In a way, this misconception kind of ties into Misconception #1 that introverts are anti-social. But, at the same time, a lot of these misconceptions go together and I figured that it warranted having its own post. Introverts can get a bad rap and another one of the big misconceptions is that introverts don’t like people. LOL. If you really stop and think about it, that seems a little silly right?
So, why do people think introverts don’t like people?
This has always been a weird thing for me to try and wrap my head around because… well, we will get to that a little later on. But, why do people have this misconception about introverts in the first place? I’ve got a few ideas:
- It goes hand in hand with the idea that introverts are anti-social. People think that because introverts aren’t going out all the time and need alone time to recharge, then they must not like people. **eye roll**
- Introverts tend to be “quieter” in social and professional settings.
- Some introverts tend to have a select few people they are close to, rather than a larger group of friends.
- Because introverts have no qualms about being alone, people may believe that it means that introverts don’t like people.
Let’s ditch the misconception, shall we?
We are finally to my favorite part…telling everyone why the misconception that introverts don’t like people is just simply not true.
Introverts are quiet.
I’m pretty sure I covered this in another post, but being quiet can be the result of a few different things. Introverts tend to be excellent listeners. Being quiet has nothing to do with not liking people, but is instead them absorbing what is being said. They will contribute to the conversation if they believe they will add value or are passionate about the subject. If it’s small talk you’re looking for, then an introvert probably isn’t who you need LOL.
Aside from that, if an introvert doesn’t feel comfortable around you yet, then odds are they might be a little quieter than usual. It can take them a little while to open up, which shouldn’t be frowned upon. They’d rather wait and get a feel for the people they’re speaking to before they start chatting away. Speaking from personal experience, I don’t like to risk opening up too soon in order to avoid looking or feeling foolish. I want to make sure that the people I open up to won’t judge me or make me feel silly.
Introverts don’t have A LOT of friends.
Okay, I’m pretty sure everyone has heard the saying (maybe by Al Capone… I think) that is something along the lines of 4 quarters are better than 100 pennies. That’s pretty spot on if you ask me. To me, having four excellent friends that I really connect with and trust is far better than having one hundred friends who are essentially just acquaintances. If you’re one of the lucky few who has a hundred friends that you can count on for anything and who truly understand you, then kudos to you.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve tried to broaden my friendships in an effort to build more connections. All it’s done for me is make me feel even lonelier than I was before. Sure, I know a lot of people pretty well and consider them friends. But, ask me the last time I talked to any given one? Weeks, months, or in some cases years, would likely be the answer. Not speaking for everyone, but there are a lot of people out there that only look for you when they need something. They’re just one of the pennies, not the quarters.
Not having a ton of pennies shouldn’t be an indication that introverts don’t like people. Introverts just see the value in the quarters (maybe even some half dollars here and there). They’d much rather find a quarter than a penny because pennies will fill up your wallet faster and with less value than the quarters would. Make sense?
Introverts don’t like to go out, so they must hate other humans.
Introverts DO like going out. You can find introverts hanging out at parties, going to clubs, going to concerts, etc. They stay in when they want some time to relax or need to recharge. It doesn’t mean that they never leave their house or don’t enjoy going out every once in a while.
When introverts are staying in, it doesn’t always mean that they’re alone or always want to be alone. Odds are, you can find introverts hanging out with one of those lucky few who have made it into their inner circle. So, unless you’re suggesting that that person isn’t actually a person… then I don’t think you have an argument LOL.
Let’s be real for a sec.
In general (because I’m not speaking for everyone LOL), introverts love people. We are fascinated by their passions, dreams, thoughts, and everything. We like to see what lights up a person’s face and enjoy talking to people. At times, socializing can be exhausting for introverts, but they do it anyway because they genuinely enjoy people. I’d say introverts would be pretty dang lonely if they never encountered or spoke to another person, regardless of how much they love their alone time.
Introverts do sometimes avoid social situations if they know it’s going to be overly exhausting. For example, confrontation is not something an introvert wants to endure. To be honest, I can’t really think of many people who do enjoy confrontation, including extroverts. It’s exhausting for everyone. But does that mean that everybody just hates everyone else? No…
Introverts, just like extroverts, probably have people on their list that they aren’t so fond of. Maybe they work in customer service and have to deal with the same customer coming in every other day screaming about something or other. Odds are, they’re probably not going to be grabbing coffee with that person after their shift. Or maybe they disagree with someone over their basic principles and morals. They’re probably not going to be BFFs. It doesn’t mean that introverts don’t like people.
That’s a wrap!
If nothing else, I hope that people give introverts a chance. We probably really do want to get to know you but need you to be patient. We’re not going to start babbling within 30 seconds of meeting you… well maybe if we’ve had a few glasses of wine… But in general, not so much. Introverts really do like people.