the face of an introvert

Posted on Posted in how did we get here?, journal

Apparently my blog comes up in the top rankings for Google queries about introversion being a disease.

This is, of course, care of my rant introversion is not a disease.

People are often surprised to hear me claim I'm introverted. I imagine I'm not alone among introverts in this, because introverts and introversion are not well-understood in general.

I've been drafting a post on this, on and off, for the last week, ever since a friend rationalised her surprise at my being introverted with the comment, "But I guess it's because you look confident in your field. Introverts are mostly really uncomfortable, even in their own field."

It was the first conscious inkling I had that there's a real misunderstanding out there about what introversion is, and what it looks like.

And today, via my tweet stream, the internet delivered ten myths about introverts:

Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.

This list is so perfect, and so entirely encapsulates what I wanted to say (or at least begin with) ever since I first started drafting this post, that even though I already re-tweeted it, I thought it bore repeating here.

If only because I've already had one friend discover, on reading the list, that he was, to his own surprise, an introvert. To which I say: welcome to the (quiet-like) club!

8 thoughts on “the face of an introvert

  1. Jung defined introverts as people who get their energy from within themselves, and quickly become exhasted when they've had enough of company, while extraverts (as he spelt it!) are people who get theri energy from others and tend to feel distressed and lacking energy when they are deprived of company for too long.

    As a introvert, I am quite happy with my own company. I love to get together with a small group of friends to discuss matters of mutual interest, but socialising for its own sake leaves me cold. That sound very much the same as your experience, Deborah.

    As for blogs and what people seek, my most popular posts are 1/ A translation of a German drinking toast and b/ A post about how awful it is to have shingles. And here's me trying to impress people with my knowledge and wit and writing ability. 🙁

    1. Sometimes it seems to me that the only people who know the definition of introversion are the introverts! I whole-heartedly identify with Jung's definition – much as I love my friends and family, even they can drain me. All that attentiveness, and no time to sit in silence and just drift! When I'm really lacking in recharge-time, even the television is too draining. Although that probably has as much to do with vacuous noise as anything else.

      As for blogs and what people seek, my most popular posts are 1/ A translation of a German drinking toast and b/ A post about how awful it is to have shingles. And here's me trying to impress people with my knowledge and wit and writing ability. 🙁

      I know what you mean! One of my most popular posts is a picture of a spontaneous burst blood vessel. Oh, and queries about spider season in Australia.

    1. Heh. Introverts of the world unite! Well, yanno, from a safe distance. And for a short time. Maybe via email…

  2. So true! Right on with what you said, the myths, and what Jung said… This was the perfect explanation of ME (and I imagine many other writerly types 🙂

  3. Hi Deborah, reading your blog on introverts has just made me feel so much better. I have often been critisised for my 'shyness' and I have tried to be like others who enjoy being around a lot of people all the time, but it has always felt like finger nails on a chalk board to me. Even my own hubby and kids are too much sometimes. Music, headphones, writing and long walks are my breathing space. 😀

    1. Hi Kasie,

      I'm so glad it's made you feel better! I think accepting introversion as normal is not something society has quite managed yet, in part because introverts have such a hard time explaining their need for isolation. My family learnt long ago that I routinely need to escape even them. Stay strongly quiet 😉

Comments are closed.