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The Plight of the Introvert

Updated on August 2, 2016

Have you ever been called shy, quiet, or reserved? have you ever opted for a nice night in versus that super awesome party that your friends swear will be the most amazing night ever? chances are if you've answered yes to any of the above you might be an Introvert. According to the MBTI scale index, introverts account for approximately 50% of the population. Yup 50. That means half of us out there are introverts. Weirdly enough however we seem to be underrepresented? I mean think about it. You or your brother, sister, parent, friend, heck even cat may be introverted. How often however, do you actually hear someone mutter the words. "I am an introvert." The very word itself can bring up images of someone wrapped up in a blanket in the corner of a room or something. Some of us wear this title like a proud badge while others shudder with fear at the very thought of being singled out as one. Others probably have no idea what the heck an introvert even is but fret not friend you've stumbled onto the right place.

You see I've always considered myself to be a pretty normal guy. Sure I have my quirks but don't who doesn't? Ss I got older however, I came to realize the stark difference I shared with the others around me and to a bit of an extent; society at large. I mean yeah I like to do normal things such as go out and hang with friends but I am not particularly fond of going out every weekend. My idea of a good time does not involve going to a packed club drinking alcohol and awkwardly trying to find a dance partner (I can honestly say this with experience as I've been in situations like that many times before). Introverts in general tend to prefer more quiet and less highly social situations. That's not to say some don't know how to have fun or don't posses the gift of gab, It just states a preference over one's environment.

Extroverts in comparison are the exact opposite. An extrovert can thrive in social situations for hours on end without feeling a need to retreat afterwards. Where an introvert will prefer to quietly recharge at home perhaps with a book or "me time" the extrovert re-energizes in social situations and needs constant "people time" to get by. According to Psychology Today "Introverts are drained by social encounters and energized by solitary, often creative pursuits. Their disposition is frequently misconstrued as shyness, social phobia or even avoidant personality disorder, but many introverts socialize easily; they just strongly prefer not to." I feel like the last bit really hits home. "Just strongly prefer not to."

When people sometimes ask me how my weekend was and I reply with a "nothing just stayed home" I start to get this weird feeling as if I disappointed them somehow by not having gone out. I've had situations in which I simply didn't feel like going out after a friend invited me cause I knew the type of place they were going to wouldn't interest me. Funny thing is that most Introverts aren't boring wallflower types. I love going out. I love discovering that new restaurant or grabbing a few drinks at a low-key bar with a friend. My preference for low volume places is just a natural fit for my personality type.

Western society prides and values extroverted qualities and frowns upon people who prefer more downtime alone. Not that there's anything wrong with extraversion, but Introversion isn't something that should be ruled out and classified simply as "shy" or "socially awkward." We all have strengths and weaknesses that make up who we are. It is also a point to mention that no one falls neatly into the introvert or extravert. We all to some degree exhibit traits from both ends but usually tend to lean more towards one.If your a fellow introvert, Just know you are not alone!


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    • Introchannel profile image

      Introchannel 2 years ago

      First off thanks for your comment! I am glad that you were able to relate to the article being a fellow introvert. I feel like in general Introverts get a bad rep because we are not the most talkative person in the room. I can't tell you how many times growing up family members told me to quit being shy and talk more. Interestingly enough however I wasn't that quiet of a kid. When in familiar environments I would actually be a little too talkative and have an endless abundance of energy. As I got older however, I started seeing the difference in how I interacted with the world versus other people.

      Sure I always had a group of friends that I hung out with. That was never the issue. The issue was around high school and that pressure to be popular and a "social butterfly." I remember having ex-friends who would always point out that I never made an effort to socialize with anyone outside of our group. They really felt the need to be recognized and appreciated and "popular" so it bothered them that I didn't have the same interests. It felt weird and unnatural to me to want to crack a joke or show off so people would like me. To make a long story short to this day out of probably 15 of those people I am only friends with a good 2.

      I do admit the common guilt faced by not being more "talkative" and in response (I guess to conform) I sometimes switch to extroverted mode and pretend to be the life of the party. I tend to do this if the social gathering is a bit on the awkward side. I've actually been mistaken a few times for being an extrovert just because I am able to navigate social situations and eliminate the awkward silences. Of course any fellow introvert knows how draining this can be and how after we feel the need to get away from it all and recharge.

      Fast forward to present day, I do enjoy a decent social life and I have a varied group of friends. I like to spend my time with people that inspire me and think independently and don't just follow the norm. As I got older however, I do tend to align myself with people who don't feel the need to go crazy and drink every weekend. Not that I have anything against it (heck I've even done it in the past) but it isn't something that sounds like fun to me. Certain people however try to convince me that I am "missing out" because I am young and according to them should be constantly going out but I've experienced the whole "College Years" craze and know it isn't something I am about.

      Hopes this answers your question!

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      Nicely written hub, Intro. Welcome to HubPages. I hope we can see much more of your writing as time goes by.

      I know what you mean by "Introvert." I'm one; always have been. Trouble is when it can lead to extremely lonely times. You are right: we each have our talents and our strong qualities that can benefit society. But we tend to be regarded as Nerds, right? Small talk is not my best asset. If ever I can think of something small/petty to say, something that does not have deep meaning, then I am likely to be ignored by those around anyway. They just don't expect it from me. They just expect more of my technical interests..... and they only get bored with that anyway, and move off to another corner of the room.

      So many times I have been left standing alone, wondering where everyone has gone to -- no one told me where they were going. This has even been on New Years Eve!

      With your introversion, do you get left out? Do you get invited? Do you feel guilty about it at any time?

      I'm writing to anyone here, not just yourself, Intro. Hope it opens up some good conversation.