Definitions used in the blog post:
Introvert: Someone who gets energy from being by themselves.
Extravert: Someone who gets energy from being with people.
For the first fifteen or so years of my life, I viewed myself as an introvert. I viewed myself as someone who was socially awkward and who didn’t know how to talk to anyone.
I’m now sixteen. I’m realising there is a thing called independence, and I didn’t know about it before. For the last few weeks, I’ve been out among the world in Christchurch, doing whatever I want, whenever I want. It’s made me think about who I am as a person.
As I walk and bus around the city coming in contact with people, interacting with them, I realise something about myself. I’m not just an introvert. I’m also an extravert. I get energy from interacting with people, just like I get energy from being alone.
There has been this stereotypical Daniel that I try to live up to. He’s that quiet guy in the corner. He doesn’t like talking to people. He’s a listener, not a talker.
Maybe that was me years ago, but I can now not go on like that. I’m not a quiet guy in the corner. I’m an extravert. I like being with people. I like moving around. And scary as it is, I like talking to people. I’ve been stepping out of my comfort zone these last weeks, and I challenge you to do the same. Do you view yourself as an introvert? Are you actually? One of the main reasons I viewed myself as an introvert was because some of my family are quiet people. If I was an extrovert, what would they think of me?
I’m a person who likes being liked. If I’m the odd one out, what will people think of me?
That’s where masks come in. Over the years, I have picked up the ability to wear masks. And I’ve become very good at it. I put on my introvert mask and went around like that. I’d have a different mask for everything I go to. I would find the atmosphere of things I went to and then get a mask for that occasion.
But I realise now that it’s been hindering me, not helping me. If I want to reach my full potential, I need to let the masks go, and embrace my extravertness.
It’s hard. But it has to be done.