Positive perspectives and practices for personal growth.

Thinking: Not Such A Bad Thing After All

I have been told often that I think too much; that I over-analyse situations, myself,  other people, life.

‘Don’t spend so much time in your head‘ is the usual line… ‘Just go out and do it’.

As a kid, I have to admit I felt a little bit ashamed of my personality. I didn’t want to go out and just do it, I just wanted to find a quiet spot to sit down, enjoy my own company and think.

I felt stigmatised… As if my quiet, reserved personality type was somehow subordinate to those – the clear majority – who seemed to enjoy the limelight so intently.

And because I felt a stigmatised as a kid, I have to admit, I get a tad p***ed off to this day, if anyone has the audacity to suggest that ‘I spend too much time in my head.

It took me many years to appreciate that extroversion isn’t, as I thought back then, the Holy Grail of personality traits. To be unassuming, reserved, introspective isn’t a personality flaw – it’s a personality type: one that is responsible for many of humanities greatest achievements from van Gogh’s Sunflowers to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.

But because of the perceived inadequacy, introverts often put on an extroverted act. I can personally hold a conversation or a party better than most extroverts – mentally draining though I find it.

But, I’ve just started reading ‘Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking’ by Susan Cain, and one line in particular made me smile:

Or you’re told that you’re “in your head to much,” a phrase that’s often deployed against the quiet and cerebral. Of course, there’s another word for such people: thinkers.

That I think is a perfect defence, or validation to be who you are, if like me, you ever find yourself having to justify being an introvert. :-)

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