Introverts are fiercely independent. Not out of arrogance or pride or any of those other attributes the world tries to attach to us, but out of pure necessity.
We are stronger than most give us credit for. Just because we don’t feel the need to broadcast our steely inner muscularity doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. The truly strong don’t need to broadcast, for we’re not trying to prop up our fragile egos. In five decades on this planet in this body, I have learned that strength is quiet and solid. It is not brash or loud. An introvert’s strength is a river, both deep and wide, and over time, shapes mountains to its needs. We have taken the time and done the heavy inner lifting required to know ourselves; to understand our reactions and temper them so that we are not forced to bow under the pressure of others. It takes a lot to deter us from our course.
One of the reasons we are not easily trusted is because we don’t feel the need to telegraph our thoughts, intentions, and desires. Why should we? We do not require external validation for us to be successful. We require only our own validation because we have worked so hard for it. We have learned to understand that we are the only people in our world who are completely reliable, dependable, loyal and most of all, strong.
Gone are the days when a woman might be perceived as a damsel in distress. Though men have shaped our society on the surface, it has been the women who have shaped it from within. And introverts, who aren’t out politicking or schmoozing or networking, serve as the foundation of strength behind and beneath an extroverted society.
The internet was designed by introverts for introverts. It has allowed us to connect from the safety of our caves of strength, from where we design and invent ways to greater benefit others. And you won’t see us on television bragging about our acheivements. Let others have that spotlight. We have learned that the only true focus, the one that serves us and others best, comes from within. So we’re not distracted by the need for acclaim. We would rather use that time and energy on the next big thing. We reserve our power like a solar cell battery, storing it for times of real necessity, not dispersing on useless small talk or banter. That’s not to say we can’t hold our own in those areas, but we definitely choose not to. When we speak, we have already come up with all the answers to your rebuttals, to your counterpoints, and your invective. We speak with quiet authority, and others know that when we do choose to speak, we are saying something meaningful. It won’t be about the weather, unless we’ve studied meteorological patterns and science so that our answer is intelligent and informed.
We don’t subscribe to the idea that knowledge is loud or needs exposure to air. Some call us smug or self-righteous for it, but we are neither. Confidence is not smugness, or righteousness. But it is a wedge driven into the cracks of your logic and your flawed rhetoric. It’s the thought that, at the end of the day, we are usually right that brings about the curses and the dark invective against our character, for those who are called out often rely on attempts to discredit their detractors. Those who use such poorly executed attempts at retaining their dignity do not understand that their rhetoric only shines a brighter light on their glittering ignorance. And so decide we must be “the enemy.”
And we are.
We are the enemy of ignorance and circular logic. Therein lies our strength. Our power.
Just because we’re quiet, doesn’t mean we’re weak. We are strong in our own silent way.
Don’t underestimate us. Or do at your own peril.