There are so many misconceptions about introverts that I think it’s time to put things straight. Generally, people think introverts are shy and meek, easy to offend because of their sensitive nature. There are other cliches about introverts that proliferate on the internet, but being an introvert, or an extrovert, really isn’t as simple as it’s made out to be.
For example, when plans get canceled, the cliched thought is, “Introverts are so relieved they can burrow back into their pit of solitude.” While this is definitely true, especially when you’re dreading the specific encounter, it’s not entirely true. Some introverts like to mentally prepare themselves for what’s to come in an attempt to amp themselves up. Sometimes they’re genuinely excited to hang out, so when cancelation news comes relatively last minute, they can get pretty disappointed like everyone else. Except they also think, “Gah, I wasted all that time and energy mentally prepping myself for this when I could have been at ease knowing I wasn’t going out tonight.”
Another example is that introverts are so sensitive and can’t handle judgment. Please. First of all, everyone is self-conscious to a degree. Second of all, I couldn’t care less about meaningless criticisms. I’d care if people said I was actually a horribly inconsiderate person or something like that, but then I’d genuinely want to become a better person and work on improving that. If they’re small, personal digs and the like, I just brush them off. Actually, many introverts can be quite judgmental themselves, and seeing how some extroverts can get defensive and are always ready for confrontation, sensitivity is, of course, not unique to introverts. Some extroverts might be sensitive, but at least they confront people about it instead of being passive aggressive, you say? I can be up for confrontation sometimes. Besides, some introverts just keep growing a bomb of pent-up anger and resentment then BOOM! It’s scary when it explodes, so watch out!
The third cliche is that introverts are shy. I cannot stress this enough: Introversion does not mean that we are shy. Sometimes, it just means we don’t like to deal with people. I can be shy if I’m not feeling in my comfort zone, but sometimes, I can be quite outgoing. I don’t mind public speaking one bit, for example. I actually enjoy it at times. Yeah, standing before a large crowd of strangers to deliver a speech doesn’t daunt me. Also, many popular actors are actually introverted, but they’re obviously not camera shy.
In the end, not everyone falls neatly into the “extroverted” or “introverted” category. You can probably see from my examples that I might be less introverted than others, but let me tell you, there is no doubt that I am quite the introvert (for me: don’t invite me to parties, I don’t like large groups, I need my alone time, I can’t stay out for long cause that drains my energy, etc.). And there are definitely a good number of introverts who fall into some of the stereotypes, like being shy or passive aggressive, but it’s not at the fault of being introverted. While I love considering people as introverted or extroverted, it’s really hard to generalize every person by placing them under a category with such rigid characterizations. In the end, just realize that being introverted simply means someone’s energy is drained quickly by stimulants while being extroverted means someone’s energy is boosted by stimulants – it’s as simple as that, and leave all the other stereotyping alone. There’s good and bad in both introversion and extroversion like with everything else in life! 🙂