The most misunderstood person on the planet is an introvert. The reason you don’t hear much about that from us is because we are introverts.
Silent no more.
I’m coming out of my shell to explode ten myths about introverts.
MYTH #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
Not true at all. I am a preacher. Some people say I talk too much.
I don’t like to talk unless I have something to say. Introverts hate small talk. I default to the serious all the time – or talking family, church, writing, Jesus or football. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in and they won’t stop talking for minutes.
MYTH #2 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Come on! I love relaxing with a good book (non-fiction), a long walk, or 5 solo hours of driving to Saskatoon. You’ve never known fun if you haven’t spent two hours, alone, writing about what you’re passionate about. Introverts relax and have fun – just their own kind of fun. Introverts typically relax at home, not in busy public places. Introverts usually aren’t thrill seekers or adrenaline junkies.
MYTH #3 – Introverts are weird.
“Loner” is a better word than “weird.” You know the “march-to-the-beat-of-a-different-drummer” kind of person? You can’t beat an introvert for that. Introverts think for themselves. They think deeply. Everything they do is deep. Its only when introverts try to act like an extrovert that they may appear to be weird.
MYTH #4 – Introverts are rude.
Silence is an introvert’s friend. Introverts enjoy silence much too much and can appear to be rude or aloof. Introverts don’t mind hours of silence. My wife and I have driven from Edmonton to Calgary and engaged in conversation approaching Red Deer only to see if a pit stop was needed.
Thinking before they speak – the l-o-n-g pause – is also a mark of introverts. My delayed responses to questions are so I can answer precisely. To others, delays can appear to be uncertainty, lack of focus or boredom.
MYTH #5 – Introverts are shy.
I am shy by nature but that’s got nothing to do with being an introvert. Introversion has everything to do with re-energizing in solitude and very little to do with socializing. What introverts need is a reason to come out of themselves to interact. If you want to talk to an introvert, just start talking. Give them an opportunity to jump in or drag them in by asking a question to make it a bona fide dialogue.
MYTH #6 – Introverts don’t like people.
I like people. I love my family. However, with my wife or my granddaughters, I like to listen more than talk. Even with my friends, I prefer listening. I like to hear their stories and ideas. My friends would say I am loyal. My closest friendships are decades old.
MYTH #7 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public
Introverts take in experiences quickly and also tire quickly in public. I love North Pointe on a Sunday with the energy and sounds of hundreds of people. I love giving hugs, high fives and praying with people. I do look forward to going home and recharging before my next public gathering…which sometimes is only an hour or two later at a prayer service or fellowship gathering.
MYTH #8 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts don’t mind being alone but they don’t want to be alone. They enjoy their own company and can entertain themselves quite nicely but do appreciate people. Our eldest son is the most extroverted in our family. When he was little, sending to him his room was punishment enough. Our youngest son is more of an introvert and punishment by solitary confinement was actually freeing for him.
MYTH #9 – Introverts are all nerds.
The Wikipedia definition of a nerd includes “may have difficulty participating in, or even following, sports.” Do you think Michael Jordan had any trouble participating in sports? O, yes, Michael is an extreme introvert. The NBA’s Larry Bird and Jerry West, the NFL’s Steve Smith and the PGA’s Tiger Woods are all introverted.
Introverts can be superstar athletes, high performance CEO’s or drop-dead gorgeous models. What sets introverts apart is they are very aware of their thoughts and emotions. This can be a drag, especially when setbacks and struggles occur in the public eye.
MYTH #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become extroverts.
Introverts don’t need “fixing.”
The world needs introverts to be introverted.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR INTROVERTS
APPLICATION: Are you an introvert or extrovert? Let me know what you thought of this post. Please leave a comment below. Thank you (especially to you introverts).
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