I always feel like extroverts have an advantage. In school, whenever we have Socratic seminars, I come prepared with all my notes. Even with all this preparation, I always feel like I can’t find the time to speak because extroverted students dominate the whole conversation. It isn’t just me in this situation either. I always look around the Socratic seminar circle and see other fellow introverts struggle to get their argument in before the time runs out.
This isn’t the only example I have. In fact, it often feels like extroverts have an easier time making friends, or getting more attention from teachers, or just generally always getting what they want. In a way, I feel a little jealous of extroverted people. It feels like everything comes easy to them. Still, that doesn’t mean I am any less than an extrovert. I still talk in Socratic seminars (even though it is a struggle). I have lots of friends and get help from teachers whenever I need it. Things like this might be hard for an introvert, but not impossible.
People look down on and belittle introverts because of their personalities, always feeling that extroverts are better off or more capable. I’ve had my fair share of hearing phrases like “oh, she talks?” which makes no sense, and “even though you’re quiet, you’re really nice!” This just tells me they assume that I’m a mean person just because I’m an introvert. It doesn’t make sense to me why there are so many negative assumptions because most of the time it comes from people who don’t know me or haven’t talked to me at all. I think these assumptions come because introverts are quieter and seem more closed off. Even so, that doesn’t mean I’m not a people person, and I can be chatty at times too.
Just because I’m an introvert, that isn’t my entire personality and doesn’t make me a completely different person than someone who is an extrovert. Maybe I’m not good at talking in groups, but I can still build good relationships in other ways. Around my close friends and family, I feel like I’m always talking, sometimes I even have to tell myself “shut up, Sally”, so it annoys me when people assume that because I’m an introvert, I never talk or I dislike everyone.
When I became co-president of a school club, a lot of people were surprised. I got lots of confused looks and questions. They didn’t expect an introvert like me to have a leadership position, making it seem like only extroverts can be leaders. Even though I’m an introvert, I can still take on big roles and show that I have good leadership.
I even find that being an introvert helps me become a better leader because I get to know club members better on a one-to-one level and handle things with lots of care and detail. I’m a great listener (maybe it’s natural for an introvert) so I find I pay close attention to new ideas and I always remember what other people say. I think some things will always be challenging, like speaking up in front of a big group. Even then, it makes the experience better, and over time, I’ve become a better speaker.
Because I’m an introvert, I could take an approach of being a leader that is different from that of an extrovert, but I’m still taking on the same responsibilities. I find it frustrating that people typically only expect extroverts to be the leader and introverts to just stay in the back and follow. When you think of a leader, is extroversion really a requirement? We live in a world where everyone has a different personality, yet it feels like extroverts are put on a pedestal. Even so, we introverts can still persist and win, no matter how big or small the accomplishment.