Science

Seven Myths About Introverts Featured

1. Alone time isn't lonely 

We introverts recharge our batteries by spending time alone. When you see us off in our own world, reading a book or playing a game on our phones, it doesn't mean we're bored. It doesn't mean we need a distraction. It doesn't mean we need cheering up. What it means is that we need time to be silent with ourselves. It means we're unwinding in the way the feels best for our brains, which is usually self-guided relaxation through a passive activity. Most introverts need 3-4 hours a day of downtime where we aren't directly engaging with people, social situations, or being on stage. It may look like we're just waiting for something better to do, but I assure you: we are exactly where we want to be. 

2. We don't need more friends

Introverts tend to have small social circles. We have deep, intimate friendships and love connecting to people--and sometimes, we can only manage a few at a time. It doesn't mean we are anti-social, or neglect human connections. It simply means that we've found our people and we're quite content with our dear friends, even if it seems too few from an outside perspective. Not everyone needs a squad of people around them at all times, and in fact, some of us become emotionally exhausted by that level of interaction. We aren't doing anything wrong, we're just introverts. 

 
3. Being quiet doesn't mean we don't have anything to say 

Many introverts prefer to process information before speaking. It's the difference between reacting and responding. Sometimes we need a few moments, sometimes a couple of days, but get it straight: it doesn't mean we aren't full of opinions. When I just blurt the first thing that pops into my head, it causes me an undue amount of anxiety. I don't like feeling put on the spot to speak, nor do I do well when I'm bullied into sharing my thoughts. Instead, I need a second to collect myself. And guess what? In the long run, I avoid a lot of drama. 

 
4. Introversion doesn't mean emotionless 

Quite the opposite, actually, most introverts tend to feel emotions much more intensely than extroverts. Our reactions, responses, and stimulation are so deeply internalized that we soak up every moment of our feelings. Instead of shouting out loud about how happy we are, we keep the feeling inside on an experience loop, processing our emotions. Sometimes we feel things so deeply that it can be paralyzing--like the social awkwardness I've spoken of. I regularly find myself moved to tears by simple experiences, such as seeing an adorable dog, hearing a special song, or allowing my empathy for an external situation to override my own journey. Even if I don't show it on the outside, inside I am a tumultuous tide. I just choose to share it with those closest to me, or in passive methods, such as writing or art. 

5. We aren't shrinking violets

While its true that introverts tend to prefer our comfort zones, it absolutely doesn't mean we won't stand up for ourselves. Just like extroverts, introverts appreciate new challenges, opportunities for emotional growth, and success. Our method is different, and although it can seem like our aversion to the spotlight and discomfort around new people are symptoms of avoidance, it's just not so. We earn our life experience in quieter, more thoughtful ways, pushing our limits in our own unique ways. It doesn't mean we accept being interrupted, overlooked, or underestimated, particularly because we have a far less represented perspective that can add value to both professional and personal pursuits. 

 
6. Beneath still waters bubble hot springs 

Former partners have expressed shock when they discovered how passionate I am about physical intimacy, instead assuming that I was like every "shy girl" stereotype they'd seen. Although introverts may take longer to warm up to casual physical affection, we aren't frigid. We aren't inexperienced. We aren't late bloomers. Most introverts appreciate physical intimacy, and can even take on very different personas in the bedroom. Don't assume that because someone is quiet that they are chaste. 

 
7. Small gestures don't go unnoticed 

If you ever wonder if your introverted friend isn't paying attention, think again. The small moments are crucial to us, since every gesture, word, and action appear to have high value. We don't assume that a kind word is insincere, since we have to work a bit harder to say how we're feeling. Instead, we appreciate how challenging it can be for others to express themselves, and tend to pay more attention. Introverts don't deal in social contracts, so we don't assume anyone is being disingenuous when engaging with us--and don't take advantage of your introverted friends! Just because we value the small stuff doesn't mean we don't notice when someone is taking us for granted.