As an introvert, I often find myself feeling misunderstood or out of place in a world that seems to value extroversion and socializing. I don’t enjoy large gatherings, loud noises, or small talk. (My favorite gift I've received recently is a pair of noise-cancelling earplugs.) In my kid-free time, I prefer to read, write, or cook at home. Does that mean I don’t care about community? Not at all.
Community, to me, is not about the quantity of people or interactions, but the quality. It’s about finding people who share your values, interests, and passions, and who support you in your goals and challenges. It’s about having meaningful conversations, deep connections, and mutual respect. It’s about being yourself, and being accepted for who you are.
I've been blessed with a few wonderful friendships over the years, and am cultivating some new ones that I'm really excited about. But a few close friends and family are what help me thrive-- this is where I open up, where I find my small close-knit community.
A community doesn’t have to be large to be supportive, and it doesn’t have to require constant social interaction to be valuable. Sometimes the best way to nurture a community is to give each other space and time to recharge and reflect. As an introvert, I need that balance between solitude and companionship, and I appreciate the people who understand and respect that. I also believe that while community is about coming together -- it doesn't need to be EVERYONE, EVERY TIME. One-on-one conversations are incredibly underrated in my introverted opinion. This is where the real talk happens.
I believe that community is essential for everyone, especially introverts. It helps us feel less alone, more inspired, and more empowered. It gives us a sense of belonging, purpose, and joy. It enriches our lives in ways that we can’t do on our own. That’s why I’m grateful for the small community I have, and I hope you are too.