The daily life of an introvert is challenging enough. But being an introverted woman in an extrovert-favoring society presents a unique set of challenges unknown to others.
Here we aren’t just talking about misconceptions about an introvert, which are aplenty, add to that misconceptions about how a woman should carry herself, how she’s supposed to talk, smile, and behave. These norms can make us introverted women feel like we are failing to meet certain feminity standards. To say that it’s frustrating would be an understatement.
If you wish to know the extent of what we’re dealing with, keep reading.
6 Unique Challenges Of Being An Introverted Woman
1. Living in a society where talkative women are the norm.
If you don’t talk-talk-talk, there’s something wrong with you. Women should be chatty, easy to talk to, and jolly. It’s sad, but these are the qualities our society believes “normal” women should possess.
Silent women are perceived as cold, stuck-up, and weirdly quiet. When I’m silent, often I’ve been questioned, “Why are you in a bad mood?”, or “Why are you so shy?” How do I explain that I just don’t talk much! And that’s NORMAL.
Quiet men pass off as stoic and reserved. They aren’t judged. We often hear things like “my dad keeps to himself but my mom talks a lot”. That’s completely normal. But the opposite scenario, i.e., a reserved mom and a talkative dad, is also normal!
Introverted women only talk when they have something important to say; they aren’t good with small talk. They are naturally more inhibited in front of strangers. We wish we didn’t have to face so much questioning because of that.
2. Fitting in a culture where chatty women are considered to be more attractive
An attractive woman is defined as one who’s outgoing, talkative, and knows the art of flirting and bantering. Women having these qualities are perceived to be self-confident and gregarious, and hence more attractive. Agreed, extroverted women can chit-chat, flirt and giggle more easily, and this spontaneity can win them brownie points in their dating life.
But an introverted woman is equally attractive. Or more, I would say. She might talk less, but she makes solid, logical arguments and knows what she’s talking about. There’s a charm in quietness, but too often that’s overshadowed by the blatant appeal of an extroverted woman.
3. Very few introverted female role models in movies and shows.
The extroverted female reigns not only in the real world but also in the reel world. Nearly all the leading female characters of the popular shows that we are hooked on are extroverted females. Take a few examples, Rachel Green (Friends) and Gloria (Modern Family).
It is the norm to make bubbly, funny, and witty extroverted female characters the lead. But they aren’t the only type of character that’s exciting to watch! Sadly, introverted women are few and far between in television shows. And actresses, like Emma Watson, a real-life introverted woman, are given completely opposite roles in movies. How is that fair?
On a positive note, there seems to be a higher representation of the introverted woman on TV nowadays. Bella Swan from the Twilight saga comes to my mind. But then again, the movie is far from reality; it’s a fantasy drama full of vampires and werewolves. *Sigh*
4. The world thinks you are shy, antisocial, or have social anxiety.
Whenever people hear that a woman is an introverted personality, they begin forming all sorts of stupid ideas about her.
Firstly, because an introverted woman talks less, she is labeled “shy”. Shyness and introversion aren’t the same things. An introverted woman chooses to speak less or avoids talking at all in certain scenarios. A shy person, on the other hand, wants to speak and interact more but feels inhibited to do so.
Secondly, being introverted isn’t equivalent to being an antisocial person. We don’t hate society, we don’t hate people. It’s just that, unlike an extrovert who feels energized by social interactions, an introverted woman feels drained out and needs some alone time to recharge.
To be clear, introversion and anxiety aren’t the same things. Social anxiety is a mental health condition where a person faces irrational anxiety during daily social interactions and it can be experienced by extroverts and introverts alike.
5. Men believe that you have issues with them.
No, we don’t hate men! No, we don’t want to stay unmarried and alone for the rest of our lives! I mean some of us may want that, but that’s got nothing to do with being an introverted woman.
Just because we don’t flirt, giggle and talk our hearts out, doesn’t mean we dislike men or try to avoid them. On the contrary, an introverted woman is very interested in forming a real and deep connection with someone she likes.
6. Everyone thinks you are anti-fun and just want to be alone.
We enjoy spending time with close friends and family. Having fun is important for us. But yes, it is true that even spending time with family, kids, and best friends can be exhausting for us. So we need to retreat in our own quiet world for a while to decompress.
On a concluding note, remember that you are strong, smart, and responsible. You can overcome all the challenges you face. It’s absolutely possible for an introverted woman to live the life she has envisioned for herself in a loud, noisy world of extroverts.