We live in a world that accommodates and promotes extroversion. While introverted population are in average 48% of any community, the extroverts always seem to control the scene and sit behind the steering wheel.
Let it be in politics, in sports, in music or film industries, extroverts are the ones who shine and make the front pages of news-sites and dominate entertainment TV shows. This might be in part due to the fact that extroverts tend to have much more social relations than introverts, but it is also heavily influenced by the fact that businesses now are more about show than anything else.
Perks of Being an Introvert
Because introverts spend more time with themselves than extroverts do, reading an interesting novel or listening to the serene sound of rain drops on their roof-top with a mug of a hot chocolate clutched in both hands, they have more in-depth understanding of themselves and of the surrounding environments in which they live. It is a fact that an introvert NEVER stops thinking, just as an extrovert never stops talking or moving.
While you can depend on an extrovert to know where to go for a fun-filled adventure, or the best clubs to visit to spend a gaga night, you can depend on your introverted friend to read and summarize a book for you efficiently and passionately, or have a deep well-thought conversation about the latest sci-fi movies.
Common Misconceptions about Introverts
1- Introversion is a Disability
“What’s wrong with you?”. This must be the most common response introverts gets as teenagers when they announce they would prefer to go directly home after school to continue reading Harry Potter and The Half-blood Prince, instead of heading out with the others to play foot ball or ride bicycles around the neighborhood.
Nothing is wrong with introverts. Introversion is hardwired into the introvert’s brain. It governs how we regain energy after a depleting, tiring day at work or school. Introverts drain their energy while interacting with other people and focusing on the tasks at hand. To regenerate that lost energy, introverts need to be in a calm place, doing something they like.
2- Introverts have no Friends
It may seem that way for someone who is not aware of the introverts’ deep connections and feelings. An introvert will never have tens of so called friends with whom he has shallow conversations about everyday news or whatever. Introverts do not engage in small talk. Period.
Introvert friendships are deep and everlasting. You may go for months not talking to a particular friend, but deep inside both of you, you know that you have a friendship that can withstand distance and the usual life hardships. Having two or three deep friendships, or even one friend, is common among introverts. We are social, but pretty selective of who we socialize with.
3- Introverts are a minority
In her TED talk, Susan Cain, the author of the best-seller book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking says that introverts constitute about 50% of the population are introverts. The lowest estimates according to Psychology Today sets the percentage at 25% of population. That means that in every four people you know, one to two of them are introverts.
Why does it seem that these numbers are exaggerated? I will tell you. A considerable number of the introverts, not knowing why they are not out going and loud as other people are, succumb to the constant blame and criticism of the extroverts and try to break free of what they think of as a problem, and try to become extroverts. Needless to say that these trials always fail, and the consequences are psychologically devastating.
A Word to the Introverts
Do not feel pressured to change who you are. You are a beautiful instrument of nature. While extroverts may shine and take the spotlight in numerous occasions, it is us, the introverts, who make the most effective contributions to human advancements. Almost all the greatest authors, scientists an entrepreneurs who ever lived are introverts. Albert Einstein, Edgar Allen Poe, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, you name them.
Introverts are most powerful when it comes to innovation and creation of art. We are not the ones who follow on the trails of others. Introverts make the trails on which others tread to achieve their goals. We are the Creators. Be Proud!