What are Introverts?

One+of+the+most+common+misconceptions+surrounding+introverts+is+that+they%27re+anti-social.This+couldn%27t+be+further+from+the+truth.

Benjamin Davies via Unsplash

One of the most common misconceptions surrounding introverts is that they're anti-social.This couldn't be further from the truth.

Why are introverts viewed as a negative personality trait? As someone who strongly identifies as an introvert, I think that there is nothing to be ashamed of. However, parents and friends alike assume that when I’m spending time alone, I’m going into some kind of depressive episode, when in fact, I am merely recharging. According to Psychology Today, “[Introverts] derive more pleasure from, and are more energized by, their own inner life than by social events,” and that “introversion is a positively healthy, if often misunderstood, way of negotiating the world.”  

One of the most common misconceptions around introverts is that we are anti-social. When interviewed by Bustle, Dr. Michele Barton, of the New York-based Behavioral Associates Health Psychology and Wellness Center, elaborated that “antisocial individuals lack insight into their own feelings and often use the feelings of others to manipulate situations to their benefit, with little regard for the individuals affected…introverts very much consider feelings, they are not manipulative, or malicious.”

So, how can students better understand their introverted peers? Lifehack gave a few tips to address this issue. Introverts tend to think and reflect before sharing their opinions and are active listeners. We want to hear your ideas, and we will elaborate on them when we feel it’s appropriate. Introverts do their best work alone, preferably in a quiet setting, as we are able to better present our work and thought processes with our peers. And, if you think that we are lonely, you are wrong. Introverts typically “recharge” through small group settings and alone time, and we don’t hate people. What we dislike is when people assume we are shy or anti-social. 

It’s also very important for readers to understand that introversion is a huge spectrum. Many people could identify with introversion more than extroversion, but still have many extrovert qualities. If you are curious to learn more about your unique personalities, you can take the 16Personalities test, which offers both a free test and a longer, more in-depth pricey test. Take the test and you may discover something about yourself you previously were unaware of.