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| By Wellvyl Media Editorial

Are you an Introvert?

Do you enjoy having time to yourself?  Does your best thinking happen when you’re alone?  Do you avoid initiating small talk with people in stores and prefer to listen to your headphones?  If you answered YES to most of these questions, congratulations!!! - you may be an introvert!  When living in a non-stop, chaotic, sometimes impersonal city like New York, it’s important to recognize your behavioral habits so that you can adapt to your surroundings in a healthy way.  

If you’re not originally from the city that never sleeps, it can be difficult to make new friends and easy to get lost among the crowds.  Now that it’s finally warm and sunny outside - there are all sorts of rallies, gatherings and other events occurring throughout the city. There are people waiting at corners to approach you about a charitable cause they want you to donate to.  There are advertisements for a museum dedicated to sex all over the subway. As an introvert - you may prefer to avoid all this noise, and just read a book instead, or hang out with Netflix rather than get outside. The bright lights of Times Square can be daunting, especially with the number of tourists hitting record highs last year.  It’s easy to get stuck in the daily habit of going straight from your box of an apartment, to the box that is the subway, to the box that is the elevator in your office building, to sitting in the box that is your cubicle or office space.  And if you don’t extend yourself to connect with others, you may start to feel like you’re all alone.

Is it possible to survive as an introvert in an extroverted city that is NY?

Of course, it’s possible to survive as an introvert in one of the most socially active cities in the country– but who just wants to survive?  Introverts deserve just as much meaningful human connection as any other personality type. This can be challenging living in a city with more than 8 million residents. Often times it’s uncomfortable. You may feel guilty when you desire space from your roommates, you may worry about appearing socially awkward at bars or work functions, and you may feel uneasy about having to justify why you need to be alone in particular instances.   And other times it can be downright debilitating because this city has the ability to feel like a lonely place when you’re not putting yourself out there, causing you to retreat deeper into isolation. For example, if you thrive in nature and need a daily dose to prevent anxiety or depression, living in a city where you’re required to make an effort to access the great outdoors becomes a challenge.  Instead of being surrounded by nature, you have to make sure to set time aside to smell the flowers. You can plan a trip to Central Park, or venture on the ferry boat to a park on Staten Island, which is filled with greenery and is sometimes referred to as NYC’s greenest borough.

On the other hand, some introverts enjoy the anonymity of living in the big city provides.  When asked what it’s like being an introvert living in NYC, one Quora contributor stated that “[i]t’s actually easier than living in a small town. There is a feeling of anonymity  . . . nobody bothers you or even talks to you if you look like you know where you’re going. You don’t have to talk to people unless you want, and you can go back to your apartment and recharge whenever.”  While all that may be true, introverts living in this 24-hour city may sometimes feel like they’re missing out because their personality prevents them from enjoying all this city has to offer.  

How can I step out of my introverted comfort zone? actually has several groups designed specifically for introverts desiring social experiences.  In one group specifically designed for gay introverts, one of the creators describes the plight of an introvert, noting “If you're like me, you are hungry for social contact, but opportunities are hard to find, or social anxiety gets in the way,” and encourages its members to “socialize and plan different outings with a welcoming and warm group of folks.”  Regardless of whether you’re a creative abstract introvert, an introvert that wants to be an extrovert, a gay introvert, or a single introvert, there are plenty of opportunities for you to take advantage of NYC’s social and cultural events with like-minded people.

Being an introvert doesn’t define you…and it shouldn’t.  There are so many other aspects of one’s personality and character other than being introverted.  Obtaining a healthy balance that consists of satisfying social connections and time to yourself is not easy but it can be done. It all starts with our daily interactions with one another. If you’re going to thrive (and not just survive) here, it’s important to stay true to yourself and find at least one other person you can rely on and connect within this city of millions.  



Read more stories for the soul in search here.