The Top 10 Myths About Introverts

There’s so much talk out there about introverts and extroverts many people are wondering which one they really are.  Well, it’s time to dispel some of the myths about the inner workings of the introvert.  You may be really surprised at some of these beliefs…

Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.

Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.

Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.

Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.

Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.

Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.

Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.

Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.

(Written by Jerry Brito   http://jerrybrito.org/post/6114304704/top-ten-myths-about-introverts)

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  • SkiDaddy

    I wish I knew of this kind of information years ago, it could’ve saved me a bunch of consternation and helped me learn and understand who I am.  Thank you for it now!!  Likely that could be said for many others as well.
    I find the #10 myth telling, being on a “gifted” site as it were.  It jives with what I’ve seen with some of my acquaintances.

    • http://giftedforlife.com giftedforlife

      This finally helps give us ‘permission’ to be who we really are.  How liberating!

      • Ann

        Unfortunately, all the insensitive selfish extroverts in my life remain oblivious to this ‘permission’. :-

  • Stinchfieldsusan

    My husband is an introvert and realized it years ago. He agrees with what you have written as do I.

  • http://www.tokeofthetown.com/ Steve Elliott ~alapoet~

    You got it right!

    • http://giftedforlife.com Sonia Dabboussi

      🙂

  • Kay Kabyle

    Hello, I am basically confused. I have been switching from an extrovert and introvert for so long now, that I cannot trace myself anymore. I have been an introvert in my childhood, I disliked occasions where I have to pretend I am interested to be part of, I have been always going out of wedding occasions to calibrate myself, and certainly I have been buried in my bedroom which was a sacred heaven that no one is advised to distract. But then, my mother advised me to change the way I am, because I am not friendly enough and thus I will not survive society. It was not a friendly reminder though, so I learnt the “Extroverted” skill and excelled. I am 20 now, and I keep switching from the fabricated skill and the initial introversion. I disconnect from the world for so long and I am delighted when no one knows where I am, but once I am out there I can sustain conversations ( Meaningful – idea rich, otherwise I just shut down), I can handle social activities and delegate public speaking, but the consequence is: I know too many people, but I am friends with almost no one ( except those very few that I trust).

    I am very confused really – as my MBTI keeps appearing as I, but I know I could be an E (sometimes). is this a notion of an Extroverted- Introvert?

    Your response is of great delight!
    -K

    • scott

      as an introvert, I have found that I become extroverted under stress. I was also confused until I understood the situational affect of my personality. Kay monitor your situation it helps.

      • Cody

        That’s interesting Scott. I’ve always been the opposite: anxiety-ridden-dog-chews-own-leg-off-to-get-away under stress kind of person.

    • FrancieKat

      Hi Kay,

      When I was in my twenties my MBTI often scored borderline E/I too, but the older I get, the more it’s consistently INFP instead of ENFP. I attribute this to a couple of factors:

      1) Across the lifespan, people often become more introverted as they age, and vice versa. This may be partially because there are more socially acceptable roles for older introverts vs youth, and partially because there’s less of a tendency to fight one’s temperment to compromise to social norms, to fit in ( this can be good or bad, depending on your perspective or life circumstances).

      2) As a young woman, I had more physical energy to cope with the draining after effects of extroverted activities on my psyche, and to rebound quicker from these experiences. As an older woman, I don’t have as many expendable physical resources, and I am more conscious of finite limits of time.

      I am more stubborn than my more compliant younger self too. I want to spend at least some of my life doing self satisying activities, since I know I will likely always have to spend more time out of my comfort zone as member of an extroverted society. Ergo, because I am human, a “non renewable resource”, I am choosier about where I put my efforts when I have the chance to exercise that choice.

    • Sean Langhi

      Hi Kay,

      You’re not the only one. I’m 21 and very confused about whether I’m introverted or extroverted. I love socializing in theory, but usually I find it draining because I’m not being myself. I’m afraid that if I show my true colors, the group will reject me. Sometimes I’m right.
      I tend to bury myself in solitary activities, which are enjoyable sometimes, but often would be more fun with company.

      Thanks for chiming in. Feel free to message me if you want to chat more.

    • Kari

      It is not an either or, think about intovert and extrovert being on a scale. Some people are further toward the introvert side and others further toward the extrovert. It sounds like you are close to the middle. As far at the MBTI test, the introvert/extrovert is more how you process.

  • FrancieKat

    Great list! I loved how you didn’t make any comments justifying that introverts do like people. So much of the introversion discussions today are tiresome because they still subtley, and perhaps unconsciously, reinforce ideas based on how to behave more like extroverts. Thanks for the refreshing ideas.