Hey! Where my fellow introverts at? If you’re wondering whether or not that word applies to you, try this quick survey:
Have you ever been accused of being… Shy? Quiet? Stand-offish? Anti-social?
Additionally, was your accuser someone who tends to never shut the hell up?
Congratulations. This doesn’t necessarily mean you hate people, but it does probably mean you’re introverted — which is awesome! (If you didn’t relate, you should still continue reading to learn more about your “quiet” friend or co-worker.)
When looking up synonyms for the word “introvert,” you’ll find words like: Shy. Reticent. Withdrawn. You might also find some stereotypes: Egoist. Narcissist. Shrinking Violet. …WTF? As for “extrovert”: Sociable. Gregarious. Unreserved.
One explanation for this involves energy. It’s a core difference between the two groups’ preferences, according to Jung. (Without getting too academic, this is further described here.)
Extroverts, you guys GAIN energy from socializing with other people. For introverts, social interactions DRAIN energy, and we need (not want — need) alone time to recharge. This doesn’t make either group’s feelings right or wrong. It comes down to being wired differently.
To be clear, this introverts vs. extroverts conversation shouldn’t be divisive. Instead, it’s another way to better understand people. Because sometimes an introvert’s intentions are, after all, misunderstood.
So if a suspected introvert tells you they don’t feel like hanging out. Or if they decline an invitation (particularly if it’s last-minute, and especially if it involves a group of acquaintances/strangers). Don’t take it personally. We might just need some time to ourselves.
And just because we don’t go out of our way to strike up a conversation with you, it doesn’t always mean that we don’t want to talk to you, or that we hate you.
Disclaimer: but it might.
** This post generalizes behavior. It is based on items I’ve read, personal experiences, and many conversations with kindred spirits. “I’m an introvert” isn’t an excuse for being rude!