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  • I am an introvert and I love it.

  • And I'm not alone.

  • Introverts are everywhere, and our quiet approach to life, our need for solitary time, isn't a flaw, it's a gift.

  • But as an introvert, it's not always easy to realize how wonderful you are.

  • The world feels like a place that rewards extroverts.

  • Where being loud is mistaken for being confident and happy.

  • Where everyone has something to say, but nobody listens.

  • A world of open-plan offices, networking parties, and big personalities.

  • For those who speak softly, it's easy to feel left out.

  • As a child, I blended into the background.

  • Many thought that I had little to say or that I simply didn't like others.

  • But that wasn't true.

  • People often think that introverts are shy, or antisocial.

  • But these are misconceptions.

  • Introverts, like anyone, can find socialising fun.

  • But while parties leave extroverts energized, after some time, introverts need to recharge, away from everyone.

  • There is a scientific theory for this.

  • There are two important chemicals found in all our brainsdopamine and acetylcholine.

  • Dopamine is like a hit of energy when we take risks or meet new people and it makes extroverts feel great.

  • But introverts are more sensitive to dopamine and get quickly overstimulated.

  • That's why we prefer the more slow-burn feeling we get when our brains release acetylcholine.

  • That happens when we concentrate, read, or focus our minds.

  • It makes us introverts feel relaxed, alert and content.

  • But it barely registers with extroverts.

  • Of course, like anything, it's a sliding scale.

  • You can lean one way or another or be a bit of both, known as an ambivert.

  • Now I understand myself better, I am deeply grateful for how I am.

  • Instead of filling up space with small talk, I listen patiently and make my words matter.

  • I have few friends but our connection is deep.

  • I love spending time alone.

  • It's where the chaos of a long day can finally settle.

  • I can reflect and listen to my thoughts, and eventually reconnect with myself.

  • Only after that am I ready to share with the world again.

  • I have learnt strategies for finding comfort in our noisy world, from using music to create bubbles of peace, to escaping to a quiet park at lunchtime.

  • I adore the intensity and chaotic beauty of the world.

  • But it's in quiet spaces where I feel truly at home.

  • If introversion were more valued by society, it could make a massive difference to our collective future.

  • The unique attributes of introverts really are a deep, quiet strength.

  • And as Gandhi put it, "In a gentle way, you can shake the world."

  • Thanks for watching.

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  • See you again soon!

I am an introvert and I love it.

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The quiet power of introverts | BBC Ideas

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    Annie Huang posted on 2020/02/29
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