Being An Introvert Doesn’t Make You An Egoistic, ‘Bigda Hua Ladka’

Editor's note: This post is a part of #BHL, a campaign by BBC Media Action and Youth Ki Awaaz to redefine and own the label of what a 'bigda hua ladka or ladki' really is. If you believe in making your own choices and smashing this stereotype, share your story.

If you’re an introvert, it means that you don’t have many friends. If you’re an introvert, it means that you’re too shy. If you are an introvert, it means that you’re egoistic, because you don’t talk (well, that is what the society believes.)

Just keep these arguments aside for a moment. I’d like to believe that being an introvert is actually a good thing. Being an introvert means you don’t have weekends engulfed with unnecessary hullabaloo. At times, not having a plan is actually a good thing.

Sometimes, hanging out with yourself is perhaps the most pleasing and satisfying thing on a fine Saturday evening. I will give you my example: Everyday, after leaving office, I have this habit of reading a book while I’m on my way back. Most of my weekends are spent surfing the internet (rather abusing it). I’m a big movie buff and download a lot of films. This Saturday (October 7, 2017), I downloaded as many as four different movies and watched them one after the other, without a so-called break in between.

When I feel like hanging out, I make my way to a nearby park in order to have a leisurely stroll. I love sitting alone, sipping a hearty cup of tea or coffee. You can be surrounded by countless unknown faces while you’re there. But, society thinks it’s pathetic because apparently, the best thing to do in life is to socialise.

Just because a person is an introvert, doesn’t mean that they don’t communicate with people. I like indulging in constructive arguments, deep discussions, friendly chats, etc. When I have a lot of time, I like having detailed chats with my best friends. I just ping them over WhatsApp or Messenger and there we are, spending hours, chatting about random things, right from the hits and misses of cricket, to the ups and downs of life. The only thing I’d like to reiterate is that I don’t like jumping unnecessarily into an argument I know nothing about. I won’t speak if I have nothing worth saying.

The problem that exists in our society is that of solo-shaming. If you’re alone, people would perceive it as bad. Quite often, the society ends up misunderstanding introverts. Introverts are often labelled as an egotist. Being an introvert is absolutely fine, and it’s not something that makes you a ‘bigda hua egoistic ladka or ladki’. Being an introvert simply means that I’m able to trust my own inner self. It serves as a source of guidance.

Being an introvert also means that I’m able to organise my thoughts in a meticulous manner, without someone’s undue interference. I can back myself to do anything and everything. Last, but certainly not the least, I can reflect upon my mental state. Spending time alone is perhaps the best way to introspect. Introversion is often confused with shyness. Most introverts think deeply (I’m not trying to say I do that.)

As a matter of fact, introverts can be found struggling at work. If you’ve ever been on a client call you know nothing about, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Attending client calls and client meetings is quite normal these days, but if you’re an introvert who likes being quiet, it can well become one of your greatest challenges.

The biggest challenge you’ll face as an introvert is accepting who you are. Once you’ve accepted yourself, it doesn’t really matter what the society thinks. You don’t owe an explanation to anybody because it’s your life, and that’s the only thing the society needs to know.

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