Sunday, April 28, 2013

Myths about Introverts

(saving  FB post that meant a lot to me before it gets totally lost in the timeline)

"I'm an introvert, and proud to be one. But at times people regard us as 'the other people'. I found this circulating on the net, so here’s Mercatus Center scholar Jerry Brito debunking the top ten myths about introverts:

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."



Susan's Take:

A lot of the explanations here fit me perfectly.

I *can* chit-chat, but find it wearying after a short while if there isn't anything 'real' to talk about, especially on the phone. I prefer to speak plainly/logically, and sometimes outrage those who expect all speech to be flattery, implications, & euphemisms - just by sincerely/honestly discussing what *I* see as the real problem. When I have tried to be extra circumspect, it came as very strained indeed. I regret the explosions that resulted from my clumsy honesty, but I regret far more the weird communications that resulted from my trying too hard to appease an ego or speak a truth in an acceptably kind way to someone who would not listen respectfully to anything but applause. I like going to parks and museums. I don't mind being in more crowded venues to go shopping, watch fireworks, enjoy a theme park etc...but its not something I want to do every day. Being around so many people seems to take a lot out of me after a bit. I am very fond of people generally, I just don't kid myself about their limitations, which sometimes gives the opposite impression? and so...and so forth...

I looked up the dopamine ref and stumbled across this blog post on the same subject.
 (7 Misconceptions of Extroverts/ 7 Misconceptions of Introverts)

[More thoughts inspired by the 2nd post.]

     I understand why extroverts find some of these assertions irritating, but that doesn't mean they are entirely wrong. While its obvious extroverts have an edge in many social situations, its reasonable to presume that the introvert difference has some advantages or it wouldn't exist. The purpose of extroversion is obvious. Their nature facilitates help within the group and coordinates reactions to changes. So what does introversion do? Well it inspires those blessed with it to observe and consider the larger environment. Some watch the group and some watch the natural environs, and together both will improve the security of the group. There is common sense awareness that social skill requires a certain amount of savvy and concentration that cannot be given at one and the same time to reflection and personal creation. Many extroverts are smart, but juggling a large number of social connections requires a fair amount of mental processing. (This has actually been proven. Its why humans have a natural limit to the number of humans they can truly 'know.') Not all extroverts are bullies by any means. Just as the most principled, loyal introverts can be inspiring to know, extroverts with a loving heart are a huge blessing to everyone near them. The reason why extroverts tend to get a bad rap for bullying is that it is relatively rare for introverts to try it. Bullying usually is a social hierarchical impulse by which one individual (or clique) uses personal power or that borrowed from supporters to increase personal status/power in a community, often by displaying an ability to mistreat someone with impunity, take others' stuff, manipulate the status of a member higher or lower on the societal totem pole, or any combination of the above. In nature, this will discourages most members of the pack from challenging their social dominance, unless they think they have a stronger position still. In human terms, the person most likely to protest the means and purpose likely to be an idealistic introvert

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Law of Mirrors

[ photo above taken from]

This is the long version of - "I know YOU are, but what am I?"

It isn't always true. Some people simply accuse you with whatever bad titles or stereotypes they find lying around. Those easily grabbed societal pariah 'hats' may not properly fit either your enemy OR you, your enemy was just hoping to fool as many gullible souls as possible by throwing the alien hats at your head. Those who make an in depth malicious effort, however, do tend to shine more light into the dark crevices of their own soul than illuminate any truths about you.

People who speak very long about anything reveal their own view of the world and others. If they are generous, they expect to see generosity in others. If they are kind and forgiving, they will hope to see kindness and forgiveness in your nature. If they are ambitious, thin-skinned schemers, you must be too. Villains may presume the heroically inclined are hypocrites, even worse off ethically than themselves. They are wrong, but you aren't likely to be the one who will convince them otherwise. If a bad'un can believe in goodness, even when they aren't achieving it, then the seed of heroism still lurks within them, and like Luke Skywalker, you can still honestly say "There is still some good in you. I know it." If they don't believe real virtue exists, then it probably doesn't, at least not inside of them.

People (who choose to be as good) will often unintentionally project on to others their own virtues. They are brave, so 'we' are all brave here, yes? They are helpful, so there must be 'plenty of people around here to help.' This is not always a bad thing for those around them, as it can encourage a community to be its better self, and give individuals reachable goals to live up to. If the group/person rejects this positive portrayal, however, it can get embarrassing or even dangerous for the 'good person.' This can be behind the news stories about kindly friends or relations betrayed by young addicts or gangsters they had hoped to mentor to a better life. They saw the at-risk person could make better choices if given the chance, and believed they would because of their affection and because they would themselves have made a better decision in their place.

In the same (photo negative) way, malicious liars do often accuse along the lines of things they are doing (or want to do themselves.) I have seen this in action. I met a nut on the 'net who often accused me of acting in ways I observed her acting. She kept claiming to 'know me well' and how 'we were very close' - when we never had been. At most I was just trying to be playful and keep the peace, before it became evident this was impossible because I had something she obsessively wanted, and she was going to undermine me any way she could. Still- she really did seem to delude herself that I deserved the abuse. I got the impression while trying to parley with her once that she thought I was the manifestation of her evil side/thoughts, despite the fact that I was asking everyone involved to be ethical (and I got attacked for that too.) The amount of delusion involved suggested some sort of projective identification, parataxic distortion, transference, or some combination thereof. The end result was she kept accusing me of (her own) bad motives in all I said or did. Those who believed those lies, rather than using their own observational skills, subsequently found my personality and behavior repeatedly baffling, as it didn't line up with the slander.

Naturally not. I am a very different personality type with very different worldviews than those ascribed to me by badly-needs-a-therapist! Meantime, noting those who kept being 'surprised' by my decency gave me warning of where her efforts were concentrated, and which of those 'friends' were untrustworthy. [Seriously, never deeply trust anyone who turns that easily on you, even if they turn back. You can like them just fine, be kind etc., just don't rely on them. ]

Those who listened to her rants heard enough from her naughty mind that if they ever applied that slander back to its source, she’d never be able to fool them again. Honestly, however, I think some 'monkeys' weren't so much fooled as they found her 'chips' useful to throw whenever there was a serious difference of opinion.

[photo below from]

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


[photo above from]

I realized long ago that respect is a prerequisite for love of any kind. I have never seen an exception to this rule. Once trust and respect are dead, its time to end the communication, unless God says differently. Why? Because only God can fix such deep damage to a relationship.

[photo above from]
 Yep! Show respect and kindness to friends, family, strangers, and even enemies (though the active kindness part has to be done with caution/wisdom.) Christ calls us to love our neighbors, just as Christ first loved us. Not one of us deserved such grace before His cleansing, healing, & redemption, so let us show what grace and mercy we safely can to those in our lives. (This doesn't mean you can't defend yourself from those who would hurt you.)