You’re not like everyone else.

You like being alone. You enjoy your own company. You’d rather curl up on the couch and binge-watch an entire season of Stranger Things than go out to that party everyone’s been talking about.

And so what?

So what if you don’t like being in big groups? So what if you don’t enjoy doing things other people claim are supposed to be “fun”? Just because you’re the quiet type who gets more out of your own solitude than constantly interacting with others doesn’t make you a strange person.

There’s actually a name for it. It’s called being an introvert … and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being one.

What if, instead of feeling flawed, you embraced those tendencies as just a bigger picture of who you really are? What if you started to understand how those same tendencies allowed you to be more perceptive, more thoughtful, and more creative? Would you still feel down on yourself then?

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You shouldn’t. Because in reality, those perceived flaws are actually your gifts.

But even with that understanding, being an introvert in an extroverted world can certainly have its challenges. And if you’ve ever struggled to express yourself or find a way to relate those challenges to others, you know exactly how difficult it can be.

Fortunately for you, the hit comic series, Introvert Doodles, might just be the answer you’ve been looking for.

Boasting a following of nearly half a million people on social media, Introvert Doodles has catapulted the trials and triumphs of daily introvert life to Internet fame.

And for good reason.

The sometimes awkward – and always hilarious – comics paint a very relatable picture of what living life as an introvert is all about. And in today’s day and age, having that kind of relatability can make all the difference in the world.

SOS Safety Magazine had the chance to interview artist and creator, Maureen “Marzi” Wilson, about the rise of Introvert Doodles and what her platform means not only as a place for introverts to find comfort and understanding – but also what it means as a medium to promote mental well-being as a whole.

An Interview with Maureen “Marzi” Wilson, the Brain Behind Introvert Doodles

1) How did Introvert Doodles begin?

I started doodling about introversion once I finally realized I was an introvert. It was a way for me to process what I was learning, and identify the introverted traits I now felt free to embrace.

2) How has it evolved since then?

Introvert Doodles began the old-fashioned way, with pen and paper. I switched to full-color digital art several months later.

3) At what point did you realize Introvert Doodles was something people were really connecting with? How did that make you feel and how did that change the way you approached your illustrations?

I originally posted the comics on my DIY Instagram account, @MadeByMarzipan. But when the posts began to get a lot of interaction, I decided to make it a separate page. It was (and still is) surprising to me that so many people have similar feelings and experiences. As the audience has grown, I’ve connected with great people who have helped me make Introvert Doodles more thoughtful and inclusive.

4) Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to yourself when you were first getting started?

Think before you post. While it’s true that you can’t please everyone, it’s a good idea to consider the impact your words might have. Be open to constructive criticism, rather than defensive.

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5) What do you feel is the most important thing to understand about being an introvert and how it relates to depression, anxiety and overall mental health?

I think it’s important for introverts to recognize that they may have different self-care needs. Introverts need alone time and a quiet place to recharge. When they are constantly pushed out of their comfort zone, it can cause stress and fatigue.

6) What are your go-to coping methods for dealing with anxiety?

I do a “check-up” and ask myself what I need, and then follow through. I might need understanding, so I talk to a friend. If I need comfort, I cuddle my dog. If I’m in need peace, I meditate. I’m gentle with myself and take things slowly.

7) If a close friend asked you how they should cope with social anxiety, what advice would you give them?

You’ll feel more confident and comfortable if you practice strategies for social situations. If someone is talking and you can’t think of a response, try, “that’s interesting, tell me more about that.” Be conscious of your body language. Smile and nod while people talk. It’s also useful to practice methods for disengaging from a conversation without sounding rude. Something as simple as, “I’m going to refill my drink, it’s been great catching up with you,” works just fine. These gestures will encourage others to be friendlier and that can help to put you more at ease.

8) For young introverts in high school/college still trying to find their place in the world and how they relate to it, what do you feel is the most important thing for them to know/understand?

Don’t try to fight your temperament. If partying every weekend leaves you feeling exhausted and irritable, choose to do something else. If you feel stifled by clingy friends or overbearing roommates, set healthy boundaries. If you need alone time, don’t feel guilty for secluding yourself for a bit. Work with your personality, instead of against it.

9) Do you have any projects/news/developments people should be looking out for? And where can people connect with you if they want to learn more?

I’m currently writing a book about life with anxiety, with a tentative release date of next spring. You can find me on Instagram and Facebook (@introvertdoodles).