Enabling introverted behavior needs to stop

Brianna Carmack, Print Editor-in-Chief

If I had a dime for every time I heard someone use the phrase “I’m an introvert” to get out of something, I’d probably be on a yacht relaxing off the coast of Florida… after the pandemic, of course.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed that kids my age are maturing and are not as nervous about jumping into a conversation with something to say. I, myself, have gotten better about overcoming that fear of speaking to other people. Although my generation is growing out of that awkward phase, there seems to still be a superfluity of teenagers who won’t even ask a teacher for a pencil in class because they’re nervous about doing so. 

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. People have severe anxiety, and that’s tough to overcome.

The problem is that students are getting away with not participating in classes because they are too shy. People — especially those in younger generations — are enabling this behavior instead of helping them overcome it, ultimately causing problems in that student’s life as they get older and find a career. 

Jobs have agendas and tasks that are compulsory to performing well in that field. During the hiring process, jobs are looking for good communicators with others, especially those they are working with. Good verbal communication skills, teamwork and confidence all play a part in making that final decision on whether someone gets the job. 

The constant normalization of allowing these kids to fly by in life without helping them conquer their anxiety will not help them become good employers in the future. If necessary skills, such as those I’ve mentioned, aren’t practiced, these students will not be able to function well in a career as they get older. 

However, it’s not necessarily their fault all the time. 

Generation Z has been called the “loneliest generation” according to an article on USA Today. I think this is an accurate phrase that sums up Gen Z. Social media is part of that reason, but I think people are trying too hard to sympathize with introverts instead of helping them overcome their reservedness. 

Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve noticed that many teachers hosting Zoom meetings aren’t requiring that their students unmute themselves or turn their cameras on while in a group discussion. That to me seems like an easy way to get out of something and do nothing productive instead. Of course, there are other circumstances as to why students might keep their cameras off and mics muted. But, a lot of the time, it’s because they are too shy and nothing is done to help fix that.

This is not an article against introverts, but more towards anyone who thinks it’s okay that it’s acceptable for people to not even try curing their anxiety when it comes to talking to people. We should be encouraging those to come out of their shell and show their true potential. This will help them have less to worry about and resultantly they will perform better in their future careers.