“In a gentle way, you can shake the world” – Mahatma Gandi
I’m writing this for some of you quieter folk, who might just need a little reassurance and encouragement to try something new! Music can be a great hobby for introverts, because you will need to spend fairly long periods of time alone practicing in order to get really good. But as a little bonus, you basically can do whatever you want with your skills. If you would like to become a little more socially confident, or whatever you want to call it, then of course you can ease yourself into more and more public performances as you feel comfortable. But you can gain a great deal of enjoyment from playing for playing’s sake and never making a public appearance at all! Music can be a tool towards any amount of opportunities!
“People inspire you, or they drain you – pick wisely” – Hansen
It’s one of life’s lessons, that there will always be some annoying people around, though you won’t recognise this initially, your parents will! Some of us are more aware of this than others! If like me, you don’t always feel comfortable being the centre of attention, and prefer to step back and observe a little before diving into something, you become aware that there are other people who are quite the opposite and relish having people’s attention on them. This can have some negative impacts on the quieter person of the two, because they are inevitably forced to listen, and observe a great deal of what the louder person wants to say and do! It can lead to an imbalance in friendships and a case of dominance versus passive nature’s emerges.
Research has shown that in a typical meeting, three people do 70% of the talking! Have a look at Quietrev.com for a fantastic source of articles and inspirations for people who are not the loud members of the group! I love this quote by the founder of Quiet Revolution, Susan Cain, “There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.” It’s so true, and worth bearing in mind throughout life!
It seems like we are somewhat groomed to feel like we need to be a part of everything, on everything, and seen to be having so much fun in order to be popular, or at least feel popular. But actually a huge number of us, actually feel more comfortable when we have a little time-out here and there. Much is it can feel bad to be ‘left out’ of something, there is some part of you that didn’t want to do the activity anyway, because if we don’t take time out from one thing to the next, we can end up feeling thoroughly drained, and lethargic. Learn to recognise this in yourself, and don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ occasionally. If you politely excuse yourself from something once in a while, people aren’t going to think any less of you. It takes some confidence in yourself, to be yourself, but life feels so much better when you take this approach!
Get a new hobby – and new friendships might grow
As I said, unfortunately, you can’t expect other people to change! Don’t let anyone stop you from doing things you want to do, or knock you down simply as a way of making themselves feel better. If you are a little more introverted, as I am, you have a very important role in the world, and you need to be yourself! The best thing you can do to protect yourself from your least favourite peers is try to see their silliness for what it is, and immerse yourself in different things and with people who bring out the best in you! I’m not suggesting that everyone you meet in the music world will be on your ‘wavelength’ and in fact you might go on to meet even more annoying people! But the chances are that you will meet some great people too, and have the advantage of a shared interest. Keeping true to yourself is the best thing that you can learn as a teenager. If you live your life, doing things because of other people’s opinions, you will never feel truly happy. Everyone has to fit in with the crowd to a certain extent, in order to fit in with society, and to follow your journey in life you do need some social skills to get you through! Just because you might need some peace and quiet occasionally, doesn’t mean that you can’t be friendly and polite. But what you might also need is the ability to ‘take a break’ from situations, an escape where you are not required to listen to or read social media comments, messages and so on. A slightly delayed response to a message is NOT a bad thing! In fact, it can be a good thing, as you give a more considered reply. It also gives the impression that you might actually have a life outside of social media!
Get over it!
Who’s guilty of over-thinking things? It’s good to think over situations, but when it starts to turn into brooding and stomach-churning, not being able to stop thinking about a conversation or a situation, it’s not good for you. Somehow you need to stop it from ruining your life, and let it go. If you have more interesting things going on in your life, some of these friendship issues can be put into perspective. You literally have less time to spend thinking about them for a start, but also might come to realise that life goes on! It is not the end of the world, if your friend wants to hang out with someone else for a bit, or you have to have an awkward conversation with a friend, because you want to hang out with someone else. Life is full of little challenges, and as much as it feels sooo important at the time, when you look back on a situation, very often you realise that it was not actually a life changing event after all! Building some resilience to the crap that life throws at you from time to time is probably good for us. But I vote for finding other good things to fill our lives with too!
Broaden Your Horizons
So if any of this resonates with you, it might be worth taking up an instrument, taking some singing lessons, or having a go at writing some music yourself.
How music might be good for you:
- “Time-out” from other stresses, and people
- Providing escape, but also providing an outlet for emotions
- Relaxation; When playing it is easy to ‘live in the moment,’ as with Meditation
- Confidence building, as you can see and hear your progress
- Producing recordings and writing pieces of music, songs, lyrics can all provide a sense of achievement and can be a way of connecting with others, or simply conveying emotions through an art form
- Opportunities to meet other people and learn other skills
- Having a hobby makes you more interesting to other people, and gives you a method of entertaining yourself without relying on social media, TV, internet etc. This can be liberating as people have lived happily for centuries without all of this in their lives, and sometimes it can be good to just be yourself without having to give or receive digital information for a while!