Is It OK to Wish You Were Less of An Introvert?

Are you generally happy with your personality but sometimes feel that there are more downsides to being an introvert than you’d like? Maybe you have great friends but you find that your relationships occasionally suffer because you desire time on your own. Or some job opportunities might feel not an option to you because you would tire too easily from the work environment.

This photo,
This photo, “alone in a crowd,” is copyright Shinichi Sugiyama 2006 and made available under an Attribution-ShareAlike license.

I’m writing this because I feel this way sometimes and I question whether it’s okay for me to wish I could be just a little bit different, just some of the time. I mean, I could not imagine a version of myself that did not enjoy solitary activities and spending time on my own. But at the same time, sometimes I need alone time at a time when I would benefit from having more energy to socialize, such as when I have an opportunity to meet interesting new people. Is it just a matter of being able to schedule your rest time so it doesn’t interfere with the time that you could best use to socialize? Is it even possible to schedule something like that?

For instance, after a full day of work or school, if you’re like me you probably feel tired from being around people for so long. But picture this: Walking to your car or bus stop, you find out through your social media feed about a great opportunity for meeting new people that you would actually like to meet, whether for business or pleasure. Would you go? An extrovert would be energized by the opportunity, but an introvert might have to weigh their options. If they go, not only will they get even more drained, they also might feel that they are not at their top form for socializing or networking already and the opportunity would not benefit them.

Sometimes it feels unfair to be an introvert, to me at least. Maybe to you too? But you could also look at it this way: extroverts need people for energy, and sometimes they will not be able to get the right people at the right time or will need to spend extended time on their own. This is draining to them, too. Is one way better than the other, or is it a case of the grass is always greener?

What are your thoughts? Is it okay to want to wish your introverted personality traits away sometimes?

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4 thoughts on “Is It OK to Wish You Were Less of An Introvert?

  1. If you haven’t read “Quiet” by Susan Cain, you should. The book talks about balancing being an introvert with the desire to be extroverted every now and then. Good read!

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  2. Oh my gosh, reading Quiet was like a hug! So does this blog! Everything you say, Gina, is exactly how I am myself and think about things. For years I was misunderstood even by my family and I was told I needed to talk more and be more social. Then in college I took a job hosting at a restaurant- wow did that drain me or what! I think that the ‘grass is always greener’ can always describe a person’s attitude, whether introverted, extroverted, or anyone who has seen someone treated better than them for whatever reason! However in many countries today, especially the US, people need to be more extroverted to advance themselves in school or a career. It’s not just being ‘loud’ and noticed as Cain mentions a lot in her book, extroversion is necessary to just building a network of people to shmooze for a job because most job markets are so competitive. Your merit is not enough alone, who you have talked to is at times more importatn. It is hard for everyone to try to successfully build those relationships, but for introverts it’s even hardert to muster the motivation and find the extra energy to do so.

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    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment! It’s nice to know that my writing is relatable for strangers on the internet. I agree that networking is so important nowadays for careers, and it’s frustrating. I could become good at networking if I wanted maybe, but I don’t want to because that’s not my personality! Thanks again đŸ™‚

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