I thought it would be fun to respond to some common assumptions about introverts. As a lifelong introvert, I’m very happy with the way that I am and I’ve been cultivating my strengths while being aware of the weaknesses I can work on (We’ve all got ’em). Without further ado, here are some common introvert assumptions and my replies to them. Enjoy!
“Introverts are shy.” There is a difference between not talking because you have nothing to say at the moment and not talking because you’re afraid of speaking. While some people do have social anxiety or a shyness about speaking in front of a group, this isn’t synonymous with being an introvert.
“Introverts are hermits.” This one’s pretty extreme and I will say most people know the difference between someone who’s introverted and someone who’s a hermit. That said, some people who are highly social see introversion and hermit-hood as the same. You may go out often, have hobbies, go out on dates, hang out with a friend, etc. but someone says you’re a hermit because you don’t socialize as much as they do. I’d take it with a grain of salt.
“Introverts are antisocial.” ‘Antisocial’ is referring to being anti-society/having no regard for others. This is very different from wanting to spend time alone or have few friends. Introverts simply value having a small circle of closer friends than having a wide circle of friends they’re not as close with. Since they are far happier doing things alone most of the time, this is simply how they are. It might seem strange to someone who always wants to be around other people, but the introvert has no fear of solitude and usually welcomes it.
“You’re not an introvert! I see how you love talking and you can be the life of a party.” Someone who usually enjoys spending time alone can also have the best time with people they connect with or they can be a huge music/sports fan and get lively at a public event. This is very normal behaviour and it’s called balance. No one wants to spend 100% of their time alone nor would they want to spend 100% of their time with other people. Some introverts can open up to a smaller group and they’ll talk non-stop when they feel empowered to talk about what they’re interested in. When it’s all said and done, they’re still going to need some time to recharge after that interaction.
“You just think you’re an introvert. Don’t put yourself in a box.” The thing about personal labels is that they give people a language to identify themselves as how they are. It’s not just in your head or in my head that we’re introverted. I knew I preferred time alone to create since I was a child. Most kids who are introverted know early on there’s something different between who they are and what the school system/their parents/friends want from them. It’s actually freeing to accept the aspects of yourself that are defining of your character. It’s not limiting to recognize that you prefer more time alone than the average person and feel more like yourself when you are allowed time to recharge and unwind after social events. A lot of careers/fields allow introverts to thrive, so it’s better to recognize introversion as a strength rather than a weakness.
“You’ll open up/come out of your shell one day.” There is no shell to crawl out of. In fact, I wander far more than any extrovert I’ve ever met and feel empowered to express myself through writing, blogging, and one on one conversations. This is how I express myself and I feel free and open when I do this in a way that is right for me.
“You don’t seem like an introvert at all!” Some people will be shocked you’re an introvert. Maybe because you’re active on social media, you are a good conversationalist, you go out to shows, or you enjoy chatting with people, etc. Just remember that being an introvert isn’t the same as being a hermit. 😉
“Introverts are boring.” In certain situations, introverts can definitely fly under the radar. In group settings they may not be the first to speak or keep a conversation going – at a party they might observe more than they talk. Regardless, there’s a lot going on in that mind of theirs. Quiet people tend to have loud minds – they may not reveal themselves in a busy, highly social setting, but in a one on one conversation or through writing, you might find they have a lot to say. A lot of introverts are keen wanderers and adventurers. It all depends on what you deem as ‘exciting’.
“Introverts are rude.” I mean, anyone can be rude. It isn’t rude to have boundaries though. It’s never one’s entitlement to talk to someone or hang out with them if the other party doesn’t want to. In a roommate situation, the most introverted person might come across as rude if they’re in their room more often than being in the common areas with everyone else – just realize this is what makes them happier and more comfortable in their living space. Not everyone wants to be around people all the time – as long as they explain this to their roomies politely. It is rude to impose on someone’s space, however.
“Introverts aren’t as driven.” There’s so many examples of successful introverts that this one really surprises me, but some people think being quiet means having no ambition. Introverts often work harder than their extroverted counterparts and get more work done. They may opt to work behind the scenes rather than be in the limelight for projects, but make no mistake – introverts can be very productive and driven.
I hope you enjoyed this post today. 🙂 I’m all about breaking down harmful stereotypes and fighting for the right to be quiet (If you want to be, that is. It’s also cool to be an extrovert or ambivert, too.). ❤ Until next time, I hope you take care and have a great day.