4 Specifics to Celebrate for Introvert Freedom

fireworks_seattle_by_chris_weber

Copyright, Christopher Lee Weber

With the spirit of the July 4th holiday we are celebrating in the USA, it got me wondering, how is an introvert free?

Are we free from something or free to something?

The holiday is all about independence and freedom but the political nature of freedom is a topic for a different blog. As I started researching freedom it was quite evident this is a huge topic. What Price Freedom,,a blog post by Julia Barnickle, states people when asked to identify their top value will mostly say, freedom.

In looking at my own list of top five values while I didn’t find the specific word, it is obvious my values are centered in freedom.

It just might be true that in some way, we all value freedom.


Freedom from stereotypes

This is an empowering position for an introvert in particular because of how many people think of being more introverted. So much gets said or written about us that is what is wrong with us. This is infuriating to me. Most often these are just plain falsehoods! For example, people often say we are shy.

Wake up America! Listen up world.

There are shy extroverts just as there as shy introverts. Introverts make just as good, if not better public speakers than extroverts. The numerous misnomers cannot be counted on one hand.

We’re all independent individuals so let’s stop the stereotypes, often incorrect, and give ourselves a chance.

Freedom to be ourselves

Stop trying to please everyone. It’s impossible anyway. I know this first hand. Trying to do this is exhausting and as someone more introverted, we need to avoid what we can to reserve and preserve our energy.

Stop comparing yourself to others. I often say in comparing ourselves to others, someone always either comes up short or comes up on top.

While it’s natural to compare, it’s counter-productive.

If you can’t let go of comparing then at least, only compare yourself to yourself: something like, where are you in terms of your goals and aspirations this year compared to last year?

Freedom from worry

So many of us worry. This has little to do with type preferences although it could be because we are in our head so much that the more introverted worry more.

Let’s remember to live in the present. What’s that expression, the past is gone, the future isn’t here and all we have is the present.

If you find yourself worrying in the present, refocus. First, pay attention to your breath. Focus on that as if it is the only thing you know for certain, because it is!

Then refocus to something that makes you feel happy, loved, and peaceful or some other positive emotion. What I find when I do this is that the worry, well, it just dissipates.

The next two freedoms can be helpful to any of us, regardless more introvert or extrovert.

Freedom to say no say_no

We often cause ourselves a lot of stress when we feel obligated to say yes to everyone all the time. We feel as though saying “no” is rude. But we all have a limited number of hours in the day and we can’t do everything we’re asked.

Try offering alternative solutions, or even just saying you can’t do it right now. Yes, it’s direct but you probably feel worse saying it than the recipient feels hearing it (as long as you say it nicely!)

Instead just be kind and loving first, to yourself, and then, to others. If someone has issues, that is their problem.

Saying no may be more important today in the information overload era. When we try to take in more than our brain can process, we can have a frazzled brain and loss of energy.

Some ways to reduce information overload in your life include: subscribing to fewer magazines/ blogs (but keep your subscription to mine!), checking emails fewer times a day, going tech-free on certain days, not multi-tasking, and setting time limits for casual reading/ internet browsing.

Maybe freedom is an illusion. My research came up with this though several times. There may be truth in the illusion concept in looking back at this preliminary list of possible elements of freedom.

At least these specific freedoms, can be in our mind to a large degree.

This holiday weekend, even if you don’t celebrate it, consider how much you value freedom, then decide what you want to be free from or free to. Start to free yourself.

P.S. My son is becoming quite the photographer. He took this fireworks picture last year.

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Comments

  1. I love this post Pat, -freedom to say no, I’m trying to really put into place now with my emails too. Unsubscribe, or at least delete without reading, except for the important ones. Why spend my time that way? Worry is a big one too, and much harder to conquer, even though I know the logic.And the freedom to be ourselves is probably the most important one if I had to pick. So many people live a lie, especially in the gay community – & I understand people who feel they cant come out at work for example, but really it’s liberating for everyone to have people accept you for who you are. Hope it’s a good independence weekend for you Pat.
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  2. Your son did a great job on the fireworks photo. I liked your examples of freedom. Great post and it made me think. I would like to add another which is freedom of thoughts, Freedom is the opprotunity to own your own destiny of course it is within reason. I feel we are so blessed because whether we realize it or not we do have a lot of freedoms that are not controlled by others or government such ourselves.
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  3. Freedom to say ‘no’. That one is difficult for me. It is usually not received well when I do say it. Big sigh…
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  4. That was a great fireworks photo. They aren’t easy to get for sure.

    I love your examples of freedom. For me the hardest part is learning I can’t do it all, to give myself the freedom to just let it all go sometimes.

    For me freedom offers the opportunity to find our own way. We really are so blessed to have the freedoms we do that are not controlled by others. Happy 4th weekend my friend. :-)
    Susan Cooper recently posted…Homemade Graham Crackers: #RecipeMy Profile

  5. Great article, Pat, and it applies to extroverts as well, all of it:-) Millions of extroverts worry, for instance. Actually I should most likely have written billions.

    As for freedom, we have that apart from when it comes to our obligations, in numerous ways, to the authorities. They keep track on us for taxes and all kinds of other reasons. Have to say you Americans in a way are in the worst situation because you have to pay taxes in the US regardless of where in the world you reside. In other countries that’s not the case.
    Catarina recently posted…Public relations – how to make your business well knownMy Profile

  6. Pat — living in freedom is dependent on satisfying the most basic human need — to feel safe. That applies to all of us not just those who are at risk in wars in foreign lands. We can have food and shelter but if we don’t feel safe we aren’t free. Just check the Internet for the stories about the importance of feeling safe.
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  7. As my mother’s family back in Russia had so few freedoms, I can list many of those that I have, such as the freedom to vote and the freedom to open my mouth and say something stupid. Some relatives back in the 19th century were under threat of being drafted into the Czar’s army, and a miserable existence was that. We certainly have freedom from that!

    Love your son’s photo. Be proud of him! And glad we have the freedom to share.
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  8. This may be my favorite post so far Patricia…and I love them all, by the way. Freedom to be ourselves…freedom to be me and not the person that people expect me to be… and freedom to say no…unless a friend is really in need. That makes me breathe easier…and I am so grateful to be free in so many ways. And that is one helluva photo! Happy Independence Day my friend. You are a great example….
    Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie) recently posted…Freedom… Where’s The Justice?My Profile

  9. Hi Patricia – sometimes watching the news I just have the greatest sense of gratitude that we are able to live the way we do with so many freedoms, in Canada as well as the USA. Not everyone is that fortunate and I think we should treasure ours. Celebrating days like your Independence Day and our Canada Day help us reflect and appreciate what we have.
    Lenie
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  10. Hi Leora. In one way there seems to be a hierarchy of freedoms ,starting with freedom of thought then basic physical liberty, freedom from physical oppression, freedom from hunger, poverty, disease, freedom of choice and so forth. In another way it seems to be circular, with freedom of thought a recurring challenge at all stages as we see attempts to impose religious and political orthodoxy on societies at every stage of their development.
    Paul Graham recently posted…Monday Matters:Up And DownMy Profile

  11. The best part is that the freedoms that you discussed so well are up to the individual. We can make decisions to be free in those ways and even if it takes awhile to attain the ability to say no, we can work toward it. That’s one freedom I’ve made progress with the last couple of years. Freedom from worry is tougher. Especially in the middle of the night. I get up, go to my computer, and change the subject.
    Beth Niebuhr recently posted…How to Improve Your WritingMy Profile

    • Patricia Weber
      Twitter:
      says:

      Freedom to be an individual. Awesome observation Beth. And for sure, some freedoms, we do work up to. That one to say no seems to be quite difficult for many of us.

  12. I think one of the greatest gifts from traveling the world has been the appreciation of freedom. Too often you see examples where freedom is lacking and it is disturbing at a gut level. As you point out Leora we are very fortunate to be free to say and do anything, we are free to chose to worry or not, we are free to go where-ever we want, we can say No; and that’s a big one. We are fortunate to have our freedom.
    Tim recently posted…Happiness Sold HereMy Profile

  13. Hi Patricia,
    This is a great post! I can imagine many introverts breathing a sigh of relief after reading this post.
    I also imagine what a better world it would be if people eliminated stereotypes from their limited thinking. To me, freedom is simply being who you are, warts and all. No excuses. No apologies.

    Kind Regards,
    Bill
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  14. Hi Pat; what a beautiful explanation of freedom especially as how it applies to introverts. I agree with what you say about introverted public speakers. Some of us can get up on a stage when we need to and give a performance similar to athletes who are only monsters on the field. And you are so right saying no to others is saying yes to yourself. you have to love yourself and take action to keep your energy level up by not automatically agreeing to things you aren’t truly willing to do. thanks for clearing this up and take care, Max
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  15. I am an outgoing, will-talk-to-anybody kind of introvert. So thank you for clarifying the “shy” business. What being an introvert means to me is that I re-energize myself by being alone and quiet. If I did not have alone time everyday, I’d fall apart. Extraverts are the opposite in that they thrive on association with others. That’s how they get their batteries recharged. Just how it seems to me anyway.

    Not being a slave to poverty and hunger is part of my definition of freedom. Being able to breathe without fear, associate with anyone I want and express myself in word and speech are enormous aspects of freedom. Travel helps me open my eyes and cherish with gratitude being a Canadian.

    This was a great post for July 1 and July 4th! Thank you, Patricia.
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  16. Nice post and kudos to your son for the great photo! It’s amazing what a technology free day can do. I can’t give up my camera though ;) That’s what usually gets me out in nature and away from my laptop.

  17. I’m really working on freedom to live in the present. The holiday weekend brought some family property issues to the surface that I would love to be free from as well, and even though I don’t relish the role, at least I’m stepping up and trying to come to an equitable solution that suits the others involved. So much worry really can bog a person down, and introverts are great at self-reflection to the point it can become a hindrance. Hope your Fourth was good, and tell your son his photo is quite lovely.
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  18. This is a thought provoking post Pat. I have seen as well the irony of freedom within my own African setting where people celebrate being free but cannot afford a shelter, a meal or health costs, bare basics. Free to die? or free to live decently?
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  19. It is funny that the biggest lack of freedom, is not imposed by someone else, we impost it onto ourselves.
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  20. I’m with Catarina – definitely an extrovert but I have the same worries, if not more sometimes, than introverts! Freedom to be me, say what I think, change my mind, make a major decision without the worry of a backlash or punishment. Freedom to walk away from a situation or relationship that does not serve me anymore. Free to look inside of me and unleash the power of being a strong woman. That’s what freedom means to me. Enjoyed your post tremendously.
    Laurie Hurley recently posted…If Content is King, Consistency is QueenMy Profile

  21. So well said and you don’t need to be an introvert to appreciate the freedoms you listed. I particularly like the idea of having the freedom to be yourself. It is impossible to please to please everyone and even if you could, it wouldn’t buy you any happiness.

    Your son is an EXCELLENT photographer, great photo!
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  22. I have worked really hard to deal with things in my past. Now I am to a point where I feel like I live in the present. The past will try and creep back up at times but I refuse t let it. Comparing yourself to someone else will just drive you crazy. Still working on the freedom to say NO
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  23. Patricia, to me freedom is having the ability to do what I want, when I want. It’s tough to attain all of the time, though! But enjoyable when it is. :)
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  24. I love the freedom to say no and looking at that a little further the freedom to choose.
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  25. I would say it is freedom to make your own choices. I can actually say no to things I don’t want to do. This never dawned on me as I am people pleaser learning how to unlearn this behavior and set healthy boundaries. I also agree freedom to be yourself to. We are all unique in our own way. Every person one of a kind. So there’s no point in being somebody else. Just be yourself. This was a great article and just what I needed this week. ;)

  26. I really enjoyed this read Patricia. It was a different way of writing about July 4th. As an introvert who is shy, I never really thought about how other introverts may not be, it’s interesting. Tell your son his photography skills are great!
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  27. Mina Joshi
    Twitter:
    says:

    Great article Pat. We are so lucky to be living in a part of the World where we are free and have so many choices. At the same time we have such a bust lifestyle that we have to say say NO to things we don’t want to do.

  28. We do have a lot of freedom in North America. We tend to take it for granted.Learning to say “no” to things we are not interested in doing is one thing we need to teach ourselves. Most of the time, it is hard to say no to peoples requests. But, we have to give ourselves permission and freedom to say it and not not feel guilty about it.
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  29. Freedom is all about limits. Know your limits and you are free. As you said, there is a huge difference between being shy and introverted. That difference makes all the difference!
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  30. I’m not an introvert but those freedoms are all on point. They can be applied to other things as well.
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  31. So timely Pat! I decided to celebrate my personal independence this Fourth of July holiday. And I wrote about it too. I embraced my own freedom TO make choices…healthier choices. And while I am not an introvert, I do love that there is always something I can relate to in your posts. ;)
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  32. Freedom from worry… Just last weekend I got a perfect reminder of that.
    Obviously I’ve learned to let that go. Never does any good.

    Still learning to say no, though…

    Thanks Pat!
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  33. I agree, totally – freedom from worry is huge for many of us writer freelance types. You worry when there are too many deadlines – and then when there aren’t enough! Living in the moment, considering the journey rather than the destination, can help. But it’s not easy. Seems all kinds of freedom are hard-won.
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  34. Dana Buckmir says:

    I connected with the freedom to say no. Like many women, I often feel obligated to do things that I don’t necessarily want to do. By taking on more responsibility I add extra stress and often feel overwhelmed. Saying no is a liberating way for women to put themselves first by valuing their time and energy.

  35. I’m definitely working on Being Myself and part of it has meant saying no to certain things. It’s a difficult and painful process but without mentioning specifics, I’m starting to feel like a real person now. I don’t think there’s some fake thing standing in front of the mirror. It’s liberating!
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