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How to 6 myths about introverts

This article was co-authored by Tara Bradford. Tara Bradford is a Brand Strategist, Life and Mindset Coach, and the Founder of The Bradford Institute, a life and leadership coaching company in New York City. She is also a guest lecturer at Fordham’s Gabelli School of Business in the MS Media Management program. With over five years of experience, Tara specializes in personal branding, executive presence, and thought leadership. Tara brings her background in Neuroscience, Psychology, Biochemistry, and Social and Behavioral Sciences into her coaching practice. She received a BS in Nursing from the University of Arizona and studied Biochemistry at the University of New England. She is certified in high-performance coaching, neurolinguistics, hypnotherapy, success coaching, and emotional freedom and TIME techniques. Her podcast titled Handle Everything is dedicated to sharing this message.

There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

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When many people hear the term “introvert,” a flurry of stereotypes comes to mind. They think of someone who is shy, anxious, and brooding and who avoids other people at all costs. The truth is that many of these popular ideas about introverts aren’t accurate. Being introverted (or extroverted) is more nuanced than that! In this article, we’ve broken down some of the most common myths and misconceptions about introverts to help set the record straight.

Being an introvert myself, I don’t mind it at all. I enjoy being introverted and I’ve never really understood all the fuss about being an extrovert. if nothing else, isn’t it great that we’re different?

Still, there are plenty of misconceptions about what it means to be an introvert.

Therefore, I was glad to find the book The Introvert Advantage (How To Thrive in an Extrovert World), by Marti Laney, Psy.D. And from there I found Carl Kingdom, who based on Laney’s book has compiled a list of ten widely spread myths about introverts.

It’s so good that I will repost large chunks of the post, but make sure to check out the original here .

Here are excerpts describing these introvert myths:

Common introvert myths

How to 6 myths about introverts

Myth 1: Introverts don’t like to talk

“This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.”

I like to talk and I often lead meetings and workshops. I often get up on stage to talk in front of hundreds of people at the time. I don’t mind standing up in a room full of strangers to make my case. However, if I have nothing of substance to add, I say nothing.

This is especially true if I want the social situation to be over already.

Myth 2: Introverts are shy

“Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.”

This, in my opinion, is the worst introvert myth. I love to give advice, but I also know that unsolicited advice is a waste of breath. And if there’s no interest in what I might have to say, that’s fine, too. I’m not easily offended and I don’t mind being quiet.

Myth 3: Introverts are rude

“Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.”

Well, I’ve learned to fake social pleasantries. It’s exhausting, yes, but making the situation uncomfortable for others might prolong the social interaction. I don’t consider myself rude, but I don’t want to be perceived as rude, either.

Myth 4: Introverts don’t like people

“On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.”

So, I never expect anyone to be awesome at everything. I don’t expect to like every facet of someone’s personality — and I don’t expect anyone to like every facet of mine. I’d like to think that I’m pragmatic.

Myth 5: Introverts don’t like to go out in public

“Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.”

The more people in a public setting, the less complex I prefer the interaction to be. This is why I dislike concerts; enjoying music, to me, is a complex experience and therefore best done alone.

Myth 6: Introverts always want to be alone

“Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.”

My thinking goes like this: Since I’m deeply interested in people, especially when it comes to psychologies and behaviours, why wouldn’t I prefer to connect with one person at the time? I don’t really see the magic in spreading my attention too thin.

Myth 7: Introverts are weird

“Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.”

I don’t think that I’m an individualist by choice. I think first — and then I compare. And quite often this thinking turns out to be somewhat different from the norm. Once this process has taken place, I can’t really change my mind just to conform with existing majorities who have reached different conclusions.

Myth 8: Introverts are aloof nerds

“Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.”

I often find certain activities that sparks my interest and when this happens, I like to dive deeper into them. I can appreciate that other people prefer to breeze through many types of activities instead; there’s benefits to that, too.

Myth 9: Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun

“Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.”

It’s often hard for my friends to understand that I can be alone and have tons of fun inside my head for hours on end. I understand that it might look isolated from the outset, but that’s only how it comes across.

Myth 10: Introverts can fix themselves and become extroverts

“A world without Introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers. That being said, there are still plenty of techniques an Extrovert can learn in order to interact with Introverts. (Yes, I reversed these two terms on purpose to show you how biased our society is.) Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.”

Sure, I can fake being extroverted. I often do this. As long as I get to recharge, I don’t see this is as a major problem. We must all adapt to our surroundings — that’s an evolutionary prerequisite. But natural variation is an evolutionary strength, too.

This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.

Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.

On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.

Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.

Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.

Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.

Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.

A world without Introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers. That being said, there are still plenty of techniques an Extrovert can learn in order to interact with Introverts. (Yes, I reversed these two terms on purpose to show you how biased our society is.) Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.

How to 6 myths about introverts

How to 6 myths about introverts

How to 6 myths about introverts

I wrote this list in late-2008. Around that time, I was lucky enough to discover a book called, The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World, by Marti Laney, Psy.D. It felt like someone had written an encyclopedia entry on a rare race of people to which I belong. Not only had it explained many of my eccentricities, it helped me to redefine my entire life in a new and productive context.

Sure, anyone who knows me would say, “Duh! Why did it take you so long to realize you’re an Introvert?” It’s not that simple. The problem is that labeling someone as an Introvert is a very shallow assessment, full of common misconceptions. It’s more complex than that.

A section of Laney’s book (page 71 through page 75) maps out the human brain and explains how neuro-transmitters follow different dominant paths in the nervous systems of Introverts and Extroverts. If the science behind the book is correct, it turns out that Introverts are people who are over-sensitive to Dopamine, so too much external stimulation overdoses and exhausts them. Conversely, Extroverts can’t get enough Dopamine, and they require Adrenaline for their brains to create it. Extroverts also have a shorter pathway and less blood-flow to the brain. The messages of an Extrovert’s nervous system mostly bypass the Broca’s area in the frontal lobe, which is where a large portion of contemplation takes place.

Unfortunately, according to the book, only about 25% of people are Introverts. There are even fewer that are as extreme as I am. This leads to a lot of misunderstandings, since society doesn’t have very much experience with my people. (I love being able to say that.)

So the 10 Myths are a few common misconceptions about Introverts (not taken directly from the book, but based on my own life experience).

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How to 6 myths about introverts

This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

Myth #2 : Introverts are shy.

Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.

Myth #3 : Introverts are rude.

Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.

Myth #4 : Introverts don’t like people.

On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.

Myth #5 : Introverts don’t like to go out in public.

Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.

Myth #6 : Introverts always want to be alone.

Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.

Myth #7 : Introverts are weird.

Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

Myth #8 : Introverts are aloof nerds.

Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.

Myth #9 : Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.

Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.

Myth #10 : Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.

A world without Introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers. That being said, there are still plenty of techniques an Extrovert can learn in order to interact with Introverts. (Yes, I reversed these two terms on purpose to show you how biased our society is.) Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.

Written by Carl King

My name is Carl King. I live in the Los Angeles area.
In the progressive rock world, I have recorded many complicated albums under the names Sir Millard Mulch / Dr. Zoltan. I released an album in May 2017 with Dweezil Zappa, Virgil Donati, Mike Keneally, Marco Minnemann, Mark Borchardt, and others called GRAND ARCHITECTS OF THE UNIVERSE.
In the filmmaking world, I’ve worked on several documentaries. (Morgan Agren’s Conundrum, The Death of Superman Lives… What Happened?, Apocalypse Later: Harold Camping vs. The End of the World, and Downhill: The Bill Johnson Story.)
I am the author of 10 Myths About Introverts and So, You’re A Creative Genius… Now What?

How to 6 myths about introverts

If you’re an introvert like me, it’s likely you feel drained by social events but energized by spending time alone. This has led to many people getting the wrong idea about introversion. People accuse us of being shy or asocial, but the truth is many introverts love being around people–we just can’t do too much socializing. Whereas extroverts gain energy as they spend time with people, introverts will start to wilt after a while and need time out before they can face their next social encounter.

Below are eight myths about introverts that need to be challenged:

Myth #1: Introverts don’t know how to have fun.

An introvert’s idea of fun differs from that of an extrovert’s. For us, a “fun” Saturday night might involve having a meaningful conversation with a friend over dinner or binge watching our favorite Netflix show with our significant other. Introverts don’t feel the need to seek out external forms of stimulation as much as extroverts do. According to Susan Cain in Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts, introverts have slightly different nervous systems than extroverts. Ours are more sensitive than extroverts’, so we tend to get enough stimulation just from being around other people.

How to 6 myths about introvertsWhat’s your personality type? Knowing your personality can help you leverage your natural strengths. Take the free personality test from our partner Personality Hacker.

Myth #2: Introverts don’t have anything to say.

Introverts avoid small talk because it feels inauthentic. But many of us actually love to talk–when we have something of value to say. Introverts enjoy talking about big ideas or topics that are personally meaningful to us. If you get me talking about something I’m passionate about, you might find it hard to get a word in.

Myth #3: Introverts don’t like people.

Introverts usually have small social circles. We have a few friendships that are very close and long-term. These friends mean the world to us. We may not have many acquaintances because that would mean we’d have to do a lot of small talk.

Myth #4: Introverts are rude and aloof.

Introverts sometimes skip the social niceties because they want to get right to the heart of the conversation. That’s where the good stuff is. Having to first work my way through, “how are you/I’m fine/and how are you/great/how was your weekend/oh that’s good” is exhausting!

Myth #5: All introverts are shy.

Introversion and shyness are two completely different things. According to Susan Cain, “shy people fear negative judgment, while introverts simply prefer less stimulation; shyness is inherently painful, and introversion is not.” Introverts aren’t afraid to interact with people, we just need a reason to do it. You can be an introvert and be shy, or you can be an introvert without the shyness piece.

Myth #6: Introverts are recluses.

Introverts think a lot. We process things internally in addition to talking them through with others. We love to daydream and reflect on our lives. Sometimes we can be accused of being too “in our heads.” But just because we like plenty of quiet solitude doesn’t mean we always want to be alone. Just like extroverts, we need caring people in our lives. We get lonely if we don’t experience true connection and intimacy with others.

Myth #7: Introverts are homebodies.

Many introverts love to head out on a Saturday night just as much as anyone else. However, we need time to recharge our batteries after hanging out with others, especially if crowds and lots of small talk are involved. We may not stay out as long as extroverts and we may need to relax at home the next night to recharge our “social” batteries. This isn’t because we don’t like to go out; it goes back to us having more sensitive nervous systems than extroverts. After a night out, we need time to process all that stimulation.

Myth #8: It’s better to be an extrovert.

Extroverts are fueled by dopamine and feel energized at the possibility of rewards in the environment, such as social status, money, and power. For this reason, extroverts may be better suited for some professions—especially those that are competitive, high-stress, and full of social interaction. However, introverts are responsible for much of the art, music, poetry, and literature of the world. Actor Emma Watson, musician Christina Aguilera, and author J.K. Rowling are all self-professed introverts. Introverts are also highly represented in the fields of science, technology, and politics—Einstein, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama are introverts. Our world needs both types of personalities to thrive.

This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.

Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.

Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.

Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.

Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.

On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.

Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.

Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.

Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.

Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.

Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.

Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.

Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.

Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.

Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.

Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.

Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.

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How to 6 myths about introverts

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Let's face it: a lot of us here at GeekDad (both readers and writers) tend toward the introvert end of the personality spectrum. Sadly, western culture seems to adore extroverts and — if not outright demonizing us as freaks and losers — we introverts are generally viewed in a far less favorable light. This is occasionally tough on us as adults, but for our kids it can be a devastating problem.

Carl King takes issue with this cultural bias in a fantastic piece about the Top Ten Myths About Introverts over on his blog. The list was inspired by the book The Introvert Advantageby Marti Olsen Laney. As Carl says about the book,

I feel like someone has written an encyclopedia entry on a rare race of people to which I belong. Not only has it explained many of my eccentricities, it helps me to redefine my entire life in a new and positive context.

You should head over to Carl's blog for the full posting, but to whet your appetite, here's the TL;DR version:

Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.

I like to think that we're all becoming a lot more understanding and accepting as a society, but I know that there are still lots of people who have just never been exposed to the idea that introversion and extroversion are all perfectly normal and reasonable personality types. As mentioned above, being an introvert can be absolutely brutal for kids going through the ultra-judgmental and ultra-self-conscious meat grinder of adolescence. Feel free to share this list and maybe make things easier for some kids and parents out there.

How to 6 myths about introverts

The subject of introvert vs. extrovert seems to be popular at the moment; I’ve even written about it myself a few times.

But I find the subject fascinating. I have a lot of introverted personality traits and enjoy spending time on my own, reading and writing, lost in my own thoughts.

One of the most interesting things I’ve read about introverts and extroverts is the idea that it’s not so much about personality; it’s about where we harness our energy.

An introvert needs plenty of quiet time and finds busy social situations exhausting. In contrast, an extrovert gets a buzz from talking to new people and interacting. This post gives a brief overview of the theory behind this idea.

Sadly, introversion is still considered to be a negative thing in many circles, where an outgoing and vivacious personality is the ideal.

Some people have all kinds of unfortunate ideas of what it means to be an introvert.

Introverts are shy

It’s easy to assume that quiet means shy, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Talking to new people can be challenging for an introvert, because it forces you outside your comfort zone, meaning you use a lot of energy.

When you’re networking, it helps if you’re good at small talk. This doesn’t come naturally to everyone; some people don’t like to chatter unless they have something they want to say. And if you have two people together who find small talk a challenge, then there are bound to be some awkward silences.

I’ve never been very good at approaching people, but over the last couple of years I’ve become much better at carrying a conversation, just by practicing and being brave.

TIP: If you’re going to an event or a party where you don’t know many people, have a few questions prepared that you can ask if there’s a lull in conversation. That way you can get somebody else chatting about themselves while you listen.

Introverts are poor communicators

An identifier for introversion is the preference to communicate in writing, rather than verbally, which can be a problem in the workplace. In fact, it’s one I’ve experienced personally. Some people assume that because you choose not to speak up every time, you lack the ability to do so. Not true.

I don’t like talking on the phone and prefer to use email to contact people wherever possible. I’ll use the phone if I need to, but I find I express myself better in writing because I have the option to play around with the words until they’re just right. It’s much harder to get it spot on first time during a conversation or a presentation.

TIP: If you’re not very good on the phone, follow up your work conversations with an email so you can make sure you include anything you forgot to say or weren’t clear about initially.

Introverts are anti-social or socially inept

If a person finds it difficult to interact naturally with others, it can create a stigma among those that don’t know them very well.

It’s usually seen as a bad thing to be a ‘loner’; if you’re an introvert, others might assume that you just don’t like people or enjoy socialising.

TIP: If you find it difficult to cope with groups of new people, try and focus on one-to-one conversations. There is bound to be someone else who would be relieved to have a quiet talk away from the crowd.

Introverts are aloof or rude

Quiet people often have a rich internal life. They may not appear outwardly friendly if you catch them in the moment, walking down the street or typing away at their computer. But that doesn’t mean they’re ignorant or they don’t want to talk to you, it just takes them a minute to change their thought process and switch to conversation mode.

Or they might be self-conscious or uncertain. Haven’t you ever had the moment in the street or the supermarket where you see someone you knew at school or a vague acquaintance and you’re not sure whether to say hello? Will they remember you, will they say hello first? You overthink it and fluff your lines. They think you snubbed them. It’s not just me, right?!

TIP: Practice smiling and saying hello to people in the corridor at work or school. Most people will smile back and it will become more natural.

Introverts are bad at management and public speaking

This one ties into the idea that introverts have poor communication skills. A softly spoken person might be seen as lacking authority or the ability to deal with confrontation, which would affect their approach to management. Crippling shyness might also make it difficult to give confident presentations.

TIP: Take any opportunity to showcase your communication skills, so people have the chance to see you shine.

Introverts need to change their personalities

This is something that, quite frankly, has always pissed me off. I’ve encountered a few people who have tried to push me to change my personality and be more outgoing, when that simply isn’t who I am.

Would the world be a better place if everyone was loud, chatty and outgoing?

So why should everyone aspire to the same personality traits. We all have our strengths, and we should be able to use them and build on them, rather than abandoning them to fit the mould of what someone else wants us to be.

TIP: Don’t force yourself to change. Play to your strengths, work on your weaknesses if you need to, but be true to who you are; you’ll be happier that way.

Introverts and extroverts: what assumptions do people make that annoy you? Share them in the comments!

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Myths about Introverts

Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.

Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.

Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.

Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.

Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.

Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.

Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.

Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
A world without Introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers. Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.

How to 6 myths about introverts

Since there are more extroverts than introverts in the world, us introverts often feel misunderstood and alone. “The problem is that labeling someone as an introvert is a very shallow assessment,” composer and filmmaker Carl King wrote. He thinks introversion goes a lot deeper than most people think.

King wrote a list of common myths about introverts after discovering a book called The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World by Marti Laney, Psy.D. “It felt like someone had written an encyclopedia entry on a rare race of people to which I belong. Not only had it explained many of my eccentricities, it helped me to redefine my entire life in a new and productive context.”

Carl pointed out a portion of Laney’s book that talks about how introverts and extroverts’ brains are simply wired differently. “If the science behind the book is correct, it turns out that introverts are people who are oversensitive to dopamine, so too much external stimulation overdoses and exhausts them. Conversely, extroverts can’t get enough dopamine, and they require adrenaline for their brains to create it. Extroverts also have a shorter pathway and less blood-flow to the brain. The messages of an extrovert’s nervous system mostly bypass the Broca’s area in the frontal lobe, which is where a large portion of contemplation takes place.”

The book states that only 25% of the population is an introvert. “There are even fewer that are as extreme as I am. This leads to a lot of misunderstandings.”

With that said, we hope these myths about introverts can be cleared up with the following list written by Carl King. We know that it might be difficult to stay positive as an introvert living in an extroverted world, but just remember: you’re not alone! 25% of the population (or more) is right there with you.

Here are 10 myths about introverts that most people believe:

1. They don’t like to talk.

Introverts actually love to talk! They just prefer not to talk about mundane, everyday subjects that often come up in small talk. If you start any type of intellectual conversation, you can rest assured that the introvert will happily chime in (and probably won’t stop talking).

2. All introverts are shy.

While some introverts CAN be shy, not all of them are. Most just like to keep to themselves until they have a reason to talk. Introverts can be just as friendly as extroverts, but they like to conserve energy and not carry on conversations when they don’t have to.

How to 6 myths about introverts

3. They are rude.

Introverts are not rude; that’s just society’s perception based on untrue facts. Like we said before, introverts only talk when necessary, which doesn’t make them rude or unfriendly; it just means they don’t want to talk every second. Introverts don’t really care about fitting in; they just wish people would take more time to understand them and leave them in peace.

4. Introverts don’t like people.

Introverts are just like everyone else; they like select people that they have allowed into their lives who have proven themselves loyal friends or family. They have a different way of interacting with the world than extroverts, so their reserved nature might make them seem antisocial, but they do enjoy having rich, meaningful friendships.

5. They hate going out in public.

Introverts enjoy quieter places and activities most of the time. They can go out to any place, of course, but they don’t like staying too long. Once they’ve had their fill, they like to go home and soak in a hot bath or curl up in bed with a good book.

6. Introverts never like being around people.

Introverts need more alone time than extroverts, but they do enjoy being around people, just in smaller doses.

7. They are strange.

Isn’t everyone strange in their own way? Introverts don’t like being put in a box; they simply have a personality trait that makes them who they are, and they don’t like being judged for that.

8. Introverts are self-centered.

It might seem that way since they keep to themselves a lot, but that doesn’t make them arrogant jerks. It just means they need more time to process life in their own heads.

9. Introverts don’t know how to have fun.

Introverts have fun in a different way than extroverts typically do, but that doesn’t mean they’re boring. It just means they have their own definition of fun.

10. They can morph into extroverts.

They can act a little more extroverted at parties, but they will never become a true extrovert and wouldn’t want to anyway.

Remember: if you ever feel isolated and lonely as an introvert, try to implement positive thinking. Focus on your strengths and the things that make you so unique. Introverts have plenty of positive characteristics such as the ability to contemplate decisions before acting, excellent listening skills, and innate creative skills.

Being born as an introvert simply means you derive your energy from within rather than from the outside world; it doesn’t make you weird or unlikable. We sincerely hope these myths about introverts can clear the air and show you facts about introverts instead.

Which of these myths can you relate to most? Share with us in the comments!