As an introvert, I hold these truths to be self-evident. If you’re an introvert, I urge you to ratify them too:
THE INTROVERT’S BILL OF RIGHTS
I Have the Right to Remain Silent — not because I’ve been accused of some crime, but because silence is no crime. Sometimes I just don’t want to talk, or be talked to. Other times I’m simply listening silently, contemplating silently, or recharging silently. Silence doesn’t hurt; it helps.
I Have the Right to Seek Solitude — to find or create the revitalizing alone time I need to stay psychologically, emotionally, spiritually, socially, and physically healthy in our frenzied, stressful world. My alone time isn’t about rejecting anyone; it’s about protecting myself.
I Have the Right to Contemplate — to take the time I need to choose my words, weigh my decisions, and consider my actions — before I act (so I can prepare), after (so I can change course if necessary), or both. I am, therefore I think.
I Have the Right to Seek Depth — genuine substance and significance in my conversations, activities, and relationships. Small talk, shallow pursuits, and superficial people leave me unsatisfied and wanting. I need real human beings, real talk, and real pursuits.
I Have the Right to Focus — to avoid multitasking, interruptions, and haste so I can concentrate solely on whatever or whoever is right in front of me. The next thing can wait.
I Have the Right to Be Heard — to be truly listened to and understood — minus multitasking, interruptions, and haste — not because I’m more deserving than other people, but because I’m equally deserving.
I Have the Right to Share What I Want, When I Want, How I Want — to decide for myself, without pressure or judgment, what to say, when to say it, and how. My thoughts, feelings, and expressions are mine first — and last if I so choose.
I Have the Right to Be Seen as Normal — as normal as the extraverts of the world. My introversion isn’t a character flaw or a malady to be cured, any more than extraversion is. It’s a healthy, natural part of who I am.
I Have the Right to Define Myself, Not Defend Myself — to let my introversion stand without apology. I don’t expect the extraverts of the world to justify how they tick; I don’t have to justify how I tick either.
I Have the Right to Be Defined by What I Am, Not What I Am Not — by my many natural strengths, not by what others see as shortcomings; by what I have to offer, not by what others think I lack. I’m not an extravert wannabe; I’m an introvert.