• Poll badge

This Quote About Self-Isolation Is Going Viral On TikTok, And It's Created An Interesting Debate

Me, watching people fight over this: πŸ‘πŸ‘„πŸ‘

Correction: Brianna Wiest, the author of the book discussed in this article, has reached out to BuzzFeed for clarification on the quote from her book used in the TikTok discussion below. "The passage in question is not about introversion. It’s about self-isolating due to not feeling comfortable with yourself, which, technically, both extroverts and introverts can do...Introversion was not mentioned in the book, it was a word used as a hook for this video," she said.

As an extrovert, I obtain my energy and general ~ feel-good ~ vibes from social interactions with other people. If I spend too much time alone, I feel depleted.

Introverts, on the other hand, are majorly reliant on their alone time. It helps them recharge, and unlike extroverts, too much socializing can leave them feeling drained.

Both of these personality types are valid, and the world would be a lot less balanced if everyone had the same tendencies. But I recently saw a TikTok that made me β€” and apparently a lot of other people β€” think deeper about introversion.

TikTok user @my_so_called_mind posted a quote from Brianna Wiest's book The Mountain Is You: Transforming Self-Sabotage Into Self-Mastery. The quote reads, "Alternatively, needing solitude too often usually means there is a discrepancy between who you pretend to be and who you actually are. When you show up to your life more authentically, it becomes easier to have people around you, as it requires less effort."

Many introverts in the comments took this video as a personal dig.

one person said "introversion is not a problem and does not need to be fixed" hand emoji and another said "i love being alone"

They felt as though it insinuated there was something wrong with them, and they responded by emphasizing their contentment with being an introvert.

I was interested in hearing more about the creator's thoughts on the topic, as well as the reaction to the video, so I reached out to Will Prospering β€” the man behind the @my_so_called_mind account. Will is a writer and video producer from Vancouver, Canada, with a Bachelor of Education and Diploma of Professional Counseling.

"I started the account six months ago, after seeing how much my friends and loved ones were struggling through the pandemic," Will told BuzzFeed. "I’ve always been a big believer in self-healing books, and I knew firsthand how powerful they could be in helping us overcome issues with anxiety, panic attacks, and depression (all of which I have struggled with at various points in my life), so I figured if they could help me and the people in my life live a calmer, more present life, there would likely be others out there who might benefit from them as well."

When asked why he posted the quote about introversion, Will said, "As an introvert myself, the idea that overdoing my identification with the label could easily lead to some overtly negative places and potentially be largely an unidentified trauma-response masquerading as a personality trait β€” that really resonated with me and lined up with much of the introspection I had been doing at that time."

Will also detailed the context of the quote within the book. "Brianna Wiest does a really great job of outlining the philosophical dangers of living an inauthentic life," he said. And when it comes to his own understanding of the quote, he explained, "All I can speak to are my own experiences, but within those I have absolutely no doubt that β€” during my darkest days β€” many aspects that I labeled as introversion were at the very least equally related to social anxiety, self-consciousness, and a general feeling of unhappiness within myself."

I also asked Will about his reaction to the negative feedback on his video from self-identified introverts. "At first this was pretty shocking to me, as I’d never really had a negative response to anything I’d posted β€” definitely not at this level β€” but it started to make more sense once I realized that people were interpreting the quote as being 'anti-introvert.' However, the vast majority of negative comments seemed to miss the two key words in the passage, which were 'too often.' I don’t think anyone was saying there’s anything wrong with being more heavily introverted than extroverted. As an introvert myself I certainly wasn’t β€” only that when taken too far the lines between 'introverted' and 'exhausted from inauthenticity' could quickly become blurred," he said.

Will's closing thoughts were as follows: "I think the more important lesson here (at least for me) than whether we should be more or less introverted, is that without deeply honest self-reflection we will always be at risk of misinterpreting our trauma responses as being ingrained parts of who we are, which obviously could have highly negative ramifications."

So, gang, what are your thoughts? Could being an introvert mean there may be a "discrepancy between who you pretend to be and who you actually are?" How do you take it? Let us know in the comments below!