Throughout a good portion of my life, I tried being someone who I wasn’t. I didn’t realize at the time that I was trying to be someone else. I just thought I needed to be a “certain way.” I thought if I didn’t have plans for the weekend, then I wasn’t “cool.” Or if I didn’t have a date lined up, something was wrong with me. I guess you could say I judged myself based on my social calendar. Because, well, you’re “supposed” to “want” to be social ALL the time, right? Hint: wrong. (Talk about social pressures!) This was the case in high school, college, and continued on until the past couple years, when I really figured out who I was and what I was all about (and NOT all about.)
The truth is, although I’m a super energetic, lover of performing and speaking in front of large audiences, I am very much an introvert. And I love being introverted. I love knowing that I’m a true introvert and no longer have to make excuses for who I am and what I do. Before, I used to judge myself for who I thought I “should” be, now I get judged for who I truly am. And I prefer it that way.
The other day, an acquaintance asked me if I’d be watching something on TV later that day. I reminded him that I don’t have cable. His reaction: “So WHAT do you do in your free time?” (Because watching TV is the only thing to do in your free time, right?) Since he didn’t know about my business and my blog, I simply told him that I write and I read mostly. His reaction to that: “So you’re a loner?” I let out a small chuckle, saying I didn’t think that was a very nice term but that I was very introverted. The judgment continued. “So you don’t have any friends? Man, we need to get you out,” which was followed by various other comments about how they should spike my green smoothies, etc. While I’m sure he was at least partially joking about that, I knew exactly what he was implying.
That something was wrong with me.
That I needed cable to be normal, liquor to be social, and a large group of friends to be accepted – That the way I choose to live my life, is weird, odd, different. And shoot, maybe it is. But, as I tried to explain to him, I know myself and I know what works for me. I haven’t missed cable since I made the decision to put my money and time elsewhere. I’ve filled my “free” time with coaching, school, working out, and consciously striving to improve my life. At the end of the day, I honestly don’t have time to flip through the channels. Oh well. It works for me. As far as alcohol goes, if I choose to not go out to bars all the time, that makes me weird too? Kind of like how I choose to be vegan gets me weird looks all the time? Oh well. It works for me. Lastly, friendships to me are not at all about quantity. They are about quality. I currently live 3,000 miles away from my closest friend but we make time to chat, catch up, laugh, and be silly. Oh well. It works for me.
People get judged every single day for their own truth. For how they CHOOSE to live. For just being who they are. Sadly, I’m not sure that will ever change. We live in a world where hate is still very much a reality for many people. But what I hope never changes is the strength, courage, and tenacity of people who are judged for being [fill in the blank here] to stand even taller. To embrace their truth. To be an example.
As for my fellow introverts out there, keep spending your time in the ways that best serve YOU. People may judge you, give you the side eye, call you a loner, loser, or lame-o, but does it really matter in the end? If their mind isn’t open to understanding you and why you are the way that you are, that’s on them. YOU are the only one responsible for your quality of life. If sitting at home with a book or your journal or the latest episode of MarieTV on a Friday night is what ignites you, keep on keepin’ on.
“Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to.” – Susan Cain, Quiet
In case you haven’t noticed by now, if you’re an introvert, I highly recommend reading Susan Cain’s book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
If you’re ready to step further into your path of personal development and discovery, email me to begin your one-on-one coaching journey. It’s where all the magic, expansion, and growth happens.
While this content doesn’t cost you anything, all shares of this blog post (on Facebook, Pinterest, etc.) are much appreciated. Not a bad trade, huh? :)