About Introverts and myths…so a bit about Anachronist

This entry will be a bit revealing. It is an excerpt taken from The Introvert Advantage (How To Thrive in an Extrovert World), by Marti Laney, Psy.D. According to the book, only about 25% of people are Introverts. A section of Laney’s book tries to explain that phenomenon and it maps out the human brain. It seems that  neuro-transmitters follow different dominant paths in the nervous systems of Introverts and Extroverts. If the science behind the book is correct, it turns out that Introverts are people who are over-sensitive to Dopamine, so too much external stimulation overdoses and exhausts them. Conversely, Extroverts can’t get enough Dopamine, and they require Adrenaline for their brains to create it. Extroverts also have a shorter pathway and less blood-flow to the brain. The messages of an Extrovert’s nervous system mostly bypass the Broca’s area in the frontal lobe, which is where a large portion of contemplation takes place.

Here are a few common misconceptions about Introverts (with my personal comments – enjoy!) :

Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

In my case – 100% true. Small talk is like a chore to me. A very unpleasant chore bordering torture.I never seem to know the right things to say.

Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.

I used to be horribly shy in my teens but now I am closer to that description. Indeed I don’t interact just for the sake of interacting and smarmy politeness makes me wary more than anything.

Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.

Once again – 100% sure in my case. I’ve had very unpleasant experiences concerning this aspect. I tend to avoid bigger family gatherings and such – now you know why.

Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.

Well, definitely true. I hope so at least.

Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.

Recharging is as quintessential as breathing to me. 

Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.

Right again. Daydreaming…I’ve been told off for this since I remember. Now it is less noticeable – I can pretend better. ;p

Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

Definitely true. I’ve never followed any trends, not even as a teen. NEVER. You can imagine where it put me – I’ve been an outcast through and through.

Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.

Right again but only up to a point.

Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.

Public places wear me down thin…but I do know how to relax. 

Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
A world without Introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers. That being said, there are still plenty of techniques an Extrovert can learn in order to interact with Introverts. (Yes, I reversed these two terms on purpose to show you how biased our society is.) Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.

I am not sure about my IQ, sometimes it tends to get lower, but I definitely cannot change myself sufficiently to pass for an Extrovert. Sorry.

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21 Responses to About Introverts and myths…so a bit about Anachronist

  1. Carole Rae says:

    Wow. What an interesting post! Like you, I'm classified as an "introvert". Always have been. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Anachronist says:

    My pleasure, Carole! Thanks for a comment!

  3. I enjoyed this post so much and found myself nodding a long as I read. Shy as a child and young adult, hate small talk, prefer my own company, just a few very good friends, and new people often think I'm a snob, but it's just that it takes me a while to warm up to new people, but once I do, I don't shut up! LOL

  4. Blodeuedd says:

    I am an introvert, and yes people always say I am shy, well, I just do not like to talk about nothing. So nr 1 is so correct, if you talk about something interesting I can talk for hours.So introverts unite 😉 So glad bf is an extrovert and he can take care of the boring small talk

  5. Aurian says:

    Thanks for this post. I think you just described me.

  6. Tracy says:

    Well, I'm definitely an introvert (I've had one boss and one work colleague use the word 'aloof' to describe me, though admittedly two other bosses used the description 'aggressive' – and I don't do tact and diplomacy :)).Seem to be a lot of us around.

  7. Anachronist says:

    @ Diane – I was nodding as well while I read this for the first time. Great to know somebody understands me ;).@Blodeuedd – I suppose you have found your perfect half, congrats :)@Aurian – no, I've described me…oh wait, we might be siblings ;D@Tracy – 'aloof' and 'agressive' have been also aimed at me several times. I would be a horrible diplomat. Yes, I suppose Introverts tend to thrive on the Internet ;). It is such a quiet and cozy place…

  8. carol says:

    I found #3 particularly amusing. I tend to be a little, let's say blunt. I've noticed lately how much smoother my husband, the extrovert, is in dealing with people.

  9. Anachronist says:

    Hear, hear carol. I've compared myself to Extroverts and reached the same conclusion…

  10. Really enjoyed this post. I learned a lot but I think some of the reasons could apply to extroverts as well. I'm straightforward with people yet I wouldn't classify myself as an introvert or extrovert. More like a combo.

  11. Tracy says:

    Yes, I suppose Introverts tend to thrive on the Internet 😉Absolutely – the internet is perfect for us introverts. We can even masquerade as extroverts on here sometimes if we want to.

  12. Anachronist says:

    Lena, a lovely new avatar! I am sure there are plenty of 'combos' of different kind among us. Things are rarely simple when it comes to human beings.Tracy – lol, how very true!

  13. I think we are all a bit of both. No one is all introvert or all extrovert, but certainly more of one than the other! How did I miss this post??

  14. Anachronist says:

    I am definitely more of intro than extro…but I can surprise even myself. How did I miss this post??You fainted, remember? I posted another romance review and it was THAT good…;p

  15. Dr. Oz said that daydreaming was an excellent way to exercise the brain. Next time someone accuses you of daydreaming you could call it mental calisthenics.I hate small talk, too.

  16. Anachronist says:

    Mental calisthenics sounds definitely better than daydreaming, thank you!

  17. i DEFINITELY CAN'T "FIX" MYSELF! I'm an introvert and I hate it when people advise me on ways I could fix myself. It gets extremely annoying when they just assume that my introverted nature is nothing but an excuse to be lazy and avoid conversation. *huffs*

  18. P.S: Getting too much dopamine quickly may explain why I get wasted in 2 glasses of wine. :P(For those of you who are uninitiated, dopamine levels determine how "high" you get when you consume a narcotic or alcoholic substance)

  19. Anachronist says:

    Absie – I couldn't agree more. I know people invent nowadays plenty of excuses to explain their laziness or other vices but being an introvert is really not just an excuse.Dopamine levels…they tend to be tricky in my case but two glasses of wine are no laughing matter. I usually stop after one half ;).

  20. Well, I am definitely an introvert, through and through. What an interesting post–thank you for sharing! 🙂

  21. Anachronist says:

    You are welcome, Jess, my pleasure (it seems that the Internet is teeming with introverts…)

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