Monday, February 20, 2012

Myths About Introverts

“I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.” – Henry David Thoreau

I’ve always considered myself an introvert, and I suspect the majority of writers would characterize themselves the same way. How else could we spend countless solitary hours at the computer, spinning tales from our imaginations?

But here’s the problem: we are a misunderstood group of people.

So I’ve compiled a list of myths about introverts to help for the next time someone (an extrovert, most likely) asks WHY you do the things you do.

Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They dislike small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they’re interested in, and they won’t shut up for hours.

Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an introvert. Introverts aren’t necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They 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 don’t like to go out in public.
Baloney. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public for as long. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for introverts.

Myth #4 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They 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 they find exhausting.

Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like people.
Not at all. Introverts intensely value the few friends they have, even if they can count their close friends on one hand. If you’re lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a steadfast ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.

Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with one person at a time.

What’s your experience been? Do you find it difficult to explain to others these things?

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