Is introversion something to be ashamed of or a sign that something is very wrong with us?
Most of my life, I’ve been asking this question to myself. Seeing everyone around me blending in perfectly with whatever situation being thrown at them. It made me think there was something that was not right within myself and had me questioning my own sanity. Introversion is something that can be easily mistaken for “shyness”. Therefore, the approach to said attitude can be incorrectly done. We live in a society where people are commonly labeled and judged if they don’t immediately “fit in” the perceived concept of what is right and acceptable. And this is where another struggle begins. Being an introvert in a world where the lack of empathy and disinterest in helping others prevails makes it a lot harder.
So, here´s a small list of “The Common Misconceptions about Introverts”
1.- Introverts and “Small Talk”
Introverts do not like small talk. We prefer deep, purposeful, and meaningful conversations and enjoy it immensely. Outside of having deep and meaningful conversations, we prefer to be left alone when small talk is the only thing we encounter. We avoid it like the plague. It is a natural thing for extroverts to have the impulse of filling the void left by silence with minor details. Please don’t take this the wrong way. We appreciate the effort, though.
2.- If you constantly want “alone time”, something is wrong with you
It’s a typical Friday or Saturday night and everyone seems to be planning on making the most out of the weekend ahead. But we’d rather spend the night in reading, watching movies, or just enjoying our alone time. And although friends always seem to act in good faith, sometimes it becomes tedious and annoying to be asked over and over again to join them. In some cases, we are practically compelled to give in to said suggestions, ending up with feelings of discomfort and being utterly drained afterwards. This kind of behavior is often associated with depression and can lead to others around you asking uncomfortable and unnecessary questions. Introverts don’t like to be outside partying or hanging around large groups of people. That isn’t to say we’re complete hermits. We do like to go outside sometimes, but only when we take the initiative. Still, we value alone time very much. There is nothing wrong with us. We happen to function better when we have as much time to ourselves as possible. It keeps us sane and helps us cope with living in an extroverted society.
3.- Conveying our feelings to others
This is a very personal situation I’ve been faced with very often throughout my life. Some of us don’t find it very easy to convey our feelings to others. Instead, we’d rather write them out. Writing is our safe haven when we have the need to express our emotions. It’s usually expected for people to express their emotions verbally. Since introverts don’t express emotions as others would expect, we’re often labeled as “cold-hearted” or even “rude” because we’d rather write our emotions on paper. We are not heartless individuals. We’re just careful about who we open up to.
4.- People tend to believe we are hard to please due to our “social selectiveness”
Introverts are often forced into interactions we are not comfortable with. As a result, we take our social interactions in very small doses. As you should know, when introverts are surrounded by large groups of people, our energy reserves drain drastically. And that can lead to us needing to be alone for a whole day or more. In order to avoid that, we pace and limit our social interactions. We take great care in who we interact with and for how long.
5.- The belief that not wanting to meet new people is related with social awkwardness
Most people are thrilled by the thought of meeting new people. Introverts, not so much. Attending parties, weddings, or any kind of event that would represent an opportunity for this kind of scenario to be presented is something that we tend to avoid. Sometimes, our friends don’t understand why we find it so hard to show up at any social event we’re invited to. They just cannot imagine the struggle that comes with this kind of situation that we are often willing to endure for the sake of meeting new people.
6.- Introverts and our addiction to technology
There are times where we are more likely to find comfort in our phones and other technology than the world surrounding us. It is when we are in a public space waiting for someone or in a group where everyone seems to been engaged with a conversation we don’t want to take part in. Our phones provide us with an instant get away that others view as an addiction. Technology, in this case computers and phones, provides us with a chance to live comfortably. We can communicate with people without face-to-face interaction, binge-watch our favorite shows, order food, and other things we could possibly want. However, introverts also love to indulge in activities outside of being attached to all things technology.
7.- You’re seen as uptight when you can’t handle being in a crowded place
Throughout the years, I’ve been faced with this situation multiple times. Being asked to go to a restaurant or a concert when we know beforehand it will be crowded. The thoughts that come along with the anticipation of it leave us in a state of distress. Whenever I requested to go to a more intimate place or order some food and enjoy it in the privacy of my own home, I’ve been called “demanding” and “difficult”. That isn’t the case at all. Introverts cannot handle being in crowded places. It stresses us out and makes us very anxious. We prefer places with few people, a calm atmosphere, and not a lot of noise.
Being an introvert can come with some setbacks. Misconceptions about who we are is one of them. But if we work hard to inform people about what being an introvert means, we can work toward being understood a little bit better.
Edited by Viveca Shearin