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

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