Everyone has at least one friend whom they consider to be an introvert. They’re the ones who never want to “go out,” often keep to themselves, and are just as happy to spend a Friday night relaxing at home with a good book rather than honed in on the bar. Because they more often than not decline invitations to big parties, or don’t have dozens and dozens of friends, you might have made some assumptions about your friends that simply aren’t true.
1. Introverts are shy
Being introverted and being shy are not one and the same. Introverted people simply don’t “get their kicks” from interacting with everyone they meet. Introverts don’t want to just meet people; they want to meet the right people.
2. Introverts aren’t outgoing
Introverts can be very outgoing, given the right circumstances. They might not be the life of the party, but they don’t want to be. Put an introvert in a group of new people who all have common interests, and you might not be able to get him to leave.
3. Introverts hate parties
Introverts don’t hate parties; they hate typical parties. They have no interest in going out to a packed bar that is so loud you can’t even talk to the people you came with. They would much rather get together with the same friends at one of their homes, listen to music at a normal level, watch some TV or play some games, and spend the night actually interacting with each other in a meaningful way.
4. Introverts don’t like people
Let’s get this straight: introverts don’t like some people. But doesn’t everyone dislike some people? Introverts might be best friends with a person when they’re in one-on-one situations, but hate doing some activities with that same person and his “other” group of friends if it means doing something he or she doesn’t want to do.
5. Introverts hate meeting new people
This doesn’t mean that introverts would rather shut themselves in and never meet anyone new. They just have different criteria for keeping people around. Extroverts are generally happy meeting new people all the time, regardless of whether or not they’ll ever cross paths again. Introverts want to meet people with the understanding that a bond will be forged that will be important enough to keep up in the future.
6. Introverts are boring
This can’t be further from the truth. Introverts are incredibly interesting, which is why they usually can’t be bothered with talking about the weather in an elevator. While others are happy to have the typical “So how about those Yankees” conversation with perfect strangers, introverts are usually lost in their thoughts about the universe, the state of humanity, or the book they’re currently reading.
7. Introverts aren’t friendly
Introverts might be brief during small-talk situations, but that’s because they usually have other things on their minds (see above). In fact, if an introverted person takes the time to have a give-and-take with you about the news, consider it a compliment. Introverts know that extroverts thrive on communicating with others, so for them to break their own mold for your sake shows how friendly they really are.
8. Introverts hate talking
Introverts don’t hate talking; they just love listening. While extroverts need to have their voices heard, introverts need to hear what others have to say. Sometimes their quietness is mistaken for rudeness, which, like the above section, is a complete misunderstanding. Introverts often want to learn as much as possible about everything in the world, including other people. What better way is there to do so than remain quiet and listen to what others have to say?
9. Introverts are unhappy
Just because they don’t outwardly show it doesn’t mean introverts are generally unhappy. Introverts simply find happiness in other ways, and others just have to know how to see it. If an introvert is neck-deep in a conversation, or completely engaged in their current activity, you can assume they are as content as can be.
10. Introverts want and need to change
Perhaps the biggest misconception modern society has about introverts is that they all secretly wish they could have the big-shot, life-of-the-party personality that makes rock stars and athletes famous. Introverts are more interested in content than surface appeal, and their own personality is no different. They’re happy with who they are, and also happy with who you are. Introverts know never to judge a book by its cover, and they hope that others will do the same with them.
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