Introversion: not a flaw.

This is for the quiet ones.

Growing up as a weird kid was the best bet. I had no idea what the word “introvert” meant. I wasn’t aware such a word existed. I was just weird. Weirdly weird.

As much as I loved playing with the other kids in the neighborhood, I often preferred spending my time reading. I would read under the cashew tree in our front yard, lost in my world with no disturbance from my big brothers. I would read or draw or write stories of my own, “little nonsense” as a guy once described them. I was pretty good at writing those back then. I still am. They’re just not “little nonsense” anymore (they were never “little nonsense” to me anyway).

Oh, I also loved playing quietly in my Mama’s room, my imagination being my best company. (Putting on Mama’s clothes, with little me buried underneath, gave me the most joy.)

It wasn’t that I minded the company of others, I just didn’t feel the need to surround myself with people, as I felt comfortable enough in my cocoon.

I have always been called shy. Being a hypersensitive child didn’t help as well, as my aloofness caused others to think me weird, unfriendly, and even snobbish. At this point, I would rather call myself introverted, not shy.

I always envied my more extroverted friends. The fact that other people gain energy from even the most surface-level of interaction, has always been baffling to me. I usually wonder at the ease with which my best friend socially interacted with others. She was a marvel while growing up, always brimming with charisma, and most of my childhood adventures were her babies.

More times than I can count, I have been told ‘speak up’ or ‘try to come out of your shell’. I have even been called stuck-up based on the fact that I didn’t say much! I was always told that it was good to venture out of one’s comfort zone. But in a world that glorifies busyness and outspokenness, how do I explain that I do not want to? That small talk is not my forte, that I will need time alone to recharge my batteries after every conversation, and that I don’t understand how some seem to thrive in situations that will leave me feeling fragile and inert.

I hate being put on the spot. I panic when I’m to receive a phone call. I cringe at the sound of an incoming text. I even have a ready-made list of potential excuses why I cannot join in socializing with others. Just a few signs of my introverted spirit, but most definitely not limited to any.

“Referring to my introverted personality as a flaw, is as good as referring to my whole being as a flaw.”


It got to a point where I was misled to believe that my introversion was a flaw. It wasn’t until I read Susan Cain‘s book “Quiet” that I finally embraced my introversion fully.

“Don’t think of introversion as something that needs to be cured.”

~ Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That can’t Stop Talking.

If you have ever seen me as too relaxed, inactive, or lethargic, believe me, it isn’t always born out of laziness – although sometimes I do just want to stay home, read a good book, watch a good movie, listen to cool music or just stare at the ceiling. I rather choose to believe our reticence is often birthed out of a desire to be thoughtful and ruminative. We want to engage – we are just selective and particular about who we converse with because our social energy has a distinction to it.

I, for one, sometimes prefer to be just the kind of person people adore at first sight, and yeah, other times I wish I would just be full-on extroverted. But it ain’t me. I need time and exposure to settle.

As much as I do feel like I’m being crushed by incessant and shallow interactions, I understand that there is value in the ability to connect with others. I believe in fostering such skills, yet so often, it has been taken to unnecessary levels and society now treats extroversion as the standard.

I am not instinctively a people person, but I can work on my ability to relate and work with others. It’s neither a problem nor a weakness nor a flaw, rather it’s a challenge, one I need to step up to.

I am comfortable with solitude as an introvert and I believe there is power in solitude, in reservation, and in observation.

I really hope that in years to come, society will learn to celebrate the value of quiet participation; that the listeners, the observers, and the low-key workers (employees and employers alike) will never feel the need to change who they are for any reason. And someday, society will accept and come to terms with the unarguable fact that quiet contributions are also meaningful.

It’s okay to be who you are.

Be unapologetically introverted.🤍

God’s enabled introvert.
I am Oluwaferanmi. And you are loved by God.❤️

Edited by: Daniela Obike.


27 thoughts on “Introversion: not a flaw.

  1. Great piece Agnes. Most times we attach self esteem to whether one is introvert or not, Introverts are labeled to have low self-esteem which isn’t so. I hope our society appreciates and identity Introverts.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. God created everyone with the best temperament He knows will suit His purpose for the our lives. Thanks foe the highly inspiring piece Oluwaferanmi. God bless and increase your wisdom.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. All fragments of YOU are BeYOUtiFull. No one needs to feel inferior because of who they are, our society needs to understand this. Thanks for this Hagne.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Agnes! I also wrote a similar post sometime ago on my blog. And like I said, ‘Quiet is not a defect’, introversion is a flaw. And it’s annoying when people try to cure you from your very essence. We’re not broken, we’re just different ☺️

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I really don’t like it when people say that my introversion or quietness is a problem. Some even say that it may be caused by some kind of trauma. 😅🤦🏽‍♀️
    I’ve always been an introvert, it’s not a flake. To be honest, it’s more like a superpower, especially in a society when everyone is talking and not listening enough.
    Amazing post, Hagne.❤️💖

    Liked by 1 person

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