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  • Jeremy Raeszler

Alone but Alive

All of us introverts can probably agree that society puts a great deal of emphasis on being extroverted, and that introversion is often seen as the “lesser” personality type. I feel like everywhere a person looks, there are messages from society that say “successful” and “well-rounded” individuals are loud, proud, and very social beings. I am the exact opposite of that.

I have spent most of my childhood and my adult years growing weary of others continually asking me why I was so quiet, or why I preferred to spend time at home, instead of going out.

As far back as I can remember, I felt like I had to apologize for not flourishing in social settings. It made me feel inferior and like there was something wrong with me. It got old quite quickly. Why couldn’t people just mind their own business and let me be me? If I preferred to sit back and observe more than to talk and participate, I didn’t see a problem with it.

This wanting to sit back and observe is exactly what I believe makes an introvert a good leader. It involves embracing qualities that we are naturally good at, such as analytical thinking and the ability to listen and observe. Introverts shouldn't try to masquerade as extroverts. Instead, we should embrace our authentic strengths.

In my observations as an adult, it appears that it's a misconception that introverts, who are often reserved and solitary, are not good at communication when in fact, we can excel in our own unique way. We are more reserved in expressing our thoughts and feelings. We tend to carefully consider our words before speaking and are less likely to interrupt others. This also makes us better listeners, as we don't feel the need to constantly redirect the conversation back to ourselves.

Look around; some of the most well-known business leaders, such as Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Warren Buffett are introverts. For us introverts to achieve success, it is only necessary for us to capitalize on our natural talents.

Even though I’m a bit on the quieter side, I am always watching, observing, and soaking in my surroundings. I often notice little things others don’t. I am very intuitive, unique, and creative. I’m okay knowing that I often march to the beat of my own drum.

And most of all, I am ok at being just me.

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