For us introverts out there, it’s easy to feel somewhat misunderstood at times. One Google search and you’ll find yourself lost in a sea of stereotypes and misconceptions about what the full picture of what being an introvert really means. Contrary to how it might seem, there’s a lot more to an introvert than someone who’d rather sit alone at a coffee shop than mingle at a party. This image fails to recognize all the unique, valuable qualities that introverts have to share with the world. As an introvert myself, I decided to address some of the misunderstandings about introversion and shed some light on how great it actually is.
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Introversion vs Extroversion
You’ve probably heard introverts defined as people who prefer calm environments over stimulating, social ones. They’re often more reserved, thoughtful, and recharge through alone time. On the opposite side of the spectrum are extroverts; these people often thrive in lively social settings and spend less time inside their own heads. As simplified by Psychologist Carl Jung, the difference between introverts and extroverts lies in how the two types regain energy; introverts need time alone to recharge while extroverts refuel by being with others.
According to Verywellmind.com (reviewed by a board-certified physician), here are a few signs that you might be an introvert:
- feeling drained after being in a social environment
- enjoying alone time and/or relaxing activities after a day full of socializing
- valuing a smaller group of close friends over a large social circle of acquaintances
- being very observant or self-aware
- preferring deep or meaningful conversations over small talk
But it isn’t always black and white.
Not all introverts (myself included) are introverted all the time. For most people, it depends on the situation you’re in; in some scenarios you’ll have introverted tendencies while other scenarios highlight your extroverted side.
In my high school psych class, I once heard my teacher explain it as a “scale”; you can be very introverted, very extroverted, or somewhere in the middle!
You can be an introvert who loves to get together with friends, enjoys loud concerts with large crowds, and have just as much self-confidence as any extrovert! At the end of the day, it all comes down to what you need to recharge your batteries and get back to normal after a long day. Photo Courtesy of Unsplash.com
Stereotypes and Misconceptions.
After first discovering this part of my personality, I was hesitant to share it with others in fear of people assuming that the negative stereotypes about introverts fit me. Nobody likes to feel boxed in, but it’s important to remember that they’re called misconceptions for a reason. Here are some that I’ve learned to be false!
- don’t like socializing.
- are socially awkward.
- aren’t confident.
- are boring.
For me (and, undoubtably, many other fellow introverts out there) none of these reign true. Like anything else, it all differs from person to person. The main rule: don’t fall for the idea that introvert = boring, antisocial loner. According to huffpost.com, Emma Watson, Rosa Parks, and Albert Einstein are all introverts! See? We’re capable of great things.
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Why it’s something to be proud of.
It may have taken me years to accept this part of myself, but I am so grateful for it now. Now, it is one of my favorite parts of my personality because it gives me the ability to do things I probably couldn’t do otherwise.
- Strong friendships. I’m lucky enough to call a couple of amazing girls my best friends for life, and I personally would rather enjoy our tight-knit bond than a wider circle of acquaintances. I might open up to people slowly, but the end result is well worth it in my opinion.
- Creativity. Who knows if I’d have such a huge passion for the arts if it weren’t for being a deep thinker.
- Independence. Having a night in alone is sometimes just as fulfilling as an exciting night out, and I think that’s cool.
- Understanding other introverts. Finding people who function in a similar way is like finding your other half. Plus, you both are down to trade that party invite for a movie night in with some pizza. Score.
At the end of the day, we’re all human. We don’t fit into molds that define us or our limits. Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, you’re capable of anything you set your mind to! Be proud of who you are!