Many times, we talk about two types of person - EXTROVERTS and INTROVERTS.
While talking about the Extroverts, we generally pose them as positive character of our society, who are enthusiastic, friendly, out-going, sociable, etc.
But the INTROVERTS are considered as shy, unsocial, arrogant, self-centred, unfriendly, etc. – In short, all the negative and pessimistic characteristics of a person.
Do you really think that INTROVERTS have these negative characteristics, the way they are mostly assumed by the people in our surroundings? - Certainly NOT!
Let me tell you some FACTS about introverts, which many people don’t know and understand about their nature.
Introverts are those people whose energy tends to expand through REFLECTION and dwindle during INTERACTION.
This means that introvert people gain energy and feel refreshed through a calm, lengthy and intent consideration and thinking. However, they feel exhausted and drained out of energy while socializing for long time.
Here the EXTROVERTS are different. They feel energetic, refreshed, and charged when they socialize and be around the people. They are more prone to boredom when they are by themselves and find less reward in time spent alone.
Misconceptions/ Myths about Introverts:
Myth#1- Introverts are SHY:
This is the most common misconception about introverts. Not all introverts are shy. Being shy is a behavioural phenomenon whereas introversion is a preference for quiet and minimally stimulating environments. Introverts often take pleasure in solitary activities such as reading, writing, or meditating, but do not fear social encounters like shy people do.
Shyness is the feeling of fear or discomfort caused by other people, especially in a new situation or among strangers. The shy people have an unpleasant feeling of self-consciousness, a fear of what other people are thinking about them, which is often linked to their low self-esteem.
Even an EXTROVERTS can be shy sometimes, so a shy people may not be necessarily introverts always, and vice-versa.
Myth#2- Introverts are UNFRIENDLY or ANTISOCIAL:
Introverts are reserved kind of person, who choose their friends very wisely. They would rather have a few close, trusted friendships to invest their time and energy in, as opposed to a large network of acquaintances. This makes introverts to be loyal, attentive, and committed to their small group of quality friends.
Myth#3- Introverts are UNCONCERNED:
Introverts may not show their emotion or concern with their facial expressions and gestures, but this doesn’t mean they’re not interested in what you’re saying or doing. Introverts prefer to control their emotions around others and internalize them. In fact, sometimes introverts start thinking and analysing the situation, which makes them look disconnected or detached with the person he is talking to, but that is usually not the case.
This is also the reason that introverts are portrayed as RUDE and ARROGANT too.
Myth#4- Introverts don’t like NETWORKING:
This is often misunderstood that introverts don’t like making connections in networking events. But this is not true! In networking events, introvert people focus on learning about the people they meet and make meaningful connections, rather than just increasing the number of people in their network.
Whereas the extroverts may approach networking events with the goal of talking to as many people as possible, but often, those quick conversations don’t leave lasting impacts. The introverts are thoughtful networkers and may make only handful of meaningful connections.
Myth#5- Introverts don’t prefer GROUP WORKING:
Sometimes introverts excel in their work when they work alone. This makes their co-worker misunderstand that introverts don’t like to work in groups.
But usually introverts tend to get drained out in larger groups after long and unheard discussions, so they enjoy working in small group of people where each conversation or opinion can be heard and valued.
Myth#6- Introverts lack proper COMMUNICATION SKILL:
It is mostly assumed that introverts have poor communication skills, so they don’t like to talk, or rather avoid talking much.
But introverts always think before they speak and while speaking, they choose their words very carefully, so that they don’t stretch the conversation too long to be exhausted and go off the topic. They are more willing to get engaged in a deep conversation about the topics they are passionate about to make it a meaningful and impactful conversation.
It has also been observed that they are outstanding at their written communication skills, because they prefer to choose their solitary space to deep dive in their mind and express the best content by choosing the words more wisely and appropriately.
Myth#7- Introverts can’t be a good PUBLIC SPEAKER:
It is true that introverts are less talkative and being in the company of crowds wear them down. Introverts prefer to be alone to recharge themselves unlike extroverts who derive energy from being in the crowd. But that doesn’t mean that they are incapable of public speaking or facing the audience. They are neither fearful nor anxious to deliver an impactful presentations, when they are well prepared utilizing their solitary time.
Due to their great thinking capacity and unique insight, introverts have lots of engaging and inspiring thoughts to share with the audience. Their speech preparation can be much more perfect as they may enjoy their solitary time, practicing or rehearsing their speech delivery.
Introverts are keen listener and observer, which makes them aware of the needs of audiences. So, they are more likely to deliver relevant and effective speech to their audience.
Myth#8- Introverts can’t be a good LEADER:
Introverts are good listener and observer, so their ability to learn and analyse the situation is more efficient. Their problem solving and decision-making skills are more tactful, and they don’t rush to the solution in haste. Being attentive to the details, introvert leaders help their team to be more vigilant and motivated.
Myth#9- Introverts are BORING person:
Since introverts prefer quiet environment over high-pitched and loud one, this don’t make them a non-party person. They like to go to parties and have fun, but their way to enjoy those fun events are different. It is not necessary that everybody enjoy in a same way, like shouting, dancing, talking and laughing loudly, and enjoying high-volume music.
Introverts may politely slip to other part of the room, where they can enjoy the event being little far from crowded place or take part in a small group talk with people. Introverts may also enjoy being in parties with great ambience, soft music, cosy environment, and with very close and dear people around. These kinds of environments don’t make them tired easily to leave the event early. So sometimes they can be choosy while accepting the invitations and prefer to go for special occasions or event only.
Myth#10- Introverts are UNDERACHIEVERS:
Introverts are Quiet achievers! But since we have such an affinity for the charismatic, personable, extroverted leaders, that we assume that introverts are underachievers compared to extroverts. However, there are millions of successful introverted scientists, artists, physicians, writers, and philosophers. Achievement is not necessarily related to personality type.
Let me tell you some of the famous INTROVERTS, who may inspire you to accept your personality in positive way:
Albert Einstein- a great scientist and Nobel Prize winner for Physics
Mother Teresa- a Roman Catholic saint and Nobel Peace Prize winner, devoted her life for caring sick and poor people
Bill Gates- a technologist, business leader, philanthropist, billionaire, and founder of Microsoft
J.K. Rowling- an author, film producer and writer of bestselling book series- Harry Potter
Warren Buffet- a business tycoon and most successful investor in the world, also known as the Oracle of Omaha
Elon Musk- a billionaire entrepreneur behind Tesla, SpaceX and SolarCity, who unveiled a concept of high-speed transportation system, Hyperloop
Sir Isaac Newton- a physicist and mathematician who developed the principles of modern physics, including the laws of motion
Mark Zuckerberg- an internet entrepreneur and founder of Facebook
Abraham Lincoln- a self-taught lawyer, legislator, and vocal opponent of slavery, who was elected 16th president of the United States in November 1860, shortly before the outbreak of the Civil War.
Hillary Clinton- an American politician, diplomat, lawyer, writer, and public speaker
Barack Obama- an American politician and attorney who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, Barack Obama was the first African-American president of the United States.
There are many other famous Introverts, whose names are mentioned in Susan Cain’s book - Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
PEOPLE SHOULD UNDERSTAND BELOW POINTS ABOUT INTROVERTS:
Never underestimate them: Introvert people are also making a STRONG impact to our community, like extrovert people. So, we should never underestimate them in any way.
Don’t judge them: Introverts and Extroverts have different levels of stimulation. So, some extrovert people judge them by saying that “they don’t know how to enjoy life”, “they don’t live their life to the fullest”, “they are incapable of doing high-energy and out-going task”, etc.
Don’t treat this as disorder: Introversion is NOT A DISORDER, it’s a basic personality style just like an Extroversion.
Don’t compare their ability: Since extrovert people are energized being around the people, they appear more FRIENDLY and OUTGOING personality. Whereas Introverts are energized being alone, they are considered as INCAPABLE and WEIRD among the others.
Don’t provoke or advise them to come out of Introversion: People should understand that introverts are not in any mental disability or illness, which needs to be treated or corrected.
Introverts have their own style or preference of living, which is not scientifically wrong. So, people should not expect the world to be with same kind of overstimulated people and be biased to think that introverts has no place to excel here.
TIPS FOR INTROVERT PEOPLE:
UNDERSTAND AND EMBRACE YOUR PERSONALITY:
“Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind. Be alone—that is the secret of invention: be alone, that is when ideas are born.” - Nikola Tesla
Being introvert, you are inward-turning, i.e. you may focus more on internal thoughts, feelings, and moods rather than seeking out external simulation. You should embrace this in a positive and confident way. This will help you to achieve whatever you want in your life.
DON’T COMPARE AND THINK NEGATIVE ABOUT YOURSELF:
“Quiet people have the loudest minds.” - Stephen Hawking
You should not feel bad about yourself after comparing with extrovert people. Every person has their own characteristics, and INTROVERSION is one of them. Remember, you may not be OUTSPOKEN, but you are not DUMB too.
“In a gentle way, you can shake the world”- Mahatma Gandhi
ENJOY YOUR SOLITUDE:
“Be a loner. That gives you time to wonder, to search for the truth. Have holy curiosity. Make your life worth living.”- Albert-Einstein
If you enjoy some time alone with your hobbies like reading, writing, listening to soft music, or peaceful nature walk, etc. then spend those precious time to recharge and energize yourself.
DON’T PRETEND TO BE AN EXTROVERT, IF YOU ARE NOT:
“I think introverts can do quite well. If you're clever, you can learn to get the benefits of being an introvert, which might be, say, being willing to go off for a few days and think about a tough problem, read everything you can, push yourself very hard to think out on the edge of that area.” — Bill Gates
So, adopt a growth mindset, invest your time in strengthening your inner qualities and refining your skills. Be well prepared for every opportunity or situation, so that you can face it with confidence and deliver your best.
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