15 Myths About Introverts – In 3 Words

15 Myths About Introverts   In 3 Words
We’re the creative Dr. Seuss’, the soulful singing Adele’s and the eccentric Salvador Dali’s. We constitute a great percentage of the world’s best thinkers, philosophers, scientists, and artists. Yet we find ourselves bullied, belittled, accused and misdiagnosed as being socially and mentally inept, and threatening. If one of the highest instincts in mankind is self-preservation, it’s no wonder that many people fear what they don’t understand: the quiet and insular introvert. Below are 15 of the most popular myths about introverts, and why they’re misinformed twaddle.

If you feel strongly about any, please feel free to tweet or recommend them, and spread the message:

 

Myth #1 : Introverts are arrogant assholes.

15 Myths About Introverts   In 3 Words

Truth : We’re socially cautious.

It’s true that introverts can come across as being too cold or aloof, but this is because we’re preoccupied with thinking and processing information internally. We also like to keep to ourselves around people who aren’t close to us, and take great precaution in uncharted territory. This makes us appear standoffish, for sure, but our silence isn’t snobbish self aggrandizement. If we don’t interact with you much, it isn’t because we dislike, or think we’re too good for you. It just means that we’re still cautious of you, or simply want to keep to ourselves.

 

Myth #2 : Introverts are rude – they’re surly and ill-mannered.

15 Myths About Introverts   In 3 Words

Truth : We’re selectively social.

We can be blunt, and appear slightly bored and impatient at times, but this is because small talk disinterests us. We prefer intimate and meaningful conversations. We also become physically drained easily if we’re around too many people for too long. This can make us appear not only rude, but avoidant as well, especially if we’ve been invited to parties and social functions that we turn down. This is simply a quirk of our natural temperaments. We rarely intend to be deliberately rude.

 

Myth #3 : Introverts always want to be alone.

15 Myths About Introverts   In 3 Words

Truth : We’re easily drained.

Many introverts aren’t loners. And even if they were, what’s so wrong with being a loner anyway? The truth is, the majority of introverts don’t like to always be alone. Frequently, we have one or two close friends we like to spend time with, but at certain times and certain levels. Although we value and thrive in ‘alone time’, we value small doses of social time as well.

 

Myth #4 : Introverts don’t like to go out – they’re agoraphobic.

15 Myths About Introverts   In 3 Words

Truth : We’re internally stimulated.

Although we like to spend a lot of time in doors, we don’t suffer from a pathological disease. We find our stimulation inside of ourselves with our thoughts and our own hobbies. This means that we don’t need to “go out” all that often, as we already have what we need to thrive. Introverts also value the comfort, safety and privacy of their own personal environments, which may lead us to staying indoors more than other people. We usually don’t mind going out – but it just isn’t necessary to us.

 

Myth #5 : Introverts have no friends – they’re losers.

15 Myths About Introverts   In 3 Words

Truth : We’re intimately selective.

It’s true, we struggle to make friends in many cases. But this is because we pick selectively people who we think would make worthy long-term companions. Many introverts have one or two friends to confide in, but the fact that we take a while to open up to people means that it’s difficult at first for us to make friends. This is why many introverted children and teenagers find themselves friendless in school. It doesn’t mean they exclusively like to always be alone, and without any companions.

 

Myth #6 : Introverts are depressive people.

15 Myths About Introverts   In 3 Words

Truth : We’re quietly complacent.

Just like depressive people, introverts can come across as being quiet and detached. The essential difference between depressed people and introversion, is that introverts are complacent in their quietness, whereas the depressive are dissatisfied in their quietness. There is such a thing as a depressed introvert, but the majority of introverts are quietly content in their world. They aren’t in constant conflict with themselves and the universe, although they do occasionally face issues, they aren’t trapped in them, as depressive people are.




Myth #7 : Introverts are twisted weirdo’s.

15 Myths About Introverts   In 3 Words

Truth : We embrace eccentricity.

It’s unfortunate that out of fear many people make sweeping generalizations about the nature of introverts. Being a twisted lunatic is just another of them. True, we may do things differently and have unconventional quirks that deviate from the popular norm, but we aren’t dangerous, or completely mad. Introverts feed from their own worlds and minds, not those of other people. This makes the introvert’s behavior at times odd, and other times unique. Perhaps this was how the world made it’s greatest progress: through it’s introverted scientists and thinkers and their individual eccentricities which didn’t vomit the same repeated ideas.

 

Myth #8 : Introverts hate people – they’re misanthropes.

15 Myths About Introverts   In 3 Words

Truth : We value people.

As quiet, thoughtful and occasionally skeptical people, introverts can come across as being people-haters. Of course, it can’t be said that 100% of introverts value people, but a vast majority of them do. Besides, not liking being around people does not equate to not liking people themselves. Introverts just value calmness and intelligence, and people in small doses, which is why they can come across as being brusque and short-tempered in hyper-active people environments.

 

Myth #9 : Introverts don’t like to talk – they have nothing to say.

15 Myths About Introverts   In 3 Words

Truth : We speak selectively.

While people yap away and verbalize anything that comes to mind, introverts prefer to quietly hang by the fringes. They prefer to think before speaking, and closely listen to what is being said before contributing. If too many people are present, introverts usually have a hard time getting any word in, so decide to remain silent instead. There’s no point voicing a well thought-out opinion if it will fall on deaf ears. As a result, introverts are usually labelled falsely as people who don’t like to speak, or who have nothing to say. The truth is, we just speak selectively.

 

Myth #10 : Introverts are uptight party-poopers – they can’t have fun.

15 Myths About Introverts   In 3 Words

Truth : We’re uniquely fun.

Introverts make their own fun, and tailor it to suit themselves and their own unique needs. Sure, we don’t like to participate in drunken karaoke, or sip piña colada’s in elite social clubs. But we have fun in different ways – like book clubs, making gnomes in pottery classes, and designing our own web-comics  Sure, we may come across as being uptight and uncomfortable in socially “fun” and overwhelming situations, but this isn’t because we’re party-poopers. We just prefer to have fun in different ways.

 

Myth #11 : Introverts are mentally inept – they’re stupid.

 

Truth : We’re insightfully intelligent.

15 Myths About Introverts   In 3 Words
Many people falsely assume that introverts are unintelligent because, one, they don’t frequently voice their ideas and thoughts, and two, they’re too quiet and submissive. The fact is, if people just stopped to listen and observe, they would see that the introvert has a fountain of useful knowledge and well-constructed thoughts to contribute. Quietness does not equal stupidity, neither does loudness equal intelligence.

 

Myth #12 : Introverts are sneaky – they’re sly and devious.

15 Myths About Introverts   In 3 Words

Truth : We value solitude.

This is one of the more bizarre myths about introverts out there. Some people assume that because introverts go off by themselves a lot, they have something to hide. Many people also become suspicious of introverts, especially when they share so little of themselves to the world. The truth is, introverts aren’t evil or sneaky. Perhaps some possess these traits, but most introverts simply need alone-time to re-cooperate and revitalize – not build bombs, or swindle people.

 

Myth #13 : Introverts are shy.

15 Myths About Introverts   In 3 Words

Truth : We are reserved.

It’s true that many shy people are introverted. Yet not all introverts are shy – they’re just reserved, or in other words, they like to keep to themselves and not involve themselves in the affairs of other people too much. The different between shyness and introversion is that shy people are scared of social contact, introverts aren’t. They just prefer to avoid it in large quantities.

 

Myth #14 : Introverts have low self esteem.

15 Myths About Introverts   In 3 Words

Truth : We aren’t self-hating.

Of course, low self esteem is common to many people, and introverts are no exception. But most importantly, introversion is not defined by possessing low self esteem. Even extroverts have low self esteem, which manifests itself in different ways to the introvert’s. The point is, by default, introverts don’t suffer poor self esteem. Being quiet and detached from other people at times is not an instant marker of self-hatred or poor self confidence.

 

Myth #15 : Introversion is an affliction that can be cured or ‘fixed’.

15 Myths About Introverts   In 3 Words

Truth : Introversion isn’t curable.

If introversion is a deeply embedded personality temperament mostly determined by genetics, then it can’t be “cured”. It’s also false to assume that introversion is some kind of curse that should be fixed. Certainly, being introverted has many down falls (including all the false myths described in this article), but it also has many perks and positives. See this article to check them out.

 

The purpose of this article was to dispel 15 of the most popular and harmful myths about introverts. So, if you think that I’ve missed any you feel are important, please add them below. :)

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  1. Sierra Martin says

    This was really inspiring to read, because I’m an introvert myself. I’ve always felt like when someone tries to talk to me I barley say anything back and then they think I’m unsocial and unfriendly and don’t try to talk to me anymore, when really, I just want to have a friend or two to confide in. This article is pretty inspiring, thanks for writing it!

  2. Vivienne Wagstaff says

    I’m only fourteen and I have all the traits of being a introvert and an old soul. I couldn’t handle school I was emotionally drained every day, I’m in home school now and I enjoy the solitude. But the only thing is I’m a leo and I’m supposed to be the most loudest, proudest, popular, lion. But I’m the completely different than” the typical leo”, is this normal?

  3. says

    I strongly disagree with the truth in #15. I was once an introvert but I learned over time that people are not so bad to talk to. Now, I am in the middle of an Ambivert and Extrovert, proof that introversion can be fixed, for some people, introversion might seem like a disease or something wrong because they don’t like it, therefore, I think introversion can be cured or fixed.

    • says

      Hello Juliet. It’s common for many people to change and develop their personalities during their lives. Many children for instance, who are shy and quiet when they are younger, become loud and gregarious when they are older, and vice versa. But shyness is not necessarily synonymous with introversion, and I’ve heard of many people who have said that they were once scared of social interaction, but now they’ve become more confident and outgoing. This does not necessarily prove that introversion can be “cured” or “fixed” like it’s some kind of disease or cantankerous tumour. Also, what seems true for you in your specific circumstance cannot necessarily be applied to all other introverts as well, or even the majority of them. You may like to read the work of Myer-Briggs or Carl Jung to getter a better idea of what I mean. Up to you ;).

    • says

      Not really Vivienne. I’m a Leo as well, and highly solitary and introverted. I’m not sure whether you’ve heard of Moon horoscopes, but you may like to checkout what yours is. Although my Sun horoscope is Leo, my Moon horoscope is Cancer (which is quite the opposite of Leo). Sun horoscopes are said to represent our outer persona, whereas moon horoscopes are said to represent our inner natures. So while you may feel that you are one way, other people may perceive you in another way (perhaps as the Leo sign describes).
      I hope this helps. Thank you for reading!
      -L

  4. Aelia Cassia says

    I wish I’d read this about 60 years ago. But you did clarify something that’s useful for me now. My mother and my aunts became extremely outspoken when they reached “a certain age.” I’m doing this myself since I’ve attained “that age.” Essentially, I no longer feel funny about encouraging quiet kids to enjoy their art, their music, modeling spacecraft, war-gaming–whatever pleases them. I’m not quite to the stage where I’m willing to tell “people persons” that blathering about nothing is verbal white noise. Probably I can start that next week.

    • says

      Aelia, it makes me happy to hear that this article could be clarifying and useful to you. And please, let me know how your new stage of telling people-persons that their yabbering is nothing but white noise goes! This will be interesting, haha

  5. Suzy says

    Thanks so much for posting these thoughts and insights, they have helped me!

    I had just turned down an invitation from a famly member to a long weekend away , to celebrate a significant date for them, in a house shared with a group of adults and kids, (my idea of HELL!!!!) and I could hear them thinking “she is so selfish”. Not for the first time in my 40+ year long life – I found myself feeling guilty and thinking “what is wrong with me?” and googling “selfish loner”. Which let me to your page. Yup, I’m an introvert. Maybe a bit selfish, too, but an introvert for sure.

    One thing though, not sure if this is something that is coming up from other readers – I can appear to be quite confident, chatty and outgoing, in certain situations and for periods of up to 2 hours. After this I fatigue rapidly. But I do best if I know I can withdraw easily and without embarrassment or if I know in advance the structure and duration of the event. I even handle public speaking without much stress. I can be empathetic and funny – just not 24/7. I wonder how common this is, that introverts are competent performing rather than interacting, and that we can act like extroverts for periods? Maybe another myth is that we ALWAYS appear shy and withdrawn?

    Daily long periods of seclusion and solitude are essential to my happiness. I don’t meet many other people like me (may be obvious why!). I find that most invitations are to group events, which I turn down, so the invitations stop coming after a while. So maybe another myth is that introverts don’t like to socialize – just that we don’t like group activities?

    Again, thanks so much.

    • Luna says

      Hello Suzy, I’m happy that you found this page, and that you benefited from what was written. It’s a pity that we can’t simply explain to our friends and family that we’re introverts. Or perhaps we can? Depending on who your family are, and their level of connection to you, it may be a good idea to simply explain that you’re a quiet person who is sensitive to noise and commotion, but would love to spend some one-to-one time with them in the future? Often times we, as introverts, fail to explain to those around us who we are and why we behave the way we do. This creates a lot of tension, frustration and offence in social situations. Of course, not everyone is understanding, and can fully comprehend what you say, but if you give a sincere reason to them, they will at least be left with some idea of why you have turned their invitations down.

      I too tend to have bursts of extroverted-behaviour when the time calls for it, but quickly (after about half an hour to an hour) I become more and more withdrawn and quiet. I simply don’t have that much energy to give! You may be interested in reading an article on this site which deals with such a topic: http://lonerwolf.com/the-extroverted-introvert/

      Many thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  6. says

    I’ve separated from my partner after a 30 year relationship and your words resonated within me. Self discovery is a new thing for me and I now have the freedom to pursue it. Every point made, a truism!

    • says

      Adam, I’m sorry to hear this, but happy to hear that you now have the freedom to discover who you are to the fullest possible extent. Sometimes hardships in our lives are blessings in disguise. Many thanks for reading!

  7. Mara says

    You have made my day, thank you for taking the time to put all of it together, great job! Everything in here is true even the way we are seen in school, work place and anywhere we go. I am sure your post will help a lot of people, and I am grateful for finding it. Keep up the good work and know that everyday you can make a difference in someones life! :-)

    • says

      Mara, many thanks for your kind comment! I’m so pleased to hear that this article has made a difference in your life. Thank you again for reading! -L

  8. Shaant Mathur says

    I can’t say for all of us but surely many would agree that introverts love animals. And there should be some mentioning about it.

    • says

      Thanks Shaant, this is definitely something to look into. I´d be interested in creating a poll one day soon in an article to determine what percentage of introverts are animal lovers.

      • Shaant Mathur says

        Thank you but I forgot to write one more thing that should be covered. And that is effect of alcohol on introversion, as it becomes less painful for us to talk and socialize after drinking. At least I do. I also posted it on Mrs Susan Cain’s fb page but got no reply.
        There might be many other things too that have been left out. Hope others add it to the list

  9. ms anonymous says

    this helped me to understand myself more.thank you so much :)but can you write an article on how to overcome low self- esteem?please please I badly need it :(

    • says

      That’s wonderful to hear Ms Anonymous :)
      I’d love to write an article about overcoming self-esteem in the future. But if you need any immediate help, I’d be happy to receive an email from you (using the contact form of this website). All the best.

  10. painislove says

    The fact is this society is dominated by extroverts. Introverts are looked down upon and are the minority. I used to have low self esteem and couldn’t fit in with any group when I was younger because I was labelled, ‘weird’, ‘shy’, ‘antisocial’ etc. etc. Its not an illness or disorder and I’ve learned to just not care about what people think, and be myself always. Its hard though especially in the work environment, most jobs you just have to talk a lot and get along with everybody. Basically though my attitude is either accept me or F off because I could care less about whether you like me or not, hahaha. But most introverts I know are intelligent, understanding and wise individuals who respect others and are considerate towards everybody. I send out love to all my fellow introverts and old souls!

    • says

      Thanks for your comment painislove. I second you: I too had really poor self esteem when I was younger as a result of feeling “weird” and like an absolute outsider. I think these feelings are a large part of the reason why I write for this website and why I strive so hard to support those who struggle with themselves, just like I did. This article in a sense is a sort of vengeance, sort of like “in your face! You don’t know how wrong you are about me and the people like me”.

      :) Well, everyone has their own unique way of dealing with other people. I applaud you for getting so far and learning not to care what people think of you! Thanks for commenting!

    • Shaant Mathur says

      Same thing happens to me. Whenever I meet new people, I tell them about my nature and ask them to make their choices accordingly and leave me if they don’t like it. And they say, No it doesn’t matter and that they like me. A few days later they are all like, we don’t wanna talk to you. lol

  11. Marianne in NYC says

    Greatest web-site I have ever had the good fortune to stumble upon! What a joy to forward your articles to friends instead of constantly trying to explain myself to them. Thanks for all the work you to put into this.

    • says

      I read this comment with a big smile on my face – thanks very much Marianne (2) ! It’s a joy to receive such positive feedback. :) I hope the future articles published here will help you in your daily life. If you ever had any suggestions or ideas for a good idea feel free to let me know ;)

  12. says

    Facebook and other social websites are an introverts dream. We can contribute as much or little as we please, back away when we’ve had enough, but more importantly, say what we want to say without being interrupted!

    • says

      Precisely Marianne, which is why the internet is the perfect medium to start dispelling myths like the ones above that affect our way of life and being. Recommending or tweeting this article is one of the most passive, yet effective ways of telling people who know us “hey – you think we’re like this, but we’re actually not! Big misunderstanding!”