Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Power Of Introverts

Society dictates that we follow specific images projected by the main stream media, so why do introverts tend to rebel from these stereotypes? Approximately 75% of the population are extroverts, which make the introvert the minority, yet the introvert will not succumb to societal pressure in order to conform. Often, extroverts will view the introvert as being antisocial, stuck up or as loners, but even with these labels, the introvert will stand their ground with complete disregard for how others perceive them.

A wise person speaks because they have something to say;
a foolish person speaks because they have to say something.
I hold very strong opinions and express them frequently to the point of being thought of as 'outspoken' and 'politically incorrect'; but that doesn't mean I enjoy small talk, loud parties or crowded spaces or people ringing me up just for a chat- not if I saw them yesterday or will see them next week… I despise that.

Extroverts are always on the phone- and in public spaces too yapping about trivial day to day matters that could, to introverts, wait until they meet up with call recipients and stop interrupting other travellers who seek quiet and will only use the phone if there is an urgent message that can't wait. They prefer to read a book or gaze out of the window. Extroverts often need company to feel de-stressed and they are lonely when they keep their own company too much, whilst introverts either crave solitude or familiar company with close friends or family and feel lonely in a crowd of people they hardly know - and don't particularly want to know either because they find superficial chit chat and small talk shallow and pointless.

In my experience the people who never seem to draw breath are the ones who rarely have anything of use to add to the conversation, but merely waffle on just for sake of hearing themselves speak; whereas those who think first, and then speak are worth listening to. Extroverts have limited to no capacity for any self-reflection or analysis.

The problem with the 'verbal diarrhoea' is
that they've not been told to shut up yet.
Extroverts come across as very "needy" to me. They need other people, and even to be the centre of attention, to make them feel good. This desperate neediness is a very unattractive quality. Introverts, on the other hand, are much more independent. They are capable of keeping themselves fulfilled without desperately clinging to others. This strength of character makes introverts far more attractive than clingy extroverts.

But, I am hardly surprised that society as a whole tends to favour the extrovert, just look at the scourge of talent shows that see people competing against each other for their fifteen minutes of feckless fame, like beetles fighting over dung. The society seems to be obsessed with the idea that we should all be exciting, bubbly and effervescent characters, but take a step back and you can see how fake it all is.

The Lone Wolf- the animal that fits
the characteristics of an Introvert.
The media certainly promotes raving extroverts as the norm. Every time I leave the house, I always notice people who act as if they are in a soap opera- exaggeratedly loud and cartoon-like. The reality is that deep introverts don't really take the extrovert chatterboxes very seriously. We just think they're shallow and we're silent about it. Personally, I’d like a lot more people to shut up and not need to fill any vacuum of silence with any inanity they can think of. I certainly don't equate talkativeness with being clever.

Introverts are blessed with a more realistic world-view, in which they accurately perceive that the extrovert majority are not really very interested in anything anybody else has to say, no matter how interesting, as extroverts are only interested in their own egos. Introverts are much more interesting people in general, but unfortunately they don't get many opportunities to prove it to themselves. Extroverts can never appreciate what happens when introverts get together in their absence.

Being an introvert has never stopped me having fun. It's just that what is fun is different for introverts and extroverts; I generally found introverts to have a much richer imagination and this makes conversation much more fun than chatting with an extrovert who may be confident and outgoing but their lack of depth makes them quite boring people to have a chat. They want the world to conspicuously enjoy itself in a manner of their choosing, and they turn vaguely sanctimonious when they encounter pockets of resistance, as though their definition of fun is the only one that matters.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with displaying a quiet icy exterior,
it's what's on the inside that matters.
Introverts have a higher distain for popular culture, and have a more solid sense of self. The richness that people who gain their energy from solitude have to offer is immense. Introverts never go out of their way to be liked - their whole philosophy is that if someone can't be bothered to wait to get to know them very well then they were not worth knowing.

The introvert can have extroverted tendencies while still remaining to be an introvert. Many introverts will pick and choose the time and place to be extroverted. Within minutes, the introvert will once again find the tranquillity of being the observer.

Despite being only 25% of the population, the introvert will rarely change their attitude or personality to appease others. While society will continue to make the introvert feel like an outcast, the introvert will not be persuaded by peer pressure in order to conform to the norms and conventions.

So, to all fellow introverts out there, accept your nature, you will be a lot happier and healthier. Plus, you can strike fear into extroverts by telling them you go to a restaurant or the cinema alone (this one is my favourite; you can actually see the terror in their eyes).


snorkmaiden said...

I've heard much lower statistics for the ratio of Introverts. Is this a world-wide statistic, or just a national (I'm presuming American?) one. I ask, because the figure that usually pops up is only a third of the population is Introvert... But I don't know what studies are being referenced here.
I'd love to know an accurate statistic on this.

K Schimmel said...

I love your "beetles fighting over dung" simile. That is exactly what all these "talent" and "reality" shows look like to me! Much more satisfying to quietly exercise talents in actual reality, IMO.