10 Common Misconceptions About Introverts
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Health and Wellness

10 Common Misconceptions About Introverts

We're not actually all that shy and quiet-- we're just careful who we reveal our crazy sides to.

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10 Common Misconceptions About Introverts
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1. We're shy.

I'd like to debunk this one first and foremost because that is the most widely spread myth about introverted people. Many introverts can also be shy, but the two words don't mean the same thing at all. Introvert/extrovert are words that refer to how you react to people and environments, while shy and outgoing refer more to how you actually interact with people. Many introverts, such as myself and most of the ones I know, are actually pretty outgoing-- we just don't always have an easy time revealing it when we meet people for the first time.

2. We're quiet and boring.

Again, this can be true about many introverts, but quiet doesn't mean the same thing as introverted. I'm not quiet at all--around people I'm comfortable with, I talk way too much, and I constantly get told my voice is too loud! Introverts can surprise you and actually be some of the wildest people you'll meet. The majority of my friends and my boyfriend are introverted and they're all the most high-strung people I know. This is because we naturally repress ourselves from acting crazy in front of just anyone--we're so selective about who we express our true selves in front of, that when we find those few people we are comfortable around, the crazy kinda just all comes out.

3. We are reserved and don't like to talk a lot.

Introverts can actually be quite talkative if you rub us the right way. A common trait I've noticed among us is that we detest small talk, but once you get us going on a topic we care about, we can go on for hours. We also love meaningful conversations about life. We simply have a hard time being this sociable around just anyone. We'd rather have a small knit group of close friends than a large circle of acquaintances. I personally have tons of people I call my friends but there is only a handful of them that I'm completely myself around.

4. We're stoic and not very emotionally expressive.

While this is very true for many people I've met, both introverts and extroverts alike, it's the opposite of true when being used to generalize introverts. Since we commonly enjoy discussions about life, many of us are fans of emotional discussions. We also tend to talk about our own emotions a lot. We just have trouble expressing our emotions or reactions in the right way sometimes, which we know is frustrating. Not just for other people, but for us as well. It often leads to us seeming to others like we dislike, or are unsatisfied, with them.

5. We don't enjoy any company.

Please. How would we have any friends if this was true? We don't hate social interactions, they just get difficult for us after a certain amount of time. Maybe for some introverts, it is true that they avoid parties and the like altogether. But usually we really do like being around people, at least for some amount of time. We just can't handle it for a very long while without getting to a certain point where we think we'd much rather be home alone or with only a few other friends. More often than not we feel like we cannot go to said social event alone--we must go with someone we feel comfortable around and can cling to the whole time. And after a party or social outing, we often feel like we need time alone to recharge. These were certainly all true about me at every high school dance I went to--which was every single one of them (and I'm still not sure why, because aside from the senior prom I never had a good time). But not being able to handle a ton of social interaction is a far cry from hating all of it.

6. We don't care.

Introverts may try to appear low-key and carefree, for the sake of others around us. Or we may seem like we don't care enough about a situation. When in reality, most of the time we care way too much. We may smile and nod and say we're having a great time, or just not say anything at all and appear indifferent, but in our heads we will be going over and over every conversation we have, overthinking every word we say to people. We have every potential scenario run through our minds most of the time and overthink every possible outcome. This is another factor into why too much social interaction can take a toll on us.

7. We're angry and/or depressed.

Many people do not seem to understand that wanting time to oneself does not equate to feeling negatively. When introverted people feel like we need alone time, it doesn't mean we're going through a depressive stage or are angry at anyone. This is possibly the most frustrating misconception of introverts because it can get exhausting dealing with people wondering if you're mad at them because there's one day you don't feel like hanging out. If I saw you yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that, then sorry but I'm probably not gonna want to see you today. It's nothing personal.

8. We're always in our own little worlds.

This isn't entirely false, as we do like our own little protective bubbles, but it sort of goes hand in hand with the myth about us not caring. We aren't in our own worlds 24/7. A lot of the time, introverts get mistaken for not really knowing or caring what's going on around them just because they don't always outwardly express what they're thinking. But we're just introspective. Contrary to popular belief, we actually care a lot about what goes on in our environments. Even if we keep to ourselves, we're always observing. Thinking. Reflecting.

9. We act the way we do because we're insecure.

Now of course many introverts absolutely do have insecurities. I certainly do and everyone does-- that's not a limited quality. But why is introversion so often associated with low self-esteem? I can't even recount how many times I've heard something along the lines of "you just gotta have more self-confidence and then you'll be more outgoing!" "maybe you'll become more social if you learn to love yourself more!" Nope. Maybe I already do like myself. And maybe I like myself just the way I am, introverted personality and all. You don't have to necessarily treat introverts like the way we are is a burden. Which leads to my next and final point...

10. We can be "fixed" and turned into extroverts.

Don't think you can try to make an introvert into an extrovert. I repeat, do not try to do this. You will not only fail, but probably face some irritation. Because don't you think we already hear enough about "oh if only you were more social...?" Our personality is not a problem that needs to be fixed. It's just who we are. Stop trying to make the change to extroversion happen.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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