setting the record straight

Most introverts are accustomed to others making incorrect assumptions about what introversion actually is.  When we tell people that we are introverted, we often hear things like:

“Oh, so you’re shy?”


“But if you’re an introvert, shouldn’t you be at home by yourself right now?”

Umm … I said introvert, not hermit.

“So, is this hard for you then – being out in public and talking to people?”

Oh dear.

Even though I’m cringing inside when I hear these things, I rarely show how much such comments irritate the heck out of me.  I try to be understanding because I know that whoever I’m talking to has simply been misinformed about introversion.  They don’t know what they don’t know.  And it’s my job to set the record straight.

In person, I do this in a very gentle, concise sort of way.  I patiently explain that introverts are not necessarily shy or anti-social, they simply need more time alone to recharge.

BUT since this is the magical land of the Internet, and this is my very own introvert blog, I’m going to set the record straight in a not-so-gentle or patient way.

Here we go.

We’re not socially inept!

Just because someone says that they are introverted, doesn’t mean that they are socially inept.  In fact, most introverts have a very high EQ (emotional intelligence) level thanks to our observant and reflective nature.   We understand social expectations and pleasantries, but we might not indulge in them at times because we find them cumbersome and draining.

Introversion and shyness are NOT the same thing

Not all introverts are shy.  I’ve said this so many times before, but people just don’t seem to get it.  Shyness has to do with a fear of social interactions.  Both introverts and extroverts can be shy – just like both introverts and extroverts can be confident and assertive.  It’s time for people to stop assuming that all introverts are timid little hermits.

Introverts have influence

Fame, success and respect are not reserved for extroverts.  There are plenty of influential and famous introverts in this world.  We can be go-getters, too, you know.  We’re not all just sitting at home playing Dungeons and Dragons, while life passes us by.  Here is a short list of famous and influential introverts:

Steven Spielberg

J.K Rowling

Al Gore

Meryl Streep

David Letterman

Barbara Walters

Julia Roberts

And many more!

Extroversion is the only way to success

Introverts don’t need to become more extroverted in order to be successful.  We’re fine the way we are.  Stop trying to help us by showing us the enlightened extroverted way.  We’re tired of denying our innate needs and desires in order to live up to the extrovert ideal of normal.  Our normal looks different than an extrovert’s.  And that’s okay.

michalea chung