Yeah, yeah, I know…that’s weird. Like keeping rats for a pet weird.
But it’s not really.
And it certainly wasn’t a lifestyle choice, like, say, painting the walls in my room purple or something.
Some things that introverts are NOT:
- weird (unless we choose to be)
- rude (unless you’re rude first)
- retarded (yes, this one gets used, too)
- mentally ill
- social outcasts
Science has studied this phenomenon for decades, but it’s only in the most recent years that definitive answers have been found regarding introverts and extroverts. There’s also such a classification as ambivert, which contains elements of both intro- and extroversion. Approximately 30% of the world’s population are introverted. The classification of these items are considered personality traits, which can easily be determined through testing. One of the most noted tests is the Briggs/Meyer test. If you’d like to determine where you fall on that scale, you can link here to take the online test.
That means that nearly 70% of the world’s population are extroverts, or fall closer to that designation than others. One of the fallacies about introverts is that we need to “be fixed” by the extroverted population, mainly because we prefer our own company as compared to large groups or parties or concerts. We’d rather watch a movie on DVD at home than brave a crowded movie theater. Libraries are our best friends. In fact, there are many myths about introversion, enough so that there have been a large release of related books on the topic. Below, I’ve included a list regarding those myths about my kind.
Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless we have something to say. We despise small talk. Get an introvert talking about something we’re interested in, and we won’t shut up for days. We’ll probably call you at three in the morning to continue a thought we’d been expounding on previously, too.
Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What we need is a reason to interact. We don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.
Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. We want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which we find exhausting.
Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the friends we have. We can usually count our close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned our respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.
Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. We also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. We take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” We’re typically ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.
Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. We think. A lot. We daydream. We like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But we can also get incredibly lonely if we don’t have anyone to share our discoveries with. We crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.
Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. We don’t tend to follow the crowd. We prefer to be valued for our novel ways of living. We think for ourselves and because of that, often challenge the norm. We don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.
Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to our thoughts and emotions. It’s not that we’re incapable of paying attention to what is going on around us, it’s just that our inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding.
Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, we shut down. Our brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.
Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for our natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.
This list was inspired by the book The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World by Marti Laney.