Why being lonely and introvert is all the rage

There was a time when parents, realising their children were introverts, would offer or seek help. Not talking, staying in their own world, anxiety towards social occasions, were all traits that were worth fretting over.

Things have changed.

Suddenly, you see this quiet lot coming out and proudly declaring themselves as ‘introverts’. What changed from the times they would hide in a corner?

In one word: social media. Social commentator and columnist Santosh Desai says the virtual world has played a big role in narrowing down sharp distinctions in societies – introvert-ambivert-extrovert, shyoutgoing, talker-listener, etc. “The nature of social media is such that it has given space to people to interact on a platform, where one can freely present his/her views yet have the option of holding back quite a bit – which in the real world can be difficult,” he explains.


Agrees artist Mikki Lamoureux, who runs a Facebook page called Introverts Are Awesome – a huge hit with people all over the world. She says, “I think we secretly enjoy the excuse to have our social groups online rather than having to give the energy in person. We all need a certain amount of socialising to keep us somewhat active in

our communities”. College student Pritha Sinha, also an introvert, says, “There’s a subculture that exists in the virtual world – a place where people, largely marginalised in the real world, or people with niche interests, find their voice.”

Desai elucidates how this subculture has helped people. “You can be on a Facebook page every day or once in a while. Likewise, you can be a superfan of a YouTube channel or just watch one video in your free time... such choices have made people feel comfortable enough to interact freely – the bottomline is that they don’t feel the weight of expectation to keep a friendship alive as it happens in the real world.”

Sinha, who’s studying psychology, believes these platforms have paved the way for a lot of groups, including introverts, to talk freely about their unique problems and interests. “This has made them more confident about the real world. To know you’re not alone, even as an introvert, would be a huge relief,” she says.

American psychologist Laurie Helgoe’s book, Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength, revealed that almost half of Americans are introverts. But it’s now that this trait is being appreciated, and seen as a strength.


Actor-comedian Varun Thakur explains why it may be easier for an introvert to take that first step even if it seems intimidating: “You see people with phone cameras all over recording their own thing and putting it out there for people to see. You do not have to face the audience and lose your nerve. The conviction to chart out your own path has come because of so many avenues being opened up by social media.” Lamoureux feels the same.

“In the seven years that I have concentrated on this particular subject, I have seen the word ‘introvert’ go from being a stigma to an almost-positive trait,” he says.

Architect Debjoy Mitra, who never understood why he felt the odd one out during his childhood, now has the virtual media to connect to his tribe. He says, “Some of the tags like snob, apathetic, and anti-social are still thrown around... but it’s not the norm anymore. People are seeing things in a new way.”


In the professional space too, qualities that come with being an introvert are being celebrated. A Harvard Business Review article titled, The Hidden Advantages of Quiet Bosses, says, “In a dynamic, unpredictable environment, introverts are often more effective leaders – particularly when workers are proactive, offering ideas for improving the business.” Introverted leaders also listen more carefully and are far more receptive to suggestions than extroverts – making them more effective leaders of vocal teams.


Sociologist Shiv Visvanathan believes introverted qualities are being celebrated these days because there is a worldwide movement these days to Go Slow. “Globalisation and fast-paced lives have made a huge impact, and not for the better. People are rethinking age-old strategies and beliefs. There is a call back to the old ways: like working according to your body rhythm, not against it, to look within for reflection rather than screaming you are the best. The world right now is ripe for introverted qualities.”
There is also a misconception that people are either all extrovert or all introvert. But life doesn’t work that way. “The change that we are seeing isn’t just because introverts are more confident today but because everyone is tapping their inner introvert qualities more than the extrovert ones. There is a bit of both among all of us,” adds Visvanathan.


Introverted friends and partners make better listeners too. What the virtual world has made possible is for them to find their own tribe, and celebrate their awkwardness together.
Lamoureux concludes, “Even as introverted as I am, I know that we humans are communitydriven social beings. I give what I can and I also allow myself time to recharge as much as possible. I therefore benefit from both worlds.”
However, it’s essential not to confuse this time in the sun as an introvert turning into an extrovert. You may still find a few in the corner of a room trying to avoid people’s gaze – but the good thing is that they have found their tribe and no longer crave to be understood as badly as they once did.


An expert on the power of introversion, American author Susan Cain said in a TedTalk titled, The Power of Introverts: “Since the Industrial Revolution, when we became a society where you have to work alongside people to whom you had to prove yourself, we have become a culture of personality. From the earliest age, our children have been reinforced with messages suggesting that if you want to be loved and be successful, you have to be more extroverted than you really are.”


No. Being an introvert and being a loner are two different things. All introverts aren’t comfortable being alone. Rather, they avoid large gatherings because they are even more uncomfortable being in the wrong company.


Again. No, introverts aren’t averse to the idea of fun, except that their idea of fun is different from most. In fact, introverts may crave attention just as much as an extrovert – it’s just that they may not know what to do with all the attention. And then get self-conscious, tongue-tied or quietly exit the room when no one’s looking


Unbelievable In America - People Live In Oldest Mall After 48 Abandoned Shops Are Turned Into Homes

Micro lofts and tiny homes have become more and more popular as time goes by. Since finding an affordable place to live can seem tedious, do...