Do introverts instinctively understand how to create happiness? In pondering this question I thought of a very common and simple scenario that many introverts experience that demonstrates how easily we can turn discomfort into comfort, and dissatisfaction into something approximating joy.
Picture this. You’re at a party and you know approximately two people there. They’ve wandered off to mingle leaving you to your own devices. The music is pile-driving its way into your brain to the point where you’d like to retreat to the bathroom for a good ten minutes but you know that once you’ve settled your proverbial onto a seat your bliss will be interrupted by a) someone banging on the door telling you to hurry up or b) someone banging on the door telling you to hurry up. Pointless.
You’ve also been nursing the same drink for about an hour but this has given you time to plan your exit strategy. It’s now all you can think about and the anticipation is building. You cannot WAIT to make your apologies to the host and quietly glide away. But that isn’t the best part, oh no. The best part happens when you get home and you close your own door behind you, and in doing so you create a distinct division between how you felt ‘back there’ and how you feel now.
You begin to create the atmosphere you want to be in – you shed your going-out attire for something relaxed and comfortable. You might wait for half an hour or so before putting on the TV just so you can listen to and appreciate the silence while cuddling a much-loved pet. You might pour yourself a glass of wine or pop the kettle on to make a cup of tea. At this moment, you are tapping into how you’re feeling as you ask yourself, “What else would I like?”
When an introvert asks themselves this question, the answer is often a simple one. It could be a fluffy pair of socks and a sweater because we equate physical comfort with mental ease. It could be some ridiculously good chocolate, slathering on your best hand cream, or finally sitting down to watch that film you’ve had on your wishlist for ages.
Introverts are very adept at creating their own state of well-being and are not reliant on others to create it for them. We consciously appreciate the small details derived from simple comforts that others might miss.
We find comfort in solitary activity, be it reading, sewing, crafting, writing, or artistic pursuits. We don’t need someone else to participate in the activity with us for it to be therapeutic or beneficial.
It seems that a combination of mindfulness, self-acceptance, positive emotions, and having coping strategies in place for when life becomes stressful are things that introverts, perhaps instinctively, practice. And wouldn’t you know it, all of the above are described by actionforhappiness.org as being keys to happier lives.
Introverts are capable of instinctively creating a state of being happy, or at the very least contentment. By not seeking to find our happiness in others we hold the key to our own, and that is a powerful thing.
Over to you! Do you think introverts hold the key to happiness? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.