In Defense of the Introvert Personality
Last week I posted a rant on Facebook in defense of the Introvert Person(ality). What had set me off was an article someone had submitted that profiled Introverts wrong, negatively and with bias. It’s not the first time I’ve seen or heard inaccuracies because I hear it conveyed in the news and other places. Since I could have it edited before publishing, I asked for the corrections but it also fired me up to do what I could to set the records straight.
In that vein, I hope this is information that you will find useful to you personally. Feel free to pass it along.
Of all the personality types that have ever been defined, I’m dismayed that the Introvert personality gets so much negative baggage coupled with it.
It’s the only personality type that is used when a shooter goes crazy and kills others in a massacre to analyze what went wrong with the person doing the ugly deed. Certainly, when law enforcement apprehends a serial killer, they use the term to describe the person’s behavior.
Our media often refers to a grouping of characteristics like: introvert, shy and anti-social as if they are all ways of describing the same thing. Little wonder why the collective of people think all of this is true. We’ve been fed bad information enough that we think it’s true.
In fact, just today I read something that referred to the personality as flawed. Flawed? We’re about as flawed as someone with brown eyes or is left-handed.
Here is what you need to know:
“Introvert” is a personality type. It’s inherent to you. It’s also neutral which means its not good and it’s not bad. It simply is. It’s not something for you to “get over” like a cold or even a mental health issue. Also, it’s not everything that goes into the complex mix of what drives behavior in people.
Being shy or anti-social is not a personality and is not Introvert. Those issues are part of anxiety disorder. They can be present in an introvert or an extrovert. Yes, you can be shy AND an extrovert.
You don’t change personality type, you change behaviors. As we go through life, we figure out behaviors that will serve us in some way. Those behaviors may or may not be “introvert-like” or “extrovert-like”. Those behaviors may make you think your personality has changed, when in fact, it is the same. I.e.: One thing doesn’t equal the other when it comes to personality. (I know it confused me too)
We do live in an extroverted culture. That means the yardstick of goodness and success is measured by tendencies extroverts display. That also means introverts are at a cultural disadvantage. Oh well. That’s how life works – it isn’t always fair.
A well-informed mind is a powerful thing and hopefully, on this topic you are. While there are many more facts I could share about Introverts, these are the ones that tend to be incorrect out there in the mainstream media. Don’t believe everything you hear.
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Brought to you by Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – dedicated to unleashing your professional potential. Introvert Whisperer