As I have mentioned in a previous post, I have a job at the university I graduated from and am surrounded by many people with interests similar to mine. Recently, I, along with some of my coworkers who are also English graduates, decided we would take out an English faculty member for lunch. Our first lunch was with the head of the English department. We had a wonderful time and got some really good advice and encouragement from him. He even gave us books! This past week we took out another faculty member. This lunch was equally as enjoyable, but in a different way. This faculty member made plans to host all of us along with our children to her home. She also gave us encouragement and advice, but the tone was entirely different than our other lunch. I noticed that I and my other introverted friend were much more talkative. We all laughed, made jokes, told stories, and contributed equally to the conversation. We were much more relaxed. We were getting comfortable in our little community.
It is very important for all of us to build a community. Even us introverts need a community. I am not saying that we will grow into extroverts, but it will make things a lot more comfortable for us in group situation when you have built a community. We may have to seek some people out and it may happen by accident as it did for me, but let it happen and give it a chance. There is no reason why you can’t pick the people you want to be around. We all need community and others to share our life experiences with. It can be a community based on our interests, our faith, or whatever you wish. As introverts we would be doing ourselves and others a disservice by not experiencing the benefits of being part of a community. Those who aren’t introverts need to get used to who we are. They need to see that we really do enjoy people, but we seriously need alone time. It is important for us to be understood and that cannot happen if we don’t take a little step outside of our comfort zones.