Wednesday, March 28, 2012

why the world needs introverts

EDIT: I found this article on why the world needs introverts from Emma Pass and she has a cool post about her introvert/extrovert survey, so head over there and check it out! 

I think there are a lot of introverted writers out there who can relate.  This article talks about how there is the belief that the ideal self is "gregarious, alpha and comfortable in the spotlight".  That society thinks more highly of extroverts. Specifically that introverts "as a child you might have overheard your parents apologize for your shyness.  Or you might still feel a pang of guilt when you decline a dinner invitation in favor of a good book. Or maybe you like to eat alone in restaurants and could do without the pitying looks from fellow diners. Or you're told that you're 'in your head too much,' a phrase that's often deployed against the quiet and cerebral."

These all kind of resonated with me.  (Especially the parents apologizing for my shyness part, since my mom is, like, the biggest extrovert everrr).  I've also been told I have no personality, which, I mean, is kind of impossible, but whatevs.  And I like eating lunch alone at work so that I can read.  Why do people feel the need talk to me about work when I'm obviously in the middle of my lunch and reading?  (I def need those Go Away I'm Reading book covers that were floating around the interwebz).  Just because you see me reading, doesn't mean I need you to talk to me.  I might actually like to read.  Crazy, right?  Sometimes I do get the feeling the people are having a pity conversation with me, which just makes me annoyed, because I could be reading.  But I digress...

This article talks about how some of the greatest minds, inventors, writers, scientists were introverts.  That, that's what really allowed them to become great, always being in their head, and preferring environments that weren't over stimulating.  That's it's actually a good thing.  That it is something we can be proud of.

The article also goes into shy extroverts and the difference between shyness and introversion, which I thought was interesting.  ("Shyness is the fear of social disapproval or humiliation, while introversion is a preference for environments that are not overstimulating. Shyness is inherently painful; introversion is not. One reason that people confuse the two concepts is that they sometimes overlap.")

I do think I have outgrown my introvertedness a little bit, but part of me that is still like that is never going to go away.  This article actually made me feel proud to be an introvert, something that I hadn't really felt before.  My shyness has been something I've had to combat for a long time, but I'm so happy that now [some] people are seeing the GOOD in being an introvert.

So I don't think we introverts should feel guilty when we just want to curl up with a good book at home instead of going out to party.  Albeit, I don't think we should do that every time, being social creates friendships and close ties, but hearing that the world needs introverts is a boost of confidence, and makes me just want to be me.

6 comments:

  1. so interesting. I think overall I'm a mix of shy and introvert.. though like you I have worked through my shyness a bit .. unless I'm around someone whom I admire and then I'm like the 5 year old that hides in a corner, LOL

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    1. Oh I am super awkward around people I admire, lol, so unhelpful! But I'm definitely a lot less shy than I was in high school or college.

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  2. Introverts, unite! Heh. I'll have to read that article, I find the whole introvert/extrovert thing so interesting. I'm a raging introvert, but my whole life I just thought I was shy (until I actually discovered that I'm an introvert). In middle school there was this thing called Teen Center every other Friday night, and there was a DJ and basically everybody went, but I would stay home to read Harry Potter :)

    Also--I laughed out loud on your reading during lunch tangent. Why do people think we need to be talked to when we're pleasantly reading?! So funny, because it's true.

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    1. Harry Potter is a great Friday night companion :)

      I think people at my work can't actually believe I like to read for funsies. Maybe they should try it!

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  3. Great post, Steph, and thank you so much for the shout-out. I ended up doing my survey because of the reaction I got when I blogged about being an introvert, and a friend then sent me a link to the article you talk about. Great post, and such a fascinating subject!

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    1. I agree that this subject is definitely worth looking in to. I'm glad that (at least some) people realize being an introvert isn't a bad thing! Thanks for stopping by!

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