Thursday, May 6, 2010
Whenever I tried to confess this feeling to family and friends, they could not understand how hard it was. They could not understand the anxiety, the want to be invisible and the fear that I'll say something stupid. I would get panic attacks at night with the thought of going to school. My stomach would start aching before stepping out of the house.
A few months back, I began with the process of self-discovery and was convinced that I am an 'introvert' , which is nothing more than a personality trait. I started accepting myself the way I was and believed that there is nothing wrong with being an introvert. Now whenever I come across questions like 'Why don't I socialize?', or 'Why don't I go out with friends?', I admit the fact that this is my personality- I am an Introvert!
Over these months, I have come to believe that there are many benefits of being an introvert, which extrovert don't get to experience in their lives that easily. Firstly, as we tend to think a lot before speaking and constantly engage in self-regulation, chances of speaking incorrect and disrespectful words are less. Secondly, we speak less and to-the-point which are the two ultimate qualities of a sophisticated speech. Thirdly, since we are choosy about making friends, it decreases the probability of getting into a bad company. As they say, it is better to be alone than in a bad company. Also, being an introvert helps in better development of observational skills. Introverts are good at observing themselves as well as others. They are like an instrument that absorbs all sources of information form the environment.
Moreover, it is a fact that majority of gifted children(60%) are introverts. According to studies of intelligence, higher the IQ, higher is the percentage number of introverts.
Consequently, I have started valuing my God-given quality and now I don't let anyone make me feel inferior because I don't like to sit around with the gang and chew the fat, or leap into conversations before I have thought things through. I give deserved worth to my inner world and have become comfortable with my quieter qualities. And this is how my setback became an asset for me.
In the journey of life we often come across learned people who give us their advice to help us learn from their experience. One such advices which influenced me the most was given to me by my grandmother. She told me "you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar".It means that if we have a kind and polite attitude we tend to attract more people than when we have a disagreeable and unpleasant attitude.
These days people often cause pain and anguish with there harsh words -either possessed by a short temper or constrained by tension. Whatever be the reason,one bitter word can wound like the lethal blades of a hundred swords.No one would like to confront an angry man who hurls a torrent of abuses.As a result,the person ends up being isolated and detached from the real world.
On the other hand a loving touch or a friendly gesture go a long way in dispelling the pall of gloom.Being courteous and using carefully chosen kind words creates a feeling of warmth and happiness.The words may be simple but they bound to work wonders. After all it takes nothing to be polite.Soothing words sound like music to the ears.Consequently there will be more friends around us who will also like to speak to us politely and softly rather than rant and rave and upset the feeling of others.As they say,one of the most difficult things to give away is kindness-it is usually returned.
Keeping these thoughts in mind I have adopted a genteel attitude which helps me to make friends easily.Such an attitude also gives a tendency to avoid disputes among peers.In effect of this, I share a sound relationship with my family and friends.Such healthy relationships enable me to deal effectively with the demand and challenges of everyday life and therefore I am able to keep a equilibrium in my life.Thus I believe my grandmothers advice is the best advice I ever got in my life.
Out of many roads of life, I have ended up with two roads ahead of me:
1. The road taken by every second person, which assures success. Although the journey on this road is not so easy, but everyone tries to accomplish the journey of his life at this road. The most commonly taken roads in India are:
a. To become a doctor or an engineer or doing MBA from a reputed university, to get a job in a company which provides higher salary and then to get married. That's it, and you are labeled 'well settled' or 'successful'.
b. If not interested in job, one is expected to get through with graduation and follow the steps of his/her father to support the family business.
c. Some girls even follow the route of their homemaker mother, to become a housewife or to live a luxurious, royal life, splurging their husband's money.
2. The road not taken, where future is uncertain, success is not guaranteed, and one is at risk of being called a 'failure' or 'loser'. Although the chances of being successful at this road are not less, but the road is feared to be treacherous. And if one becomes successful at this road, there is a considerable chance that people might call success a matter of 'luck'. For instance, becoming an artist, author, or something more thoughtful!
Now, I have in front of me these two roads. But I want to create a new road of my own. Not that I'm afraid of studying, or doing hard work, not that I don't want to be successful. It's just that, I want to test my creativity, my imagination, my strength. I want to create a road, a road which has never been taken!!
'We don't stop laughing because we grow old,
We grow old because we stop laughing.'
There are innumerable benefits of being happy. It is rejuvenating to the mind, body and soul. It sparks creative thoughts. It increases our capacity to fight diseases. It relaxes the body and reduces problems associated with high Blood Pressure, strokes, arthritis and ulcers. Researches suggest that laughter may also reduce the risk of heart disease.
If we are able to put a smile on our face, the laughter will come more easily and stress will meet more rapidly. The way to happiness lies in keeping your heart free from hatred and mind free from worries. Live simply; expect little; give much; fill your life with love; scatter sunshine. Forget self. Think of others, do as you would be done by. Try it for a week- you will be surprised.
'A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face;
a sad heart makes it hard to get through a day.'