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We live in a world where extroversion is regarded as more valuable than introversion—in which shyness or silence is sometimes considered a problem.
“You need to speak up for yourself.”
“You need to fight for your place in this world.”
“You need to be more social.”
In my experience as an introvert, these are common phrases I’ve heard. From infantry, the idea is implanted in our cells that extroversion is the ideal.
And let me say, with clarity: I disagree. There’s so much beauty in the hidden, in the silence, in aloneness, and in shared solitude.
When I meet other introverts, I reckon how much of a treasure box they embody. How we’ve found creative ways to maneuver in a world ruled by extroverts, created around the notion that extroversion is the norm. And while there is beauty in extroversion as well, we cannot allow one way to be deemed superior, to blind people to other ways of being.
We are a treasure box filled with nothing but artwork. And because there aren’t many categories for us, we are creating and reframing them in our secret, social spaces. Knowing each other in the blink of an eye. A sacred, hidden community.
“We’re not antisocial; we’re socially different.”
“We’d have more space if we didn’t live in a system that makes us fight to be heard, if silent voices were listened to as loving as loud ones.”
“We hide what is sacred in places that most have no idea exist, outside the narrow lines of our extroverted paradigm. And only those who respect our values and protect our existence are allowed in.”
I have created a manifesto for us—for the silent rebellion of introverts. Our values are needed, and so we must hold onto them and embody exactly who we are:
In silence where no words are needed…
In between day and night…
Hidden when the world is too violent…
Listening gently to all those languages that exist beyond words…
we already have space.
We are visible for those who can and want to see, feel, and resonate. And we protect what is so needed in a world that’s become lost in a life of consumption and restless performance.
And if we were ever given the choice, we’d choose to be introverted again—always. Even if our inner voice tells us to be different, the depth and beauty we’re experiencing will always win out.