Transforming From An Extrovert To An Introvert

30/08/2016 11:56

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When you are young you are quite a different person to the one you are as you approach 30. Although you feel the same in many ways, such as realising you never really feel like an adult, you also grow more comfortable in your own skin.

Now obviously there are more personality types than just these two, and as a rule it isn't good to put people in a box. But as society does that for us anyway, I think these two are things that most people can identify with on some level. I find myself asking how do you deal with the dramatic transformation from extrovert to introvert? From being the life and soul of the party to the girl sat quietly in the corner thinking 'but it's bed time!'.

I can hear you say "but that's just getting old" - but it ain't true. Attend any event and you will always see the 30-40 somethings, hell even 50-60-70 somethings still giving it large. It's not about age. It's about how your soul and spirit evolve thanks to your unique set of life experiences. It's nothing to be ashamed of. It's personal growth.

Now as a teen, most people go to the extreme of extroversion or introversion - the full belt rebel or the quiet alone type. This is a mechanism for finding out who you really are, for finding your position in social realm. Some choose to sit back and read about life, others choose to go out and ask others about it. Neither is right, and neither is wrong, and each have their merits.

Moving from an extrovert to an introvert has to be the toughest thing, as people assume there is something wrong with you. "Are they ok " they ask you umpteen times throughout the night. When in fact instead of being the girl dancing on that table, making an effort to talk to everyone in the room like you once did, you are really happy to sit back, reminisce, and sigh that satisfying sigh of knowing you don't feel the need to be that person anymore to feel a sense of worth. Fun comes in more ways than one!

Some say that extroverts are often people seeking attention, introverts are often people happy in themselves and their own company. I guess that transition can come with age but not always, some people aren't that lucky. Everyone morphs into someone new as they get older, people change, and that is a great thing. I mean who would want to live in a world where we all still acted like the teenage version of ourselves.

Social anxiety is a huge problem for many these days. Mental health is getting worse across all ages, but we are also much better at talking about it. As a newly self-outed introvert I have to wonder if I have been confusing that personality trait with social anxiety. I know it's not that simple, but I have finally come to the realisation that it is ok to enjoy my own company, and to prefer spending nights in writing, reading, or watching something trashy on TV. Not everyone is built to be an extrovert and that's ok, despite what society says. The key to any transformation is self-acceptance, and therein lays the key to happiness.

So as I sit writing this in a field at a festival as people dance and sing around me, I feel happy to be me, and proud to be an introvert after years of masquerading as an extrovert.