I am an introvert, and it works for me


Kelli McCarthy

Me sitting on a butterfly seat at the Fredrick Meijer Gardens

Anyone who’s met me can vouch for me when I say I’m not the most outgoing person. 

I’ve been that way all my life, and everyone knows I’m quiet; I’m not inclined to share things without being asked, especially when I’m in a group of people I’m not familiar with. 

When a teacher calls on me in class, I will give my best answer; yet, I will usually not volunteer my thoughts without being prompted. It’s not that I’m not paying attention, I just prefer to observe while other people like to share their opinions. 

After parent-teacher conferences, my parents will relay the messages of what my teachers say about me, and many of them include statements somewhere along the lines of, “Liza is a very quiet student, but when called on, she’s always ready with an answer.” 

I promise I pay attention, it’s just not in my nature to voluntarily share my thoughts in a group setting.

But, that doesn’t mean I never talk.

Honestly, when you see me in environments with certain people—friends specifically—you’d never place me in the introvert category. 

When I’m with my closest friends, we can talk and talk for hours on end, and sometimes even be told to “quiet down” when at each others’ houses. 

When I’m in the right setting, I can be as talkative and loud as any other person. But, those people have theoretically earned my openness. I am not aware of how or when that point is reached, but I guess it’s just when I feel comfortable with them. 

Even being on The Central Trend is a new experience for me because it has forced me—for lack of a better word—to talk to people I don’t know and act like I know what I’m doing as I interview them about the interests in their life.  

But, that doesn’t mean I never talk.”

People always tell me that practicing more public speaking skills and experiences that challenge my comfort levels will train me to branch out more, but I don’t think that works for me. The more I do presentations in school or talk to new people, I realize that, though I don’t enjoy it, nor does it make me open up, I can do it if I have to. 

It’s just not a voluntary first response. 

Instead of some people who tend to make their problems and life experiences known to all the world, I rely on close friends and family to be my confidants. 

Sometimes, I just like to be content in my own little world. 

I don’t crave to be out on the weekends, eating out, and having late nights—it’s just not me. I’m perfectly okay with spending my Friday nights hanging out and watching a movie with my family and close friends. 

The social environment does not energize me; smaller groups are more my style. 

I’m so thankful for my friends and family who are always there for me because I know that I don’t have to be crazy outgoing for them to like and accept me. And truly, most of my friends and family are the same way I am. 

We don’t need a huge, extravagant party to have a fun time with each other. Sometimes, simply spending time chilling at each others’ houses and doing small things like watching movies and playing games is all it takes for us to enjoy our time together. 

So, though I am not the most outgoing or extroverted person, I realize that is just how I am, and I accept that part of myself.

Though it can’t hurt to try to be a little more outspoken once in a while, I don’t need to suddenly be assertive and walk up to people asking to be friends because that’s not who I am.