Introverts are definitely labeled as the quiet and shy types. Often times when you think about someone who is shy, quiet, or just not up to your standards of what “normal” is, you may wonder why. We’ve covered quite a few misconceptions so far (you can start from the beginning). This one is all about the misconception that introverts have low self-esteem.
Do introverts have low self-esteem?
Because they are usually quiet, especially in group settings, it must mean that introverts have low self-esteem. **insert eye roll** To be really honest with you, a lot of introverts are completely comfortable and confident in who they are. Those who aren’t, are most likely impacted by misconceptions like this and well-meaning friends and family constantly telling them they need to change. It can get a little hard to be confident in yourself when you’re constantly being told that something is wrong with you.
It’s a well-known fact that introverts like their alone time. This time invested in themselves is their main source of energy and actually keeps them going. They enjoy it. Introverts don’t like alone time because of their issues with self-esteem. I promise you that they’re not weeping on their couch because they’re miserable… well unless it’s a one-off thing. But I’m sure you could find an extrovert doing the same thing LOL.
How does the misconception that introverts have low self-esteem actually affect them?
Like I mentioned earlier, odds are if an introvert struggles with self-esteem, it’s probably because they have somebody constantly telling them that there is something wrong with them. They probably hear those all too familiar phrases on a regular basis: “You need to be more outgoing!” “Stop being so quiet!” “Are you depressed?” “I could help you stop being an introvert if you want.” These are the things that could actually make introverts have low self-esteem. If someone was constantly implying that there was something wrong with you, how would your self-esteem be? I doubt you’d feel that great. You might even take on more introvert qualities… **GASP! Not that!**
If you think about it, this is very similar to when a child is constantly being put down. They could be bullied at school, treated poorly by parents, etc. After a while, the mental abuse impacts the way that they behave. They will be more withdrawn and likely have poor self-esteem because someone has constantly told them how horrible they are. I’m not saying that being told to be more outgoing is mental abuse, but the results can end up being the same. That person could end up with poor self-esteem as a result of constantly being told that there is something wrong with them. Even when the person means well, it could still have negative consequences.
How can we squash this misconception and the negative results for good?
The biggest thing you can do is to accept your introverted friends for who they are. Try to understand why introverts enjoy doing the things they do. Try spending a day alone and focused on self-care. Odds are you’re probably going to feel really good.
You shouldn’t spend so much time trying to change your introverted friends. There isn’t something wrong with them just because they like to occasionally stay in on a Friday night. It’s not a self-esteem problem but is instead a need to recharge and relax. Not all introverts have low self-esteem, just like not all extroverts have good self-esteem. Just be there for your friends when they need it and support and accept them for who they are. That will make your friendship even better.