An Open Letter to all Introverts: It’s Okay to Say No

Words by Mara Karniella Sugue

Back in elementary, I was never able to get a perfect conduct score. I always got a low grade in sociability. For the other scores, like punctuality or neatness, I was alright. But it was always difficult for me to make friends or to approach others. I was never the person who said “hi” first or the kid who was very bubbly.

Over time, I figured out it was because I was an introvert. As much as I love my friends and hanging out with the people around me, it all becomes too draining at times. At the end of the week, a night out of drinking isn’t my favorite way to unwind. Sometimes, a relaxing end-of-day shower plus a good movie is all I need.

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Even until now, I have those times wherein I need to stay with myself and be alone. Especially if I’ve had to deal with a lot people throughout the week. It hasn’t changed as I got older; I just got more aware of the fact that I’m an introvert.

However, that’s where it gets tough. When I say no to plans with friends, I feel guilty especially if they’re people I haven’t seen in a while. It’s hard to say no because you’d feel like they think bad of you. But I’m here to say that it’s okay to say no. Self-care needs to come first. And if you’re an introvert like me, that sometimes means that you need to be alone for quite some time.

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Being an introvert shouldn’t be a bad thing. The overly-romanticized idea of being an introvert is not what it’s supposed to look like. It shouldn’t be the one making you feel scared to say no at times. For more, knowing that you’re an introvert should make you feel that you know yourself even more. So don’t be afraid to say no.