- Introverts are shy
- Introverts are self-absorbed and don't care about others
- Introverts hate being around people
- Introverts are nervous in social situations
- Introverts are insecure
- Introverts are socially awkward
How about you? Is this your impression of introverts? Would it surprise you to know that NONE of those statements are true?? Yet society has labeled us this way. Why? Because introverts make up only 1/3 of the population, and the other 2/3s who are extroverts do not understand us at all. ( by the way, my mother, my husband, and all six of my kids are introverts)
Extroverts are outgoing. They love being around people. They love talking and spending time with friends. They feel comfortable for the most part at parties and believe the more people, the merrier. They prefer breadth rather than depth.. in other words, they enjoy a wide variety of experiences and people, rather than just a few intense ones. These are the people who have a gadzillion friends and always seem to be doing rather than thinking. Extroverts need to be social to feel energized.
One is not better than the other. They are just different. The extroverts tend to run the social part of the world. They get out and do, do, do. While the introverts tend to be the creative minds behind the scenes that help the extroverts know what exactly they should do. Of course these lines are blurred, but you'll find that many introverts are very creative.
Some famous introverts are: Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, Bill Gates, Sherlock Holmes, Steven Hawking, Jane Goodall, Issac Newton, Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan.
All that to say that I'm a HUGE Introvert. As a child, I always wondered what was wrong with me. Why didn't I enjoy the social activities of my friends? Why did I feel so tired after I went to a party? Why did I hate idle chit chat but got excited when talking politics or religion? Why, when my friends called to go out, did I prefer to stay home? Why did my alone time make me feel so good? People thought I was shy, stuck-up, rude, unsociable.. and for years I thought that must be true. Now I know I'm none of those things.
I actually love people. I enjoy going out. I like parties, but I refuse to talk about the weather. I much prefer to discuss important topics. But most of all, I enjoy being alone. It recharges me and refreshes me. I guess that means I have the best occupation being an author cause I spend most of my time completely alone. Just me and my characters!
So how about you? Want to take the test?
True of False (Test taken from The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D)
- When I need to rest, I prefer to spend time alone or with one or two close people rather than a group
- When I work on projects, I like to have larger uninterrupted time periods rather than smaller chunks
- I sometimes rehearse things before speaking, occasionally writing notes to myself
- In general, I like to listen more than I like to talk
- People sometimes think I'm quiet, mysterious, aloof, or calm
- I like to share special occasions with just one person or a few close friends, rather than have big celebrations
- I usually need to think before I respond or speak
- I tend to notice details many people don't see
- If two people have just had a fight, I feel the tension in the air
- If I say I will do something, I almost always do it
- I feel anxious if I have a deadline or pressure to finish a project
- I can zone out if too much is going on
- I like to watch an activity for a while before I decide to join in
- I form lasting relationships
- I don't like to interrupt others; I don't like to be interrupted
- When I take in lots of information, it takes me awhile to sort it out
- I don't like overstimulating environments. I can't imagine why folks want to go to horror movies or go on roller coasters
- I sometimes have strong reactions to smells, tastes, foods, weather, noises, etc
- I am creative and /or imaginative
- I feel drained after social situations, even when I enjoy myself
- I prefer to be introduced rather than to introduce others
- I can become grouchy if I'm around people or activities too long
- I often feel uncomfortable in new surroundings
- I like people to come to my house, but I don't like them to stay too long
- I often dread returning phone calls
- I find my mind sometimes goes blank when I meet people or when I am asked to speak unexpectedly
- I talk slowly or have gaps in my words, especially if I am tired or if I am trying to speak and think at once
- I don't think of casual acquaintances as friends
- I feel as if I can't show other people my work or ideas until they are fully formulated
- Other people may surprise me by thinking I am smarter than I think I am
If you answered
20-30 True then you are a pretty strong Introvert
10-19 True then you are somewhere in the middle
1-9 True then you are extroverted.