Decoding the Intro Effect
3rd September, 2015

 It was a Sunday morning November 5TH 2003,  I was upstairs reading a book when my favorite cousin paid  visit to  my parents’ house to spend the weekend with her elder sisters and a family friend  when I first knew my kind of creature had a name.  I stood there watching in confusion how excited she was sharing her holiday experience in Minna to the others who laughed at the nostalgia feelings of the funky speaker. With much enthusiasm, her dimples surfaced from her puffy cheeks and her big eyes widened gracefully as her hands swinged up and down as she demonstrated how a white cow almost pushed her into entering a gutter in the midst of four men .  She was screaming on top of her lungs when her sister stopped to ask the unfortunate question: what do you have to say (I will not mention my name) ?  I responded with a simple “its funny, she wasn’t even wearing red” adding a soft smile and lowered my head down into my ginger drink  raising it up again only to meet glancing faces towards my direction and unfriendly body languages. I sat there wondering if I had said something wrong, wishing I could go to sleep and do this conversation with them one on one in a  quiet environment over a glass of juice or a nhouse chore on a sunny afternoon. She looked at me and mumbled a few words underneath her beneath as she whispered to her sister ears with one specific sentence getting my attention: "She is an Introvert, it’s not good she should be more friendly by now, she is a woman she should talk more and stop been loner and secretive she no go get husband o! ‘   I stood up and went to my room pondering on her words as the tear drops followed easily till I slept.

Before I began writing on 54ARTISTRY, I had a sense that it is the worst decision I have ever made and would probably be a failure. The response from my article clearly proved the very thing I less expected: criticism and appraisal. Some loved and agreed to a few points, others said some things that made me return to my shell and create a sense of doubt, Unfortunately, I did not grow wings.

Three weeks later, I was back home when a childhood friend read an unfinished novel I wrote nine years ago and wondered why I didn’t finish it.  The confession on her face with the words “ I didn’t have time” was more of annoyance than  an excuse to save myself from further conversations.  She showed the novel to her teen sister whom immediately suggested I finish the last chapter for her writing assignment to be submitted next week Tuesday, the novel is the reason she wants to be the next J.k Rowling of Africa and pursue a degree in  creative writing due to her love for writing.

in a world where we excitement, craziness and loudness quenched the beauty of quietness, it is diffcuklt been an introvert and be creative and bring out the best of your potential and equally be yourself in your own kin.

With the purchase of Quiet :The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop by Susan Cain, I discovered my love for my introversion; I hadn’t fully grasped the importance of my unique viewpoint in society. I had always been philosophical and perceptive about social injustice which largely involve introverts particularly females especially in areas of bullying, societal intimidation and bias  and sexual harassment,  I would only contribute to the woeful situation than to create a solution as a  purpose. Once I framed it that way, the anxiety fell away. I began to seize opportunities for speaking engagements and I worked to empower kids to fight for societal change themselves.

My concern is that we are giving the world the impression that ours is an orientation defined by what we lack. We aren’t gregarious, excitable, or charismatic. We dislike crowds and loud stimulation. We have less energy. Sometimes it’s even implied that we don’t like other people. It seems that extroversion gets to be defined by what it is, but introversion is too often defined by what it isn’t.

  In a society, whose ideal self is bold, gregarious, and comfortable in the spotlight,  We like to think that we value individuality, but mostly we admire the type of individual who are comfortable putting themself out there and express their feeling openly or engage in social interactions frequently with large audience. And often design introverts as second-class citizens with gigantic amounts of untapped talent closed in the crowded world struggling to find their balance.

  In every uniqueness is a special, an ideal gift, a rare gem, an untold story, a distinct individual, a creative mind, an usual thinking, an abnormal idea, and been an introvert is no different and even though you may not be an introvert, you are equally unique with amazing talents and attributes that define your personality and sharpens who you are. 

 You are here for a reason. You are an introvert for a reason and if society is not valuing your authentic self, that’s society’s dysfunction, not yours. Find your voice, take pride in your solitude, explore your creativity, challenge yourself, rebuild your esteem and never take the yield to trade your personality.  In this crowded world it is difficult finding your quiet self but it is not impossible. Find your power, and fulfill your purpose. Be proud of who you are.

Lagos, Nigeria
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