picture.
Because introverts are comfortable being on their own and being silent, they’re naturally strong observers. They’re adept at stepping back from engagement to watch what’s going on. This type of observation is essential to see a clear picture of what’s going on in the world and our own lives.
Introverts are free thinkers.
Our culture imposes beliefs on us which we unconsciously adopt. When we’re caught in a cycle of consumption and action it’s easy to become a robot of the status quo. Because introverts are more inclined to silent reflection and observation, this can lead to new thoughts and ideas that differ from the pack. This type of thinking is imperative to move cultures forward in positive new directions and relieve us from outdated modalities.
Introverts are independent.
In a world where it’s easier to blend in and be popular than it is to be different and gawked at, introverts have an easier time doing their own thing. It may not feel good or easy, but introverts are happier when they are listening to their needs. They don’t need to rely on others opinions to guide them because they’ve learned to listen to themselves, a beautiful model for our youth especially.
In order to recognize an opportunity for something new to be born, we need to be able to see the big picture, focus on the gaps, and use our creativity to create something new. Introverts are capable of seeing things others might not because of their observational skills.
Introverts aren’t afraid to go deep.
Our society popularizes people who are good at small talk, people who are witty, and people who can chit chat with anyone. The small talk isn’t wasted on them, but introverts tend to be more interested in deep connection. Our culture has tended to place negative connotations around emotion. Men are seen as weak and women as childish when they express sadness or pain. We live in a world where there seems to be a shortage of love and compassion. We think about ourselves and our needs before others. Introverts tend to feel deeply for others and their empathy is imperative to building stronger community and connection.
Introverts know themselves.
Because introverts are comfortable looking inward they tend to understand themselves in a way others might not. Being comfortable being alone is a sign that you enjoy your own company which is a sign that you like yourself, something many of us don’t spend much time contemplating. Spending time alone means you’re more likely to know what it is you want out of life which makes it easier to listen to your dreams and passions for your own life. We need more people in the world who are willing to look at and accept themselves, then give their gifts to the world.
Introverts make art.
When you know yourself, you have a deep connection to your soul. Many introverts tend to be artists because they feel a calling to express this deeper part of themselves. Art is a cultural necessity, an expression of where we are individually and as a whole: it brings understanding, provocation, and love into the world.
Featured photo credit: Luke Pamer via unsplash.com