There are many introverts out there who tend to get misunderstood. Their quiet nature may not be well understood by plenty of people, including extroverts. An introvert, defined as someone who tends to prefer time alone or engage with just a few people at a time, should not be made to feel like they are odd or that they have to overcome introversion.
Rather, our society ought to embrace introverts and welcome their contemplative spirits to balance out the more outward, more socially focused spirits.
Research indicates that the brain of an introvert is slightly different than the brain of an extrovert. They’re wired differently. The factor that causes the difference is the neurotransmitter dopamine.
An extrovert will seek to socialize more when their brain gets a dopamine (feel good chemical) boost. They tend to enjoy the whole social experience, boosting their dopamine levels. That boost makes them want to socialize even more.
An introvert doesn’t necessarily get that same dopamine boost when socializing. In fact, social situations may actually over-stimulate them, causing them to feel anxious.
Research indicates that an introvert tends to rely on the neurotransmitter acetylcholine more than the extrovert. This chemical, when produced, tends to cause an introvert to desire to enjoy peace and quiet, and go within. This is something that makes them feel good.
Statistics reports that almost half of the population consider themselves introverts. As we can all agree, feeling understood can be helpful in terms of self-esteem and feeling like you fit in. As an introvert myself, knowing that others can allow me to simply be the quiet, not-to-social soul that I am without judgement goes a long way.
The following are various things introverts would like others to know about them.
1. I really do like people.
A lot of introverts get accused of being anti-social or not liking people. This isn’t true. While there may be some people who fall into those categories, that’s not indicative of being an introvert. That may be more of a preference or perhaps they’re dealing with life situations that have caused them to fear people.
Introverts enjoy people and friendships, but they prefer them in small numbers and doses. They’d rather enjoy conversation with one or two people than hang out in large groups. They simply don’t feel the need to have a lot of friends, not because they don’t like people, but because they simply choose this way of life.
2. I get energy by being quiet.
Whereas an extrovert may get energy by engaging with others, an introvert gets energized by enjoying quiet time by themselves. They may enjoy reading, enjoying some good media, being out in nature, or simply sitting on their deck enjoying the view. Silence and solitude fill them up, so they try to get as much as they can.
3. I’d rather observe than lead.
Many introverts would rather be the observer, rather than feel like they have to lead the conversation or group. It’s not that they can’t be amazing leaders, because they can. They just really enjoy sitting back and observing, chiming in when they feel led. If they feel like they have to lead, it can cause them some anxiety.
4. I’m not lazy.
Plenty of introverts get accused of being lazy, but for most, this simply isn’t true. Many introverts just don’t like to engage in social functions. When asked to go do things with acquaintances or friends, often the answer is no. This can be taken personal by loved ones, and some may point their fingers and call them lazy.
Remember that many introverts just prefer to be home much of the time. It’s where they feel their best. It’s a preference, and plenty of them are quite busy at home.
5. Committing to social events isn’t always easy.
Speaking for myself as an introvert, it’s tough for me to commit to a social event. There have been plenty of times I’ll say “yes”, but then I’ll start experiencing anxiety as soon as I think about the outing. I’ll go back and forth as to whether I really want to go or not. I envision all the people, noise, chaos, etc. and want to cancel.
Through the years, I’ve learned to give myself permission to say, “I’ll think about it and let you know”, rather than just agree up front. I may wait until the day before or the day of the event to decide. I also give myself permission to cancel if I truly need to practice self-care.
6. I feel plenty of feelings.
I’m sure I’m not the only introvert that gets flack from some people about not “feeling” or expressing my feelings in the passionate way many extroverts do. I may not be the one hootin’ and hollerin’ at events, but that doesn’t mean I’m not excited to be there. I just may not express my feelings in the same way as an extrovert.
Introverts indeed feel quite deeply. They just may not prefer to share their emotions openly.
7. I am fine.
Silence is awkward for many people. Introverts get asked, “Are you ok?” all the time.
They are quiet much of the time.
Those that don’t understand introverts or get uncomfortable around silence tend to think something’s wrong. Plenty of introverts spend time in their mind thinking about all sorts of things. If they’re quiet, it’s not always because they are upset, bored, angry, depressed, etc. They are likely just fine.
8. I want you to respect my nature.
Introverts want to be respected for who they are. Just because they’re not extroverted does not make them less than. In fact, there are plenty of introverts that are leaders, change makers, compassionate, successful in many facets, and excellent communicators.
With almost half of the population considered introverts, it’s essential that we learn as much as we can about introversion. This way, there will be less judging and more acceptance.
Do you consider yourself an introvert? If so, what would you like others to know about you? What would you add to this list?