Introversion is nothing to be despised.
Roughly 50% of the world is made up of introverts, and many famous musicians like George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Ritchie Blackmore, Jimi Hendrix, Jonathan Davis, Kurt Cobain, Trent Reznor and even Marilyn Manson have been identified as introverts.
I say this because – first of all – I want you to know that you’re not alone. Second of all, you should know that it’s okay to be introverted.
I’m also an introvert. In fact, I am a subset of introverts called sensitive/intuitives who only account for 15 to 20% of the entire world.
Knowing who you are and what you are gives you power. So, let’s explore the following 10 misconceptions about introverts together. If you’d like to learn more about this subject, I also covered it in more detail on the 52nd episode of the podcast.
1. Introverts Are Not Social
Though introverts are happy to do things alone, and they do tend to require time to recharge, they still love to be social.
In fact, they would like to be just as admired, cared for and known as their extroverted counterparts. However, they don’t know how to express this, and even if they do, they end up feeling guilty for saying something.
Introverts enjoy social gatherings and events, but they may have a tough time breaking out of their shells.
2. Introverts Are Inferior To Extroverts
My personal opinion is that God doesn’t make junk.
Introverts may feel threatened by the qualities they see in extroverts, and for the things they wish they could be, but simply aren’t. That doesn’t make them inferior in any shape or form.
Introverts are smart, caring, and sensitive. They simply have a different set of strengths and weaknesses.
3. Introverts Don’t Expend Any More Energy Around People Than Extroverts Do
Introverts feel more deeply, and as result, do tend to tire themselves out around people a lot more than extroverts do. They can pick up on what others are feeling and thinking, and don’t necessarily have a way of processing that information quickly.
Introverts can carry thoughts and feelings with them long after the moment has passed.
4. Introverts Don’t Require Time To Recharge Alone
Solitude is really about the only way an introvert can recharge. Their nervous systems are constantly on alert, so while they may get bursts of energy and adrenaline rushes, ultimately they need a recharge period to feel stable again.
Introverts wear themselves out over the course of the workweek. The weekend is usually an obvious time to get some me time.
5. Introverts Are Unintelligent
Most introverts are very smart. They have plenty of time to think about everything, because their brains are constantly on high rotation.
While their inner world may be too loud for them to speak up and say what they’re thinking or feeling, they’re usually several steps ahead of the event or the conversation in their mind.
6. Introverts Aren’t Thinking About Anything
This is an assumption based on the fact that introverts are quiet, but really the opposite is true. As I’ve already pointed out, their inner voices are loud even when they may be silent on the outside.
If you’re an introvert, you know that the gears in your head are turning all the time.
7. Introverts Don’t Want More Out Of Life
This one is a bit hard to explain. Basically, introverts try to find solutions for everything on their own without asking for the help of others (this is definitely a catch 22). When their lives become absolutely unbearable, or when they feel a person or situation is 100% worth the risk, then they will ask for help.
Introverts are very sensitive to disappointments, things that haven’t happened for them yet, or incomplete goals. Instead of assuming that they’re not looking for more out of life, encourage them, and give them a chance to talk about what they’re striving towards.
8. Taking Risks Is Exactly The Same For Introverts As It Is For Extroverts
Again, introverts will only take the leap if they determine that the situation or person is 100% worth the risk.
Introverts will literally feel pain in the pit of their stomach whenever they are looking to confront someone, or are uneasy about taking a chance, and this makes it that much harder for them to take action in situations where they wish they could do something.
9. Introversion Is Just An Excuse
As you may already know, I am pretty heavy into business books and personal development material. Unfortunately, I have noticed that a lot of it doesn’t take into account differences in personality, temperament and other important factors like introversion and extroversion.
I certainly don’t believe in using introversion as an excuse for anything, but to say that introverts don’t have unique challenges to cope with is missing the mark.
Introversion/extroversion is mostly a difference in where one gets their energy from, but you would be surprised by how big of a difference that makes.
10. Introverts Are Depressed
Introverts might become depressed at times, and may even be a little more prone to it, but for many of the reasons already discussed (i.e. a heightened awareness of what’s not happening in their lives).
Introverts do need to think things through, and they do tend to feel emotions more deeply than extroverts. This means that their highs might be really high, and their lows really low.
However, introverts are good at recovery. Give them some time, put some distance between the event, and they’ll be ready for action again.
Final Thoughts on Embracing Your Introverted Side
Both introverts and extroverts should gain a better understanding of introverts, because a lot of the louder, more outspoken people in this world tend to be extroverts. As result, a lot of the world isn’t really being presented through the eyes of introverts.
If your significant other is an introvert, you should feel lucky that they picked you, and you specifically.
If your best friend is an introvert, realize that they need patience, understanding and a lot of encouragement.
If one of your band mates is an introvert, realize that their methodical, analytical and emotional capacity will be a huge asset to your music.
If you are an introvert, take some time to understand how you function so that you are better able to respond to situations and become the best version of yourself.
Are you an introvert? Do you know someone that is? Are there any other common misconceptions about introverts that you think should be addressed?
Let us know in the comments section below!
Author: David Andrew Wiebe
David Andrew Wiebe has built an extensive career in songwriting, live performance, recording, session playing, production work, investing, and music instruction. In addition to helping musicians unlock their full potential, he also continues to maintain a touring schedule with multiple bands.