Hey there introverts and extroverted friends! Are you ready to get down to the nitty-gritty of what this series is all about? If you haven’t already done so, make sure you check out part 1 of the series where I celebrate some of the awesome things about being an introvert. You don’t want to miss out. Alright, first things first! We’re going to demolish our first introvert misconception today: introverts are anti-social.
Honestly, this is one of my favorites and cracks me up EVERY SINGLE TIME. Just to reiterate from a previous post, not all introverts are created equal, just like not all extroverts are. So, there might be some introverts out there who are “anti-social.” It just seems like such a rigid statement to place on a huge group of people.
Why do people think introverts are anti-social?
A few things come to mind when I think about it.
- Introverts like their alone time.
- Most introverts tend to listen more than they speak when they’re having a conversation or are in a group setting.
- A lot of times their idea of fun leans more toward reading, art, Netflix, etc., whereas extroverts are happier going out.
Because I’m an introvert, all of these things make a lot of sense. I don’t think that it automatically makes someone anti-social. It’s not some sort of mystical rule that introverts don’t go out, don’t talk to people, or stand in the corner of the room, awkwardly avoiding eye contact with the weird humans in the room. They need to be social too at times.
“Oh my gosh, you’re an introvert? What are you doing out of your house? Aren’t you some socially awkward person who avoids human contact like the plague?” Well, sometimes LOL. Given the choice, more often than not, I’d probably choose to stay home and snuggle with my dog rather than have to deal with people… in the wild…and make small talk. **shudders**
As promised, let’s demolish the misconception.
Introverts like their alone time:
And? Introverts need their alone time to recharge. After a while of being around a lot of people, or a long day of work, introverts can be left feeling mentally and physically exhausted. They handle this by taking some time out just for themselves. It’s pretty much the exact opposite of extroverts who recharge by being around other people and being more social.
However, does needing their alone time automatically mean that introverts are anti-social? Of course not. Needing alone time doesn’t mean that introverts never go out and enjoy social interaction and experiences. They still go out for drinks, parties, social events, concerts, etc. It just might not be their activity of choice when they’re trying to decompress. I promise it doesn’t mean they’re automatically hermits. They do genuinely enjoy interacting with others as long as they find something to connect on.
Most introverts tend to listen more than they speak when they’re having a conversation or are in a group setting:
I was a bank manager for almost four years and had to deal with drama from customers and team members on a regular basis. Towards the end, I was pretty burnt out. I had this terrible habit of spacing out sometimes when my team would talk to me about petty problems. Only my subconscious was actively listening, so if I heard something important I would always bring my attention back and they’d have to repeat the important part. Pretty terrible, right? I know LOL.
I should point out that this never happens when I’m having a conversation about something important or interesting. After you heard the same story seven times about how so and so gave somebody a dirty look, you’d probably space out too. Introvert or not, it gets old.
If you’re having a genuine conversation with an introvert and they aren’t talking much, but contribute thoughtful responses every once in a while, that’s not a bad thing. They probably just care about what it is you have to say. Odds are they’re thinking of the right thing to say so that they actually contribute to the conversation. It doesn’t mean that introverts are anti-social. Don’t believe me? Find out what sets their soul on fire or what they’re completely obsessed with. But, strike up a conversation about that at your own risk. They probably won’t shut up LOL. In all seriousness though, you’re probably going to get a conversation that you remember and by the time you look at the time, hours have passed.
A lot of times their idea of fun leans more toward reading, art, Netflix, etc., whereas extroverts are happier going out:
Once again, I’m confused at how this means introverts are anti-social. Sure, on most Friday nights, introverts would probably be happier staying in, having a nice dinner, and maybe watching a few movies… WITH YOU. Somehow the idea of needing alone time to recharge merged into introverts doing ALL activities alone.
It is true that sometimes it can be difficult to get to know introverts. They usually have a handful of close friends that they spend time with, instead of a bunch of acquaintances. Introverts choose their people with care and want to surround themselves with people who make their lives better. Haven’t you heard that four quarters are better than one hundred pennies?
Yeah, they probably do want to stay in on Friday, but they want company. It’s as simple as not wanting to over-exert themselves by going to a club or party. They’d need more alone time to recharge. Even if they want to spend the day or evening reading, they usually like to have company… just as long as you’re not talking their ear off while they’re trying to get lost in a book. Don’t do that. 😉
Misconception #1- STATUS: DESTROYED
So, that was fun. Like I said before, it cracks me up when I hear people say that introverts are anti-social. It’s honestly as simple as just not understanding them. If you truly believe this misconception is true, then I think you need to find an introverted friend. You won’t regret it.
I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it! Do you have an introvert misconception that you want me to tear apart? Let me know in the comments!