For my entire life, I've been seen as the introvert.
I was the girl who never failed to get a report card in elementary school that read, "She's such a great student, but she doesn't talk very much. I'd like to see her interact more."
When you're introverted, some people consistently ask if you're OK, and they have plenty of advice to "help you lighten up."
But, let's set the record straight here: Introverts are not hermits. Some aren't even that quiet often.
Introverts are introspective souls. We value our own thoughts, and we truly appreciate having time to ourselves.
That doesn't mean, however, that we don't enjoy hanging out with other people or find it difficult to socialize. Many of us prefer listening to speaking, and love contemplating our thoughts before we voice them out loud.
So, when people are critical of introverts, it gets pretty annoying. These are the five things I'm tired of people saying.
1. "You're so quiet."
Unfortunately, introversion and quietness have been linked in the minds of a lot of people.
The next time you're thinking about saying this, please stop. It will most likely make the person you're talking to uncomfortable and less likely to want to talk to you.
2. "Talk to me... I don't bite."
Ah yes, I'm so glad you don't bite. I was worried you might, to be quite honest.
When people come so far as to say this to me, I usually shut down. Don't take an introvert's hesitation to jump full-force into a conversation as them being scared. They'll be grateful for it.
3. "Are you always this shy?"
Ah, yes. That three-letter word.
As much as I am an introvert, I don't consider myself shy one bit. In fact, with my friends, I do a lot of talking -- probably too much, if you ask them.
4. "What are you nervous about?"
I'm not nervous, though. I'm sorry that my lack of chatter aligns itself with being nervous, afraid, or uncomfortable. Most of the time, I'm feeling none of those things.
What people don't often realize is many introverts are truly happy when they're listening, observing, and reacting thoughtfully.
5. "You'll come out of your shell someday."
What's wrong with the way I am now?
The idea that introverts need to become extroverts in order to blossom into a whole person needs to be put to rest for good.
It's perfectly fine for someone to be introspective; they don't need to change to make other people more comfortable.