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I'm an introvert and I'd like to see all myths about introverts debunked. Because most people have the wrong idea about us.

by JERRY SILVER // Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
Digital PR specialist and CEO at Spin Factory

What if social media naturals aren’t all that social?

In my experience, most online influencers are somewhat introverted by nature. Being an introverted personality myself, I can relate.

However, there are lots of misconceptions about what it means to be an introvert.

Therefore, I was glad to find the book The Introvert Advantage (How To Thrive in an Extrovert World), by Marti Laney, Psy.D.

And from there I found Carl Kingdom, who based on Laney’s book has compiled a list of ten widely spread myths about introverts:

The Top 10 Introvert Myths

It’s so good that I will publish most of the post, but the original can be found here.

Here’s the excerpt:

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.

Myth #3 – Introverts are rude

Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.

Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people

On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.

Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public

Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.

Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone

Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.

Myth #7 – Introverts are weird

Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds

Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.

Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun

Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.

Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts

A world without Introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers. That being said, there are still plenty of techniques an Extrovert can learn in order to interact with Introverts. (Yes, I reversed these two terms on purpose to show you how biased our society is.) Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.

Introvert myths.

Let’s do this.

Where do you fall on the extrovert/introvert spectrum? Let me know in the comment section.

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Behind the keyboard:

Jerry Silver is the author of Doctor Spin, a PR blog that's been around for 15+ years. Via his agency Spin Factory, Jerry is advising brands on how to adapt to a 'digital first' world. In 2016, Cision Scandinavia named him "PR Influencer of the Year". Jerry lives in Stockholm, Sweden with his wife Lisah, news anchor and television host, and their three-year-old son, Jack.


Doctor Spin’s comment policy:
“Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

Reader reactions:

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Julia Thorell

Det här var mycket upplysande, känner igen mig!

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Dsc

Spot on. I didn’t have words for it before but now I know that Im a introvert.

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Nalle Rooth

Ahh, so that’s what I am.. ;-)

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Norsk

I love it when I find something new and think right away that that is what I am. :)

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Håkan

Scary how close this description is to my reality. More or less struggled with feeling bad at social interaction my whole life. This list is a great comfort. Thanks!

Scientist from Sweden 8)

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Emil

This made me feel good. Thanks!

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S31

So very true! I’m surprised that there are so many of us out there, though. Would seem that we’re less than 25%.

Thank you for this post – I’m going to refer to this on my own blog.

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Tomas Olsson

Thanks for sharing, I hope it will be of big help for many people to understand.

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Joachim

great read, felt right at home with many of the explanations of the 10 myths :)

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Margret Gudmunds

Well, I have always considered myself an extrovert, and for the one criteria you mention with a biological basis–not liking a lot of stimulus–I would say I am an extrovert. I enjoy crowds and noise. But on every other criteria, I am introvert. Hate small talk, am loyal to my friends, am considered weird by lots of people. So I would just say a mature, thoughtful extrovert can act like an introvert! 

Reply
Doctor Spin

I’ve always felt that crowds and noise offers a form of anonymity.

Sara Canova

Min självrespekt sköt just i höjden. Tack, nu förstår jag!

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Trdsounds

Reading this gave me great comfort. Every explanation made me feel a bit less socially retarded.

Which is good! ;)

http://Www.soundcloud.com/TRD

thanks for posting, from an introvert musician :)

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Anna Lejestrand

I have a problem with the diagnose of either or. I am more of an introvert, but since I am very talkative (but as stated above, when I want, about what I want, and with whom I choose), I always get perceived as an extrovert. I would say many people are a bit of both, depending on the circumstances.

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Doctor Spin

I’m guessing that this has to be seen as a spectrum. Not only can you be a bit of both, but also be extrovert/introvert in different degrees.

Robin von Euler

Wow, träffade mig precis! Tack för att du delade detta!

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Jenny

I am a bit taken aback by the fact that this article comes as a surprise/comfort to so many readers – that really shows that the need to learn more is out there! 

What helped me (a Swedish PhD in engineering living in the US) was to take the Myers-Briggs test pretty early on in my career.  I learned many things about myself, including why I behave and react the way I do in certain situations and why I was bullied in elementary school (you know, the place where everyone has to think, say, and act the same or you are not “in”).

Another thing that makes life a lot easier for me is that I work in a research company, so most everyone else is an introvert too!  As a matter of fact, in this setting I am probably one of the more “extrovert introverts”… 

Maybe the greatest help was growing up in a family where both parents are introverts.  At least I wasn’t (that) strange at home…  It was probably hell for my extroverted sisters, though.

Thanks for a fun, and obviously important,  read,

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Doctor Spin

Food for thought, thank you.

NJ

Oh, thank you. This was such a relief to read, and I recognized myself in every single point.

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Fattar

I fit right in! Except for number 8, I’d say that I’m more perceptive than 80-90% of the population. That comes from listening instead of talking.

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Arne Weise

In the words of Thåström – “Det är ni som är dom konstiga det är jag som är normal” =)

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Anna Johansson

Kept thinking “Yes! Exactly like that! Finally someone else gets it to!” reading this. Especially 4,5 and 6. And 2. Heck, all of them.

It’s not about hating social interaction or people, it’s just that I don’t crave it and it’s not my “natural” way of being. I usually try to describe it by saying that being social takes more energy than it gives for me and even though I can truly enjoy interacting with intelligent, interesting people it’s still exhausting (to me, at least) and after a while I need to be on my own and reload. Sort of riding a rollercoaster; as fun as it might be you’re still relieved getting off… ;)

I’m definitely an introvert, but that doesn’t mean I’m antisocial or socially handicapped. I just… feel more at peace on my own. 

Reply
Doctor Spin

Time to think and process impressions is underrated in our society. 

Anna Nilsson

Spot on! I´ve always had a hard time explaining that I like to socialize, just not all the time or with everyone. This kind of put the words on how I feel, exhausted after too much interacting with people. Thanks for posting

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Oskar Klingborn (@tugw)

@jangradvall Du skrev en finfin text om blyghet för ett par veckor sedan. Den påminde mig om det här: http://t.co/5hshW3wq Har du läst det?

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Nadia

Bra inlägg, väldigt befriande!
Jag är en introvert person men har sedan flera år tillbaka blivit mer och mer extrovert, till en punkt att jag pushade mig för mycket att det resulterade i en deperession. Något jag insett är att vara extrovert för en introvert person kan vara väldigt stressigt, just för att vi lever i ett stressigt samhälle där man värdesätts utifrån sin extroverta sida. Den kräver med andra ord att man ska mata sitt externa ego, genom att vara omtyckt av omvärlden vare sig det handlar om sociala relationer, prestation, utseende osv, något vi introverta inte har ett behov av. Känns skönt att få lite perspektiv på saker som man ibland inte kan koppla själv!

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Maja

Spot on, then imagine being social introvert combined with a highly sensitive personality :-) for sure you can have an easier Life, but I’ve learned to make Everything to my advantage and really beagun to understand who I am, finally. And am not anymore trying to fit in somewhere I don’t belong. I’m so glad I’m not the only one.

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