Why do introverts face so many misconceptions and often feel misunderstood?– The answer to this question lies in our society’s system. Since childhood we are made to believe that the child who answers many questions or participates actively in group activities is the ideal student. When we grow up same things happen at work place. Even at social gatherings cracking jokes, talking a lot and showing up at every party is considered ideal social behavior.
What about the ones who sit quietly, observe and internalize everything. They find their creative flow not in groups but when left alone. They are not bored or annoyed at a party but quietly enjoy observing everything around them. Parents, teachers and everyone around us want us to be more outgoing and social. What most people don’t understand is that introversion is just a personality type which does not need to be changed or corrected.
People need to understand the following misconceptions about introverts to make them feel comfortable and understood.
1. Introverts don’t like talking.
It’s true that introverts are not very talkative but that’s not because they are shy or disinterested. Its because they don’t know how to talk for the sake of it. They don’t understand small talk about traffic or weather or 10 different things. Engage them in a topic they like and they will instantly become the most talkative person.
2. They are anti-social and don’t like people
Anti-social behavior is not linked with introverts or extroverts, it is a completely different condition. Introverts don’t prefer social gatherings because it drains their energy. But they are very much considerate of people’s feelings and will show up just to make someone happy. Their alone time is precious as it recharges and refreshes them.
3. They can’t be leaders
According to Dr. Susan Cain author of the best selling book Quiet, introverts can be better leaders than extroverts because they listen to others and let people come up with new ideas. They also internalize a lot so they have insight and introverted intuition. In fact there are various confident leaders in every field who are introverts. Success does not depend on whether someone is an introvert or an extrovert.
4. Introverts can’t be public speakers
On the contrary introverts can be very good speakers because they are speaking alone on stage without being overshadowed by loud talkative people. They are mostly very well prepared and driven about their filed of interest which makes them confident and thorough.
Shyness and fear of speaking is not linked to a particular personality type its just one of the misconceptions about introverts.
5. Introverts can’t be fun
Yes, if you expect them to have fun every weekend at a party then they just won’t turn up. They need solitude and quiet time to recharge. They can be fun with close friends and family in subtle environment. Large crowds and strangers overwhelm them.
6. They are rude or arrogant
Introverts are not good at expressing their emotions. They keep their feelings to themselves. Their inability to emote goes against them and people perceive them as rude. Whereas they can be very sensitive and thoughful.
7. Introverts are sad or depressed
Most people relate happiness with outgoing behavior and depression is connected with quietness and being withdrawn. Introverts are happy being in their own company, they unwind by reading, writing or watching their favorite show. Staying alone is part of their personality and there’s nothing wrong with it.
8. They need to make an effort to be more outgoing
They don’t have to make an effort to change, pressurizing someone to become what they can’t be inherently will make them under confident(especially in case of kids) and exhausted. Let them be, there’s nothing wrong with them.
9. They can be push-overs
Just because they are quietly listening to what others have to say doesn’t mean they can be swept along. They are creative, intelligent and have strong ideas. They will do their own thing and follow their path without getting involved in unnecessary drama.
10. They are aloof
Introverts are not aloof, they take time to get familiar with new places or environment. Once they feel comfortable they start getting involved. Quiet time is the time needed for them to process things and revive.
Introversion is just a personality trait that doesn’t need to be treated. Sadness, depression, shyness and anti-social behavior can be found in any personality type and is not related to introverts.They are happy, secure and self-sufficient and have their own way of enjoying.
Having said that, extroverts face misconceptions too. The world needs both introverts and extroverts to function together. Its a little bit harder out there for introverts as our system is build for expression and involvement.
Hope this post has cleared some misconceptions about introverts! Do share your experience as an/with an introvert below!