Kenya: In Kenya, Introverts Are More Likely to Get Short End of Stick

Look around you. Wherever you are -- in a matatu, at work, at school, or at any social event -- there is always the talkative guy probably trying to score a beautiful lady, the silent guy who seems distracted and distant, and the one who seems to be a bit of both.

The first is an extrovert, the second an introvert and the last an ambivert -- the three major personality types. Growing up, I found it hard to embrace my introversion since it was seen as a flaw, something wrong. My teachers and peers kept telling me how "shy" and "slow" I was. Many children go through this and end up having identity issues.

Introverted children are often bullied. To society, this is a weakness, especially in most households in Kenya where boys, and some girls, are programmed to be aggressive and outgoing,.

The school curriculum doesn't do much in helping teachers understand and appreciate the diversity in the personality of the students. They try hard to make everyone extroverted.

Introverts are reserved and dreamy. Always lost in thought, we gain mental energy from time alone and enjoy deep meaningful relationships with close friends.

Personality spectrum

Parents too are a bit aggressive when it comes to introverts. They may shun the creative works they do in silence and drag them down a different, more socially acclaimed path. This takes a toll on the self-esteem of introverts. The society should embrace introversion as the other end of the personality spectrum.

Introverted males experience a lot of toxic masculinity from peers while females are ridiculed as snobs by boys and men.

This is sad since most creatives are introverted and being extroverted is not the benchmark in real life -- you just have to build your character.

Imagine writing a script for an animation or a song, only to be shot down by crippling fear and anxiety when pitching the idea.

Introverts are like a slow website, they may load slowly but inside they have great content.

Surprisingly, introverts enjoy the company of extroverts. Most of my extroverted friends are social and can strike a conversation with a total stranger.

Bedan, 20, is a freelance writer.

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