Sorry, the title was just click bait. There’s no cure for introversion, why because it’s not a disease! 

Many introverts can relate to being asked a series of unending questions when in a public gathering like ‘are you shy?’ ‘Why are you so quiet?’ ‘are you not having fun?’ and my personal favourite ‘can you talk?’ because my preferred reaction to this question would be to frantically gesticulate in sign language while mouthing weird choking noises that sound like dolphins mating until this ‘concerned’ stranger walks away feeling super uncomfortable, but instead I bottle it up, feign interest and assure him that I can in fact speak. 

The number of times that I’ve received ‘oh you’re so quiet’ as a compliment it always hits me sounding like a pitiful fact. The same way one would say ‘oh you’ve got the flu’. Introversion starts to feel like a virus that some of us are unfortunate to be plagued with but need to do something about. How about hot chicken soup or the just-put-yourself-out-there-medicine? That’ll cure your disease (sarcasm speaking)

Society (aka people and the media) constantly remind us that they only have room for the outspoken, the gregarious, leaving the quiet oh so pitiful introverts out of the sphere. 

Naturally, Nigerians do not understand the concept of introversion or an introvert’s need for isolation and space as opposed to an extrovert’s desire for external stimulation. We are a culture of very vibrant and outspoken people who are keen on giving unsolicited advice (even to strangers). So the idea of someone preferring their own company to a crowd of people is alien to us and sometimes translates as strange, insecure and in some cases being prideful.  

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being introverted or extroverted only now, being extroverted is viewed as this standard or pedestal for acceptable character that the rest of us feel the need to climb up to. Don’t believe me? I wonder what controversial celebrities have in common?

 If you’ve ever been told ‘why can’t you just be outgoing like so, so and so’ you know what I mean. Introverts are constantly expected to adjust to an exocentric environment especially in the workplace. While socializing among colleagues and peers is important, it is more important to allow people be their individual self. What we fail to realise as a collective is that we need our individuality; we need the introverts and the extroverts to keep this world spinning, to keep our society running. Where the introvert’s thoughtfulness and critical thinking meets the extrovert’s energy and risk taking tendencies, one willing to work behind the scenes and the other taking centre stage, each one very important in his or her own space.

So it is incredibly rude to ask a seemingly quiet person why they are quiet just as it is rude to ask a loud person why they are so loud or why they talk so much. Imagine both scenarios…you get my point.

This article was written by Annie Shaka; connect with him on Instagram via here  

2 Comments

  • Nola says:

    This hit very close to home….it is basically a struggle I face almost everyday,constantly defending myself to people’s criticism of my introversion disease.

  • Mr Me-sterious says:

    This, in its simplicity, is powerful you know. It’s unfortunate Nigeria and a few parts of the world see the concept of introversion and extroversion with such broken lenses. But I’m glad you wrote this. Thank you.

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