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.