And bang, there it was. I had to remember to breathe when I read the second meaning of romance above. It was like my own introversion had been defined right there. It was a big moment.
Okay, before I get into why I believe in the romance of introversion, it should be said I view introversion through very rose-colored glasses. I appreciate that not every introvert does so full disclosure – it’s going to get a little…touchy-feely.
Far from that old stereotype of the insular and inarticulate introvert, it’s my view that many of us are actually all about self-expression. Furthermore, we use our creativity to communicate with others. Every introvert who creates knows that when we write a song, paint a picture, or bake a triple-layered chocolate cake with Italian meringue butter cream we are exposing the deepest part of ourselves. We are holding out our hearts and saying “This is part of me and I’m offering it to you.” This is a fundamental way in which creative introverts communicate with others.
You might be thinking ‘That’s a bit deep. I’m sure I didn’t feel like that when I made that omelette this morning.’ And I’d believe you if you don’t take particular pride in omelette making. For someone who is passionate about cooking, however, it is a different story. The simple act of making an omelette is about using the best ingredients and tools, maximising the flavour of those ingredients and achieving the best possible result. It becomes even more important if said omelette is intended for someone else. People think that introverts don’t share and like to keep everything to themselves when, in fact, the opposite is true – we often long to share our passions and creations with others.
Within every introvert there’s a dreamer, creative, artist, scholar, performer, designer or thinker. If we’re not any of these things by occupation it’s likely they are part of our secret life. It’s the part of our lives we don’t necessarily broadcast, talk about on Facebook, or share with our work colleagues. When others are looking forward to having drinks after work, we’re eagerly heading off to indulge our passions. We can be so very mysterious…
I love this idea that when we allow people into our inner circle they can be blown away by our depth and complexity. I also love the idea of introverts being stoic and strong. I love that we have a place to go within ourselves to reset and recharge. I love that we don’t need the presence of others to feel fulfilled.
I love the idea of the creative introvert, putting hours and hours into their craft, unseen and unacknowledged.
We’re the dancers who spend hours in the studio after everyone has left. We’re the writers who painstakingly weave subtext into our paragraphs. We’re the chefs who have spent hours perfecting a signature dish and then send it out into the restaurant with a rapidly beating heart.
Most of all, I love how introverts can express intimacy so quietly that you need to know what you’re listening for to hear it.
When we share our favourite books, films, and songs with someone we’re telling them all about who we are. We’re inviting them to reciprocate, to share a part of themselves with us. It’s an exquisite dance that is private and intimate.
The romance of introversion resonates with me far more than the tired old trope of the loner introvert because to me, being an introvert is actually all about sharing and communication with a very special few.
What’s more romantic than that?
Over to you! I’d love to hear your thoughts on the romance of introversion. Does it resonate with you or do you have a different view? Feel free to share in the comments below.