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How to Explain Introversion to People Who are Extroverts

Updated on April 3, 2013
Bill Gates, developer of Microsoft. Successful introversion at work.
Bill Gates, developer of Microsoft. Successful introversion at work. | Source

Personality of an Introvert

As the video explains introverts often find being in a group of people exhausting. Group settings for them are not easy and they would much rather fall back into the crowd than ever be the center of attention. Unlike their extroverted cousins who crave socialization and feel invigorated by large gatherings, parties, or functions.

For this reason introverts prefer to be alone in order to "recharge" themselves rather than in a group type setting.

How to Communicate with an Introvert

When it comes to communicating the introvert may come across as rude or less than empathetic.

An introvert is not interested in meaningless conversation. If there is no "meat" to a conversation or the introvert is not interested in the topic at hand they simply will not participate.

If the introvert does participate unwillingly, in an attempt to be polite; expect simple one worded answers in an attempt to stop any further conversing.

Keep in mind the introvert is not being rude he or she is just unable to become enthused in small talk; especially with people they deem as strangers.

Even simpler don't try to engage an introvert, let them do the engaging.

Famous Introverts

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Julia Robert ActressTom Hanks ActorBarbra Walters News AnchorAlbert Einstein PhysicistCharles Darwin Scientist
Julia Robert Actress
Julia Robert Actress
Tom Hanks Actor
Tom Hanks Actor
Barbra Walters News Anchor
Barbra Walters News Anchor
Albert Einstein Physicist
Albert Einstein Physicist
Charles Darwin Scientist
Charles Darwin Scientist

8 Myths About Introverts Debunked

1.Introverts don't know how to have fun.

Introverts most definitely know how to have fun. Their definition of "fun" however is much different then the extroverts definition. Where an extrovert may enjoy a group outing or party type setting, the introvert prefers reading or less "busy" activities.

2. Introverts can become extroverts if they try and "fix" it.

Introverts cannot "fix" themselves anymore then a person who is left handed can "fix" themselves. There's really nothing to fix; that's just who they are.

3. Introverts are just quiet, creepy, dorks

Quiet - Yes.

Creepy - since they generally do not share their feelings, thoughts, or opinions with others I guess they could be considered as "creepy". Not knowing things make people uncomfortable.

Nerds - Again it depends on your definition of a nerd. Since they enjoy solitary activities like reading and writing they tend to be more creative and focused individuals. Creativity has been linked to higher IQ levels. Is being smart considered nerdy?

4. Introverts ALWAYS want to be alone.

No. Not ALWAYS. They enjoy their family and friends in small doses. After a hectic family gathering they want to retreat to peace and quiet. Let them.

5. Introverts don't like people.

Again not true. They don't necessarily like to associate with strangers, or talk about things they have no interest in and small talk will never go over well with the true introvert. However they do enjoy quiet intimate gatherings. Just not in abundance. They are human beings after all some socialization is necessary. Just keep it to a minimum.

6. Introverts are rude.

They are often mistaken as rude because they don't enjoy small talk. They would rather sit in silence in a room of strangers then associate with them. This can come across as rude, uninterested, or aloof to many. The introvert is not trying to be rude at all he or she is just being an INTROVERT.

7. Introverts are shy.

Yes, their personalities can be compared to being shy. Although if you ask their close friends or family shy would not be a word used to describe the introvert. But to a stranger "shy" would be a much nicer description then "rude".

8. Introverts are just depressed.

See below.

Tell me....

Are you an introvert or extrovert?

See results

The Introvert and Depression

Are Introverts Depressed?

No, an introvert is not depressed, sad, unfriendly, or rude. Simply put they value their alone time and would rather stay at home alone or with a few chosen friends rather than follow a group to a large gathering.

If forced into an uncomfortable situation the introvert may become sad, anxious, depressed, or just plain cranky.

Of course any of these characteristics are a result of being uncomfortable in the situation and not a true indicator of the introverts total personality.

Introversion Vs. Isolation

Introversion - (in·tro·ver·sion) noun

a. the act of directing one's interest inward or to things within the self. b. the state of being concerned primarily with one's own thoughts and feelings rather than with the external environment.

Isolation - (i·so·la·tion) noun

the complete separation from others


Introverts are NOT Sociopaths

A common myth is that being introverted leads to isolation.

Isolation is usually one of the first things mentioned when sociopathic behaviors are being explained via the media or in regards to behaviors that are considered abnormal.

For this reason a person who is introverted may be mistaken for someone who isolates themselves from all human interaction.

Introverts like ineraction to a degree it just must be inneraction with a well known group for the true introvert to relax and feel comfortable.

While isolation is a key factor or symptom in being diagnosed depressed or mentally ill it is not the only factor in the equation.

Isolation and introversion are two different beings.

Susan Cain: Author of The Power of Introverts


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    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      This is an excellent piece of writing. Honestly, I can easily describe it as amazing.

      I loved every word. Graphics were superb. This hub was helpful, informative and I found it very interesting.

      Voted up and all the choices because you deserve it.

      You have such a gift for writing. Keep the wonderful hubs coming.


      Kenneth Avery, Hamilton, Alabama

    • Rfordin profile image

      Rfordin 4 years ago from Florida

      Hi teaches12345,

      Are you yourself an introvert? Myself and my partner are introverts to a different degree. She would rather never partake in gatherings where I am ok with a gathering ONCE in a while. I only get disturbed when gatherings are on a constant basis.


    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      My husband is an introvert and often comes over as snobbish to some people. He is, as you state their nature, totally different when with those he knows. I found your article interesting and educational.

    • Rfordin profile image

      Rfordin 4 years ago from Florida

      Hi Angela Blair,

      Back when I always felt like socializing was the way to fit in too. Now here I sit at 30 something realizing that life's to short to conform to "norms".

      Thanks for stopping by to see me.


    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas

      Never realized I fit into the "introvert" category until I read this article -- and by the way, it's very interesting and informative. I've always been one who would rather be alone than engage in mindless conversation although can function just fine when necessity prevails. When younger, I thought I had to "socialize" because that's just what one did. With age, I tend to go my own way more and pay less attention to what the "social norm" is! Best/Sis

    • Rfordin profile image

      Rfordin 4 years ago from Florida

      Hi nybride710,

      As a teenager I was 100% extrovert but as I aged I've realized just how exhausting it was back then. I understand where your coming from totally as my other half is much more introverted then myself. Sometimes to the point of frustration; but at the same time I totally understand.

      Thanks for stopping by to see me.


    • nybride710 profile image

      Lisa Kroulik 4 years ago from Minnesota

      I suspected that I am an introvert, but I had to take the quiz to find out for sure. I am also married to an introvert, but he is much more so than I am. Very interesting article. I know when I've gotten frustrated with my husband for being more introverted than I am, I have to tell myself he is a wonderful person and I need to accept him the way he is.

    • Rfordin profile image

      Rfordin 4 years ago from Florida

      Hi gmwilliams,

      I agree 100% with the studies and I believe it's simply because of the quiet, solitary activities the introvert often enjoys. It's those activities that make introverts more in tune with ourselves as well as creativity, intelligence, and all things "quiet" LOL.

      Thanks for coming to see me.


    • Rfordin profile image

      Rfordin 4 years ago from Florida

      hi billybuc,

      I can't explain it either but I like to try and explain it to the friends and family who wonder why I sometimes turn down the invivtations to crowded events. Of course in their eyes these types of events are fun. Yep, not for me......go have your fun leave me at home please. Thankyou.

      We don't need "fixing" us weirdos are happy here @hubpages ;).

      Thanks for visitng me.


    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 4 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Excellent article about introversion. Sadly, this extroverted society views introverts as outsiders and lessers. There are many parents who believe that their introverted children are oddities and need "fixing". What many extroverts fail and/or refuse to realize that introversion is another personality type. Introverts do not need fixing. Studies have confirmed that introverts are oftentimes more intelligent and more mature. Introverts are self-confident in that they do not need to always prove themselves to others and to always being out there. I have immensely enjoyed this hub. I am also an introvert, I have written many articles on introversion.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I've tried to explain it and can't. There have been times when I felt like a freak, unable to fit in with society. Now, I don't care. This is who I am. Great job of explaining us "weirdos." LOL

    • Rfordin profile image

      Rfordin 4 years ago from Florida

      Hi Innerspin,

      I myself am a proud introvert. As far as I can tell I need no "fixing" (some may disagree :)). I often wonder how many people here @hubpages are introverts. It seems that us introverts prefer quiet activities and I deifnitly deem Hubbing as a quiet activity... hmmmm.

      Thanks for stopping by to see me.


    • innerspin profile image

      Kim Kennedy 4 years ago from uk

      Excellent explanations and de-bunking of myths about introverts. There is nothing that needs "fixing" about this personality trait. We can't all be the same, nor should we try to be.