“I am not my introversion”

In the past, I have heard people describe humans as “herd animals” and to an extent, I think it’s true. God knows in middle school that’s the only way we survive. Fitting in and trying not to stand out. Perhaps it’s just what we, as humans, were meant to do; blend in, but most importantly, be liked.

I am an introvert. I always have been and probably always will be. I have no problem in admitting that fact. It’s who I am and I’m going to have to be okay with that. But sometimes, I’m not. Back in elementary and middle school, I had “friends” who would bully me and make me feel bad about being the quiet one. Some people even went as far as to say things like, “Stop being such an introvert”, or “Can’t you be more social?”, or “Quit being such a recluse”. I began to feel as though it was a bad thing that I wasn’t more outgoing. That I wasn’t more like the “herd”. So, on countless occasions, I’ve pushed myself to be “better”.

I’ve found that I always feel most comfortable with just myself and my thoughts. Now, that’s not to say that I’m antisocial, because I’m not. In social situations, I just tend to be more comfortable with older adults than with people my age. I also prefer small intimate gatherings over loud raucous parties. Being around those large groups has always made me feel tired, a bit awkward and self conscious, clumsy even, and ever so aware of all that I could be doing wrong. I now have amazing friends who I love and care for deeply and who love me for who I am. But sometimes, I get a feeling that I owe something to them. It’s a silly feeling, I know. I have felt these feelings more now that I have been in college. I am a nursing major, so naturally I have a lot of work and studying that I have to do. I knew that upon entering the major. But recently, I have found that I have been using my major as a way to get out of going to parties or any social gathering. I have been using my insecurity as a clutch. Part of me is happy being the bookworm and the nerd who stays in on Friday nights with a couple friends and some movies.

And yet, part of me still strives to change my introversion. Why? Because I hate the feeling that I’m going to disappoint people. I constantly want to please them and make them happy. And the sad part is that its my own peers that I’m afraid I disappoint the most. I just want to know that I have a place even though I’m a little more quiet and reserved. I want to know that people won’t perceive me as withdrawn or anti social. I want people to see me for me.