I’ve heard many people say things about introverts that are not consistent with results of studies regarding this personality type. In this blog, I am going to share with you the top 3 myths that have been passed around for so long that it is easy to think that they are true.
- Introverts are shy.
This is the most popular myth about introversion. Being shy is totally different from being an introvert. According to the American Psychological Association, “shyness is the tendency to feel awkward, worried, or tense during social encounters, especially with unfamiliar people”. In contrast, introversion is the preference to turn inward by focusing on thoughts, feelings, and ideas, with a need for constant reflection and self-awareness. Most introverts prefer to have deep meaningful conversations with one or two close friends, rather than having small talk with a large group of acquaintances. While their tendency to withdraw away from the crowd may seem like they are shy, it is primarily because of their need to recharge. Talking to a lot people simply drains them so they need to unwind by being alone. The main thing to remember about introverts is that while they prefer to spend time away from people, they still enjoy interacting with others. They just prefer to be in small intimate groups for meaningful interactions.
- Introverts do not like to talk.
This is far from the truth. Most introverts love to talk. But they just need to have a strong reason and purpose for engaging in conversations. They do not like engaging in mindless chit-chats as this is tiring for them. Introverts they prefer insightful, informative and purposeful interactions that will help them gain new insights about themselves and the world around them.
One thing to note about introverts is that they are very good in putting their thoughts on paper. The written communication is more preferable for them since they try to avoid small talks. They need to spend time thinking about their message, since they do not want to say something that they might regret later. Writing their thoughts out is very helpful for them in expressing themselves much more accurately.
- Introverts are boring.
Their tendency to stay quiet may be the primary reason for this myth. But again, this is entirely untrue. A lot of well-known introverts in the past and present are actually very interesting people. From musicians to artists, to inventors and book authors – such as Vincent Van Gogh, J.K. Rowling, Michael Jackson, Audrey Hepburn, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Warren Buffet – you have to agree that the lives of these people are far from boring.
The tendency to think of introverts as boring people may stem from their occasional need to stay at home or be by themselves, away from the noise and visual stimulation. This is how they recharge their energy. But most introverts actually love going out to concerts, plays, and gatherings just like everyone else. They are simply very mindful when deciding on which social event to say “yes” to.
So, if you are an extrovert and you have somehow believed these myths about you, then it’s time to start looking at yourself in a different light. Stop boxing yourself into these inaccurate stereotypes as you may be robbing yourself of some great opportunities for advancement.