The title says it all. It has taken me a while to get to the point where I understand this aspect of my personality and I am still actively involved in the learning process, but I figure this is a good opportunity to shed some light on this little understood personality trait.
An introvert is a person who is energized by SOLITUDE and an extrovert is one who is energized by SOCIALIZATION. This is the simplest definition and is definitely a starting point for understanding such people. There are several misconceptions out there about introverts and while some of them hold true depending on the INDIVIDUAL, it is not true for ALL introverts.
I’ve always been the girl who preferred to stay home and veg out than going out and partying all weekend. I can seriously stay home, by myself for an entire weekend and not once have a problem with it. I LOVE it (and Japan and its annoying tendencies sure haven’t helped that situation). It’s something my parents and friends have never quite understood. Sure, I enjoy a party every once in a while. I love going to things like games nights, dinners, movies, whatever. I don’t mind socializing, but the difference between me and an extrovert is that eventually I want the socializing to STOP. Whereas an extrovert can go out to dinner, then go to a party for hours, then go back to people’s house and chill, then see them again the next day at the beach with very little time in between where they aren’t around people, I, and other introverts, cannot take that much interaction. We like a break. We crave it. That much social activity is exhausting, draining and just straight up not fun. If I know I’m going to be in a position where I have to do that much socializing I have to mentally psyche myself up for it.
Introverts like myself enjoy being alone for two main reasons: either to take a break and recoup from having to be around people for an extended period of time, or to simply enjoy our own thoughts. We’re very introspective and reflective and this sort of reflection best takes place when there’s no one else there to disturb the process. It doesn’t mean we want to be alone ALL the time because like most other human beings, we like spending time with people we enjoy, doing things we enjoy. It’s just that we enjoy time being away from others just as much, if not more, than time spent being with them. Extroverts on the other hand, may also enjoy spending time alone, but they enjoy socializing much, much more and given a full day they would probably willingly spend the vast majority of the time with other people. Alone time isn’t as much of a necessity as it is to the introvert.
Some of the misunderstandings and incorrect ideas surrounding introversion are that introverts are social deviants (unable to interact with others), introverts are shy, introverts are rude, introverts are depressed etc. But for you people who have had the PLEASURE of knowing me (lol), you know that the vast majority of these things are not true. I’m not shy (shyness has a certain element of anxiety associated with it which I don’t have at all), not rude (my parents grow me with MANNERS, lol), I like people (well no…actually…generally speaking I don’t like people BUT I don’t not like them to the point where I avoid them) and I’m not depressed.
I get the feeling that I’m going all over with this post, and I also think some of you may be wondering why I’m highlighting this all. It’s two fold. I want the stigma of the introvert to be erased. I’ve told people that I’m an introvert before and have watched their faces contort into “what the heck” stares, as if I’d just told them I was an alien. It has such a negative connotation for reasons previously highlighted which are far from the true meaning of the word. Also, I really just want to get the extroverts (you know, you social butterflies that just cannot get enough of people)to start rethinking their opinions on persons who interact differently. The girl in the group that’s a little quieter isn’t necessarily shy, she’s probably just more observant and genuinely enjoys listening to others make an ass of themselves (yes, speaking from experience here). The guy that went out with you on Friday night and Saturday night but declined the invitation for Sunday night isn’t being rude, nor is he having problems, he probably just wants one weekend night to bask in his alone time knowing that he will have to deal with everybody at work for an entire week come Monday. The person who enjoys staying home for an entire weekend instead of going to Daydreams and Truck Stop the day after isn’t being anti-social, they just want a weekend where they have nothing to do and no-one to deal with. Is it really that bad to enjoy time to ourselves?
There’s a lot more about it I could go into but I’ll stop here for now. Think about it and let me know what you guys think. Hopefully I gave you some useful information today.
Until next time, take care.