I have struggled with 'shyness' all my life, feeling like I'm marching to a different drummer then most of the world. I could not understand why many of my classmates enjoyed talking with lots of people and spending large amounts of time visiting large group of friends when I preferred just one or two close friends, intimate setting and deeper conversations. I could not figure out why i would rather remain in the background and think about a topic before speaking, while others would vocalize their thoughts without restraint. I was truly liked by people but I could not seem to get the hang of the whole socializing bit. I wondered if something was 'wrong' with me.
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.