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The most common misconception about introverts

Woman sitting by the water

When I ask people to describe an introvert, they respond with adjectives like:
  • Shy
  • Antisocial
  • Quiet 
  • Timid
While it's possible for some introverts to embody the above characteristics, it doesn't describe all of us.

I'm fact, introversion has little -- if anything -- to do with a person's personality. It's more about how they're wired.

Introverts draw energy from within. We're essentially powered by:
  • Solitude
  • Solitary pursuits
  • Being left alone with our thoughts 
That being said, we don't necessarily leave parties early or skip them altogether because we loathe people. 

We do it because, after a tiring day or week, it's the only way we can recharge our batteries. 

Actors/actresses like Steve Martin and Meryl Streep are confirmed introverts. Given their profession, do you think they detest interacting with people? If that were true, I'm sure they'd have quit long ago.

Large crowds and noisy environments are especially draining for us -- thus the reason we're partial to small groups and remote work. 

It isn't lost on us that human beings are social creatures. We love having great relationships with friends, relatives, and colleagues. But too much social discourse leaves us over-stimulated and in need of rest. 

It's for this reason that introverts find it so difficult to work/remain in certain high-visibility professions like teaching and sales. We instead thrive behind the scenes in roles that stress written skills and research as opposed to verbal communication and promotion. 

In a world seemingly tailor-made for extroverts, who derive energy from outside themselves, introverts will always be misunderstood. There's no way around it.

But people can do their part to try and understand introverts rather than label and dismiss them. Because, at the end of the day, we have a host of gifts to offer the world, both personally and professionally. 

The stigma of introversion -- much like that regarding mental health in a broader sense -- needs to be put to bed once and for all. Indeed, introversion is far from a character flaw. It's simply a function of our make-up. 


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