It seems that everywhere I turn there is mention of introversion. As an introvert I don’t throw the term around loosely and I don’t like when other do. In particular, I don’t like it when being antisocial, boring, or nastily sarcastic is associated with introversion. I love people and am a generally pleasant person. I love being around people too, but I get my fill of socializing quicker than others. I will admit I won’t seek out heavily populated social events. I much rather attend a symphony, recital, or a play. I tend to choose events I don’t have to play an active roll in. That’s it. If i spend too much time socializing, I’m worn out. My social butterfly wings will quit mid-flight leaving me searching for a quiet, solitary place to land. Before that energy wears out, you would never guess that I am an introvert, but I am and that’s okay.
What is not okay is behaving poorly and then throwing on the introvert cloak. Below is a list of qualities often associated with introverts that drive me crazy.
Introverts don’t like people
Yes we do. I hate this association the most because I love people. I think this has been associated with introvert because we tend to “give out” and retreat a social functions. I understand it can be confusing to see a person jolly and having a wonderful time then turn into someone who can’t get out of the room fast enough. That is because we have used up our energy. We all can turn on the charm and enthusiasm, but it has a limited shelf life. That does not mean we don’t enjoy spending time with people. It just means that time does indeed get spent.
Introverts are snarky
Okay…I can be snarky, but it is not a part of my personality. One thing I can say about most introverts I know is that we are quite witty. If the situation calls for snark, it is best served by us. I think our ability to think through things before opening our mouths give is that extra biting edge when the need for a snarky remark presents itself.
Introverts like to hide in the shadows
This is only partially true. We will go hide in the shadows when our energy reserves wear out, but we do not live there. We enjoy the light as much as anyone else.
Introverts are not great public speakers
I have to speak in public all the time and it does not bother me at all. I actually prefer speaking in front of a large group as opposed to mingling within a large group. Introversion is not a lack of ability to function. We just do things differently.
Introverts do not want friends
We do want friends, just not too many. We usually have a small circle of close friends. I am always looking to make new connections, but constant hanging out and doing lots of things together very often does not appeal to me. My close circle of friends understand that or they are introverts as well. It takes someone who really understands an introvert to be friends with one. I often want to be in the company of my friends without necessarily interacting with them. This is one of the things some of my extroverted friends do not understand. I often hear “Why did you suggest I come over if we weren’t going to do anything?” My response to that is “I just wanted to spend some time with you” , and I do. It doesn’t necessarily mean we have to do something. Introverts are fine with just being.
What are some other misconceptions about introverts that drive you mad?