Do Introverts Have Low Self-Esteem?

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I recently found out February is self-esteem month.  By now, it’s no secret that I’m an introvert and proud of it, but I was wondering how that relates to selfesteem.  In the past few years I’ve been on a self-awareness and spiritual development journey.  It was during these years I truly began to understand who I am, where my character and personality come from and how much of both determined the choices I’ve made for my life.

It was revealed to me that for a number of reasons the choices I’ve made and the roads I’ve taken were based on my spiritual, mental and emotional health levels.  In fact, my life experiences have shaped my choices more than my personality and character.  I allowed the events I’ve seen, heard, and underwent to identify me; therefore, I had not been living according to the light that was imbedded in me from conception. I used to even hate taking pictures. I didn’t believe my likeness was worth capturing.  I now know I was wrong about me, but apparently I had a great deal of learning and understanding to do.

Now, back to how this relates to self-esteem.  I love my mother and father and I’m grateful for all they have done for me, but I was not given the tools to develop a healthy mindset about myself from either of them.  Not because they were bad people, but because sometimes parents don’t think or can’t see certain needs of their children.  I think because I was never very vocal about my needs, wants, and issues my parents assumed everything was going okay for me–but things weren’t okay.  I suffered in silence without honest reason.  Because of my silent suffering I was cursed to end up struggling with self-esteem issues

One thing I used to tussle with is how much of the person I truly am is natural born and how much is nurture bred.  I used to think; If only I were more outgoing my life would be better.  I could not say for sure that I was not a true introvert.  All I knew was most times I enjoyed time away from people.  Most times I preferred being with myself.  Most times I am content with no outside contact with the world, unless its cyber contact of course (curse of the social media addiction). 

Realizing I can still be an introvert and feel good about myself, I found how I feel about me is not determined by my capacity or desire to connect with other people.  I still know how to connect with other people, it’s just that most times I prefer solitude.  Moreover, I prefer not to maintain useless and empty relationships.  I may call to check in once in a while, but I don’t call just to talk (I’m sorry people, I just don’t).  I am okay knowing I don’t need to see you every day for me to help you as a friend in need and vice versa. 

Self-Esteem is about knowing, understanding and believing in your worth AND the worth of others.  I now know my worth is not in how many people I can get to show up at a party, crowd a table, or request me on social media; but how many people I can create true, meaningful and equally respectful relationships with. 

My self-esteem and self-love are a work in progress still.  I understand now that who I am as an introvert, is who I am as an individual.  What I believe about myself has nothing to do with how I think as a friend and a person with positive morals and values. I’ve always had positive morals and values even when I didn’t have a positive view of myself. Not all introverts have low-self esteem though. It wasn’t until this current growing point in my life that I realized I didn’t become an introvert as a means to protect myself from people who may or may not intend to hurt me (I built walls just for that purpose).  I’m a natural introvert because it works for me as a person who enjoys privacy, quiet, peace and most importantly, space, my own space and lots of it. 

Here’s to self-esteem, love, joy and happiness and most of all, solitude

Happy Self-Esteem Month

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6 thoughts on “Do Introverts Have Low Self-Esteem?

  1. Wow, I really love your article. After reading an article not long ago, I concluded I was suffering from low self esteem but your article spoke directly to me. I am not mean,nor anti social but just an introvert. And am proud of it.

  2. Ramona says:

    Wow Sherri. I became misty-eyed after reading your wonderful article. I almost felt like you were writing about me. Especially when you said that you prefer to NOT maintain useless and empty relationships, and how you don’t call folks just to talk. I thought it was only me. I am 47 years old and I just discovered within this past year that my characteristics were due to being an introvert, not mean, shy or lacking self-esteem. My friends always described me as that girl who was actually very nice and fun once you got to know me. I applaud you for writing this article because I am certain that what you have shared has really spoken to a lot of people sparking a positive sense of self-reflection and awareness.

  3. As an author, I want to thank you for your well written article. It is helping me immensely to understand the woman I am married to. I wish I knew more sooner. I am an extrovert, making this not the easiest combination. We had one unusual breakup lasting less than a week. Unusual in the sense that it centered around intro extro traits rather than actual issues. Had I read this and other articles on the web, we both might not have had the misunderstandings we did. My wife, as a therapist, is more in tune with who she is than I am, but because I love her so much, I am learning to be more understanding and accepting. We won’t be trying to fix or change each other any more. She goes to dance classes with me, and I give her the space she needs to reflect on her life. That’s one example of how we integrate with each other. Thank you again, Mike

    • No Mike. Thank you for reading one of my many ramblings. I’m glad you found a happy medium with your wife and were able to establish a compromise of personalities and interests. I’m also glad you were able to gain some insight from my personal struggle. It makes my heart feel good. Just remember, if it seems like your wife is shutting you out at times, introverts sometimes have to think, regroup and take it all in to stay grounded and focused.

  4. Sherri Stone says:

    Very well said! I don’t think being an introvert causes my self esteem issues but maybe it’s the other way around. It’s like what came first the chicken or the egg! I’ve seen how my introversion has held me back and I’m trying to figure out how to make my life better (at 48).

    • Thanks for reading Sherri. I’m only 34, but I still can’t believe I’m just now “finding myself” and figuring out my purpose. That’s why this blog is about separating and accepting what’s really me from the experiences that developed who I am. From now on I’m growing only towards my purpose and calling. Otherwise, that’s like a flower trying to grow away from the sun. No more trying to conform and fit in when I know it doesn’t feel right.

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