1. We’re shy
Shyness is a fear of social interactions that has nothing to do with introversion. Introverts avoid socializing because it drains our energy. Shy people avoid socializing out of fear. Both introverts and extroverts can be shy.
2. We don’t like people
Introverts like people as much as extroverts do. The difference is that we take a quality over quantity approach to socializing. We prefer intimate gatherings over large parties and one on one conversations over group discussions. We are fiercely loyal to the few people we consider true friends.
3. We have poor social skills
Introverts are quite capable of developing great social skills. In fact, we can be so charming and socially adept that you might mistake us for extroverts. The difference between us and them is we need more time alone to recharge after socializing.
4. We don’t have valuable thoughts and ideas
“There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.” Susan Cain Click to tweet.
Just because I’m quiet, doesn’t mean I have nothing to say. Click to tweet.
The rich interior world of an introvert often stays hidden. We don’t feel the need to verbalize all of our thoughts and ideas as many extroverts do. We might also keep our lips sealed because we find it difficult to express ourselves in verbal conversation. We need time to think before we speak. Many conversations move too swiftly for us to keep up.
5. We always want to be alone
Introverts need more alone time than extroverts. That doesn’t mean we want to be alone all the time. We crave true intimacy with a small and trusted group of loved ones. We are not immune to the torment of loneliness.
6. We are no fun
Introverts tend to feel drained by activities that extroverts get a buzz from. Perhaps big parties aren’t our gig, but we know how to enjoy life nonetheless.
Introverts can travel, have adventures, dance, drink and be merry, but we do so in our own introverted way.
7. We are depressed
Our desire to be alone can be misinterpreted as a sign of depression. When we withdraw into our interior world, it is not necessarily because we are depressed. More likely, we are feeling drained and need to refuel by disconnecting from the outside world. Also, we enjoy strolling though the enchanted lands of our imagination. It’s fun!
8. We are a very small minority
There are a lot more introverts out there than you think. Introverts make up between 25-40% of the population, but we often feel like a minority. The reason you don’t notice us is because we sometimes disguise ourselves as extroverts or purposely slip under the radar.
9. We always prefer to listen
Introverts tend to listen more than we speak. That doesn’t mean we always want to listen. We enjoy talking about our passions, but often need an explicit invitation to do so. When we are feeling particularly drained, silence is more appealing than listening.
10. We don’t mind being interrupted
We do mind! As stated earlier, we put a lot of thought into the few words that we do say, so interruptions are frustrating. We get tired of extroverts interpreting the slightest pause between words as an invitation to cut us off.
Read more about why introverts don’t like being interrupted here.
11. We are rude
Introverts don’t like small talk; we don’t always want to stay until the end of the party; we find social pleasantries cumbersome and exhausting; and we don’t like talking on the phone.
Our distaste for all of the above can lead others to think we are rude. We are not – at least we really don’t mean to be. The truth is, much of our culture’s rules of etiquette were designed by and for extroverts.
After a while introverts become tired of ignoring our innate needs and desires to please others. Consequently, we sometimes choose our own sanity over being polite.
12. We want to be alone because we don’t like you
Extroverts are wrongly offended by our need to be alone. They assume we must be avoiding them because we dislike them. Perhaps. But it’s more likely that we just need some quiet time to refuel. There’s no need to take it personally.
13. We can be cured and become extroverts
Introverts do not need to be ‘fixed’ and turned into extroverts. Click to tweet.
Introverts have a myriad of gifts to offer the world. Yet, people repeatedly underestimate our value and make us feel like there is something wrong with us.
Everyone suffers when introverts are not allowed to embrace their true nature. Click to tweet.
14. We are judgemental
People tend to think we’re silently judging them because we aren’t talking. Not so. We are listening, thinking, reflecting or daydreaming – not judging.
15. We are unemotional
As I mentioned in my post about the challenges of being an introverted female, introverts have greater difficulty faking enthusiasm than extroverts. Combine this with our tendency to feel more inhibited, and we come off as unemotional.
Introverts have feelings too; we just don’t necessarily wear them on our sleeves. We only share our rawest emotions with our most trusted companions.
Good post… keep it up, you’re the cheerleader in my life.
Thanks Margie 🙂
I was sitting here in my quiet place and doing silent fist pumps for every point you made. Especially the one about being interrupted. That’s one of my biggest pet peeves at work. The extroverts in meetings are notorious for this, and worse yet, they seem to repeat everything their introverted colleagues just said and then act like it was their idea simply because they were the loudest. Oh my goodness – great post!
I discovered your blog yesterday and have already read lots of it. I love it! I am the only introvert in my family and it’s hard for them to understand me sometimes. I am also going into high school this year which I am slightly nervous about because I go to a very extrovert oriented school and a lot of your grade is based on class participation, which I have trouble with, and this is where grades start to count. I’m glad I found this website because I don’t know very many other introverts and it’s nice to read your blog 🙂
Thanks for the feedback, Chloe. I’m really happy you can relate to my posts 🙂 Yeah, high school can be tough for introverts, but remember there will be lots of people who feel the same way you do.
Ooooh, number 6! I love that some people think there’s only one standard of what constitutes fun. Fun means different things to different people – if I don’t go to bars and clubs, it’s because those things aren’t fun for me.
“Introverts tend to listen more than we speak. That doesn’t mean we always want to listen.”
Yes! If I can’t make myself heard in a social setting, I’m unlikely to keep going to it.
Re #12, I can see where the misunderstanding would come about, and I’ve worried about giving people the wrong idea sometimes, especially during the busy season for work when I have so little free time and recharging alone has to be first priority. But trust me, you wouldn’t want to be around me if I didn’t make it a priority. I pushed myself into more people time than I could handle a couple of times and turned into a snappy, irritable bitch. You’ll see a much better side of me if I take care of myself and get enough alone time.
Thank you so much for your blogs! I just found them and you’re writing exactly what I’m thinking – but I’ve always thought that I’m somehow strange. You’re right: people think that we’re no fun, just because we like other things than parties and group activities. People pity us when we’re staying home on a saturday evening. I’m so grateful that I’ve read your blog, I’ve been starting to believe that something’s wrong with me… I hope you can reach a lot of introverts who feel misunderstood and change the world in a one more tolerate for introverts!
Thank you Livia 🙂 It’s amazing how many introverts spend years thinking something is wrong with them until that light bulb moment when they realize they are introverted. I’m glad my posts resonated with you.
I don’t think I’ve ever made the connection between being introverted and not visibly emotional before. My mother used to get on me for not smiling in pictures and not being happier about my birthday and Christmas presents (I usually was quite happy to get them, but because I didn’t have the expected reaction, people thought I didn’t like them).
Great post thanks. I totally agree with what was listed. I find I’m alone for too long and get lonely or in the company of others for so long I feel exhausted! In some situations you cant be alone. But does shyness need to be fixed?
Thanks Sofiyya. Great question. Shyness is related to fear. I’m a strong believer in facing down fears. I think we should strive to overcome shyness if it stands in the way of things we value.
Some people will be the life and soul of the party, and will have a great social life simply because they’re fun to be around.
Other people are what I would call ‘connector.’ They may not be the most outgoing people, but they are very good at connecting people to other people, groups, or resources, or indeed manage to develop a social life based upon certain skills or abilities they have and finding the people that are looking for these things. This is really the ideal way to find social satisfaction as an introvert.
Great insight, Chris! I have taken on the role of social connector at certain times in my life and found it very fulfilling! It is great for introverts because it gives us sense of control over our socializing. 🙂
I have been reading about introversion lately and am beginning to appreciate my self a lot. I thought I was all alone and even hated myself for being introverted. Everyone calls me “the quiet one” or “one who doesn’t talk”. I have started appreciating and discovering myself. Thanks
I need some help, and I will be honest. Exactly two years ago, I was focused on studying and being a top student, I got good grades, etc. Fast forward, into a year later, I became aware of how crummy of a friend I was when I met my best friend. Eventually that…obsession, I guess got the best of me, and it made me crave the ability to socialize with kids my age. Fast forward a year later, I became every ones friend. I lost so much of that good student. Anyway, I came specifically to this website because now that I’m “social” I get anxiety and I feel like a zombie. Plus, I feel like I have to be there for everyone except me.
If you readers feel disgusted, hate messages are welcome, but I NEED words of wisdom, a guide, an empty wall who won’t judge.
Hi Jackeline. Can you identify what makes you feel good about yourself and use that to guide you? I was a high achiever at school and have those tendencies at work but for me a lot of that motivation comes from trying to please others rather than understanding what is best for me. In social situations I have also learned to please others rather than just be myself. I realised it’s basically looking outside of myself to get a sense of self-worth rather than building that inside myself. Hope that makes sense! Maybe try to come back into the middle and find a balance – spend time with the people who you connect with the most and who make you feel good about yourself while having enough time to do well with your studies/work so you feel good about that too. Also don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s all a learning process and we find out more about ourselves through these experiences so we can grow. If you’re feeling bad, sometimes it’s helpful to imagine it’s a friend going through that experience and what you would say to them to support them – I’ve found that quite effective for stopping negative self-talk 🙂
Personally, I have found the exact opposite of myth #15 to be true.
As for #11, I always tend to put my sanity first. Not that there’s much left of it…
I’m new to this site and wanted to share an experience that I had this week. My job requires me to present in front of teachers, many of them, from time to time. This doesn’t typically bother me, because I love the content of what we are talking about, but I always find that afterward, I am exhausted. Recently, a colleague wanted to make the presentation more fun by creating a “rap” on YouTube to share at the presentation. She asked if I would be part of the video and I said “no.” Her response was to tell me that sometimes you have to swallow your ego to make things engaging for people.
This struck me. It was the first time that I questioned my motive for not wanting to do it. It had nothing to do with ego. It was something else. Now I’m starting to understand. I knew it would drain me and be too much for me. The thought of it overwhelmed me. Folks, I think I am an introvert.
Excuse me, but I think this article has 2 more.
1. That we are a minority at all. Don’t the latest surveys show we introverts are a bit more than half the population?
2. The ideas that all of us can disguise ourselves & that there is working introvert-radar (maybe 2 & 3 then): I cannot act, cannot ‘disguise’ myself as an extravert. I guess for radar one would look for a stereotypical introvert, but of course not everyone is a stereotypical anything. If ‘we can be so charming and socially adept that you might mistake us for extroverts’ then is radar so much radar? But I’m an (at least socially typical) INTP, not charming or socially adept. Not so much the opposite, just pretty quiet & keeping to myself until the conversation might turn to something I think is interesting, & then I can talk a lot, but I stumble over words, hate it when more than 1 person looks at me, & am not sure if any other type gets my sense of humor (puns, absurdity, paradoxes…). Like my 1 daughter—ISFP or possibly INFP—seems to think everything I think is funny is annoying & not funny. But my other daughter—possibly a INTP or ISTP, but she’s only 2, so it’s pretty hard to tell—will laugh at the same stuff I do (if she can understand it at 2, like I crossed out all the swear words in Hyperbole & ½ so I could read it to her, & she actually asks me to read it). My son, ISTP, doesn’t really laugh at the same stuff though. Neither my husband, ISTJ, who maybe has INTJ-type humor. Dry w/ lots of Schadenfreude.
How about this? Introverts & extraverts might sometimes be more alike than we think, esp. of course people near the middle of the spectrum. And since naturally outgoing people naturally draw our attention, we don’t notice the other people as much, even though (I think) those other people are also being themselves. I’m remembering, for example, being at church coffee hr. I tend to interact w/ only a few people each time. My baby’s godmother is, obviously to me, very extraverted. Super-friendly, introduces herself to all new people. (I did ONCE, to someone only b/c she wished me a happy Mother’s Day & hugged me, so I thought it would be less awkward then. That’s the most outgoing I ever get.) I talk to the godmother a lot, but also hang out sometimes w/ some other, seemingly quite introverted, people, & sometimes some people in between. But there are scores of people there I’ve never had any interaction w/. It seems they are largely like me, each hanging out mainly w/ a small circle of people. So since a lot of my interactions are w/ an extravert, it’s prob. easy to forget that the overall level of extraversion is not THAT high, a level becoming more apparent from more careful observation.
Anyway, I don’t know why we should think people are not being themselves (e.g. ‘disguising’ themselves) w/o more evidence than was presented here. ?
One of my pet peeves is “Introverts are good listeners”
Well. That’s a virtue everyone should be aiming to obtain, not a personality trait inherently associated with introversion. Sometimes we introverts are not good listeners and that’s okay. For example, my mind tends to wander when in a conversation that does not interest me(I try to fix this but I wouldn’t say I am a good listener, yet). We are not inherently kinder/more virtuous than extroverts. If people try to say this, it sounds like an effort to overcompensate the prejudices we get.
I have new hate – forced video calls for my work.
I mean what is it that people need to see my face…i take it as a lack of trust…..im happy to be by myself for 6 months…maybe thd extraverts csnt cope…not that i care….meh
that and id rather sit in the background and be left alone…and i cop it at work as im the only one who doesnt do instant messaging… …..its like …leave…me ….***** alone.