10 Myths about Introverts – UPDATED

When our younger son went off to college, my husband and I — unsure of how we would deal with the empty nest — signed up for a six week course at a local parish. I honestly don’t remember much about it except for this: in the second week, the class participants spent some time with the Myers Briggs Type Indicators and my husband finally had the proof he needed to believe what I had been telling him for years: he is a profoundly extroverted person, and I am — as even the instructor, with raised eyebrows averred, a “true” introvert (INFJ).

After all of our years together, I finally understood my husband’s need to be out and about doing, meeting, talking, socializing and he finally understood why it was all so exhausting to me. I no longer ask him why he feels the need to accept any invitation that comes his way, and he no longer says “but we just got here, what do you mean, you’re fried?”

So, I really like this piece on 10 myths about introverts:

Unfortunately, according to this book, only about 25% of people are Introverts. There are even fewer that are as extreme as I am. This leads to a lot of misunderstandings, since society doesn’t have very much experience with my people. (I love being able to say that.)

So here are a few common misconceptions about Introverts (not taken directly from the book, but based on my own life experience):

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.

You can read the rest, here.

Famous INFJ’s

Have you ever done a Myers Briggs profile?

Famous INFJ’s

UPDATED:
I’ve done this hiding in the bathroom to recharge thing. Even when I’m hosting the party!

Instapundit links! Thanks, Glenn!

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • kevin

    I think I am ambi-verted. I think you can be both.

  • tim johnson

    Love your blog, but you above most others should not stoop to misusing the word
    “myth” in this modern and hellish convention equating it with “misconception” or “misunderstanding,” or just plain “stupid idea.”
    A myth is an ancient and honorable word meaning, well, a word, or story or legend, of great things, a hero or god, or the God, explaining why the world, the universe, or Man Himself, is the way it is….
    Myths can be true; the really big ones likely usually are, in the deeper sense.
    Christmas, in fact, revolves around perhaps the key Myth ever, for allus Round Jon Virgins.
    Myths are not a bunch of (straw men, usually) ignorant ideas set down then set straight by an oh-so-knowing journalist…..
    Such usage is a convention that needs overturning and drowning.
    Let’s save the venerable word Mythos for big stuff.

  • Oregon Catholic

    INTJ. I can relate to a couple of other’s comments. When in a confined space I have been known to call yakking extroverts verbal terrorists. For me, I imagine hell would be a never-ending cocktail party where everyone is a stranger that’s into small talk and there is no escape, not even a bathroom.

  • RigelDog

    INTJ. I did a workshop once and was astounded when the literature noted that someone with my particular type and strong tendencies within that type would normally hang back in a group setting like a meeting but would, if the meeting started down the wrong path, speak up and fix it. How do it know??

  • Blake

    Gad, I hate small talk. I cannot stand noisy restaurants, either. I work with computers, which is perfect for my introverted self.

  • mcra99

    “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.”

    Introverts sound like nice people……I wish I were so lucky to have one as a friend…I hope I am a person of substance…please, please…say that I am!

    Count me out….

  • mcra99

    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.
    1. Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. Which means, “Shut your pie hole…who cares about your family, the weather, or what you did this weekend!”

    2. They want everyone to just be real and honest; which means, “Who told you that dress makes you look slim?”

    3. …so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting; which means, “I’m an impatient asshole….so hurry up and get your damn pleasantries out of the way so I can tell you how fat that dress makes you look!”

    I think when you wrote, “Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings,….” one would have thought that the proverbial red flag would have appeared somewhere in your little introverted head.

  • mcra99

    And if you don’t allow these comments on the site….well, you really do have to ask yourself these questions, “Could it be me? Do I really like people? Lord, is it really me?”

    I will say a prayer for you. Lord knows that I need one….but I am just being “real and honest.” I don’t want to “beat around the bush with social pleasantries.” So there ya have it…I am officially an introvert

    Please, ya gotta laugh at yourself sometimes….ya gotta admit that you do have some angst with people in general.

  • Stan

    I got the ISTJ label. Funny, the description of ISTJ is nothing like me, nor anything I would enjoy doing, except perhaps inspecting things for quality/efficiency. Yet another site’s description of the ISTJ was remarkably different.

    I also find it interesting we have two of the 1% “Mastermind” INTJs commenting right next to each other.

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    Like most of things in psychology, I would take it with a grain of salt. Plus a person is not fixed into a catagory. You can work on your personality to transform it.

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    By the way I score ENFJ, which was the same as Bill Clinton. LOL.

  • http://elizabethk-fthnfort.blogspot.com/ Elizabeth K.

    INFJ. I’m not surprised that I’m an extreme introvert, but I never really figured it out until I had a job where I had to be on all day, and I was exhausted all the time. I love to teach, I’m not afraid of public speaking at all–but it definitely drains me!

  • Sandra

    An I/ENTJ here, the scores for the I/E are always very close and it depends on what’s going on in my life. The NTJ, never seems to change. We really aren’t all “Masterminds” but do border on omnipotent (LOL!) As in the old saying “Those of you that think you know everything are very annoying to those of us that do.” In reality, I find that I am driven to “know more” and to know it to a deeper depth and breadth than the average person.

    There is something to be said for Briggs-Meyers, and I really liked that listing. My brother is a definite “I” person, but if you are his friend, you have a friend for life.

    The same can be said of Extroverts too, some are shy, some are not “party-hardy” types.


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