Radical Acceptance of your Introverted, Sensitive Self in an Overstimulating World

Accepting yourself has to begin with understanding who you are. As many introverts and highly sensitives will know, self acceptance is something that doesn’t necessarily come easily.

This is because the world, ever since childhood, has told you, in one way or another, that there is something wrong with you. Perhaps you never fitted in at school and would rather forget the 12 years jailed in the institution or perhaps you were raised in a way where you were expected to behave and conform in an extroverted way.

You may have been an observer rather than a doer, you may have been quiet, considerate, thoughtful and intuitive in sensing hidden social ques. You may have preferred not to participate in any kind of social club that involved attention. You may have also been highly sensitive and an overstimulating sensory environment was not only exhausting, but stressful. Perhaps you were so observant as a child (and adult) that you knew what was going on before anyone else did!

As an adult, you might prefer 1-2 people per social interaction max, regain lots of energy by spending time alone, and what makes you happy often doesn’t involve a whole crowd of extroverts. It’s not that introverts don’t like extroverts, it’s that they are best interacted with in small doses, when one’s cup is relatively full. Extroverts, as wonderful and as delightful as they are, are exhausting, by no fault of their own!

Welcome to the world of the highly sensitive introvert! These types of introverts on the Myer Briggs scale are often INFJs and INFPs. Quiet, alone time is the oxygen, and sensing and intuition is the super power. Overstimulating environments with too many people, especially extroverts, is the kryptonite! Although highly sensitive introverts, love going out to social engagements from time to time, they cannot wait to get home and hibernate in quiet, blissful solitude.

With all of that said, it can be a difficult journey of self acceptance for the sensitive introvert. This is because you may have spent your life wanting to be something different to who you inherently are. You may have even been told to be different to who you inherently are by a parent, friend or teacher. You may have been compared to a fun, loving, energetic extrovert as a child and been told to be more like them, more ‘outgoing’.

Well, I am here to tell you today, to screw ‘outgoing’. We have enough extroverts in the world to be outgoing for us all. So introverts can sit back and do what WE do best, and these are the things to celebrate about being an introvert:

  • We’re creative, quiet, ingenious thinkers who pick up on unseen sensory, social and cognitive insights;
  • We’re highly conscientious and have an abundance of empathy (that makes us pretty bad ass);
  • We’re happy….oh so happy with quiet, blissful solitude;
  • We have meaningful friendships with others and enjoy quality one to one time with them;
  • We think outside the box and come to problems and solutions differently;
  • We’re the artists, the writers, the poets, the intellectuals, the musicians and the song writers;
  • We’re a lot of fun to be with socially and once we’re comfortable will let our quirky, funny and awesome side shine through;
  • We get a lot of shit done…when left alone.

These are the things to celebrate about introverts…the very qualities that we’ve been told aren’t good, important or wanted….are the very qualities we need to cherish, foster and celebrate!

If you are different and struggle to fit in, in this one size fits all themed world, then screw it! Be different! Be weird! Be quiet! Be sensitive! Be introverted! Just be you! The world will adapt…

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