By definition, an introvert is “a person characterized by concern primarily with his or her own thoughts and feelings,” which sounds extremely self-centered and is only slightly accurate. Introverts aren’t homebodies or self-absorbed, anxious weirdos.
My counselor explained introversion very nicely to me one time. She put it very simply: “Introverts get energy from being alone. Being in large groups for an extended amount of time causes them to be drained much more quickly than being alone would; extroverts are just the opposite.”
Us introverts are ordinary people, just like you extroverts out there. We just have different needs, comfort zones, and preferences. Personally, I am exhausted with the stigma surrounding being an introvert, so I’m here to debunk some urban “truths” about us “loners.”
Myth #1: Introverts are shy and weird.
First of all, weird is suggestive, and one person’s weird could be another person’s normal, so don’t even get me started on that one. Second of all, we’re not all shy! We don’t like being alone to avoid other people; we like being alone because we just like to hang out with ourselves.
Being an introvert isn’t exclusively a result of other personality traits. I’m a delight to be around, and I’m a fairly decent people person; but, when choosing to go to a party with a bunch of people or hang out at home with my dog and a good book, I’m going to choose the latter.
Myth #2: Introverts are no fun at social events.
Like I said before, I am a delight, and I’m sure the majority of my fellow introverts are as well! It’s not impossible for us to be around a large amount of people; it just isn’t our ideal situation — just like being alone isn’t impossible or completely unpleasant for extroverts. It’s good to have the best of both worlds. Introverts like to have fun, too!
Myth #3: Being an introvert means you have few friends.
Wrong on so many levels. Ever heard of things like school and work? We have plenty of human interaction that inevitably leads to friendships. Then, those friends have friends and those friends have friends and before you know it, you have the same amount of friends as an extrovert would have.
Myth #4: Introverts never go out.
Guess where we meet those friends of friends? Social gatherings! We go to those!
There you have it, folks! Introverts are just like everyone else except for one crucial detail: We don’t get a high off of being in crowds of people and being the center of attention. We thrive on our own thoughts and ideas. That doesn’t make us weird, and it definitely doesn’t make us loners for wanting to be alone.
If you’re stuck feeling like an outcast or questioning if something is wrong with you because you laugh more when you’re by yourself watching cat videos on YouTube than at a huge party — it’s okay. You’re okay. Don’t worry about that stuff. Just keep being your beautifully introverted self. Watch those cat videos, draw those doodles, write that novel, and sing at the top of your lungs, but don’t forget that friends and family and big groups of people are good for the soul (even if all they do is remind you how much you like being alone).