By Angie Burkhart |Staff Writer|
Debunking myths—considering the topic of introversion.
If you’ve ever been called quiet, shy, or introverted, there’s a chance you took it offensively as there are negative connotations associated with the term.
Carolyn Gregoire of the Huffington Post suggested that although about one-third of the population are introverts, “it may be one of the most frequently misunderstood personality traits.”
Gregoire also went on to suggest that common stereotypes hold that “introverts are socially awkward loners who abhor large crowds and don’t like people very much.”
Among the various myths about introversion lies the belief that introverts don’t make good leaders or public speakers.
Susan Cain of The New York Times debunked this myth, stating: “On the long list of attributes of a successful president—or of any leader—an outgoing persona is low on the list. The charisma of ideas matters more than a leader’s gregarious charms.”
Despite their tendency to keep to themselves for the most part, introverts can be surprisingly effective leaders, and if need be, public speakers.
You might want to consider instances in which some of our greatest leaders, inventors, and entertainers—those we may least expect—have been described as introverts.
Todd Van Luling of the Huffington Post pointed out various world leaders and influencers who happened to be quiet, reserved, or introverted, mentioning individuals like Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks, Audrey Hepburn, J.K. Rowling, and Johnny Depp.
These well-known and often celebrated individuals are a sure sign that there’s hope for the introverts.
Cain pointed out the falseness of the belief that introverts don’t like to be around people, as she stated, “introverts like people just as much as extroverts do, and often care deeply about them.”
Introverts, equally as fond of being around people as the extroverts, simply enjoy solitude and use it to recharge or even spark creativity and critical thinking.
Some might agree that we live in a world that expects the quiet and reserved individual to adapt and evolve to an extroverted world, whilst overlooking some of the things we can learn from the large population of introverts.
Despite the negative views of this personality trait shared by some, introverts can actually have several desirable traits which make them skilled at listening, writing, and preparation due to their ability to utilize solitude to collect their thoughts.
Van Luling thoughtfully makes his case about introversion in reminding us that “being shy absolutely doesn’t mean being powerless,” and that “sometimes you need to be quiet to make real noise.”
In a perfect world, introverts and extroverts would be treated as equals, but at the very least we can overcome the misconceptions of introversion by familiarizing ourselves with reality.
If you are part of that one-third of our population who are labeled as introverts, embrace the areas of which you are skilled in because of this personality trait.