- A shy, reticent, and typically self-centered person
- A person predominantly concerned with their own thoughts and feelings rather than with external things
I hate the first definition.
I’m not one to argue with a dictionary, but definition number one gives the word introvert a bad connotation. And, for my part, it’s inaccurate.
My family considers me an extrovert, because in high school I always asked to hang out with my friends, which would annoy them, for reasons that I won’t get into here.
But, my family is wrong.
I am not an extrovert, by any stretch of the imagination. I love hanging out with my friends and being in their presence, as I care for them deeply. But I won’t call someone up just because I don’t want to eat alone. Usually I’m not up for small talk or chatter.
I am an introvert.
I live in my head a lot. Probably not more than your average introvert, but more than my extroverted friends. And I’m content eating alone, or going to the movies alone. (I’m even contemplating going to a concert alone, because the one person who would want to go with me isn’t sure he can. And I don’t want to drag someone along.) I don’t have to have company. It’s nice, but only when it’s productive. I don’t want to see a movie I’m interested in with someone who doesn’t care, just to say “I’m not alone.”
When people hear the word “introvert,” it may conjure up the image of a shy and meek kid in school, who wants to be outgoing and sociable, and just has to get over her fears.
But I am not shy. I’m curious and often genuinely interested in people. I can be outgoing, I can be a social butterfly. But not 24/7. And if I ever have to fake it, I feel out of place.
I wish others could understand that I prefer one-on-one or small group interactions versus “going out.”
I know the nice thing to say is “we’re all wired differently and that’s okay.” But it’s annoying when an entire culture, or hell, just the people I work and go to school with, can’t comprehend that some of us prefer tranquility and introspection over being a “social butterfly.”
It’s okay to be quiet, it’s okay to be alone.
This video, How to be Alone, is confirmation of that.
And for more on us poor introverts:
- Quiet Please! Introvert at Work (livegrownourishcreate.wordpress.com)
- Q&A: Author Susan Cain on “the power of introverts” in business and beyond (smartplanet.com)
- Are Introverts and Extroverts Really So Different? (socyberty.com)
- Do Introverts Have a Pulse? (brandimpact.wordpress.com)
- Hells Yeah, I’m an Introvert (kaneconsulting.biz)
- for the introverted pastor (bluechippastor.org)
- An Introvert’s Thoughts on Being A Professional Speaker and Consultant (insidehighered.com)
- Leadership and Personality: Introverts Can Lead, Too (openviewpartners.com)
- Do Extroverts Make More Money than Introverts? (blogher.com)