For us introverts, it’s easy to feel somewhat misunderstood at times. A single Google search and you’ll find yourself in a sea of stereotypes about what being an introvert really means. As an introvert, it’s sometimes (okay, always) annoying to be stereotyped. There’s a lot more to an introvert than someone who’d rather sit alone at a bookstore than mingle at a party. This image fails to recognize all the unique qualities that introverts have to share with the world. We don’t fit into molds.
So, here are three of the biggest stereotypes about introverts and why they’re not always true.
1. Introverts are shy.
Just because someone’s an introvert doesn’t mean they’re shy. I, an introvert, like talking to people. In large group settings, introverts are typically quieter than their extroverted peers because they don’t love small talk. They tend to like to observe a situation and just because they may not immediately jump into a conversation that does not mean they’re shy. Introverts generally prefer to choose their words carefully and only speak when they feel they have something to say.
2. Introverts have no social skills.
Yes, sometimes it’s hard for them to converse with those they’ve never met before. Just because introverts don’t feel the need to become best friends with every single person they meet doesn’t mean they dislike people. Rather than having a huge circle of friends, introverts tend to have smaller groups of close friends. It’s about the quality of the friendships, not the quantity. We value our alone time but we’re not lonely people. Once you get them on a topic they love, it’s quite hard to get them to stop talking.
3. Introverts are boring.
Everyone’s definition of fun is different. An introvert’s ideal weekend might not make for a super exciting story but they like having fun just as much as the next person. Extroverts might look at the lives of their introverted friends and wonder what the appeal is of staying inside on a Friday night. But introverts are a varied and diverse group of people and they have a vast arrangement of hobbies and passions that make them interesting in their own way.
So the next time you peg someone as either an introvert or an extrovert, remember that no two introverts are the same. Sometimes people can take you by surprise.