I remember my stay in the university, and how I was misconstrued for an unhappy person because of my love for quiet, and my frequent avoidance of social events. Not that I did not attend social events, but I didn’t attend as often as my roommate loved to. In fact, my roommate called me suicidal once, all because he met me at home when he went out to socialise.
Most extroverts don’t seem to understand some basic reality about introverts. Like my extroverted friend, extroverts think they know who introverts are and what goes through their minds. There is a general belief that introverts are socially awkward, unfriendly folks, who might be suffering from depression.
Unfortunately, in most cases, they are wrong. I am not surprised that introverts are misunderstood. They account for only 25 per cent of the human population, and people who form the minority, in any human society, are usually and often misunderstood.
Introverts are shy
To say that all introverts are shy is to say that all extroverts are good public speakers. This is simply not true. Every human being, no matter the personality trait, has the propensity to be shy. This, in essence, means that shyness is not an exclusive trait of introverts. They tend to be reserved in gatherings, not because they are shy or afraid to share their opinions, but because they are wearied and mentally exhausted by social events. They are usually passionate about the opinions they have on issues, and they share them when it’s time to talk. In Stephen Hawking’s words “Quiet people have the loudest minds.”
Introverts are emotionally unstable
This is far from the truth. Introverts usually have control over their emotions because they spend more time to understand and nurture them. They do not need the validation of others to be happy, they don’t need your smile to light up their lives. All they need is the quietness of their solitude. That they have a handful of friends does not mean they are lonely or emotionally troubled, it only means they are emotionally self-sufficient. Writer Jonathan Rauch testified to this when he said, “After an hour or two being socially on, we introverts need to turn off and recharge … This isn’t antisocial. It isn’t a sign of depression.”
Introverts are not great leaders
Introverts hardly venture into politics because they disdain the noise the endeavour generates. This, however, does not imply that they are not suitable for leadership roles. They lead by example. Introverted leaders like Abraham Lincoln, Bill Gates and Martin Luther King Jr. embark on missions they believe in. They are people who are patient enough to nurture and build loyalty from their followers due to their quiet and relaxed nature. Introverts create environments where followers can grow, contribute and work freely for the advancement of the group. A research carried out by Washington Post not only affirmed that they, like extroverts, can be great leaders, but also revealed that introverts can better work in a group than extroverts. This means that introverts can exhibit more team spirit than extroverts.
Introverts don’t any sense of humour
Introverts indeed dislike small talk, especially with people they are not used to. They can, however, exhibit their sense of humour to the amazement of most people who think they don’t ‘talk.’ You will be surprised to know that they can be loquacious too. They tend to express themselves passionately and hilariously when they are around people they are comfortable with. Laurie Helgoe said, “Let’s clear one thing up, introverts do not hate small talk because we dislike people. We hate small talk because we hate the barrier it creates between people.”
Introverts are not good in public speaking
Introverts are more likely to be good at public speaking than small talk. Personally, I can affirm this. I realise that they have the tendency to prepare adequately for their public speeches. They are more likely to spend more time ensuring that they express themselves in the clearest of ways, especially when they are discussing issues they are passionate about.
Introverts overthink issues
Wise people think before they react to issues. This is the case for introverts. They analyse situations before jumping into conclusions. This does not mean that they let situations get to them; it means they weigh their options before giving replies to any situation. For this reason, I agree with Susan Cain, a psychologist and the author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, when she said, “There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.”
Introverts are snobby and arrogant
Introverts are usually thought to be full of themselves because they hardly invest themselves in relationships. I have personally being tagged snobbish. I can say for certain that because they don’t rub their crush on you on your face, you may confused it for hatred or arrogance. Sometimes, they feel guilty about this, but they are psychologically restrained from exhibiting their desire to be around a person. However, when you get to know an introvert well, you will understand.
Are you an introvert? Did I miss out on any points? Let’s talk about it in the comments section!