We’re the creative Dr. Seuss’, the soulful singing Adeles, and the eccentric Salvador Dali. We constitute a great percentage of the world’s best thinkers, philosophers, scientists, and artists. Yet we find ourselves bullied, belittled, and misdiagnosed as being socially inept and threatening.
If one of the highest instincts in mankind is self-preservation, it’s no wonder that many people fear what they don’t understand: the quiet and insular introvert. Below are 15 of the most popular myths about introverts, and why they’re misinformed.
Myth #1 – Introverts are arrogant.
Truth: We’re socially cautious.
It’s true that introverts can come across as being too cold or aloof, but this is because we’re preoccupied with thinking and processing information internally. We also like to keep to ourselves around people who aren’t close to us and take great precaution in uncharted territory. This makes us appear standoffish, for sure, but our silence isn’t snobbish self-aggrandizement. If we don’t interact with you much, it isn’t because we dislike, or think we’re too good for you. It just means that we’re still cautious of you, or simply want to keep to ourselves.
Myth #2 – Introverts are rude – they’re surly and ill-mannered.
Truth: We’re selectively social.
We can be blunt, and appear slightly bored and impatient at times, but this is because small talk disinterests us. We prefer intimate and meaningful conversations. We also become physically drained easily if we’re around too many people for too long. This can make us appear not only rude but avoidant as well, especially if we’ve been invited to parties and social functions that we turn down. This is simply a quirk of our natural temperaments. We rarely intend to be deliberately rude.
Myth #3 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Truth: We’re easily drained.
Many introverts aren’t loners. And even if they were, what’s so wrong with being a loner anyway? The truth is, the majority of introverts don’t like to always be alone. Frequently, we have one or two close friends we like to spend time with, but at certain times and at certain levels. Although we value and thrive in ‘alone time’, we value small doses of social time as well.
Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like to go out (they’re agoraphobic).
Truth: We’re internally stimulated.
Although we like to spend a lot of time indoors, we don’t suffer from a pathological disease. We find our stimulation inside of ourselves with our thoughts and our own hobbies. This means that we don’t need to “go out” all that often, as we already have what we need to thrive. Introverts also value the comfort, safety, and privacy of their own personal environments, which may lead us to stay indoors more than other people. We usually don’t mind going out – but it just isn’t necessary for us.
Myth #5 – Introverts have no friends – they’re losers.
Truth: We’re intimately selective.
It’s true, we struggle to make friends in many cases. But this is because we pick selectively people who we think would make worthy long-term companions. Many introverts have one or two friends to confide in, but the fact that we take a while to open up to people means that it’s difficult at first for us to make friends. This is why many introverted children and teenagers find themselves friendless in school. It doesn’t mean they exclusively like to always be alone and without any companions.
Myth #6 – Introverts are depressive people.
Truth: We’re quietly complacent.
Just like depressive people, introverts can come across as being quiet and detached. The essential difference between depressed people and introversion is that introverts are complacent in their quietness, whereas the depressive is dissatisfied in their quietness. There is such a thing as a depressed introvert, but the majority of introverts are quietly content in their world. They aren’t in constant conflict with themselves and the universe, although they do occasionally face issues, they aren’t trapped in them, as depressive people are.