5 Things We Still Get Wrong About Introverts

a misunderstood introvert

Introverts are not as quiet as you might think. When they’re passionate about a cause or topic, they might talk and talk!

I grew up not knowing the true meaning of the word “introvert.” So, when people told me that I was “shy” and “quiet,” it hurt. Even at a young age, I sensed those words had a negative connotation.

To many people, to be shy means to lack self-confidence. To be quiet, on the other hand, means not having anything worth saying. Other insults often hurled at introverts are the words “snob” or “reclusive.” But just because I’m not talking much doesn’t mean I don’t like people! After all, introverts don’t talk just for the sake of talking.

In recent years, I have come to understand what introversion really is. Nothing is wrong with us “quiet ones.”

However, that doesn’t mean there are no longer any misconceptions about introverts. I still read articles and comments that portray introversion as something negative. But, believe it or not, the extrovert ideal isn’t the only way of existing.

Here are a few of the most common things we still get wrong about introverts.

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5 Things We Still Get Wrong About Introverts

1. Introverts are not as quiet as you might think. When we are passionate about a topic, we might talk and talk!

New acquaintances might be surprised to see how I take on a completely different personality in different situations. At first glance, they might see me as a quiet person who rarely talks. On other occasions, they might see me talk endlessly about a topic I’m passionate about.

It’s funny how they look at me with bewilderment after I suddenly make a speech — or sing or perform on stage. I can almost hear them say, “Is she the same person we thought we knew?”

Of course I am! Introverts’ overall quiet personality doesn’t mean they can’t talk when they need to. In college, I won debates and public speaking contests. In high school, I was a member of the drama club, and that meant performing on stage.

Introverts may seem quiet most of the time because they listen most of the time. They value what other people have to say, and paying attention just feels like the right thing to do when someone is speaking. 

There are also times when an introvert’s social battery runs out. That’s when we need quiet time alone so we can recharge our energy.

But rest assured, we are not always quiet.

2. Introverts are not boring. Rather, our minds are filled with creative ideas.

This misconception is closely related to the first one. Since some people perceive introverts to be quiet all the time, they may also think we’re boring.

For me, this is one of the most hurtful comments against introverts. Why say a person is boring? In reality, there is always something interesting about a person once you get to know them.

To this end, when you get to know introverts, you will discover that they have a variety of interests that give color, fun, and meaning to their lives. For instance, introverts often excel in creative endeavors and hobbies, whether it’s art, playing an instrument, or writing. Their creativity is something worth exploring.

In addition, many introverts have a sense of adventure and like to travel and discover new places. Wouldn’t it be fun to do that with a close introverted friend? (We make the best friends, by the way!)

3. Introverts don’t hate people. We just love people in a different way. 

Perhaps one thing that makes introverts seem anti-people is they might avoid certain social gatherings. I certainly don’t attend every party or social event.

It could mean we introverts have already spent our energy at work and need some quiet time instead of attending an event that would drain whatever energy we have left. It could also be that we choose smaller events where we know more people.

I have enjoyed some of the parties that I’ve attended. I mingled, ate good food, and even danced!

Introverts don’t hate people. We just love people in a different way. 

Instead of talking for a long time, I find other ways to show my appreciation, like writing a note to a friend to express my gratitude for our relationship. I also enjoy bonding time with close people in my life.

Do you ever struggle to know what to say?

As an introvert, you actually have the ability to be an amazing conversationalist — even if you’re quiet and hate small talk. To learn how, we recommend this online course from our partner Michaela Chung. Click here to check out the Introvert Conversation Genius course.

4. Introverts can be excellent leaders. Our approach is simply different.

In school, I was often selected as the president of my class. Although this was partially because of my high grades, I also believe that my teachers and classmates saw me as someone capable of being a leader.

In the workplace, I have been selected as a team leader. As such, I set the goals for our team, as well as various ways to accomplish them. All that was done after taking into consideration each team member’s talents and potential.

So introverts can be good leaders — we listen well, have genuine concern for our team, can offer innovative (and well-thought-out) ideas, and focus on achieving our team’s objectives.

5.  Introverts are not rigid. Our creative side helps us be spontaneous.

There seems to be a stereotype that introverts are rigid and inflexible. I think I’m often seen as someone who can’t act without a plan or a structured process.

However, this is not true. For many introverts, it is very important to have a plan, but we can also adjust our actions according to the circumstances.

Since we introverts are known for our creativity, we can thrive in real-life situations that need a dose of problem-solving and spontaneity.

Like I mentioned above, we can be adventurous, too! Don’t put us in a box and assume that we’ll never take you by surprise.

I believe these misconceptions about introverts will only change when extroverts and introverts get to know each other better. At the end of the day, our differences should not be a hindrance to our relationships. Rather, they should be a source of vitality, innovation, and strength.

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