(HS Insider)
Orange County School of the Arts

Column: An introvert’s message to an extroverted world

Let’s face it: The world is designed specifically for extroverts. We embrace shyness like a disease that needs to be cured.

College applications look for those who are involved and outspoken. Unintentionally, introverts like me are left to survive alone in a world that shows us extroverts while saying, “That’s what you should be like to be successful.” 

Of course there are times when I wish I could be more extroverted. I see classmates surrounded with friends and smile, wondering if that could be me. Politicians on my computer screen confidently share their ideas out loud, and I ask myself why I can’t be more like them.

I see Broadway actors on stage, their voices clear and expressions alive, and I wish my shaking hands could become more like their graceful ones. But, I’ve always been told that wishing on stars will only take me part of the way, so here I am taking action. 

To the extroverted world:

I hope you understand how much I adore your confidence, your ability to speak your mind. But I also hope you understand that introverts have the same amount of things to say as you do. The difference is that most of my words are spoken in my mind before they reach my lips. Even though my phone lights up every few seconds with messages and DMs, I prefer to spend my time in my room writing articles to be posted online. 

So I’m sorry if I might seem too quiet, too shy, too independent, too boring. But the truth is that I’m none of those things. I am not a bad classmate, a bad leader, a bad friend. Rather, I try to pay more attention to the material to be more careful with my answers. I think before I speak so the value of my words are able to move people to action. I am here to listen to people that are in need of a shoulder to lean on. 

I hope you love all sorts of people, whether they are introverted or extroverted, because we are both here for a reason. If there is a mouth to speak, there are ears to listen. If there are words to be published, there is a paper to write on. Both are needed for the balance of communication and society. And maybe, the ears heard something they want the mouth to hear, and the paper thought of words that it wants the pencil to write. Because a second of quiet could be what allows us to speak up.