January 19, 2012

The introvert in me

Shortly after I wrote about me being an introvert in the extroverts’ world in my last post for 2011, I came across an article on the top 10 myths of Introverts which I have shamelessly cut and paste here:

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.

Sleeping Dragon: Or step on my tail and make me mad, and I will also not shut up for days on end, too. I also happen not to like to talk about myself.

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.

Sleeping Dragon: I’m usually the listener in a conversation, and while I try, for most part, it really is not in me to be the one initiating small talk.I do it out of necessity more than anything else.

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.

Sleeping Dragon: I find it very disturbing that most people thrive in shallow pretenses and meaningless over-friendliness so they can talk about themselves all the time as opposed to straight-in-your-face-honesty.Social pleasantries again, are just done out of necessity in dealing with the ways of the world – and I’d rather not do it if I don’t have to.

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.

Sleeping Dragon:  I can count the number of really good friends that I have with my ten fingers and I still have a few fingers to spare. I did say I prefer hanging out with animals…

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. 

Sleeping Dragon:  Thus, the tendency to internalise and over-analyse things!

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. 

Sleeping Dragon:  I don’t day-dream; I  just space out especially when there is too much blabber going on and then I’m labelled as being someone very disengaged.But, seriously, if you see SOME of the clowns that surround me on a daily basis, you’d want to be alone too!

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. 

Sleeping Dragon:  No beating about the bush here – yes, I am weird. I don’t conform. And so be it.

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. 

Sleeping Dragon:  I don’t know how many times I have been unjustly accused of being an aloof bitch (nerd’s a term for the intellectuals of the world and I’m not one), but I guess they usually come from people who just don’t know me well enough. I let it be because it is more exhausting for me to make the effort to correct that perception.

I am a nice person, though. O:)

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. 

Sleeping Dragon:  Ahhh…if only you knew! All those travels that I have done on my own when I was young and single are probably the best things I have ever done for myself.

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. 

Sleeping Dragon:  I kind of like being an introvert, and don’t see the dire need to be one of yous, Extroverts. The Extroverts drive me crazy as it is, why do I want to do that to myself by being one? Sheesh,

The original article can be found here. He’s got quite a cool profile and I have enjoyed reading some of his posts so far.  He apparently received  >750,000 hits when his post on introverts went viral.

Introverts are normal people who happens to find most extroverts annoying (I said MOST). That being said, my best girl friend is an extrovert and I am even married to one – you should have seen my face when they talked my ears off when we first met (at separate occasions, years apart). If you could only see those bubble thoughts that went through my head at that time!

Funnily enough, I let them be. I did not brush them off, and there was no judgement – from both sides.

What made a big difference was that there were no airs about them, and genuinely sincere about getting to know you as a person that you are. They are honest and give it to you straight-up; no sugar-coating. They took the time, they reach out and there was no pretending. They respected my space and over time, I learn and understand the ways of being in the Extroverts’ world; enabling me to view the social differences with an open mind.

They are also of course, in my books, not very normal people. They can be very “off’ sometimes.  And, that’s very okay. We get along very well. And we get along very well with other “off” people.

Now, I cannot yak with them enough and they really are the few extroverts whom I cannot imagine not having in my life. Ever.

Posted by:    |    2 Comment
  1. This is a very interesting and entertaining read. How true it is too! I am an introvert but never really thought about reading up about it!

    Unlike you, I daydream though. Or I used to before I had kids…

  2. Indeed! Introverts really are a misunderstood lot. Have you ever done the Myers-Briggs personality test? That really gives good insights to the types of Introverts and I find that to be interesting too! 🙂


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