There are a lot of persistent myths about introverts out there! Most of them are not even true but despite this, a lot of people tend to believe all of them. The thing that differentiates most introverts from extroverts is the fact that while extroverts always want to be surrounded by people (this is where they get their energy from), introverts need to spend some time alone every day, so they can recharge. Marti Laney, the author of “The Introvert Advantage (How to Thrive in an Extrovert World),” explains how neuro-transmitters follow different dominant paths in the nervous systems of introverts and extroverts. Apparently, introverts are over-sensitive to dopamine, thus external stimulation overdoses exhaust them, while extroverts can’t get enough dopamine, and they require adrenaline for their brains to create it. Laurie Helgoe, Ph.D, author of “Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength,” shows how external activities excite extroverts, while ideas and inner reflection stimulate introverts (who tend to have busier brains than extroverts). She say that “Brain imaging studies have shown that when introverts and extroverts respond to external stimulation, introverts have more activity in the regions of the brain that process information, make meaning and problem solve.” This way, she explains why introverts need solitude and time to do some self-reflection, so they can analyze different ideas and be able to think things through before they decide to take action, while extroverts tend to express themselves more easily verbally. Here are a few very popular myths about introverts that aren’t true despite what other people might think:
1. Introverts Don’t like to Talk
One of the most persistent myths about introverts that is completely false is the common belief that introverts don’t like to talk. This is just not true. They just spend a little more time analyzing things, they don’t like to rush and they like to gather all the facts before making a decision. Most of them do hate small talk; they would rather talk about things that interest and fascinate them, so you could learn something new.
2. Introverts Don’t like People
Just because introverts need to spend a little more time alone every day (so they can recharge their batteries), others might think that they hate people and that’s the reason why they prefer solitude sometimes. Well, introverts might have fewer friendships, but their relationships are deeper and more meaningful. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying extroverts are superficial, but because of the fact that they like to socialize a lot, they have more acquaintances than true friends. Introverts are very loyal and they cherish true friendship more than anything, so consider yourself lucky if you’ve earned the respect of your introvert friend, because they are someone who you can always count on.
3. Introverts Are Shy
Well, some introverts might be shy, yet not all of them are this way. Introverts like to process things internally, while extroverts process things as they are speaking. Susan Cain, the author of “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking,” says that “Shyness is the fear of social disapproval or humiliation, while introversion is a preference for environments that are not overstimulating. Shyness is inherently painful; introversion is not.” Introverts are not afraid of people; they just like to think things through before making a decision.
4. Introverts Always Want to Be Alone
It’s true that introverts need some alone time every day, so they can recharge their batteries, yet they don’t want to be alone all the time. They are social creatures after all, who do need to get in touch with others so they can function properly. Introverts like to think a lot, they like to daydream and solve problems, but they do become very lonely if they don’t have someone to share their experiences and their discoveries with. They do need other people’s company just like they need their alone-time.
5. Introverts Are Not Good Public Speakers
This is another very common misconception about introverts. Statistics actually show that at least half of the extremely talented public speakers are introverts, just like a lot of comedians are too. They just prepare themselves really well before speaking in front of a large crowd and they practice a lot. Anyone can become a wonderful public speaker if they work hard enough and if they have enough patience, so don’t let yourself be influenced by these very popular myths about introverts that aren’t even true!
6. Introverts Don’t Know How to Have Fun
Just because they don’t go out and party so much, a lot of people might be tempted to think that introverts just don’t know how to have fun. Well, they couldn’t be more wrong! Introverts usually prefer to relax at home while reading a good book or watching their favorite movie. Sometimes, there’s nothing more fun to them than a night spent at home doing the things they love and enjoying their company.
7. Introverts Are Rude
Sometimes introverts might be perceived as being rude just because they are honest, straight-forward and blunt. They usually prefer having meaningful conversations rather than just making small talk. Also, they might turn down your invitation to this amazing party you are throwing, but they usually do that because they are tired and they need to relax and not because they are being rude or because they want to hurt your feelings. They are actually nice people who form meaningful relationships and who rarely intend to be deliberately unpleasant.
There are a lot of persistent myths and common misconceptions about introverts out there! I just mentioned a few in this little article but I’m sure there are many more I haven’t talked about. Can you give me a hand and tell me if you know any other popular myths about introverts that aren’t true? Please tell us about them in the comments section!