Can You Hear Me? The Roaring Voice of an Introvert
Can you hear me?
Do you receive…do you perceive? This one small voice within the endless cacophony that is the world of extraversion. In a world that bows at the feet of the rambunctious, that rewards the persistent clamour of the charismatic are you able to find those of us who choose to live under that radar?
Is there room for the likes of me in a society that honours the vociferous and the strident? And where is our place in all of this? Knowing the volume of ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ are a painful but potent currency often based upon the quantity – not the quality – of our presence. Knowing that ‘networking’ is so often shorthand for reciprocity that will reduce our deep need for personal connectivity. Knowing that in order to ‘branch out’ we must buy into more noise that (despite our best efforts) will exhaust and weaken us? Knowing that our value will be diminished because we have to shut off and shut out for fear of being overwhelmed and burnt out.
Can you see me?
You see, I am an introvert… but a rebel. Don’t get me wrong (for I have found that so many misunderstand this simple fact) I do not fear my voice. Make no mistake; I am not shy, not quiet nor restrained. I embrace my vibrancy and vivaciousness. I glory in playful gregariousness. I am vital! I smile, I laugh and love the company of those I like. But… only for a time.
Let’s be clear; I am neither subdued nor timid. I am not reticent, reserved nor even reluctant. No! I am a warrior of the inner world and a willing and eager fighter for issues upon the global stage. My passion is a strength. If needs be I will raise my voice and howl like a wolf or roar like a bear with as much wild vehemence as it takes.
Just… give me some room. Room to move. To breathe…or to curl up like a seed into the smallest of spaces. To weep or to sleep. Or dream.
Just… allow me lots of time. Time to rest. To process and to absorb. To recharge and readjust away from all this noise and this pressure.
Just… don’t fear my need to be alone. I will not be lonely. And please do not take it personally for it is not about you. Not at all.
Can you understand me?
You see this world screams so loud, and sometimes it’s all too much. My mind cannot switch off. The persistent and gripping anthems of this world in which we live are crashing waves. Waves of incessant stimuli. And like a great ocean I find that wave after wave tumble over my head. They bear down on me and push me under. They drown me. They steal away my perspective. They rob me of my clarity. They are the thief of my creativity and my eloquence.
Everything – from the words that I read, to the images I see, to the people that I speak with and the things that I share – fragment this ‘whole being’ that I am. I am taken apart bit-by-bit. Piece-by-piece. Until at last I am completely dismantled. So what else can I do but to find some dark cave, and there hide within it to lick wounds and heal?
Can you recognise me?
I know many of you will not understand. Cannot understand. For some are not shaped this way. And success feels as if it is built for the likes of those made ‘of sterner stuff’. The popular and prominent. Those who have a natural desire for attention and a deep hunger for company. Those who falter and fade if they do not share themselves and their energy with a multitude. Those who can forge their small talk powerfully as a tool rather than finding it a difficult and painful exercise. Those who can keep giving their time and their energy over and over again. Those who are intoxicated by the fast-paced world of the multi-sensory and thrive on it. Those who seek their validation and gain their worth from the crowds and the masses. But I am not one of those. And my voice can be passed over or dismissed. My words can fall on ears that are deafened by the tumult of overstimulation.
Do you hear me?
For I am here. This one small voice within the endless cacophony that is the world of extraversion.
So I ask one thing: Do not misunderstand me – I may seem aloof. I may appear detached or perhaps even distant. I may fade into the background or appear apathetic. Maybe even too sensitive. A ’snowflake’ that is far too easily melted. Far too easily drained.
But I am no snowflake. No wallflower. No onlooker!
And I promise you that I have my own power. My own strengths. My own value. My own worth! I am strong, fearless and articulate. I am a creative force, impassioned and expressive. I am an observer. I am a dreamer. I am a thinker and a philosopher. I will build bridges and move mountains with my fervour. If you can only hear me. See me. Acknowledge and recognise me.