A Guide to Understanding Introverts

I stumbled upon the Top Ten Myths About Introverts, which is reproduced below. I did not expect to find myself relating to every myth. People have frequently told me that I am an “unapproachable” person which is a euphemism that translates into “you look pissed, too serious, reserved and standoffish….Essentially an introvert…which is not a virtue”. Thank you constructive criticism.
In regards to myth #10, I have tried to find a remedy to this supposed sickness and attempted to follow advice like: “opening up to people”, “striking up a conversation” and “trying to relate to others”. I forced myself outside of my weird, wallflowery bubble only to find myself participating in empty and trite conversations in an attempt to be “social” by forging relationships with people I had nothing in common with which often lead to uncomfortable situations. Other times it proved to be advantageous, especially in regards to professional development.
After many years of practice, hard work, and convincing myself that all of these painstaking actions would benefit me, I have made some progress in seeming more “approachable”, less introverted, and more extroverted, but I still consider myself an introvert. No cure exists; I am a quiet, pensive, observant, loner at heart. These happen to be some of my outward traits, however close friends will tell you otherwise.
Here are some myths about those seemingly awkward and lonesome people you all may know and some helpful hints as to why they are introverts along with ways to interact with them. Enjoy.

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.
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.

One comment

  • Yo me siento introvertido y me identifiqué con la frase “Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say.” Muchas veces no veo cual es el punto de intentar ser mas sociable, si al final me siento incómodo intentándolo y muchos no saben escuchar.

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