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10 Myths about Introverts

10myths

My wife and I spent the first 10 years of our marriage learning to appreciate each other for our introverted and extroverted charactercistics. Starr is that classic extrovert, in that when she leaves a party…she’s looking for the next party to keep the night going; and I’m begging her to just go home and read a book with me. I’m not an extreme-introvert (I’m an ISTJ, if you’re interested), and love my time with friends and love meeting new people. It’s just I can get my fill of it all a long time before she ever will.

I’ve learned that I’m speaking my wife’s love langauge when I invite people over to our house for dinner, and she’s speaking mine when she turns down an invitation to be out of the house after I’ve had a long day at work. I need the family vacation where I’m only with her and my kids and nobody else, and if it’s not that way for me…it’s not a real vacation. She knows that and respects it, and I’ve learned that I need to stay a little longer than I’d like at family holiday dinners just so she can meet and hug and laugh with everyone she hasn’t seen in months.

After all of our years together, I am finally understanding my wife’s need to be out and about doing, meeting, talking, socializing and she is finally understanding why it was all so exhausting to me. I no longer ask her why she feels the need to accept any invitation that comes her way, and she no longer says but we just got here, what do you mean, you re fried?

So, I really like  this piece on 10 myths about introverts:

Unfortunately, according to  this book,  only about 25% of people are Introverts. This leads to a lot of misunderstandings, since society doesn t have very much experience with my people.

So here are a few common misconceptions about Introverts (not taken directly from the book, but based on my own life experience):

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

You can read  the rest, here.

Have you ever  done a Myers Briggs profile?

Famous ISTJ’s

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.

9 Comments

  1. Jeff · October 22, 2012

    As a fellow introvert I totally resonate with what you’re saying,

  2. Joni Lum · October 22, 2012

    I’m an introvert too :) and did not realize that my need for ‘honest and real’ people was part of my introversion …interesting :). #3…and totally agree on the rest, I need to recharge :) desperately, after Sunday

    • Jonathan Cliff · October 22, 2012

      I’m still learning all these things about myself. Reminds me of the quote that the way we learn from life experiences, is like having someone hand us a hairbrush after we’ve lost all our hair.

      • Joni lum · October 29, 2012

        Sooooo true :). I think my introversion has helped me keep boundaries for my family…although my extroverted daughter and husband don’t feel like they need quiet time :)

  3. Angela Sangalang · October 22, 2012

    I’m an introvert as well, INFP actually. Some years ago the Barna group found that 24% of ministers describe themselves as introverted. About the same as the general population, but pretty low I think, especially when we introverts have so much to contribute :-)

  4. Jeff · November 1, 2012

    I also try to remember the introverts in our ministry settings. At church, no one ever HAS to play the game. At camp, I try to have a time for the introverts to recharge as well where they don’t have to talk to others, but can just chill on their bunk.

    • Jonathan Cliff · November 1, 2012

      These are great points! I wish more leaders in children’s and youth ministry would mind this when programming large group environments.