Debunking Popular Myths Surrounding Introverts

March 31, 2017



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Open your eyes and observe diverse human interactions. Notice how many people make countless assumptions about introverts. I have to be honest with you. Most of these assumptions are unpleasant and negative. Introverts are portrayed by the media as aloof, snob, weird, or odd individuals. They carry these assumptions without justification. I, for one, am tired of this narrow-minded way of thinking. 

In behalf of my fellow introverts, here is a PSA. May it shed a glistening light on the subject at hand.

MYTH #1: INTROVERTS DO NOT LIKE OTHER PEOPLE.

There is an abundance of stereotypes posed on introverts. For starters, they are perceived to be socially anxious and judgmental. This may sound shocking to you, but introverts like other people. They simply favor the quality over the quantity of relationships. Introverts prefer cultivating a small group of trusted friends rather than exploring the possibilities of having a larger network of acquaintances. 

Picture a company Christmas party where all employees are mandated to come. You will most likely catch an introvert from the sidelines. The extroverted boss may interpret this as not wanting to join in the fun, but observation is enjoyable for an introvert. Some people may misinterpret the act of observation as the act of judgment. 

MYTH #2: INTROVERTS ARE NOT CAPABLE OF MAKING FRIENDS.

Please do not think that introverts are incapable of making friends. They simply find it challenging as it takes time for them to open up. Introverts select friends based on the likelihood that they would make worthy companions in the long run. They usually confide in one or two people intimately. 

Interestingly, our brains might have something to do with making new friends. A relatively new study suggests that human faces seem to hold more meaning for extroverted individuals than for their introverted counterparts. More so, the brains of the introverts did not seem to distinguish between the human faces and the inanimate objects. 

MYTH #3: INTROVERTS ARE ALL SHY.

Perhaps the most common misconception that the majority holds against the introverts is that they are innately shy. Contrary to that belief, introverts are able to speak in front of a crowd. I have this friend who carries superb public speaking skills despite being an introvert. He would balance things out (i.e., balance the energy spent in social situations) by isolating himself in the room after the talk. But, that is besides the point. 

Introverts are generally not shy, because shyness is characterized by being fearful in a social situation. The actions of the introverts are motivated. It depends on how much they need or want to be in distinct interactions. 

MYTH #4: INTROVERTS ARE UNHAPPY OR DEPRESSED.

One of society's unwritten rules is that socially outgoing activities convey happiness. Why else would you post your surprise party on Instagram? Introverts are not less happy. You see, their level of happiness are influenced by different things.

Because introverts have a tendency to be easily stimulated, they look for activities that are "low key". These said activities include having a relaxing massage or scribbling in a calligraphy pad. On the flip-side, extroverts have a high-arousal positive affect. They exude a more highly visible and upbeat happiness.

Think about these! There is nothing wrong with these two dichotomous types of happiness. 
Image Credits: pixabay.com
I shall close this article by sharing the wonderful words written by Susan Cain in her book entitled: "The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking"
“They (introverts) prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family. They listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation. They tend to dislike conflict. Many have a horror of small talk, but enjoy deep discussions.” 
Seek to understand the true nature of an introvert!

Sources: 1, 2, & 3

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