I saw an interesting link in Tumblr the other day. It was about the 10 Myths about Introverts as listed by Carl King. Knowing I’ve always dangled between extremes, I never gave being an introvert much thought. I knew I was one, but being very flexible, I can easily adapt into extroverted~ness. However, during the Holy Week, my mom asked me to help her check the psychological tests of the students in the High School where she worked as a Guidance Counselor. After that, I have to collate their scores and fill up a report.
On the report sheet, I was supposed to write the number of students who are emotionally matured against the immature, socially stable against socially unstable, emotionally stable against the emotionally unstable, and introverts against extroverts. That got me thinking, the dualism here is obvious among the unstables and immatures. But what about introverts against extroverts? Is being an introvert considered a negative trait?
Going back to the link, Carl King wrote an article about a book called The Introvert Advantage: How to thrive in an extrovert world by Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D. Being another introvert, he listed 10 common misconceptions about introverts. Gung-ho with interest, I decided to make it a checklist for my introverted~ness.
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.
Check! This is exactly me. I only speak when spoken to, and I only speak when I have something worth saying. I just don’t see the point in wasting energy in saying something stupid. This goes without saying that I do a lot of evil things in my head while keeping my mouth shut. Like mentally murdering people or torturing them.
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.
Check! Whenever my mom would introduce me to people, I normally just smile and politely nod to acknowledge their presence. I would then overhear my mom say, “Tahimik talaga yan” (She’s really quiet) which I found amusing because I was often told off in school for being noisy. Or maybe I’m just loud at times. Still, I’m not really a quiet person. I just don’t have anything to say to them and I certainly won’t say anything just for the sake of saying something. Although when someone does try to make conversation, I make an effort to be engaged as well.
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.
Check! I am just socially handicapped. If I want something I say it. I don’t care if its not socially acceptable to interfere like that, but I just can’t sit still and not do something. I don’t think I’m being impolite. No, not at all. I think they’re just being overly sensitive.
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.
Check! I love people! I get off from helping other people and making other people happy. I’ve often been told that I give too much but maybe that’s just me. I will do absolutely everything I can for a friend without any care or thought for myself. That is how much I love them.
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.
Check! Carl King why are you so awesome? You just explained everything en pointe.
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.
Check! I daydream a lot and I don’t like being interrupted. I sometimes surprise myself at how detailed my daydreams are. It helps a lot in making me come up with ideas. I like having someone to share my thoughts with. I like having someone I can have adventures with. I’m comfortable being alone. Just not too alone.
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.
I am weird. I like being weird. I like being different. I choose to do things based on what I like and I will not apologize for it. I don’t care if people say otherwise. Is being weird a bad thing? Is creativity a bad thing? Is having a mind of your own undaunted by outside influence a bad thing?
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.
Normal people bore me. They are so predictable. It makes me sad that I’m related to normal people. My little sister is too easy to give in to peer pressure. And she likes all the popular stuff. It’s pathetic I can’t even bear to speak of it. So I’d rather not pay her any attention and focus on my shit. That terribly annoys my mom. She gets home and asks, “Asan si ____?” (Where is _____?) and I would say Ewan ko (I don’t know). She would then ask, “Wala ka bang pakialam?” (Have you any care?). In my head I would say, I do, I just don’t like what I see so I’d rather not pay any attention. But then I choose to be polite and just remain silent for the remainder of the impending nag-fest.
Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
A world without Introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers. That being said, there are still plenty of techniques an Extrovert can learn in order to interact with Introverts. (Yes, I reversed these two terms on purpose to show you how biased our society is.) 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.
You can’t fix what isn’t broken. I embrace my quirks with much gusto and although I can act extrovertedly with ease, I just can’t be bothered. Haters gonna hate.