It’s no secret that some people are more outgoing and social than others. Is this a problem? Not necessarily. Sometimes the problem is how introverted people are viewed by others.
Some think we are anti-social people that despise all communication while others assume we’re lonely or going through a rough time. While these assumptions can be true, they are not always the case. Introverts are simply people who enjoy spending more time alone than social people for various reasons, and this is not automatically a bad thing.
My dad grew up in a neighborhood surrounded by friends, so he became accustomed to hanging out with them more in his free time. Because of this, he developed his own sense of what a healthy social life is like. Unfortunately, he sometimes would show concern when I did not follow in those particular footsteps. It’s completely normal for a parent to dislike the thought of their child being a complete loner in the world, but there’s a line that can be crossed, and it can be seen if you get down and look for it.
Why is this such a big deal? Do other people on campus really care about your personal life? Most probably don’t. But what about the people who feel overly-pressured to get out more than they want to, whether by parents or close friends? What’s the point of going to a party with loud music and dancing if you’re only going to grab some water and take a seat somewhere for an hour? Students should attend social events and parties because they want to, not because they feel they have to. The square peg will not fit in the round hole no matter how hard you try.
Do I sound discouraging to social butterflies? As I mentioned, it’s completely understandable to want everyone to have a group of people they call friends. Many university events are meant to allow people the opportunity to hang out with old friends and meet new ones. With these events come many announcements and promotions which encourage students to come and engage in the activities. As inviting as these messages are, I feel the best messages are the ones that include the words “no pressure.” To me, that’s a great way to say, “Hey, this is a great event for everyone to come hang out. But if you don’t want to, that’s fine, too.” Frankly, these are the events that I am more apt to consider attending and enjoying.
People come in various forms, both externally and internally. One important thing we must remember is to not immediately define every quiet person as “shy” or “weird.” There are many reasons introverts are the way they are, including a simple desire to just unwind and relax in solitude. Campus events will not appeal to everyone, so it’s important to remind everyone that there is no pressure to attend. Because quite frankly, that is what might make introverts more likely to give new things a try.