Accepting Introversion

Growing up in a society where the word “quiet” has a negative connotation is hard. In fact, it’s hard for at least one third of the population. One third. Likely more! Yet nobody does anything to change the way this is because, well, it’s been like that for a long time. In school, you’re taught to work in groups. They force everyone to sit in tables facing each other, to work together, even for creative endeavors that really should be individual. When I was younger, I was painstakingly shy. People would tell me that I was “too quiet” like it was a bad thing, and as I got older, teachers acted as though I must had some sort of psychological issue because I didn’t raise my hand to answer every question like the favorite class know-it-all. I overcame my shyness with age. I do not consider myself a shy person at all anymore. Yet still, I would prefer to keep quiet and only share what I see as applicable to the situation. I am still, and will always be, an introvert.
Shyness and introversion are very different. Shyness is a fear of talking to and interacting with people, whereas introversion isn’t so much a fear but more of a lack of the need to always interact with people. In class discussions, I would much prefer to watch. And this doesn’t mean I’m not participating, in fact, I’m participating just as much by observing and coming up with my own thoughts and opinions. Friday nights, I would much prefer to have a nice night out with a couple of close friends, rather than a crazy party with thousands of people I barely know. Introverts value close friends, time for reflection, and quiet environments. This doesn’t mean that introverts never go out, in fact, I usually go out once a week. We just prefer not to. But I know, personally, as long as I’m feeling like it, I will go out and do things.
It’s taken a lot of time for me to accept my introversion. For years, I kept trying to be the extravert that I could not be. I deemed myself as lesser because I wasn’t as talkative or couldn’t handle as many social activities as my extraverted peers. It’s time that people stop valuing extraversion more than introversion. Both types of people bring wonderful things to the table, and growing up as an introvert is becoming increasingly hard, especially in schools. Both types deserve to be respected. Quiet should not have a negative connotation to it. People can only control who they are to some extent, and there is no point on deeming characteristics like quiet to be negative when people cannot control that part of who they are.
It’s time society recognized that the talents of extroverts and introverts are equal.

The Calorie Counting Craze

400 calorie cookie, 500 calorie sandwich, 300 calorie smoothie. “You’ve reached your calorie limit.” “Your calorie intake is too low for today.” It’s those damn calorie counting apps that are getting to me this time. Society has this constant obsession with weight and with fitness. I spend way too much time staring at long legs and thin waists wishing I looked like them. I don’t spend enough time embracing and being glad I look like ME.
Being hungry isn’t fun. Neither is the anxiety that stems from eating more than a small snack. When did this happen to us? When did we become so focused on weight that it takes away from focusing on our own happiness?
I know it’s hard to shift your focus away from calorie counting to happiness counting, but here are a few tips on how to get there:
1) Delete the damn calorie counting app. Get rid of it. It’s only making anxiety take up more time of your day.
2) Eat until you’re hungry. Try not to think about numbers. Just think about how you’re feeling.
3) Don’t try to be like other people just because they look the way you want to look. You look wonderful the way you are.
4) In order to accept that you are wonderful the way you are, here is an extremely helpful daily activity that I would suggest: get a jar, rip up tiny pieces of paper for it, and each day write something that you love about your body on it. It can range from your hair to the color of your toenails. Something small or something big. Just something to remind yourself that every part of you is beautiful.

Hope these help. Will try to write more consistently. I have been very overwhelmed with schoolwork and anxiety levels are increasing. Taking care of myself. Until next time xxoo

Let’s Stop Comparing Ourselves

Have you ever stopped to wonder how many times a day you compare yourself to another person without even realizing it? I don’t have an exact number but I’m fairly certain that over half of my instinctive thoughts regard comparing myself to another. Since when did self-validation come from other peoples’ consent? Since when did doing what I like become second to doing what everyone else likes?
I think this is something I’m going to struggle with for a lot of my life, and I know many other people struggle with it as well. Growing up, this idea of comparison is pounded into our heads like learning to walk or learning to talk. We’re shown pictures of celebrities who tell us how to look, stories with characters who tell us how to act, and people in school that tell us what’s “cool” and what’s “weird.” It’s this early on-set cycle that is so incredibly overwhelming and so engrained into human society that nobody thinks anything of it. I think it’s time for a change.
It’s time to start telling the children that they need to be their own favorite superhero or favorite princess. It’s time to stop comparing how you look in a dress to how the girl next to you looks in hers. You both look your own kind of amazing. It’s time to stop glancing over to the person on the machine next to you at the gym because you want to know if they’re stronger than you or not. It’s time to focus on YOU.
There are times to be selfless and there are times to be selfish. When it comes to feeling good about yourself, that is a time to be selfish. Focus on you rather than comparing yourself to others. Don’t sacrifice your personal interests because somebody else deems them as weird, or because you’re afraid that somebody else will be better than you.
It’s hard to stop comparing yourself to others when this cycle has been a part of your life for so long, but the first step to stopping it is recognizing it. When you recognize that you are comparing yourself to another, whether friend or foe, I want you to tell yourself that what he or she does/wears/says/likes has no power over what you do/wear/say/like. Let’s stop comparing ourselves to others and start setting our own records.