“Introversion is a journey and everyone moves at their own pace.”
Being an introvert is not a feeling you wake up with or a social media trend that would go out of style when the seasons change.
Being an introvert is an adventurous journey you experience your whole life, as it is an essential part of your personality.
Writer Steve Friedman from Introvert, Dear has summarized the five main stages introverts go through, from not recognizing introversion, to owning it in the most wholesome way possible.
Here are the 5 fundamental phases introverts go through:
1. Being unaware.
The first phase most introverts experience is the one where they are not entirely sure they are, indeed, introverts. However, during this stage, you already know you are somehow different from everyone else. You don’t like to socialize as much as your friends, you are not fond of loud and crowded places, and you would rather have a tea at home in the company of a nice book than go to that work party and listen to your coworkers’ bizarre stories.
While you may not associate your behavior with introversion in this initial chapter, you know there is something special about you not everyone has the emotional intelligence to understand.
2. Being uninformed.
Not knowing what it means to be an introvert while actually being one is the second stage, according to Friedman. It usually lasts longer when you don’t have someone to help you understand what introversion is and how it aligns with your personality. Because having no one to confide in often takes away your self-confidence.
As a result, instead of simply being you, you subconsciously give in to the stereotype about introverts. But if you take time to learn more about this personality type and all its variants, you can take the lead and be your introverted self without being part of the stereotype.
3. Being enlightened (Finally!).
In this stage, you finally get what introversion is, why it fits perfectly in your world, and that there is nothing wrong with being an introvert. When your own sense of curiosity and eagerness to understand what it means to be introverted pay off, you are ultimately ready to accept your peculiarities and realize there is nothing messed up with being different. In fact, this makes you unique in a world full of people reliving the same mundane lives every single day.
Maybe you are not the life of the party, but you are an amazing listener, a thoughtful friend, and an empathetic being in general. And that’s what makes you special.
4. Being okay with who you are.
While the enlightenment state never ends, as you constantly learn new things about yourself and the world of introversion, it grows into the phase where you are already content with who you are. You accept your introverted self, and you have the confidence to embrace it for the first time since you noticed you are not quite like everyone else.
Being at peace with yourself just as you are is truly magical. If you are already at this stage or past it, congratulations! Because it takes great courage to admit you are different and to own it, instead of run from it.
5. Being happy and owning your introversion.
If you are here, you have reached the ultimate level of being a self-assured introvert who doesn’t feel the need to change themselves to please society’s norms. You just need to be yourself. And you are flourishing at it!
“In the flourishing phase, suddenly, dreams that seemed unattainable become feasible. We not only champion and embrace our own introversion, but we also share in the hope of short-circuiting this long journey for our kids, teammates, and community members.”
Are you an introvert? How did you recognize you have a unique personality type? Let us know in the comment section!