Inner Peace

Introvert is not a bad word

This is an introduction to a book I am currently writing about introverts and hope to publish later this year. I will shape the book according to the reactions to this article, so please feel free to comment.

A confusing childhood

“You don’t want to be an introvert when you grow up,” my teacher told me, while driving me home from classes. He was lecturing me on the fact that I was too quiet and did not talk much. It was the first time I heard the word ‘introvert’ and based on the context, it sounded like something really bad.

Growing up as an introvert in a culture that values extroversion was not easy. On one hand, teachers would praise me for paying attention, working hard and having really creative ideas. On the other hand, people assumed I was immature because I didn’t talk much, and would consistently lecture me on being more social.

I grew up very confused and hating the fact that I was naturally a quite thinker who enjoyed alone time. I thought I was strange and abnormal, and wished I could be more like everybody else. This really dampened my self-confidence and forced me to behave in unnatural ways in order to fit in.

But ‘introvert’ is not a bad word

It would only be in my late twenties that I would discover that ‘introvert’ was not a bad word at all. I began to study psychology and learned that one-third of humanity is introverted, including many successful people throughout history. (Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Nelson Mandela, Ghandi to name a few.)

This completely changed my perspective. I discovered that the word ‘introvert’ didn’t refer to anything bad. It simply defined one thing: how do you recharge and energize yourself.

You see, people are of three types. One third of people are extroverts i.e. they gain energy from being around people, and get drained when they are alone. One third of people are introverts i.e. they gain energy from alone time and get drained in social settings. And in between are the ambiverts, who thrive in both settings.

That’s all it is. A word that defines what energizes you. So why does society treat introversion as a bad thing? It simply a matter of people not understanding that humans have different natures, and that they can’t force everybody to be the same.

Embracing one’s introversion

Once I discovered that being an introvert is not a bad thing, my confidence grew. I understood myself better, and I began to live a happier life.

One book that really made a difference in helping me understand this topic is ‘Quiet: The Power Of Introverts in a world that can’t stop talking‘ by Susan Cain. If you are struggling in understanding this topic, I highly recommend buying and reading this amazing book.

Over the next few years, I learned that the reason I often feel so drained is because I need alone time to recharge, and that I thrive best in situations that involve few people or being alone. I learned to embrace this and shape my careers accordingly.

This has led to me excelling as an author (which requires me being alone for many hours) and finding balance in my social life (by taking some alone time whenever I feel drained). Which led to me living a happier healthier life.

These days I enjoy my mornings alone with a cup of coffee typing away on my PC. I excel at various jobs and businesses that allow me to work from home on my own.

While at the same time, I meet up with a friend or two for coffee once a week to enjoy some quality conversation. (Hint: Introverts don’t hate socializing, they prefer smaller crowds and deeper conversations.)

All in all, studying this aspect of psychology has helped me tremendously, but also led to some regrets.

What I Regret

I often look back and wish I had learned all this earlier. I wish when I was a child someone had told me there is nothing wrong with being a quiet person. I wish people showed me how introverts like Ghandi, Mandela, and many others excelled in life because they were introverts.

This is why I decided I need to help younger people have a better experience than me. If I knew all of these things when I was younger, I would been happier, found my calling earlier, and would have been able to excel at a younger age.

For this reason, I want to make this the topic of my next book. I want to help a younger generation of Muslim introverts find balance in their lives. To help them deal with the unique challenges that introverted Muslims face, and to help them embrace the unique advantages that Muslim introverts have.

Challenges of being a Muslim introvert

I’ll summarize this in list form for now, and explain it in more details in the book in shaa Allah, as well as suggest ways to overcome these obstacles:

  1. Social anxiety getting in the way of Dawah
  2. Difficulty enjoying congregational activities
  3. Cultural expectations from elders that make one feel bad about oneself
  4. Being overly sensitive to what others say about us

Unique advantages of being a Muslim introvert

Same as above, I’ll summarize this in list form for now, and explain it in more details in the book in shaa Allah:

  1. Acts of worship done alone are easier to concentrate on (like Zikr, Qiyam Al-Layl, and reciting Quran)
  2. Tend to excel at writing and creativity
  3. Tend to read more, so usually consume more books
  4. Very easy to avoid social sins because we hate parties and clubs by nature
  5. Easier to avoid gossip, backbiting, etc. because we talk less

Your turn to talk

This short article was just an introduction so that I can get my idea out there and observe the feedback. Based on that feedback, I will shape the content of my upcoming book.

So please let me know your thoughts on this topic. Is it one worth pursuing in details? Do you think I am focusing on something not important at all? Would you read a book on this topic and find it beneficial? Let me know in the comments below.

21 thoughts on “Introvert is not a bad word

  1. Alhamdulillah! Finally Someone like you brings the topic with great importance! I have been facing the same challenges in my family and Society as being an introvert. Sometimes i feel awkward in social gathering that’s why I’m refrainjng myself to be involved in co-curricular activities other than academic study. But i regret for this as i see my other friends are developing their confidence by performing many social activities, stage perform, debate etc. I loose my self-esteem. Sometimes i feel worthless. I’m really in need of such inspiration that will bring my self-esteem back. In childhood i were not like who i am , i had so much confidence, i was good as students but now a days i couldn’t even concentrate in my study because of my anxiety. I’m anxious about after my graduation how i can get a job… How i manage with people! I have no quality like others! Who will recruit me. I’m also anxious about marriage, my family always pinch me to get married. But I’m not ready.. I think how could i cope up with an unknown person and unknown family.. They will find me as antisocial… 🙁 would anyone able to accept me as who i am.
    I hope may Allah show me a way through your assistance. May Allah protect you and increase your intellectual ability more.
    Jazakallahu khaira Sir!
    Please pray for me.
    I’m from Bangladesh.
    Sorry for my poor english.

  2. Assalamualaikum wrwb
    Brother excellent idea. I grew up feeling awkward in social situations and feeling, “I am a miss fit” in constant fear that I might say something wrong. In my early days that fear was about “What will people think of me”. Now it’s more about “Did I hurt someone’s feelings?”. Most painful and wasteful thing is going over and over what happened in a gathering and trying to find my mistakes”.
    Things which people say and do with ease and not even blink an eye would disturb my peace for days. Some times people who can see that in me would take advantage of it and make me feel horrible about myself. Although as we know everything which happens to us has good in it we just need to find it. Me being an introvert has made me a deeper person day by day. Alhamdulillah It’s easier for me to hold my toung and watch all the drama around me as a bystander. It helped me focus on things which I value in life.
    Alhamdulillah for being an Introvert. Looking forward to reading your book.
    بارك الله فيكم

  3. Assalamualaikum, Alhamdulillah that’s an excellent topic. I myself am an extrovert but I wish I could be an introvert. Cause personally I feel it would have been easier for me to talk good or be silent. I would love to read a book on this topic of course. Best of luck on your work Insha Allah.

  4. Excellent study !! Would love to read a book on this topic.
    Extroversion is mostly seen as the “ideal” personality.
    Most people cannot accept the fact that someone is not like them (an extrovert mostly) !! I find this kind of thinking very immature. They fail to realize how all people cannot be the same and that it’s okay to be different.
    I have read the book by Susan Cain half way. Quite a beneficial read.

    Definitely something with pursuing in detail !!! Barakallahu feek !

  5. It’s an amazing topic. I like your idea for writing a book about the topic. I’m an introvert too.
    It’s really worth pursuing in detail. It may help me and 1/3 of people in this world. Looking forward to read the book. All the best. Jazakallah Khair.

  6. Assalamu Alaikum brother.
    SubhanAllah. you have chosen the most valuable concept for introverts and In Shaa Allah people like me will be looking forward to increasing our self-esteem as well as confidence by reading this indispensable book.
    JazakAllah Khayir.

  7. I would love to read to lay my hands on your upcoming book, Shaykh. I had never heard of the word ‘introvert’ until a day my mum mentioned that I am one while my brother’s an extrovert. But I have never cared to know about what introversion is all about, until 2018 when I read Susan Cain’s excellent book(mentioned in your article). In that book, I learnt the powers of introversion from psychological point of view…. I have noticed that, as an introvert, I tend to be a very critical observer of things around me which is extroverts hardly care about.
    One of my shortcomings(I don’t know whether it is related to introversion) is my poor networking skills which is a necessary in the job market today. I meet a lot of people everyday due to my nature of work, but I find it difficult in following up to get ‘in-touch’. Again, I takes me a relatively long time to build strong relationships with people. I see people who can strike a conversation with strangers within seconds and eventually go ahead to build relationship. What will help me to do this? I once requested for a personal feedback from by boss on areas I need to improve, the first thing he mentioned was self-confidence. I have read many books on self-confidence including your excellent book(Best of Creations), and I am working to improve on it every-day. I would like know if introversion has any relation to self-confidence. I will appreciate your book much if it covers these issues. Jazakumullahu Khayran

    Jazakumullahu Khayran

  8. I would love to read to lay my hands on your upcoming book, Shaykh. I had never heard of the word ‘introvert’ until a day my mum mentioned that I am one while my brother’s an extrovert. But I have never cared to know about what introversion is all about, until 2018 when I read Susan Cain’s excellent book(mentioned in your article). In that book, I learnt the powers of introversion from psychological point of view…. I have noticed that, as an introvert, I tend to be a very critical observer of things around me which is extroverts hardly care about. One of my shortcomings(I don’t know whether it is related to introversion) is my poor networking skills which is a necessary in the job market today. I meet a lot of people everyday due to my nature of work, but I find it difficult in following up to get ‘in-touch’. Again, I takes me a relatively long time to build strong relationships with people. I see people who can strike a conversation with strangers within seconds and eventually go ahead to build relationship. What will help me to do this? I once requested for a personal feedback from by boss on areas I need to improve, the first thing he mentioned was self-confidence. I have read many books on self-confidence including your excellent book(Best of Creations), and I am working to improve on it every-day. I would like know if introversion has any relation to self-confidence. I will appreciate your book much if it covers these issues. Jazakumullahu Khayran

  9. Excellent article! I myself am an introvert. Sadly, I was made fun of and taunted by my aunt and cousins a lot as a child for talking less etc which shattered my confidence as I thought I was abnormal or something for not talking too much. A book on this topic is definitely worth pursuing in detail. Can’t wait for a detailed book on this topic In Shaa Allah.

  10. Maa Shaa Allah. I’m really proud of Sheikh Kamdar for this wonderful idea. May Allah grant you and your family the strength and patience to publish this life changing book.
    Growing up as an introvert myself has helped me positively as well as negatively as mentioned in your supposed introduction. Currently, I intend to start my own business, but I keep thinking about my “limitations” as an introvert. This usually makes me think of my business idea as not feasible.
    Another “limitation” is always wanting to please anyone that comes my way which in some sense, seems impossible. And so sometimes, I end up making a fool out of myself.
    Always thinking about what others are saying or thinking about me is another challenge I find as an introvert. Especially during large gatherings, I feel drained and bored of myself when I find other people perform better in networking and engaging seriously in conversations while I’m just quietly listening and giggling to camouflage my introversion.
    I could go on and on but, In Shaa Allah, with this idea coming from our dear own Sheikh, Muslim introverts around the world can proudly make a u-turn from negative to positive thinking.
    I can’t wait for this masterpiece. More grease to your elbows, Sheikh. JazaakumAllahu khairan

  11. Jazakallah Khair to everybody who commented. I didn’t get time yet to reply to each comment individually but I wanted to thank you all for commenting. I have read all the comments and this has motivated me to go ahead and complete writing this book next.

  12. Assalamu alaykum
    Good article. One typo in para 1 for quiet.
    Also could you in your book focus on the Muslim youth today – how they could cope with being introvert in a society built on social media and enhanced peer pressure.

  13. Alhamdullilah finally thers a book on this topic “introverts”. I would love to read a book on this topic.ll be waiting for the book to get published.

  14. So relatable! As a young adult, I’ve accepted my introversion but find it so difficult sometimes to have lengthy conversations without feeling uncomfortable or not myself. I sometimes fear if this will have an impact on my future career, as I would love to help and interact with those around me without feeling the need to hesitate. Alone time is a big part of my introversion! This would make a very beneficial read, great work!

  15. Assalamu alaikum warahmatulahi wabarakathu
    Really it’s a very effective and beneficial topic which carries a tones of weight !! I love it may Allah help you in shaa Allah.

  16. I’d say I’m an ambivert kind of person although I border highly on the side of introvert. While I can, by the help of Allah thrive in social settings, it is only for a limited amount of time and then feel a great need to refresh myself by spending some time privately by either writing or reading. I also most definitely prefer staying in my own bubble, rather than going around spending time with friends. Home is my best place to hangout. So, given that fact, I’d tell this book might definitely help people like us too. So, definitely go ahead with it, Sheikh! The intro was good, too.

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