Decoding “Introvert”

Decoding "Introvert"


In a world where the main pattern is to make way in favour of extroversion, both in the professional field and in personal life, the contrast “introversion vs. extroversion” as sides of the human personality ends up, in fact, as one more form of discrimination rarely spoken of. So, if extroversion is praised as strength, introversion must be a weakness.

What really applies, however, is that they are simply two sides of the same coin. One interesting approach on this comes, for example, from the famous MBTI personality test which is based on Carl Jung’s theories on the topic and pinpoints eight types of introvert personalities (INTJ, INTP, ISTJ, ISTP, ISFJ, ISFP, INFP and INFJ). Undoubtedly, specific, key events in a person’s life contribute in him learning to turn to the outside world or the inner world when seeking balance; but this does not justify any idealization of one tendency or demonization of the other. Moreover, none of them should feed the “ego”, which can plant obstacles in the path of self-knowledge.

So, if we tried to “decipher” what is actually the case behind the three most common prejudices about introverted people, we could conclude the following:

Prejudice no.1: Introverts prefer solitude and are antisocial

Truth: They often seek for a lot of alone-time, because they love their friends and family deeply but know they can show it genuinely and wholly only after they have recharged their drained, empathetic “battery” through alone-time – for as long as necessary. This is the reason why, for example, they might often avoid talking on the phone and prefer texting as a means of communication. People with extroverted tendencies “fill their batteries” precisely through e.g. social gatherings, something which after an extended period of time can deplete an introvert.

Prejudice no.2: Introverts look down on making new and/or many acquaintances

Truth: They prefer one-on-one conversations or small gatherings, as they have learned – perhaps because they were also once betrayed or deeply disappointed – that meaningful connection between people is a matter of quality rather than quantity. Being often victims of social marginalization or even bullying, they end up appreciating and truly loving those who not only do not dislike them because of their introversion but accept them exactly for it.

Prejudice no.3: Introverts are shy and lack in verbal skills

Truth: They prefer writing as a means of expression and not on the grounds that they cannot converse – in fact, quite the opposite. An introvert can often be considered an excellent interlocutor, as he has honed his skill of being an equally good listener. Sometimes introverts may need time to think before they speak, because they want to present their ideas / thoughts / answers in an orderly manner and in a way that won’t hurt anyone’s feelings.

If all the above read “weakness”, then having it can only be a reason to be happy. It is not just “okay” to be an introvert; it is a right.

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