I’ve realized something about myself – well no, that isn’t quite right. I’ve actually always known this about myself, being as I have been a passive person since birth. Quiet and reserved when I shouldn’t be, and too loud and involved at the wrong times, my social life has always been a bit complicated.
Social anxiety holds me back from honestly speaking my mind ever since I was a little girl. I felt as though I was trapped within my own head, swimming around in the thoughts that I never said and the feelings that were thrown to the wayside. I like to please others. I never want anyone to be upset with me for something I said or did unintentionally.
While my social passivity is something of a strong suit of mine because I tend to get along with many groups of people, it is also a burden. I feel as though when I care about something so deeply, I cannot express it to the fullest extent that I truly want to, fearing I will give off the wrong impression. People who are louder, more informed, tend to take the reins, while I am stuck glued to the backseat. This occurs not just in my social life, but also in my political conversations as well. My friends and family overlook me; why would I have an opinion on something like human rights? I never had an outspoken opinion before, so why now? But, you see, that’s where they’re wrong.
I have a mind that has plenty to say and a voice that is ready to speak up in the face of injustice. I care so greatly and unashamedly about certain topics (Women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, BLM, Climate change, etc.) that sometimes I feel as though I may go insane with worry. I love hard and I don’t give up on things I deem important; however, when I begin to tell someone about said things I believe in, I never get too far before I am brought back to where I was once before. The quiet friend, the one who sits alone – nothing more than a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen.
Now, you’re probably wondering, how did I get over these fears of appearing unlikeable or too honest about my beliefs?
Well, I simply remembered who I am. It sounds silly, I know – but it works! Remember where you came from, the struggles you have faced, the friends you have made, and the friends you have lost. Remember what parts of you are worthy of being loved, worthy of being heard. Remember that you are smart, and just because you speak your mind, does not mean you are a nuisance. Those who tell it how it is are the people I strive to be – so that is who I push to become!
Whether you are an introvert, an extrovert, or somewhere in-between, labels do not define who we are as people. Be your own group, be someone no one has ever seen or met before. Most importantly, be yourself because you’re pretty awesome just the way you are. Now get out there and start speaking your mind against social injustice! I’ll be right behind you 🙂
Links and Guides on how to speak your mind as an introvert and why it is important to do so today:
“Activism Tips for Introverts“: http://www.risenzine.com/2020/01/activism-tips-for-introverts.html
“Breaking the Silence: 6 Ways Introverts can Help in the Fight Against Racism“: https://www.simonemorrisenterprises.org/post/breaking-the-silence-6-ways-introverts-can-help-in-the-fight-against-racism
“Why you should speak up — even when it’s difficult”: https://aleteia.org/2018/09/02/why-you-should-speak-up-even-when-its-hard/
“5 Tips: Social Justice for Introverts“: https://www.kalaortwein.com/single-post/2018/03/19/5-Tips-Social-Justice-for-Introverts