(Links are in red.)
Introverts may have been stepped on in prior years, but, lately, they are heralded as the greater “race,” with blog after blog lauding their struggles in an “extroverted” world. This may be the case in some workplace I haven’t been to, but when I step into the Google office my husband works in, I’m confronted by a world of successful introverts in a wealthy and introvert-happy company.
In some ways, I think introverts have it easier by not needing steady interaction. However, there are benefits to all of the types of human beings God made. I think there are a lot of misconceptions going around about extroverts as well, because every introvert has had an extrovert that has driven them crazy. We’re not all Aunt Beulah! We’re not all going to step into your personal space, ask too many questions, and never shut up! 😀
Therefore, because there aren’t enough of these yet, a few myths debunked from our side of the spectrum:
1. We want introverts to become extroverts.
We love you introverts! While we might have those besties or significant other who we wish would talk and “dish” a little bit more to us about what’s going on in their brain, we get drained by other extroverts some times. We married you or picked you to be our best friend because we enjoy your introversion. I promise. We don’t want a world of just extroverts. We never have!
2. All extroverts adore meeting new people.
There are a few extroverts, mainly the intuitive extroverts, I think, who thrive on meeting new people. Most of us, myself included, would always prefer our pre-existing friends. And I test 99% extroverted on most tests, so I’m as extroverted as they come! I do a perfectly decent job with new people and am not opposed to making new friends, but I dislike always being the one forced to go greet the newbies. In my selfishness, I’d never trade time with the established few best friends I have to go make a new friend. Never. That’s one I have to fight with. Move me to a new location with different people = cause for much distress.
3. People never drain us. We can’t get enough of people.
Again, see #2. Which people? My children sure drain me. That obnoxious, immature clownish guy drains me. My husband? Never. I can’t ever get enough of him. My parents? Maybe they don’t drain me either. But I don’t want anyone else to be in my face for 24 hours, 7 days a week. I’d go insane!
4. Extroverts are natural evangelists.
While I do admit that the best evangelists I’ve personally come across have been extroverts, and they have a natural advantage by not needing as much time to recharge, and they seem to tirelessly, tirelessly care about people (I’m thinking of you, Mom, Callie M., and Elly M.!), this doesn’t mean that all of us are gifted in this. A lot of us still struggle with fear of man. Matter of fact, some of the people I know struggle the most with fear of man tend to be extroverts. Remember, shyness doesn’t equal introversion. A person could simply be shy not because she’s afraid of people, but she’s fearful about what they think of her. The real definition of extrovert isn’t “people person” or “talks a lot” or “is not shy.” The definition of extrovert is “action-oriented and gets energy from being with (specific) people” vs introvert: “thought-oriented and gets energy from being alone.”
5. Extroverts enjoy small talk.
Absolutely silly. Just because we can do it better than the introvert (some times) doesn’t mean we enjoy it! I’m convinced that the only human beings on this planet who enjoy only small talk are people who are hiding something or have been hurt too much to want a real, deep relationship. No one enjoys small talk! We extroverts can just patiently do it until we win over a deep best friend who we can connect with. Not all of us love to talk on the phone all of the time either. Often that can be all awkward small talk and time-consuming, when a text saying, “ok whats really up w/u????” is far more appreciated.
6. Extroverts want as many friends as possible.
While having a large friend base to go to for experiential advice, especially as a mom, is nice, this is not the case. I would give up Facebook entirely (Gasp!) if it meant that a handful of you would actually email or text or visit me, and accept the same from me, and we could become better friends. Give me three or four close, close best friends and you have given me the moon. What good are 400 acquaintances, except to get potty-training and carpet-cleaning advice from? I love having 400 acquaintances because I live in the hopes that 5 of them will become the next Diana Berrys to me.
7. Extroverts do a lot for the sake of attention.
I know quite a few extroverts that are happy being in the background, and quite a few dramatic, attention-seeking introverts. This isn’t a fair assessment and depends on the individual person. For instance, studies have shown that most professional comedians are actually very introverted.
8. Extroverts are not deep, or imaginative, nor do we do anything creative.
This one is stupid. No need to even explain how stupid. I just may want to tell you all about my new novel ideas but, because it’s not all happening secretly inside of my head, doesn’t mean I’m not being creative. 🙂 Mysterious does not equal deep. And quiet does not equal intelligent.
9. Extroverts don’t like a quiet night home. We always want to be out partying, where the social action is at.
Please. Give me my handsome, extremely introverted husband, a babysitter for our kids, and a great new Kyoto Animation series, and I’m the happiest girl in the world. ❤
Are you an extrovert? Does this resonate with you? Do you know your Myers-Briggs personality type? What is it? Take the quiz here and tell us what you got in a comment!