“We introverts need to understand, accept, and appreciate ourselves and how we are naturally wired. We’re not weird or alien, just designed in a particular way.”
The above is a quote from Text, Don’t Call: An Illustrated Guide to the Introverted Life, a wonderful book I had the pleasure of reading recently.
I’ve been following the author, INFJoe, on Instagram for a while. I believe I stumbled across his account by searching the hashtag “#infj” and was immediately drawn to his oh-so-accurate cartoons depicting the ups and downs, proclivities and quirks of the introverted life. Here’s a perfect example:
When I saw that he had a book coming out, I knew I had to add it to the Writing Inspiration section of my bookshelf!
In a high-energy, extroverted world, it’s tough being an introvert, and INFJoe’s clever cartoons and heartfelt messages help introverts not only cope, but truly thrive as we learn to embrace what makes us different, awesome, and yes, a wee bit weird.
“An artist isn’t an artist unless he or she takes the risk and joins in the conversation.” – Aaron Caycedo-Kimura, a.k.a., INFJoe
Blending humor and wit with poignant truths and practical take-aways, INFJoe highlights the ways in which introversion should be celebrated while simultaneously eliminating the negative social stigma attached to it.
To show you what I mean, here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book (all emphasis is mine):
“It’s important to understand that being introverted is different from being shy or antisocial … Introversion is a preference that has to do with where you direct your energy (inward), how you recharge (usually often and by being alone), and what level of outside stimulation you’re comfortable with (less is more).”
“We’re observant and insightful, often expressing ourselves better in writing than in speech … once we warm up to someone, we make good listeners and trustworthy confidants. We prefer depth to breadth and are fiercely independent.”
“First and foremost, we introverts need to understand, accept, and appreciate ourselves … it’s helpful to have people in our lives who ‘get it,’ folks who understand …”
“We don’t hate people. We just prefer to socialize differently from extroverts. We like one-on-one interactions … because they give us the opportunity to have private, in-depth conversations.”
“Get that alone time to recharge, and enjoy it. I can’t stress that enough. Set your boundaries. It’s for the good of everyone in your immediate life. It allows you to give yourself and those around you your very best.”
And now, my absolute favorite quote of all….
“Find your happy place, whether it’s doing what you love to do alone or with a special someone. Be good to yourself. Be true to yourself.”
I don’t know about you, but my happy place looks a lot like Mr. Joe’s!
I cannot recommend this charming book highly enough, nor can I express just how encouraging it was to read a book that had me saying, “I’m not the only one? Thank goodness!” on nearly every page.
Text, Don’t Call made me feel proud of and grateful for what I’ve often viewed as an illness, something I needed to resist and fight rather than accept and enjoy.
It made me realize that there is so much about introversion that is beautiful and lovely and needed in this noisy world.
It reminded me that I’m part of a huge community of people (introverts compose a third to one-half of the population) who are just as content staying home in their pajamas on a Friday night as I am.
It freed me from feeling guilty about setting aside alone time to recharge and refresh before and after big social events.
It encouraged me to be myself around extroverts and to surround myself with people who love and accept me as I am.