How many times have you had to endure skeptical looks after telling someone you’re an introvert? The moment this information leaves your lips, everyone turns into an expert with advice on how to behave and live your life. Best case scenario, you’ll end up nodding your head in an effort to avoid unnecessary arguments and you’ll change the topic as fast as possible.
The only way to put a stop to this unnecessary stigmatization is to give some real insight into the world of introverts and help others understand our state of mind.
I’ve made a list of the most common fallacies I’ve heard over the years so we can dissect them one by one. Let’s get started.
1 Introverts hate being around people
No one enjoys being completely separated from the rest of the world. While it’s true that socializing is an energy-draining experience for introverts, we certainly don’t hate people by default (only those that really deserve it).
For me, personally, it’s all about finding the right balance. I charge my batteries when I’m alone – writing a story, playing a video game, or just watching a movie. However, I do enjoy an immersive one-on-one session with that special someone. If a person understands your needs and doesn’t try to overwhelm you, it can be as thrilling an experience as any.
2 Introverts don’t like going outside
This is another common misconception. Some people don’t seem to understand the difference between an introvert and a hermit. They probably imagine a loner, locked inside who gets food delivered through a window zipline. It’s rarely that dramatic.
I know at least a couple of introverts who are outdoor enthusiasts – they love spending most of their free time reconnecting with nature. Even those who are a bit more on the reclusive side still function normally on an everyday basis. You don’t have to socialize to be active.
People will often mistake introvertness for shyness, especially at a young age. I remember having such a hard time explaining to people around me that I just enjoy quiet time alone. It is not a phase where I’m secretly yearning for group hangouts but don’t have the courage to act upon it. My introverted nature is not something I can or should overcome.
I can understand why people would feel that way. I would often get lost in my thoughts or just zone out of a conversation when it becomes too much. Nowadays, I don’t really have a problem breaking the ice or starting a random conversation if I want to make a contact. The fact that I don’t always want to talk doesn’t make me shy.
While no one actually said this to my face, I’ve heard a couple of similar comments from people who didn’t realize I was one of them. The problem with this prejudice (or any prejudice really) is that it’s based on superficial understanding of the human mind. At the most basic level, a person that is often silent and contemplative might seem boring or dull. However, there is often a lot more going on under the surface.
I understand I might be subjective but, for me, getting to know an extrovert will also be worth the extra effort. Pretty much every introvert I know is an interesting, well-rounded person that has a lot to offer to the world. Whether it’s an unorthodox view of the world, an undeniable talent for the arts, or an impeccable sense of humor – you never know what to expect.
I can probably recall at least a dozen times when people asked me if I was okay simply because I was enjoying some alone time. It would seem that occasional solitude is something of a sin in today’s world and a clear sign that there’s something wrong. It’s time we put a stop to this thinking. Just because we need a break from the overwhelming world now and again, doesn’t mean we’re sad, depressed, or in dire need of help.
In fact, I’d argue that the rest of the world has something to learn from us. Taking a breather to collect your thoughts helps you get to know yourself better. A person who understands their own desires, needs, and qualities is a much more accomplished individual.
Because of their quiet, introspective nature, introverts are often seen as socially awkward and, consequently, nerdy. While this may be true for some of us, it’s hardly a rule. Introverts usually have a range of interests, both the ones that can be considered “cool” and “uncool.” They are passionate readers, photography enthusiasts, video game lovers, online betting pros, exceptional cooks, or world-travellers. The list is endless and often much more extensive than what you see with extroverts.
That being said, the term “nerd” is often used for someone whose hobbies people don’t understand. If anything, introverts should wear it as a badge of honor because it shows just how diverse their interests are.
7 Introverts just need to get over it
Every now and then you’ll come across a person who thinks he or she knows best. You’ll get random life guidance even though you’ve never asked for it and you’ll hear the frequent statement – “you’ll get over it.”
The main point people need to learn is that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with us. It’s not a phase. It’s not something that should be fixed. It is simply a way of life. Imagine if everyone were the same. Life as such would be intolerable. Beauty is in our diversity.
Be Proud of Your Introvertness
There is only so much you can do by preaching to others about your introvertedness. Those who want to accept it, will do so. Those who don’t won’t be persuaded by thousands of in-depth articles. The only thing you need to do is stay true to yourself and learn to appreciate your uniqueness. Everything else will fall into place.