When put on the spot, I often struggle to describe clearly and concisely what introversion is really about, generally lurching off instead into a long-winded and overly-complicated explanation which doesn’t make much sense to anyone.
So in an attempt to get my message across more succinctly, I have tried to boil introversion down to its bare essentials and come up with 3 basic pieces of information that people need to know about introverts.
Let’s start with some myth-busting…
Introversion is not about social skills
- Contrary to popular belief, introverted and shy do not mean the same thing.
- Shyness is made – it’s to do with social anxiety, a fear of being judged, and is usually something that you learn to be through personal experience.
- Introversion is born – it’s part of your innate personality. Being an introvert is not something you choose and not something you can change.
- Of course there are many shy introverts, but there are also lots of confident and social introverts, as well as everything else inbetween.
Introversion is about energy
- Introverts get their energy from within themselves, through reflection and solitude.
- Introverts are very sensitive to external stimulation, i.e. input coming into their brains from the outside world.
- This means introverts are quickly drained by social interaction or too much going on around them, even if they enjoy it to begin with.
- When an introvert is tired, they need to recharge their batteries by withdrawing for a while, e.g. being on their own or doing something quiet like reading a book.
Up to one half of the population are introverts
- This means many of your family, friends and work colleagues are introverts, even if you, nor they, are aware of it.
- How come introverts remain so hidden?
- because it’s still not considered socially acceptable to be an introvert in our culture, so many have become very good at hiding it
- because most people still do not really understand what an introvert is.
By way of example, here are a few names of famous people who are also self-declared introverts:
Julia Roberts, Warren Buffett, Audrey Hepburn, Emma Watson, Steven Spielberg, Christina Aguilera, J K Rowling, Bill Gates.
For a fuller explanation, read ‘What is an introvert?’