Introverts are undeniably unique people — and they are also undeniably difficult to understand. Some introverts are prone to self-deprecation, and they are often hard on themselves. We find ourselves questioning our own perception of ourselves — which can take us down a rabbit hole of negative thinking. What introverts really need is a reminder to love and care for themselves — and tips for how best to do it based on their personality type.
Lucky for introverts, one of our strengths is that we are good at making ourselves happy — if we take the time to! We don't depend on other people to bring us joy; we are able find joy within ourselves and in the little things around us. Here are some ways introverts can work to love themselves more.
Take time for yourself.
Alone time is precious to introverts. Because being alone allows us to recharge our batteries, and as a result, it then allows us to be our best selves once those "batteries" are charged. The easiest way to love yourself more is to be your best self, which can only happen for introverts when they take time for themselves.
"In a relationship, one of the main ways to show love is to give them your time," says Redditor user technicolorcamera. "That time that you could have for yourself is now spent with that person. You'll sacrifice your time and schedule in order to do things with them. If you were in a relationship, you'd want to respect the other person's time or want them to respect yours, wouldn't you? In the same way, to love yourself, give yourself your own time. It means loving and respecting yourself enough to take your time seriously. Don't waste your time away or give it to another. Use it to do the things you want, to do the things that matter to you."
Instead of criticising yourself for mistakes, find the lesson.
It's easy to beat yourself up over what you could've or should've done in a situation. Introverts are notorious overthinkers, and we tend to analyse something to the point of exhaustion. Instead of agonizing over your mistakes, allow yourself to find the lesson. Because we are great at overanalysing the negative things, in theory, we should also be good at analysing the positives; we are just great at analysing in general! So use those powers for good, and seek out the meaning behind the mistake. Take what you learned from the situation, and apply those learnings to future experiences. Plan how you'd like to approach a similar situation if it occurs again. Contemplate how the mistake made you a better person. Introverts will benefit from this by learning to love themselves more for their ability to bounce back and grow.
Accept yourself as who you are: an introvert who is special and important. "Equanimity is the name of the game, which helps us to see things as they really are," says Reddit user el_drum. Introverts tend to blow things out of proportion, which means we end up exaggerating the meaning of good things that we want or bad things we are averse to.
It boils down to building a deeply felt sense that "I am enough."
"When we can get out of this and start to see that things good and bad are really not such a big deal, and our own happiness comes from within ourselves, then it gets much easier to love ourselves and thus be happier and love others. Once we do this, we take greater joy in taking steps to better ourselves, be healthier, happier, kinder. We should always try our best, but we should not be hard on ourselves if we think we have 'fallen short' of anything. We must praise ourselves for trying and keep going. You could say it boils down to building a deeply felt sense that 'I am enough.'"
Introverts benefit greatly from practicing self-care. There's so better way to show yourself love than to listen to your needs and tend to them. Being in tune with emotions — both our own and the emotions of others — is one of the greatest strengths we have as introverts.
"Pick any small new habit that you think you can genuinely keep up that you consider to be something nice for yourself," says Reddit user tattsncurls. "Examples would be drinking a certain amount of water everyday, giving yourself time to read each day/week, going on a walk or any form of physical exercise, doing your nails, getting into a skincare routine, taking a class, having time to nerd out over something you love, getting your favourite kind of tea or coffee, saying no to someone, or deciding a night that you will stay in instead of go out . . . The better you feel and more confidence you gain in your own self-care practices, the easier and more natural it will become to tackle bigger, harder problems."
Surround yourself with positive people.
Introverts are known for having a smaller, more intimate circle of close friends they can rely on rather than a larger group of acquaintances. We often develop relationships with extroverts, because they are very good at pulling us out of our shells, of persuading us to engage in activities they we not have otherwise. Introverts are able to feed off an extrovert's energy, while still being able to retreat into ourselves when we need to. The key here is to foster relationships with those who understand your personality type and who are positive, uplifting. While most introverts don't really need validation from others, it's still important that the people we spend our precious time with be encouraging. They should love us the way we are working to love ourselves.
Do something each day that makes you feel accomplished.
For an introvert, there's no better way to love yourself than to feel like you're an active participant in your own happiness. Whether it be surpassing a goal in your fitness routine that you've set for yourself or simply making it out to a gathering with a large group of people without bailing last minute, doing something that reflects your own personal growth can be extremely beneficial to an introvert's self-worth and happiness. Step out of your comfort zone and allow yourself to be proud when you do. Set small, realistic goals. Surprise yourself with what you can do and reward your efforts, because you deserve it.