Written by Mary Todd Christian. Media by Jack Dawdy.
I’ve always been a fairly reserved person. I enjoy my time alone, and there are very few people (besides my family) with whom I share my personal life. When I was younger, I used to think something was wrong with me because it was difficult for me to strike up a conversation, and I was constantly told that I needed to “come out of my shell.” While I’m not incapable of doing any of these things, it is more difficult for me to initiate things than it is for someone who is extremely outgoing. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to understand that just because I’m naturally a private person, doesn’t mean anything is wrong with me. Even though I’m introverted, I still live a fun and full life! With this in mind, here are some misconceptions people have about introverts.
1. Introverts are Shy
While this can be true, it is not true of all introverted people. Shyness is a behavior, not a distinct personality. It may take us a while to be completely comfortable around new people, (especially if awkward small talk is involved) but when you get us with a group of our friends, we can be talkative and even… rebellious! **GASP**
2. Introverts are Quiet
Tacking on to the previous point, not all introverts are necessarily quiet. Maybe we’re not super talkative in large groups of people, but put us with a small group of close friends and we can easily be the loudest people in the room, especially if you get us laughing. Once we’re comfortable in our environment, we can easily open up.
3. We Don’t Like Being Around People
This is a running joke among introverts, but I promise it’s not (entirely) true. Generally, introverts tend to thrive from having times of extended solitude, but even we can reach our limit. We can’t be recluses forever! After having sufficient “introvert time”, we need social interaction just like everyone else. Getting together with a small group of close friends is always a good time. For the outgoing introvert like Paige Farnworth, being around people is glorious! In her own words, “After a long day with lots of people, I do need some time to recharge. But overall, I enjoy being around people and loving on them!”
4. We’re More Creative
I think many times people assume that because we can be introspective, we somehow herald more creativity than the average person. Some of the most creative people I know are introverts and others are extroverts. Everyone is creative in his or her own right. Just because someone spends more time in solitude, doesn’t necessarily mean they are any more or less intellectual.
5. We’re Stuck-Up
I’ve had people in the past tell me that they thought I was awkward, snobby and stuck-up until they got to know me. While the awkward trait may be true… the other two really stung. I don’t think that I’m better than anyone. I was later told this was because I wasn’t talkative and “shy.” Once again, even though introverts are naturally more reserved, does not mean that they are unfriendly.
Introverts aren’t perfect people by any means. However, these labels and misconceptions are not representative of all introverts. More importantly, they do not define them.