5 Misconceptions About Introverts
Being a little bit more on the introverted side can be tough. When everyone is clamoring to stay out late, hang out in huge groups, or meet lots of new people, being extroverted starts looking very good. In fact, others who don’t understand introverts might start assuming things about them, either through stereotypes or by observing their behavior.
There is a lot more going on underneath the surface, however, and a lot of misconceptions about introverts that should be broken:
“Shy” is a general term we call people who are quiet, don’t open up in crowds, and maybe even a little bit afraid of social interaction. This doesn’t cover the whole story of introverts. The core of being an introvert means being energized by being alone and being drained by being around other people. Just because someone is an introvert doesn’t make her scared of being around others. Instead, it’s something that happens inside. It is more of an internal energy shift that happens when an introvert is surrounded by people not already admitted to her comfort zone.
True blue introverts find themselves challenged to just slide their way into groups of people or to strike up conversation randomly. Their nature urges them to simply keep to themselves. Although some may look at this and think that the introverts feel superior to others, it isn’t true. It just means they aren’t comfortable in these situations; remember, they’re the ones getting their energy drained by big groups. You’d be uncomfortable, too.
Hatred of Being Social
As mentioned, there is a distinct “circle” of people who are no longer in the energy drain category for introverts. This means that an introvert is entirely capable of being just as loud and fun as any extrovert, but only when with this “safe” people who they are comfortable with. Socializing with the right group can actually offer lots of positive energy to an introvert. However, bringing even one stranger into the group can cause an introvert to retreat back into her comfort zone, so keep this in mind.
Comfortable Where They Are
If you seem confident and easygoing in a group, chances are good that you’ve caught an introvert’s envious eye. The mere idea of easing into a strange group of people can be an extreme challenge, even to the point of being painful to some introverts. That doesn’t mean that they don’t occasionally wish to be capable of including themselves in these situations.
There’s not just empty air wafting around between an introvert’s ears! Just because she’s sitting quietly doesn’t mean that she’s not very active mentally. Deep thoughts are most likely running through the introvert’s mind at any given moment. Sound weighty? It is! All this thinking adds to the difficulty of jumping into a group of people. An introvert’s mind is very powerful, and quite often an introvert thinks too hard about a situation (“What should I say? Should I smile more often? What is he thinking about?”). This makes it hard to relax and let the good energy flow.
Throw away all of your labels the next time you meet anyone of any age range who may seem snobby or shy to you. Like all human beings, introverts need understanding. Be respectful of the fact that we are all different, and we all need a little love. So be friendly (in a calm, unintimidating way) to the next introvert you meet. Or if you are an introvert, smile knowing that you are unique, special and perfect just the way you are.
Want to understand introverts and extroverts’ hard-wiring even more? This infographic breaks it down very nicely:
How to Free Your Soul: Liberating Your Authentic Self
In modern society, we tend to wear a lot of hats, or masks, or whatever metaphor you’d like to use. We have one for our home life, one for work-life, one for close friends and family, one for other friends we’re not as close with…. the list goes on. But what about that unmasked self? Your true, authentic self, the one maybe you only really know?
Is it even possible to show that authentic self to others without some type of filter? And is it even worth it? The short answer, yes. And by embracing this authentic self, you’ll be better prepared to take on the more meaningful pursuits of life, such as your soul’s core desires. These desires of attaining fulfillment, desire, and eventually enlightenment are what we’re all here to do right?
What Does it Mean to Free Your Soul?
To free your soul is to embrace the essence of that authentic self, and wear fewer masks. Of course, it may not always be appropriate to not put on some sort of filter for various life scenarios, but the more you work toward embodying that true self, the more secure you’ll become, subsequently improving your well-being.
And by improving your well-being at the most basic levels, you can then begin to pursue spiritual well-being at higher levels.
Understanding Core Soul Desires
Ancient Vedic texts tell us that there are four core soul desires: the desire for purpose (dharma), the means to fulfill our purpose (artha), the pleasure associated with living our purpose (kama), and freedom (moksha).
These four purusharthas, also known as the four aims of life, are intrinsic. They’re directly linked to the personal, unique Jivatman part of our soul and the infinite, unlimited Paramatman part of our soul.
Your duty, calling, or life’s purpose; you’ve likely heard the phrase “finding your Dharma,” which is typically meant in terms of finding your purpose in life that leads to happiness and fulfillment.
The concept of Dharma is an interesting one and can vary in meaning across the eastern religions that embrace it. Dharma can also refer to the underlying order of the universe or self-organizing nature of reality to which we inevitably align with. Dharma can also refer to the teachings of Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Jainism.
Prosperity, or having the things you need to do your dharma. Again, in eastern philosophy, these concepts aren’t simply defined and can mean a few things, but essentially your Artha is the foundational and material things needed in your life. For some, this can mean wealth, a home, and material prosperity—things that make you feel secure and not wanting. For others, however, this can mean health and wellness, because without these you’ll be distracted and focused on attaining them, rather than focusing on spiritual growth and some of the more intangible pursuits in life.
Desire or pleasure; the reward of living our dharma. You’ve likely heard the word Kama before in terms of sexual pleasure and desire—the Kama Sutra. But Kama isn’t purely sexual, it refers to any type of longing, wish, passion, or desire. When balanced with the other three goals of life, Kama is important and necessary to have, if you had no passion or desire for anything in your life, it would be meaningless and you’d probably be pretty depressed. Finding your Kama, and the Kama that really drives you is an absolute must in the attainment of happiness and fulfillment.
Liberation, freedom, or release. The first three lead to this last one. Moksha is tantamount to enlightenment, or the freedom from ignorance and suffering. This is much in alignment with enlightenment: literally lightening up (moving from the base chakras to the ethereal upper ones), and living from a place of love. It’s important to understand each of these forces at the beginning of your personal growth journey to end up experiencing Moksha.