I might have mentioned this before, but I’m a huge fan of the Myers Briggs test and am a proud INFP! As I have gotten older, I’ve really started to assess who I am as a person. The test has really helped me identify different things about myself that I may have had trouble putting into words in the past. It gives a helpful insight into how you function and why you like and dislike the things that you do. If you haven’t taken it, I definitely recommend it.
For me, a big reason why I get so excited about being an INFP is because I have worked really hard to accept who I am. Growing up and even now, people are constantly telling me how to “be.” There is some sense of superiority for extroverts versus introverts. Society seems to think that extroverts are better. Honestly, most of the people who feel that way are probably extroverts :p
I have heard soooo many different things about why being an introvert is bad and how all introverts should strive to be more extroverted. After all, all of the successful and happy people in the world are all extroverts, right? **Cough** (J.K. Rowling, Johnny Depp, Princess Diana, Audrey Hepburn, William Shakespeare, and Vincent Van Gogh are all INFPs….that’s just naming a few). I think it’s important to debunk some of the common myths about being an introvert because being an introvert is far from a bad thing!
Introverts are rude. Okay, so this is pretty far from the truth. Sure, you might encounter some introverts who are rude, but the same could be said for extroverts. A lot of times introverts prefer to listen and don’t necessarily feel the need to contribute. This can be seen as standoffish. Sometimes people also see it as the person being rude or arrogant. Seriously people, introverts prefer to listen. They like to choose their words carefully and often times plan out when they’re going to join the conversation. It doesn’t mean that they’re judging you or don’t care what you have to say. Besides, whatever it is that you’re talking about may be so on point that the introvert sitting across from you feels like you covered it pretty well. As an introvert myself, I feel like it’s unnecessary to put my two cents in if the topic has been covered adequately. What’s the point in just repeating what you’ve already said?
They don’t like people and only like being alone. Introverts can be very selective about who they spend their time with. They value their time and want to spend it with people who aren’t going to mentally exhaust them or who are like-minded. Otherwise, they will probably choose to spend some time by themselves. To an introvert, it is better to have a handful of great friends than be surrounded by people who don’t really get you. It’s all about quality relationships and not the quantity. I’m pretty sure there is a saying out there along the lines of “4 quarters are better than 100 pennies.”
They don’t like going out..ever. So, introverts do love staying in and curling up to read a good book or binge watch their favorite show on Netflix. It is relaxing and it gives them time to recharge. However, this doesn’t mean that they never want to go out and do anything. Since going out all the time can be exhausting, introverts choose to be selective about how they spend their time going out. Going to a museum or a movie might be preferable to going out dancing or bar-hopping. You have to remember though that nobody is 100% introverted or 100% extroverted. We all have a mix of the two. So that introvert in your life may choose to be extroverted for a night and want to go sing karaoke in front of a bunch of strangers. It happens! It’s the same concept as extroverts needing a night in once in a while.
They’re less intelligent than their extroverted counterparts. So this has always been a confusing concept for me to grasp. It contradicts a lot of other introvert myths. Aren’t introverts the ones who “always stay in.” What do you think they’re doing with that time? They’re probably reading, writing, painting, playing an instrument, or whatever else tickles their fancy. They make the time to devote to their own development. Introverts are also usually pretty observant and their intuition is pretty on point. They’ve got the book smarts, the people smarts, and probably the street smarts to go along with it. I just don’t see the correlation between enjoying alone time and intelligence. It’s pretty baffling to me LOL.
There is something wrong with them that needs to be fixed. This is actually something that I’ve come across for my entire life. People still tell me to this day that I need to be more outgoing or speak up. “You’re never going to be successful if you don’t speak up more!” “You need to stop being so shy or people aren’t going to take you seriously!” “You just need to get out there more!” “You never go out. You must be depressed!” While sometimes these comments are coming from a good place from somebody who cares about your well-being, it can get frustrating and make you feel like there is something wrong with you. Everybody functions differently and for a really extroverted person to come across a really introverted person, it may be difficult for them to understand each other. It can be hard to relate if you haven’t experienced the same feelings. It doesn’t mean that this person needs to be “fixed.”
So whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert reading this, I hope this has provided a little bit of clarity. It’s important that people learn to embrace who they are and not rely on other people’s opinions so much. It’s not a bad thing to be introverted and it’s not a bad thing to be extroverted. Both have their strengths and opportunities and we could all use a little bit of both.