When anxiety makes you hate yourself, but introversion makes you ‘enjoy’ your own company… The anxious introvert: a walking contradiction.
Introverts describe people, typically reserved/quiet people, whose personalities are characterised by introversion. They are people who feel more comfortable focusing on their inner thoughts and ideas, who draw energy from within, and who ‘enjoy their own company’, dedicating more time to engaging in ‘solitary pursuits’ (example: me with writing)!
Although anxiety and introversion are not mutually exclusive- to be an introvert is a personality trait whereas to have anxiety is a mental illness- introverts do tend to show greater levels of anxiety than extroverts.
Like the ‘Which came first the chicken or the egg?’ question,
‘Which came first, the introversion or the anxiety?’
Introverts are introverts because that is how they’re born- it is their personality (which is predetermined), unlike anxiety which is typically circumstantial- people can develop anxiety based on their life experiences…
Because introverts are so ‘in their own head’, the tendency for their thoughts to spiral and for them to be more isolated, whether ‘self-inflicted’ or not, can translate to introverts developing social anxiety, the familiarity of their introversion meaning that the prospect of deviating away from that/the prospect of getting out of their own head and socialising with others, becomes incredibly anxiety-inducing for them. Based on this then, it can be quite determinably stated that in cases where anxiety and introversion do co-occur, the anxiety will have come after introversion (because, again, introversion is something you’re born with- a personality trait).
So, while I have always been an introvert, I have always ‘enjoyed my own company’, the irony is that, with anxiety too, I am really self-deprecating much of the time, putting myself down for my inability to function like a ‘normal’ person (in terms of the ability to socialise ‘normally’). I say this is ironic because, how bizarre a situation for someone who self-confessedly hates themselves, to simultaneously ‘enjoy’ their own company. You’d think that I’d be trying to get out of my own head, not spending every day in it… And, with so many introverts having anxiety/so many people with anxiety being introverts, I know that I won’t be alone (pun not intended) in feeling like this…
~ the irony of ‘enjoying your own company’ when you hate yourself~
Can anyone relate?