Saturday, May 28, 2011

10 Myths About Introverts

Disclaimer:  I totally stole this from "I'm Clothed Much" blogger, Elaine. But, she stole it from someone else, so I can't feel bad about it. 
Anyway, I've always thought of myself as an introvert, someone who is introspective, needs quiet time, alone time to figure things out and is not really very outgoing.  I was trying to explain this to one of my girls the other day-how I'm shy, but I make an effort to be friendly because I want other people to feel comfortable, which makes me uncomfortable at first, so I usually avoid new groups of people, like other kids' mothers; but, because I make that effort, no one understands that I am shy or uncomfortable. 
 I could especially relate to #'s 2, 3,4, 5, 6 and 9. I often feel that I come across as rude.  When I have something to ask or relate to another person, I often forget the pleasantries such as "Hello".  And I've always found it exhausting to be around people other than my family, except for a few close friends I've had over the years.  After being around a lot of people and noise, I end up staying up late by myself just so I can wind down. Sometimes it takes a long time to get the "noise" out of my head.  Anyone else ever feel that way? In fact, when I'm in a group, I find that I usually block almost everyone out and only concentrate on two or three people at a time.  That is less overwhelming. It probably does come across as rude, because I can't get around to everyone.  Often I won't even make eye contact with the "others".  Maybe I am weird.  But, then, isn't everyone a little weird?

 It's a list compiled by Carl King that he created after reading The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World. I plan to read that book.

Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.

This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.

Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not 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 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 #4 – Introverts don’t like people.

On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.

Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.

Nonsense. 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 #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.

Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.

Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.

Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.

Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.

Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.

Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.

A world without Introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers. That being said, there are still plenty of techniques an Extrovert can learn in order to interact with Introverts. (Yes, I reversed these two terms on purpose to show you how biased our society is.) Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.


Courtney said...

I saw this on different blog yesterday & liked it a lot. I find it exhausting to be around a lot of people other than family, too.

Have you ever taken the Myers Brigg personality test? I'd be interesting to know what you get, just for fun :) Emme & I both got INTJ and Drew got INFJ.

Courtney said...

*Oops, I meant "interested" not "interesting"

Emme said...

Wow, this was very interesting to read. I would never have guessed you are naturally shy! I always love learning new things about you. I'd be interested to see what your results are on that personality test as well. I think it's pretty accurate. My results were more accurate than any other personality test I've taken anyway.

Luvmy9 said...

I took it as soon as I read your comment, Courtney, and I got INFJ, the same as Drew. I've always thought our personalities were similar. He's incredibly shy-I would say he has crippling shyness. I don't get the sense that he cares if others are uncomfortable and so to people he doesn't know comes across as rude or arrogant. I wonder if he knows that, if he cares, and how he'll respond to my saying that. I hope he doesn't feel I'm tearing him down. I'm not. I understand how shyness can keep you from doing a lot of things. Years ago I used to agonize for days sometimes if I had to make a call to someone I didn't know. Years of making mayself do it have made me thicker skinned. That's not even an issue now. But, I still don't like crowds and parties and I don't think I ever will. I always feel my sensitivity to noise and to others' feelings is turned a few notches too high.
I don't know exactly what all of the findings mean, though. There didn't seem to be much explanation. I'd like to know more.

Courtney said...

That's so interesting that you & Drew got the same one. I'm not very surprised though, he has also said that he thinks you have similar personalities. I think Drew's gotten a lot better with his shyness. In high school, I honestly dreaded situations where we'd be around new people or my friends that he didn't know, because he did come off as rude. And you're right, I don't think he cared if other people were uncomfortable. But now we can go to parties and places where he doesn't know anyone and he's very outgoing, social and likeable. Actually, these days I think Drew's the one getting us to go out and be social more often. We're both still introverted people, but it's a huge difference from how he used to be.

P.S. If you Google "INFJ" a bunch of explanation will come up, including famous/historical people who were also INFJ :)

Luvmy9 said...

That's great news about Drew. Dad took the test, too. His was totally different from all of ours. He was a total extavert, barely scored on sensing and feeling and was lower on judging than I. And, get this, his occupational suggestion was not only physician, it was radiologist. Weird! Mine said educator, social worker, counselor, early childhood worker. Wow again since I have a degree in elementary education and a certificate in kindergarten.

Kristin said...

I also loved this post and felt like I was relating to a lot of it, especially being exhausted after small talk encounters with acquaintances.. So I took that test too and I got ISFJ. Introverted Sensing Feeling Judging.. It's interesting to learn about other introverts who you don't realize are introverts too like you, Sis. Boushka! I too agonize over making phone calls or even answering the phone sometimes. My husband is also an introvert that comes off as rude or angry looking to others sometimes when in reality he's just soaking it all in. Actually several people that I met in college told ME that they their first impressions of me was that I was snobby or rude also, when I don't feel like I'm being that way at all. But both of us really dread social gatherings as well unless it's just close family.. It's cool to know we're not the only ones!

Kristin said...

Oh and my husband loved this and felt like he was reading his own biography..So he took the test and got INTJ too! It's weird to think you can just take a quiz and someone has already got you all figured out.

magi said...

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