Unbeknownst to me, World Introvert Day has been celebrated since 2011. Its origins can apparently be traced to a blog post from Felicitas Heyne titled “Here’s Why We Need a World Introvert Day.” It is not an official holiday, and therefore does not carry with it a day off from work. Bummer.

I’m not exactly sure what an introverted person is supposed to do on World Introvert Day. I suppose he or she could seek to avoid social interaction as much as possible, or maybe take a vow of silence for the day. Come to think of it, I’m not even exactly sure what an introvert is anymore.

I used to lump myself in squarely with the ranks of the introverted, and I probably still do for the most part. It just seems like the definition of what an introvert is has expanded greatly over the past several years. According to an article written by Melissa Dahl for nymag.com, there are actually four different types of introverts – social, anxious, thinking, and restrained. And, of course, these types may mix and mingle, forming hybrid introverts (Okay, I made up the term “hybrid introverts.” It just sounded good.).

I’m not even going to attempt to define all the various types of introversion here, mainly because I’m not sure I understand what they all are. For example, I used to equate being introverted with shyness, but that is apparently not always the case. There are even introverts now who are fairly socially outgoing. Thanks to books such as Quiet by Susan Cain, introverts are even being hailed as the next generation of deep thinkers. This is a far cry from what I experienced growing up, when we were commonly referred to as “backwards.”

So, I didn’t exactly celebrate yesterday because I’m not sure if I’m actually an introvert anymore. I mean, I think I am, but maybe I’m just shy. According to an article on the Huffington Post website titled “Twelve Reasons to Celebrate Introverts on World Introvert Day,” Ghandi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Jr., Barack Obama, and Abraham Lincoln were all introverts. That’s some pretty select company there. I’m just a dude who’s occasionally scared to talk to people.

If I’m not introverted, though, what am I? I’m certainly not an extrovert, and I don’t believe that’s something that’s ever going to change. In the best case scenario, I really do possess those introverted qualities of increased empathy, logical thinking patterns, calm demeanor, and depth of character. In the worst case, I’m just socially deficient, cowardly, and extremely unsure of myself. To hear the talk these days, introverts are part of a quiet revolution which will eventually sweep over the earth. I don’t really feel like I’m a part of anything, though. I just can’t wait to get home at the end of the day.

I suppose it doesn’t really matter if I’m technically an introvert or not, as long as I’m comfortable with who I am. Being labeled an introvert has held a certain level of comfort for me, though, making it sound as if my personality was normal and not flawed somehow. When introverts start taking over the world, however, I doubt I will be on the front lines, and I wonder if that makes me something less of a person. Maybe introverts were meant for greater things than I’ve accomplished. Maybe I’m not even worthy of introvert status. Maybe I’m just sub-par.

Or maybe I’m not.

 

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