I’ll walk alone

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- Aadesh Subedi

May 18, 2017-Every human being has been gifted with some peculiarity by the creator, and other people should respect these characteristics. Unfortunately, in the current society, only the characteristics of the majority are praised and those of the minority are disregarded. Introversion is one such characteristic that is widely disregarded in our society, and I strongly object to this. Owing to my introversion since my schooldays, I am mocked as being monotonous, an egoist, timid, lacklustre, dull, insipid and so forth. Exasperated by such tags, I have sometimes even attempted to become an extrovert. 

I have tried the extrovert’s way of gaining popularity, communicating and blending perfectly into a group or enjoying a gathering. But for me, these activities were excruciating. I relished remaining alone in a room enjoying a good novel or a song. Because of this, everyone, even my family members, saw me as a shy and timid guy who feared his own species.

It isn’t fear or ego that drives my introversion. I can’t describe this to others in words, but it’s something I am comfortable with. I like being this way. During one vacation, obsessed with negativity about my introversion, I started searching for an article or book that would describe the legitimacy of my behaviour as a taciturn fellow. And then I came across an article by Jonathan Rauch that crystallised my insight that talking a little or avoiding groups was not a mental disease or egoism, or fearfulness or shyness. My preference is a natural biological trait. Some human beings are energised by being in a group, and others are invigorated when they are on their own. 

Introverts are also not misanthropic, though some of us do go along with French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre’s famed misquote, “Hell is other people at breakfast.” Rather, introverts are people who find other people tiring. My own formula is roughly two hours alone for every hour of socialising. This isn’t antisocial. It isn’t a sign of depression. It does not call for medication. For introverts, to be alone with our thoughts is as restorative as sleeping, as nourishing as eating. Our motto is “I’m okay; you’re okay—in small doses.”  This line in his article really helped in raising my self-esteem as an introvert. 

Introversion is not my choice as a behaviour; it is something I am bestowed with naturally. For now, I feel that this behaviour is not a curse, rather it’s a boon because most discoveries, creations and successes have emerged out of silence. So nobody should pressurise people to socialise forcefully because there exist some unusual people, people who are simply exhausted with society and enjoy being on their own instead of sharing the freedom with a group. So let’s be just, and let the introvert be an introvert.

Published: 18-05-2017 08:18

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