“I get a kick out of being an outsider constantly. It allows me to be creative.” – Bill Hicks
There’s more to being an Introvert than just being shy
I have always been an introvert. I can be socially awkward and painfully shy at times. As a child I would hide behind my father as he would introduce me to people. Being introverted is a bit of a mixed blessing. I enjoy the solitary freedom of allowing my imagination and creativity to flourish undisturbed by other people or situations. My introverted nature has also tended to hinder both my personal and professional growth, quelling potential opportunities to meet new people or get more established with my career.
As a child, I knew I was different from the other kids but not in a bad or negative way.. I had friends and got along well with the others. I’ve just always felt more at ease when I’m indulging in my own individual pursuits. Others have picked up on my reserved nature including my Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Perron. She was able to assess the behavioural pattern of a 4 year-old Danny Mazur. It is uncanny how accurate she was in her analysis of me way back in 1977. I was an imaginative but nervous little boy. In many ways, I still am that shy little boy with an active imagination who is always looking to express myself creatively but on my own terms. She noticed that even then, that I was happiest participating in activities on my own.. In kindergarten, I was complimented for my good speaking voice, vivid imagination, and love of stories which actually allowed for me to open up to others. My nervousness would also prevent me from fully expressing myself or from listening to what others have to say. The same holds true in 2015.
I will never be the glad-handing, back-slapping type as I find that sort of behaviour to be incredibly disingenuous. Rarely will I be the one to start a conversation with a stranger or even somebody I know. Many people just don’t seem to understand how the mind of an introvert works. We’re not distant or aloof nor are we selfish or self-absorbed. We’re just shy and like to go about life at our own pace. I think that being given time to acclimate to our surroundings and truly feel comfortable around others is what we need in order to truly be ourselves. I’m constantly being asked if there’s something wrong or why I don’t smile more often. Once I get to know and trust somebody, I am a real card. I have a dry, biting sense of humour and can often be incredibly silly. You wouldn’t know that when you first meet me. But given the time to get comfortable with someone or a situation, I can be witty and personable. I just love my alone time. I enjoy the quiet, the ability to process my thoughts, and make future plans or solve a current dilemma.
Despite my introversion, I am actually a pretty good public speaker. I get nervous as most people do before they have to address an audience but to me, it comes naturally. In spite of my taciturn nature and lack of expression on my face, I actually get a rush out of public speaking. It’s also fun to see how shocked others are that the reserved guy in the corner has all of this personality and energy locked up inside. I sincerely believe that there is a link between being introverted and being creative. There is nothing wrong with anyone who is introverted. They shouldn’t be forced to abandon who they are in order to blend into society. Sure I wish I was a little more outgoing and not so uncomfortable in social situations. That being said, I crave my time alone to think, create, and to escape into my own little world if only for a few moments.
“I’m an introvert. I get my energy by spending time alone. I need that hour or two to myself every day.” – Amit Bhatia
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