Introverts are not outcasts, they just like being left alone

Posted: December 26, 2013 in General
Tags: ,

The correct definitions of introvert and extrovert are becoming more widely known these days, but there are still a lot of misconceptions.

Introverts, for example, recharge their energy when they’re alone. Being around a lot of people drains them, and so they need to have a quiet place where they can just do what they want to do at their own pace without having to meet the exhausting demands of others.

I am an introvert. And I like being left alone.

I relish in the time I spend by myself. To an extrovert, it may seem like a lonely existence, but I assure you it’s not.

For introverts, we can be left alone with our thoughts. We can plan our projects and let our ideas roam free in our imaginations. When we’re with people, our heads become cluttered with the thoughts of others, and our voices get quieter and quieter. Our heads empty out, and we feel more alone than if we weren’t surrounded by a group of people.

It seems strange, but — for me, at least — it’s true.

So, you see, we’re not hermits. We’re not recluses. We just like being left alone. We’re not weird social pariahs (well, not all of us). We’re actually perfectly normal. And it’s not that we don’t like people — we just like people in small groups for short periods of time. Think of us as cheetahs: We do really well for a really short amount of time, and then we need to rest.

We can’t help it. It’s just how we’re built. So, if you have an introvert in your life, don’t think of them as outcasts who like to stay in their bedrooms all day doing god-knows-what. Just realize that when they want to socialize, they’ll come to you. And when they want to have time to recharge, your understanding of that will be more appreciated than you can imagine.

  1. I’m actually a strange mix of the two. I need silence to be able to hear myself think sometimes, but I also love people and interaction. The need for balance seems to be a common recurrence in my universe. 🙂

    • Karen Rought says:

      And that’s totally okay, too. I heard someone else talking about this just the other day, saying he goes from being an introvert to an extrovert four times a day. And I think that’s totally plausible. Sometimes I just want to hang out with a bunch of people and get hyped by a crowd. Other times I just want to close my door and forget everyone else exists. I think having a balanced way of managing those two things is excellent, and even though it’s a struggle, I think you’ve got the right idea!

  2. When I was a kid, anybody who didn’t joyously tear around with gregarious enthusiasm was viewed as maladjusted, shy, abnormal, in need of help, and so forth. I still think there’s a stigma attached to introversion & the fact that some people draw energy from being alone hasn’t been properly accepted. One of the funniest things, for me, is that I get asked ‘where do you get the energy to spend so much time writing?’ – and of course, the answer is that I actually gain energy from doing so. I suppose it drains extroverts.

    • Karen Rought says:

      That makes a lot of sense, particularly because I’ve noticed that when I don’t read or write (i.e. spend time alone with my own thoughts), I tend to go into a funk. I never realized it was connected to this before, but I think you’ve hit the nail on the head for me.

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