Finding insight through introspection DON’T PUBLISH YET, JOSH

Kelly Smith

If I asked you if you know what introspection means, would you? I didn’t until recently when it started to become relevant in my life. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned about introspection, it’s that it’s got its ups and downs like many other aspects of life.

For anybody who doesn’t know, introspection is when someone internally examines their own personality, desires, emotions, morals, values, etc. Given that everyone is different, there are many different forms of introspection, but they all essentially have the same root purpose…self-examination.

In other words, an introspective person will typically spend time trying to understand their own thought process and behavior.

Toward the end of high school and throughout college, I’ve developed an introspective personality as I became more involved in the adult world. As a result of some of the stress I’ve dealt with during these times, I often found myself wondering why I do certain things or say certain things. Because after all, what we say and do affects both ourselves and others in many ways, so I wanted to be conscious of the impression I’m leaving on other people.

Probably one of the most important things I’ve learned about having an introspective personality is that there are pros and cons involved. One of the biggest advantages is that you’re self- conscious and aware of your own tendencies. This can be very useful for predicting your response to similar situations in the future and help you identify problematic flaws in your thinking and actions. That’s probably one of the biggest strengths of introspection in my opinion: it keeps you more honest with yourself.

However, there are also the negatives that need to be addressed, many of which can be summarized by the fact that introspection is focusing mainly on yourself in some way. That being said, it’s easy to become so involved in your own mind that you begin to neglect or ignore others. Sometimes, this can lead to judgment or false assumptions about someone. Another issue is exaggerated self-


Just because an introspective person may be more likely than someone else to recognize a fault in themselves doesn’t make them a better person in general.

Something else that can be troubling is coming to unrealistic conclusions about yourself which, ironically, you’re trying to avoid by being introspective. There’ve been many times where I spent so much time thinking about how well I would handle a certain situation, trying to be as realistic as possible.

But before long, I realize I’ve spent so much time doing this that my mindset has actually gone completely off on a tangent and it would have been better if I stopped thinking about it and let it go a while back.

What I’m getting as that, just like any other personality type, introspection has its fair share of benefits and drawbacks. On the one hand, it forces you to think through your actions and helps keep you more open and honest with yourself. On the other hand, spending too much time being introspective won’t do you much good in the long run because it’s harder to give yourself a reality check if you’re too absorbed in your own mind.

Overall, I feel that everyone can benefit from occasional introspection to a point, but it’s important to remember that the answers to life’s problems don’t always involve a close mental inspection. There’s times to think about it and, as Shia LeBeouf says, times to “just do it!”