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.

Reading through these was quite remarkable.  Clear, concise, precise, and accurate.

From (and deliberately truncated at six).

7 responses to “Myths about Introverts”

  1. Sami Hoda

    Not sure if #3 is accurate. "Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries" doesn't have anything to do with introversion, rather with other personality traits that determine whether a person is tactful or not. See:

  2. Peter Boughton

    Not sure I 100% agree with all of that, but probably also a good enough "guide".

    Curious to see the original list you truncated from though – do you have a direct link?
    I checked the first ten pages of the link you provided but can't see it, and too many damned animated gifs to keep going. :/

  3. Jim Priest

    Probably my favorite introvert post:

    I make my wife read that every now and then :)

  4. Lola LB

    I tend to be an introvert mostly for the reason being that I'm deaf and I find it very awkward to be in a situation where I can understand only 25%, at most, of what people are saying, even with my lipreading skills. That's why I may seem to be kind of standoffish at conferences and don't stay very long at conference social events. Especially when I don't know anybody.

  5. Adam

    Great post Barney. I'm glad I'm not the only one like this – it's hard to tell sometimes.

    I actually agree with #3 also. I believe you can be quite tactful but still decline to engage social fluff conversation and indirectness, which goes hand in hand with #1.

  6. Larry C. Lyons

    As someone who used to work in this field (graduate degrees in experimental psych), I've been very skeptical of the Myers-Briggs type indicators. They are just too pat. In terms of introversion – extraversion, its a continuum not a discrete set of categories. A person can endorse some introverted tendencies but that does not mean that they are what is stereotyped as Introverted.

    My own research in grad school (as part of a much larger study of several thousand people) showed that the MBTI can be better subsumed by more comprehensive measures, such as the revised NEO-PI. That measure gives a much better view of the individual's personality.