Calling All Introverts: Do you Face Discrimination?
How Google defines Introverts
- A shy, reticent, and typically self-centered person.
- A person predominantly concerned with their own thoughts and feelings rather than with external things
There are many inspiration introverts, from Einstein, to Newton, to Larry Page, Rosa Parks- the list goes on and on. Society pushes everyone to be extroverted. But, there is a dire need for introverts to be who they are.
Introverts are often stereotyped- people believe introverted people are more self-centered. This is a common misconception. We just don't devote our attention to trying to get someone else's attention. We usually don't want attention. We'd rather stay inside our own heads. It's more interesting.
The very same thing could be said about extroverts in a stereotyped way. Extroverts could be considered self-centered because they want the attention of others. They are fulfilling their needs/wants (Not saying that's true, but we can twist what we think is reality to conform to our ideas).
Being more of an introverted person myself, I found schooling difficult. I was an academically sound student- quiet, kept to myself- but I noticed as I continued through my education, and even now in college, that I am being pushed and pushed continually to have these extroverted personality traits.
This is not to say introverts don't have social lives. I consider myself very social, but after being with my friends/around people for so long, I have to go to a place where I can be alone and recharge. I feel very drained after spending days with my friends. I need to recollect myself at some point and to give myself time for my mind to think. I also have to point something else out: Introverts and extroverts are physiologically different. I fear that introverts, who are brilliant on their own, are discouraged from being who they are and that the system will brainwash them into being something they are simply not.
Society today is more of a welcoming place for extroverts. Individuals are encouraged to be outgoing, social, opinionated, and dependent. The educational system teaches us all to be dependent upon one another: for instance, by working in groups. I find a major problem with this. I don’t know if there is such thing as “collective thinking”. Nearly every time I am forced to conform to the social setting and work in a group, I notice that no “collective thinking” really takes place. There is a dominant speaker in the group, and the group members feed off of each other like leeches. Every member in the group takes credit for one person’s ideas.
An Extremist View from Ayn Rand
“If some men do not choose to think, but survive by imitating and repeating, like trained animals, the routine of sounds and motions they learned from others, never making an effort to understand their own work, it still remains true that their survival is made possible only by those who choose to think and to discover the motions they are repeating. The survival of such mental parasites depends on blind chance; their unfocused minds are unable to know whom to imitate, whose motions it is safe to follow. They are the men who march into the abyss, trailing after any destroyer who promises them to assume the responsibility they evade: the responsibility of being conscious….
Such looters are parasites incapable of survival, who exist by destroying those who are capable, those who are pursuing a course of action proper to man.”
TED Talk: The Power of Introverts
Let's stop saying we're independent and actually learn how to be more independent!
We need to start pushing people to come up with ideas and solve problems on their own. There is a major flaw in the educational system always pushing introverts to work in groups, especially in subjects like math and science, where you need to learn how to solve the harder problems by yourself.
We need to learn how to think. Introverts are the people who are going to help us progress. They are the people who are going to help mankind and make significant contributions. The definition I quoted from google earlier- how introverts are self-centered. Yes, we are self-centered and selfish- but that is entirely in the wrong context. By self-centered and selfish, I really mean self- aware. Awareness is important and vital to have ideas and to advance. Many introverts are rejected- just imagine all the progress we could be making if we embraced introverts.
Introverts and extroverts both have beautiful personality traits that are vital for this world.. but we can't all be extroverts. Introverts needs extroverts, and extroverts need introverts. My point is both types are important, but we shouldn't try to make it seem like introverts are lesser, and unwanted, when in fact they are NEEDED. Introverts are essential, and I hope society can come to recognize that, and reforms to the educational system can be made to accommodate both the thinking styles of introverts and extroverts.