Being an ‘introvert’ has always come with negative connotations. There are books, tips even experts who help ‘introverts’ become extroverts. But is it that bad to be an introvert? What if introverts are pretty comfortable in their own skins? 13 year old podcaster Krisha Nijhawan, joined by teens Anvita and Garv, ask this important question and share what introverts really are like, in this fabulous podcast on Trending with Teens, India’s first live podcast by teenagers.
There is a lot of pressure on teens to be outgoing and social. How does this impact an introvert?
This is an extrovert dominated society. Teens like Anvita, do not feel like they fit in and this makes them insecure. A third of the world’s population is made up of introverts, not a small number! Therefore it is disappointing that the society is constantly crippling people who don’t fit into the standards someone else sets, felt Garv.
Why this push to be an introvert?
Being an introvert is not a problem. It’s just the way someone is. History shows that learned people went to caves to meditate and came back enlightened. Solitude and tranquility were the ways of life but suddenly in the 21st century we are forgetting the power of the quiet. It is a myth that introverts are not confident. According to Krisha, you can be an introvert and be confident just as you can be an extrovert and not be confident.
What is your pet peeve about being an introvert?
At parent-teacher interactions in school, some teachers express their concerns about a student being an ‘introvert’. Usually this topic dominates the conversation instead of academics and suggestions are given to increase social interactions with classmates much to the discomfort of the student.
Is it true that introverts cannot be leaders?
Absolutely not! The biggest example of that is the father of our nation – Mahatma Gandhi. He was shy, an introvert whose quiet belief in himself won us freedom. More names come to mind like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates who have been trailblazers in their respective fields despite being introverts. It is unfortunate that the society is prejudiced against introverts just because they choose not to chit-chat and prefer to introspect their ideas.
Do you think children should be trained to be extroverts?
No, we do not need to shape kids as extroverts. Whether introvert or extrovert, that should not matter. All that matters is the authenticity of the person at the end of the day. Is a child feeling comfortable about who they are? If they are constantly being told they need to change, imagine the stress they will go through. Everyone must be allowed to walk in their own shoes.
Do introverts face challenges in making friends?
All three podcasters admitted this was a challenge. Krisha spoke candidly of how she struggled to find like-minded friends while Garv felt uncomfortable sharing his thoughts with a group of people.
Where does the society get it wrong?
Many dictionaries define an introvert as ‘shy and quiet’ while defining an extrovert as ‘confident’. It starts right there. An awareness needs to be created about how it’s ok to be an introvert.
What can schools do to make it easier for introverts?
In our education system, those raising hands in class to questions all the time are termed ‘bright’. But that doesn’t mean those who aren’t raising hands do not know the answers. Not everyone is comfortable raising hands and teachers who understand this help foster an inclusive classroom for their students. Teachers who allow students to choose how they wish to demonstrate their learning make a big impact. Also, class discussions on topics like these will help other students understand their friends better.
This article is a creative output of Preeti Lalwani of Team Bookosmia. We encourage you to listen to the podcast on audible.com or hubhopper to make the most of this meaningful conversation yourself.
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