Does the world need you to be an Extrovert?

We live in a world where charm and the virtue of impeccable demeanour manage to sway the masses and rope in their hearts. Using their personality, someone like Mark Antony could change the course of history, Hitler could sway millions to his way of thinking, and someone like Honey Singh can have a million fans. There are people who can do this with no effort, like actors, politicians and news anchors. And then there are introverts.

When the world seems to revolve around and be revolutionized by these extroverted creatures, it is only natural to wonder. Does the world require you to be an extrovert? Do you have to change your existing patterns of behaviour and act in a manner which your heart fundamentally refuses to allow?

Picture this, fellow introvert. You’re the kind of guy who gets just a tad uncomfortable when three of your friends pop into your room and say hi. Too many people in your vicinity drains your energy. Your friends call you strange, moody, and you might even feel like an outlier. You have some superpowers, though. Entering the mess alone and getting a table for yourself  is perfectly fine with you. But still, you fail miserably on some fundamental levels. You have never dared to approach the opposite sex since the day one of college, while <name withheld>, the guy ten times dumber than you roams the streets with a different girl every day.

You can count your friends on your fingers. Interacting with people is just not your thing. But as an introvert, should you deliberately let yourself involved in the activities outside your domain?  Going to the mall, when you seriously want to finish that goddamn book? Certainly not. Because the world desperately needs you.

Because deep thought comes only when you are alone. The power of solitary and intermittent thinking is well known to history. Many of the world’s best known leaders described themselves as shy and reserved. This is because they could think of best possible ideas only in secluded environments. Einstein could sit for number of hours in isolation, contemplating about next discovery.

Though it may seem that the world requires you to be an extrovert, that’s not how it is. This is largely so because extroverts cover most of our reality due to their extravagance and the amounts of attention they receive. Introverts tend to work on the backdrop and hence may go unnoticed. The people who generally catch our attention first tend to be extroverts. Introverts generally take professions like scientists or managers and do not get as large as a share of limelight that their extroverted (who are more involved in professions like law and consultancy) counterparts get. How many scientists do you know as compared to the number of say, movie actors? Not to undermine the crucial role they play in the scenery that is embroidered with extroverts. The situation is similar to the role played by screenplay writer in a well-directed film, which usually goes unnoticed.

We need to understand that there is no one a hundred percent introverted or extroverted. Quoting a very famous psychologist, Carl Jung- “Such person would be in a mental asylum.” Introversion and extroversion depends on how you deal with social activities in everyday life. You could be an introverted film actor. You could be shy but still extroverted.

In our world, we need thinkers as well as negotiators, planners as well as executors, managers as well as players. A foreground must have a background. The statement that the world has been made only for extroverts is just a delusion. You have your own place here, Mr. Introvert. You have your own appeal through your mystic aura which is both intriguing and engaging. Yes, you can now go out for a walk in the woods, but please do not go alone- take yourself with you.

– Kartik Narula



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