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8 Common Misconceptions About Introverts

Down the comment box of a self-proclaimed genuine online news media report about a heinous homicide, lies several social media trial comments mentioning that the killer was an introvert. Then, comes a special story regarding the highly asocial and weird hobbies of the criminal, attached with exclusive pictures clicked from his private room. This is not the end. After several years, a film is released with the caption ‘based on true incidents', stereotyping serial killers as extreme introverts, who move apart from society to lead a secluded life.

No wonder such a society has deep-rooted misconceptions about introverts with storming questions flashing across the minds. Are introverts mentally abnormal? Are introverts dangerous to mingle with? Do they have any emotions?

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The reason for such doubts is so simple. First of all, the psychological definition of an introvert is a person whose interest is directed towards inward thoughts and pleasures. Several studies and research show that two-thirds of the population cannot be classified as pure introverts or extroverts but lies almost in the middle, that is, ambiverts. Extroverts favor social mingling and ambiverts fit perfectly to the society. But, a small part, introverts, evades social recognition and leads a fragmented individual life, which is often strangely viewed by society. After all, the tale of persecution of a weak minority by a wild majority is not so fresh. Here too the tale is not different.

However, no story flows smoothly without a twist. It’s time to throw some light upon the deep darkness engraved on the most oppressed sect of victims of modern civic society, the introverts.

1.Introverts are unemotional
Show me the oxygen we breathe in. Impossible, right? But, isn’t Is it a fact that we breathe in oxygen? Yes, some things could not be expressed. Introverts may not show emotions with facial expressions but that does not mean that they are a stagnant bunch of people. They prefer to control emotions and internalize them.

2. Introverts hate talking
A small addition to the statement to make it factual– introverts hate loose talking. They spend their time wisely, use words carefully, and are not interested in participating in a conversation that would not fetch them a fruitful result. But, they will engage in speaking on a topic that they are passionate about, above any other extrovert.

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3. Introverts do not like to go out
False. Indeed, they do not feel comfortable on crowded public platforms. But, they are a bit more interested in exploring new places, people, and things to find happiness.

4. Introverts are failures
Absolute foolish misconception. People who focus on a dream or passion without diverting into relationships, tend to be more successful. As proof, successful introverts include J.K Rowling, Bill Gates, Barrack Obama, ma Watson, and many other striking personalities, whose names and success stories would form a separate article.

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Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.

— Plato

5. Introverts cannot be good leaders
Introverts might be quiet but could be confident leaders. They are good listeners which could be effective in dealing with extroverts. Their result-oriented decisive nature without undue influence of emotions might be the best trait required for a perfect leader.

6. Introverts are mentally sick
This might be the craziest misconception about introverts. Well, extreme introvert-natured psychopath serial killers could be seen only in thriller movies and Is no longer a fact. Every individual has the right to live their life with their perspective and manner. Questioning that or interpreting it as a ‘mental sickness' is a serious mental problem and such patients require urgent treatment.

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7. Introverts are weak to face the society
All introverts are not suffering social anxiety. Some avoid crowds consciously but that does not mean that they are too weak to face them. If needed, they are ready to, mingle with society. But, it is a fact that some people suffer from social anxiety irrespective of personalities, and are scared to encounter crowds. They need not be an introvert. Introversion and social anxiety are two distinct terms.

8. Introverts can break the nutshell and live a common life
Introversion is a personality and it cannot be ‘broken’. Well, it may be molded and one can act like an extrovert by mingling freely but there still lies one burning question. How far could one deceive himself?

Here arises the question of why does this ‘nutshell’ need to be broken? The hobbies, passions, and the mental work of an introvert lead to a release of dopamine (a hormone that brings happiness). If an introvert could enjoy the same happiness within four walls as an extrovert experience amidst a crowd, why should he ‘break the nutshell'? Both introverts and extroverts could be happy in their way, then who is unhappy?

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Mental health illiteracy is the root cause of all the misconceptions and confusion. This could only be treated with the wide-scale organization of healthy debates and the inclusion of mental health subjects in the curriculum. Mental health should be considered as important as physical health.

The tendency to divide humans concerning cast, color, creed, etc. was prevalent since time immemorial. Let us not build new walls with fashionable terms like introvert and extrovert, to create yet another division. It’s our life and our decision to how to live it irrespective of social misconceptions.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Govind Panicker

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