Although introversion is more understood now and accepted as a legitimate personality type, introverts are often viewed as odd in our mostly extroverted society. Introverts are often assigned negative, pejorative stereotypes. Parents often tried to change their introverted children's personalities to fit into the extroverted "ideal" as being gregarious and outgoing. Teachers often deride introverted pupils as being antisocial and often referring them to school psychologists in order to make them "more acceptable" and "like other children."
Introverted teens are often shunned by peers and considered to be lacklustre and "too quiet". Introverted employees are often viewed by supervisors and bosses as not being "executive material" although they are indeed qualified. Despite the inroads introverts made to being somewhat acceptable by the majority society, we are still "the lesser" and "the other." Well, enough is enough, $%#!! I, for one, am sick of this- it is time for us introvert to unite and have an intense discussion regarding this issue! Are you introverts on board- bring your experiences regarding introversion to the table- it is on!
Apparently your fellow introverts are hiding. But it might help if you finally come out of your shell by making a bold statement... say... posting your picture as your avatar?
Just saying... it might help.
Klara (a flat-out extrovert and pain in the ***)
I was shocked to discover, after taking a personality survey during a "team building" exercise at work, that I am an introvert. My job requires me to be an extrovert, but I'm perfectly happy to be alone, I feel drained by people with big personalities, and I need time to recharge after big social events. The best decription I've ever heard of an introvert came from my son's 5th grade teacher: "He's not on the outside looking in, he's on the outside looking out!". Introverts of the world unite!
Yeah. Sure. As long as I don't had to make eye contact.
You might argue that introverts are disadvantaged due to their reclusive, reticent and staid attitude. However, if extroverts do not have an education qualification, they will also be disadvantaged when introverts have studied much more than them. So that is a paradox for employers - whether to choose an introverted person who has qualifications or an extroverted person who has no qualifications.
A lot of girls are really attracted to introverts. You never heard of a girl liking the mysterious guy?
I did and was almost forced when my house this hellhole of incessant activity! I blogged the 'coming out' too http://honnasiriscatch.blogspot.in/2013 … g-out.html
I heard a statistic recently that said that 40% of CEOs are introverts. Working in the schools, I do know that introverts are not valued for the strengths they have from an early age. This is a shame since I think that this personality type has a lot to offer in terms of solving problems at their root cause instead of band-aid solutions, reserving judgement (particularly good for bosses who have to mediate co-worker disputes and long-range planning.
I guess a question is in order which would solve everything when answered.
Why are most people unable to see other people as just another human being?
When this question is answered and the MASSES learn of it, then just maybe there might be something unimaginable gained.
I'm sure a lot of people will have no clue as to what I am talking about, but I am sure some of the more intellectual people might get it faster.
+++++++. Shhhh, Cagsil, don't say MASSES too loud, some misguided and lost souls may be offended.
Introverts can be:
The problems is nobody knows who the introverted person is. People fear the unknown. It's up to the introvert to turn around sometime and talk to people. Once people realize you're not an ax murderer; they don't care if you keep to yourself. But, everybody has the responsiblity of making other people feel safe around them.
Friendlyword, how about if some of the extroverts who have people skills reach out to the introverts who cannot express themselves easily and find out for themselves who they are instead of adding to their introversion by shunning them.
This is a bit of cultural myopia. There's no correlation between introversion and antisocial tendencies. Many serial killers and mass murderers are famously charismatic. They go into politics or start cults.
Charles Manson and Ted Bundy were both considered very charismatic. [Edit: As was Hitler, come to think of it. There's no point in name-calling though, because you could easily come up with just as many introverted killers.]
"There's no correlation between introversion and antisocial tendencies."
Without any evidence to back me up; I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that statement is not totally accurate.
People like me; that grow up painfully shy, could turn into some really bad people. All it took to change me was a book on public speaking. While I was shy; it was the worst time of my life. I could have turned out a really bad person if I stayed introverted.
Saying there's no correlation between introversion and antisocial behavior is wrong. Besides making yourself feel miserable, (until you finally come out) you make everyone around you nervous and afraid. It's up the introvert to fix themselves. There are so many easy ways to help yourself. Just try saying Hello to somebody. That's a great start.
But I don't want to f-f-f-fix myself.
Joking aside, your post displays a serious misconception as to what introversion actually is.
Introverts are simply people who need to be alone in order to recharge their emotional and mental batteries. That doesn't automatically imply that they're dysfunctional. And in case you hadn't noticed, there are a number of extroverts out there who are hugely dysfunctional - but nobody is saying "they're extroverted, they should try to fix themselves and become introverts".
One of my chief irritants is when people wag the finger at me (OK, not specifically at me personally but at all people like me) and say "you need to conform, you need to fix yourself blah blah blah". The world would be a much better place without that kind of cr@p, frankly. Sort your own issues out, if you have them. Don't tell me I'm "wrong", simply for being wired differently to you.
Amen,dear Empress. Many people portend that introversion is a problem. They further maintain that introversion is quite a deviation from "normal society." Introverts, until recently I might add, were equated to being weird, antisocial, withdrawn(I was called that a lot), have no personality( I was also accused of that), dullards, and other extremely pejorative terms. One person in high school told me that I needed to socialize more. Well, there is nothing with introverts. We are just different. Not everyone is bombastic, gregarious, and outgoing. For an introvert, I did more than okay with my life. I was put in leadership positions and demonstrated myself quite aptly in the work arenas. Dear Empress, some extroverts will never learn until it is TOO late!
"But I don't want to f-f-f-fix myself."
because you're insane!!!
For real...there are people out there that want to "FIX" themselves. They are very scared and unhappy and want to be liked by everybody. That's why the fall prey to gang leaders and preachers... and Republicans!
I respect your position, Friendlyword, but people that grow up as ordinary extroverts 'could turn into some really bad people', too.
There's a difference between social anxiety and the xenophobia that it inspires in other people and real antisocial behavior like violence and murder. There's also a difference between introversion and social anxiety; people who suffer from social anxiety are often introverts, but not all introverts suffer from social anxiety.
I have always been an introvert, but I can tell you for a fact that the extroverted bullies that used to beat me up in school were being much more antisocial than I was. Did I deserve it? Did my reading under a tree upset them? Should I go back and apologize for the feelings my indifference toward them created?
Who's a bigger danger? The extroverted gang members who routinely murder their rivals or the quiet, shy type who might...might!...one day turn out to be a serial killer? For some reason whenever these discussions about introvert/extrovert + violent tendency discussions come up a strange xenophobic myopia settles in and people conveniently forget about all of the extroverted criminals, the extroverted abusive husbands, the extroverts who channel their violent tendencies toward socially acceptable ends like law enforcement and military careers, the dictators who commit genocide, the cult leaders who drive their followers to murder and suicide. No, if I'm going to be perfectly honest, I'm a lot more afraid of extroverts than I am of introverts. The odds of your creepy neighbor being a serial killer or mass murderer are so slim that when it does happen, it makes the front page and the media creates an intense media storm, reiterating and reinforcing the ridiculously one-sided stereotype of the 'violent introvert' as if the world wasn't already overflowing with perfectly good extroverts happily killing people on a daily basis and idiotic social media addicts plunging their cars into oncoming traffic because they can't stop themselves from texting their friends for the duration of a car ride.
Conventional violence and murder are so commonly committed by 'ordinary' people that it barely merits a mention. We don't question why criminals and politicians murder people, we just accept it as a fact of life, but when someone we think we have nothing to fear from suddenly snaps and goes on a rampage all the 'ordinary' people are left scratching their heads wondering what went wrong and whether or not we can really trust these people. "It's always the quiet ones," they say, as if it wasn't the worst way in the world to predict a violent offender. The social stigma associated with being introverted is no different than any other social stigma. It's sheer xenophobia, a willingness to overlook your own faults in your efforts to assign blame to others.
Please note that I'm not saying that extroverts are bad people or any worse than introverts, only that because extroverts dominate society, their own sins are considered 'facts of life' and the sins of others are cast as strange and disturbing. Well, I find criminality strange and disturbing but I doubt you'll convince me that introverts are behind it all.
Should introverts reach out to others? Of course they should, if being introverted makes them feel bad and becoming more like other people makes them feel better. I don't think it's up to extroverts to reach out to introverts any more than I believe that introverts should try to be like extroverts. Who cares? Aside from the mutual discomfort we experience in each others' presence (a discomfort that rapidly disintegrates as people get to know one another) what is so wrong about people just being themselves? Why should introverts feel obligated to please extroverts just because they make them feel uncomfortable? Extroverts make me uncomfortable, and I don't see any of them changing for me. I'm just not ashamed of being an introvert so I don't see why I need to 'fix' myself.
"I'm just not ashamed of being an introvert so I don't see why I need to 'fix' myself."
Thank you for everything you said in your reply...
But, you are not introverted. Introverts are very scared and unsure of themselves. You're the complete opposite of an introvert. You dont' care what people think about you and you resent the fact that you need to make an effort to get along with people.
Most people feel the need to belong. The gang mentallity is inbred in all of us. People will kill themselves or you to stay in their cult. While it is healthy to be self confident and willing to stand on your own; most people dont' have the strengh of heart you need to stand alone. They need fellowship and community to function and face life with confidence and bravery.
Introverts are not scared and unsure of themselves. What an annoying stereotype.
Thank you, janesix. I know many extroverts who are quite unsure of themselves. If not, why are some extroverts extra loud as a defense mechanism for their insecurities. Also, there are many extroverts who are afraid of being by themselves. They must constantly have friends and/or people at their side to feel whole and needed. I do not need that at all, I am quite comfortable being alone; however, I am socialize when I am darn ready to do so.
Aaargh. No, that's not what introversion is.
"Jung defined introversion as an "attitude-type characterised by orientation in life through subjective psychic contents" (focus on one's inner psychic activity); and extraversion as "an attitude type characterised by concentration of interest on the external object," (the outside world)" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Introversion
Niether you, nor Jung started this forum topic! I'm addressing the authors comment about "Introverts are coming out". Maybe, we do need english lessons from you and others, but, that should take place in your own forum.
Let's try to stay on point here.
This is what the author of this forum wrote:
"Although introversion is more understood now and accepted as a legitimate personality type, introverts are often viewed as odd in our mostly extroverted society. Introverts are often assigned negative, pejorative stereotypes. Parents often tried to change their introverted children's personalities to fit into the extroverted "ideal" as being gregarious and outgoing. Teachers often deride introverted pupils as being antisocial and often referring them to school psychologists in order to make them "more acceptable" and "like other children."
Introverted teens are often shunned by peers and considered to be lacklustre and "too quiet". Introverted employees are often viewed by supervisors and bosses as not being "executive material" although they are indeed qualified. Despite the inroads introverts made to being somewhat acceptable by the majority society, we are still "the lesser" and "the other." Well, enough is enough, $%#!! I, for one, am sick of this- it is time for us introvert to unite and have an intense discussion regarding this issue! Are you introverts on board- bring your experiences regarding introversion to the table- it is on!"
I'm sorry the author and I used the word Introvert. Can we move on and address the authors' topic?
Various people on here have told you that the actual definition of introversion isn't the same as the definition you're using.
Words have meanings. If you don't use a word in its correct hippopotamus, then all sorts of pineapples can result and nobody will hovercraft each other.
And when people stop hovercrafting each other, thats when things get really bad.
You are absolutely right! The word "Introversion" has been misused in this forum alot. The term you used "social anxiety disorder" is a more appropiate description of what I suffered from and what I'm writing about. Thank you for the info. But, I'm not going to hijack someone elses forum and tell them what terms to use. Let's just stick to "Introvert" to describe people suffering from "Social Anxiety Disorder" out of respect for the author of this forum.
I was not referring to introversion as a personality disorder. What I was elucidating in the post is how the extroverts in this society portray introverts as being "lesser" and " having somewhat of a personality defect" although this is quite untrue. Introversion is not an aberration but is a legitimate personality type. Social anxiety disorder is quite different from that of introversion. Please let us get our definitions straight, thank you kindly!
Sorry I got it so wrong. I learned alot today.
"Introverts" are people with a more acceptable form of Crazy than people with "Social Anxiety Disorder".
Introverts are NOT crazy. They are just wired differently. Now, do YOU get it, now! Enough said!
Extroverts are people with a popular form of Crazy. Introverts are people with a less popular form of Crazy. People who suffer from Social Anxiety Disorders are people who have medical conditions.
Extroverts can be every bit as 'crazy' and discomfort-producing as introverts which should be obvious to anybody who has spent any amount of time in a large social gathering. ('Close talkers', people who like to touch you without justification, people who ask inappropriate questions, etc.) There are so many types of extroverted crazy that it baffles me to think there are people who think that introverts are somehow worse.
I am an introvert. I have three brothers, three aunts, and a grandfather (deceased) with various forms of social anxiety/schizophrenia. There is a difference between preferring your own company and suffering from a debilitating illness.
Introverts are just as likely to be happy, well-balanced, socially adjusted people as extroverts, they just spend more time alone than with others. (One might say they are more likely to respect your boundaries than extroverts. ) Don't buy into that extrovert propaganda that claims all people need to be hooked up intravenously with other people 24/7. The healthiest, most well-adjusted person is probably the person right in the middle, with equal amounts of introversion and extroversion.
AMEN, j-u-i-c-e. My cousin, an extrovert, portend that there is something seriously wrong with me because I prefer my own company whereas she cannot function without being constantly with people. She was so needy that I just cut her off, pure and simple.
"Extroverts are people with a popular form of Crazy. Introverts are people with a less popular form of Crazy. People who suffer from Social Anxiety Disorders are people who have medical conditions."
I didn't know Social Anxiety Disorder was a serious mental disease that requires medication. This was a great forum, although I had no idea what it was really about. I didn't realize I was making fun of people with a handicap.
@Friendlyword: Yes. My younger brother has Social Anxiety Disorder and uses medication to manage it.
[Edit: Decided it probably wasn't fair to air family matters in a forum post. Suffice to say that...]
I have a lot of personal experience with crazy (probably much more than the average person) and I have never seen anything that indicates that introverts are more likely to suffer from mental illness than anyone else. Let's please drop the stereotype that being introverted is somehow connected to dysfunction or illness. They are unrelated.
Friendlyword, I sympathize, but if you ever met me you would not make the mistake of thinking that I'm not introverted. Social anxiety, in all of its forms, can be serious and debilitating. But social anxiety is not introversion.
Introversion/extroversion simply refers to how much you desire to spend time with other people. It has nothing to do with dysfunction. I'm not scared of other people, I just have no desire to share trivial details from my life with strangers for the social pleasure it affords. I'd rather be working. Some people like rugby, some people like fishing, some people like socializing. We don't call people who don't like fishing dysfunctional. It's just a preference.
If you have a social anxiety disorder, then by all means get treatment, but don't confuse it with introversion.
I concur on your response. I am not an extrovert and have been quite successful in my life. I know how to be an extrovert when need be and an introvert the rest of the time. I guess I am a little mixed-up and I was in Mensa too. lololo! I am person with loads of personality and I can yell to the top of my longs like everyone else. Great response Cags.
I am supposed to be an INFP. The description is okay with me, except for the "shy and withdrawn" part. Nothing is wrong with being an introvert. It's all about what you want and what you are comfortable with. There are also "blends" of people and personalities. When it comes down to it, I ask for what I want. I speak up. I go after what I want. Sometimes, you are forced to do this if your job or the situation requires it. Also, I found out that I don't need a lot of contact with others, and that fits a writer's lifestyle. I could disappear for months and wouldn't miss being around people. But at the same time, I would get a lot done.
I find introverts to be much more interesting than extroverts. You know that type of person that rarely speaks, but when they do, it's worth hearing? I prefer them way more than idiots that just won't shut the hell up.
That's because us introverts are busy thinking while everyone else is talking.
Makes me wonder what the percentages are with regards to introverts and religious beliefs? Like what percentage actually don't believe. It might be a shocking number.
Since the religious folk love to talk and not really do much thinking, I would hazard to guess the numbers might be really, really high.
Introverts get a bad rap for no reason. We're not scared of people. My job requires me to interact with people all the time and approach them and strike up conversations and educate them. That's no problem for me....
...But it tires me out. Thinking about being in packed social settings exhausts me before I even get there. Social rituals annoy me-- insincerity in new friendships, over enthusiasm... it always struck me as odd that that kind of stuff got on my nerves when everyone else encouraged it.
I just prefer my own company and don't feel the need to talk a lot. When I have something I want to say, I'll say it. Most of the time I just moderate myself. I find my own thoughts more interesting than what a lot of other people have to say....
Here's an interesting article about introverts and extroverts with regards to political and religious views.
Makes for interesting reading.
Thanks for the link. I was just telling my gf about this study yesterday.
I think it's important for people to remember that there aren't two groups of people: introverts and extroverts. It's a continuum. Everybody is somewhere on that line, some people are just closer to one end or the other. I think if you subdivided the categories they used in that study even further, you would find even stronger correlations between political/religious views and introversion/extroversion.
I tend to think that there are also plenty of introverts who are very religious, but they tend to practice their religion differently, through prayer, meditation, etc., and don't necessarily participate in the social dimension of religion the way more extroverted people do.
Read the article and it is indeed quite interesting. I am an introvert and I do support evolution and a belief in God(not organized religion which is antithetical to spirituality). I NEVER took the word of the Bible literally, only methaphorically. Spiritually, I am a metaphysical New Ager!
I don't have children of my own, but I do find it tragic when I see parents force their children to speak or perform in public when you know they are already terrified of confrontation or crowds. I mean, let them be themselves. I did some research a couple of years ago to help me with the characters in my novel, and there are different types and blends of people who contribute to this world. All of us aren't meant to be extroverts. Wouldn't that be a mess? When you don't speak, some people think something is wrong with you. The thing is, introverts don't miss a thing. And you are always wondering what they are thinking. Always.
As a teacher I agree that children need to learn to be comfortable in their own skin, whatever that may be (introvert or extrovert). I try to encourage each child's individual personality. However, I ran across a child this year who absolutely refused to speak at all at school. She was more than capable of speech, her parents took video of her to prove to me that she could speak. Although I still would prefer that the child speak at least some of the time at school, I have tried very hard to respect her choice of silence. That mean that I had to be extremely creative when it came to assessing this child. (By the way, we're talking Pre-K.) At any rate, even though the situation was not the best for her or me, I do feel that I have grown as a teacher through my struggle to work with this child throughout the year. My concern is that next year when she starts elementary school, the teacher will be less likely to work with the child. She is very intelligent and proves it when you can come up with assessments that don't require speech, but it would also be very easy for a teacher to label her as unable due to the fact that she doesn't verbally share her knowledge.
Prekcarolyn, I applaud your efforts to respect this child's personality. But from your description the child may have some social anxiety which may develop into a case of selective mutism. Selective mutism is when students refuses to speak at all in certain environments, even when it is necessary to get their needs met.
It is different from Introversion. Introversion is really just the preference to say less or bring less attention to themselves rather than a refusal to speak even when necessary to communicate needs. An introverted child will usually talk to you if you ask them a question one-on-one or in small groups or if they have something that they need to ask you. Sometimes it is hard to tell when a child is just a more quiet thoughtful and when there is another issue going on like anxiety. I think I agree with you in encrouaging her to use her words. Perhaps by trying with some reward if she asks for something. Have you spoken with the school counselor or consulted with a school psychologist?
My understanding of the Introvert/Extrovert personality type comes primarily from having completed many of my own MBTI. Rather than meaning a person is shy, being introverted refers to how a person is energized to interact socially. Where an extrovert gains energy from social interaction, the introvert needs time to him/herself to recharge. I've known many Myers-Briggs I's who are not remotely shy (as Shanna mentioned earlier that she is not), they simply prefer to prepare for social interaction by interior reflection and private time. Again, like Shanna mentioned, they also tend to feel worn out after excessive time spent interacting with others.
Personally, I have scored on every single MBTI I've ever taken as an Extrovert, but as I age, I find myself much more in need of quiet, private time.
Another difference, as I understand it, is the tendency for E's to 'think out loud.' Many folks just think we talk too much, but the case is generally that where we start in a conversation is completely different from where we end because we are verbally processing the thoughts. I's are much more likely to do this silently and present their completely processed thought in one easy statement. So, where it looks like we just 'talk a lot,' we're actually 'thinking' - just like the introvert - we're just doing it out loud.
One of the most helpful things I ever heard an MBTI expert say about extroversion is that "extroverts do not necessarily believe everything they say to you." This is a keen insight and it's so valuable when you're an introvert like me who is trying to understand your more extroverted friends and relatives. It simply means that they are not as capable of measuring and quantifying their thoughts before they speak them aloud.
My outgoing sister-in-law is amazingly malleable, and what she states as a strong opinion can sometimes turn completely around, given 6 months' time.
As far as social events, as an introvert, I have a strong preference for events which have a definite beginning and end. "The party will be from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM" means that it is more socially acceptable for me to leave after I have wound down and had my energy depleted by all the extroverted people at the party. This can surely be a problem in a couples situation, when one partner is far more introverted than the other, but the socially engaged half is becoming more energized as the evening goes on.
I too learned a lot about myself - and others - when I discovered the MBTI while browsing online some years ago.
The intuition/sensing and thinking/feeling distinctions made by the MBTI are every bit as interesting as the I/E distinction. Whenever I meet someone new, I always try to (secretly) work out what their MBTI personality type is. I find it quite helpful! The great thing about the MBTI is that it's non-judgmental - for example, it doesn't say "INTJs are better than ESTPs". It just states the characteristics of each type, and what their strengths/weaknesses are.
Yes, I'm the same.
I also dislike social occasions that just consist of standing around making small talk. But I enjoy social activities, like quizzes.
It also took me some years to finally figure out that I am an SJ. An ISFJ, that is. Shouldn't I have known this? After all, I was a librarian.
I thought I couldn't possibly have been an SJ because my desk was messy. Wrong. There's way more to SJ than that.
Sometimes, I think it takes being in all kinds of roles over time(wife, husband, mother, father, caregiver, etc.), just to see ourselves accurately. It's like we don't know all of our values until we experience a shake-up to our sense of self. Like many, I only knew what I saw modeled in my family of origin!
LOL. I did one of those short online test thingies, which told me I was an INFJ. I joined an INFJ group on Yahoo. After spending a little while there, I thought "no, I'm not really the same as these people". Then I spent some time online with INTJs, which was bracing(!) but somehow more like "home".
I do believe that self-awareness is something that generally comes with age. Or to put it another way, it's once you reach your 30s or older that you finally learn to listen to your inner voice and not try to mould yourself to fit what you think other people think you "should" be like.
As an INFP, I am grateful for this post gmwilliams!
I just got in "trouble" last Tuesday for being too quiet at work. My boss outright asked me would I would like to attain, and basically said I would not get there with my personality. It's a very difficult thing to hear because I am most certainly qualified. I suppose the worst part of it is knowing I'll have to "fake it to make it" so to speak...which I did the following Wednesday. The thing is, I wore myself out so much I was out of mental energy the next day, and had my worst day yet! I'm not totally sure what to do, telling me to be talkative, visit other peoples' desks (what she suggested) and such is so totally beyond me on a group level I've just decided to see it as another workload--meaning another burden I'll have to bear.
The funny thing is when I work weekends I am much more outgoing because there are no more than 7 - 10 people here, making it much less nerve wracking to interact with others.
It does help that I'm getting over my shyness. Unfortunately a lot of folks have confused my shyness for introversion, but you of course know they are not one in the same.
I love introverts. I'm an extrovert, but if you put too many estroverts together it's obnoxious. Extroverts need the balance of introverts. I married an introvert and one of my children is overly introverted (although, we call her shy). And yes, I get complaints from her teachers. "Angel needs to speak up in class. Angel is having problems making friends." Etc. I just nod, say yes, Angel is shy, and then don't pass the comments on to her. I like her how she is.
It takes all kinds to make the world go around. Everyone should be able to be who they are and what makes them feel comfortable. We should never try to change a person to fit our "norms" but let them be what is normal to them.
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