Introversion is not something you can always see. It doesn’t always look like a person standing in the corner
Misconceptions About Friendly Introverts! I am an introverted type of person, but I also love people. I even come across as extroverted to some groups.
For a while, as a teenager, I grouped myself as an “unwilling introvert”: I needed alone time, but didn’t like that I did. Getting towards maturity, I have realized that it is not that I don’t like myself as an introvert – it’s that I don’t know what to do as a friendly introvert.
I have heard too many people speak very softly to me, “She’s too much to really be an introvert”. Or “She doesn’t know that she’s actually an extrovert”. Many people define introverts incorrectly and put us in a box which is labeled by “shy” or “not friendly” and then put it away. But there are those of us who can be friendly and outgoing, and also introverts.
Recently, I was introduced to the idea of an “extroverted” introvert, people who are introverts but have some qualities of extroverts, as well. After all, introverts and extroverts are not all-or-nothing characteristics, and we all fall somewhere in this band of colors. It gave me clearer words for my type of introvert, but I have still come in contact with people who don’t understand what that means.
Here are some of the misconceptions about friendly introvert.
1. They aren’t actually introverts – if they like talking to people, they must be an extrovert!
It is the most common one, for people tend to think a friendly introvert cannot possibly be an introvert – some people say that a talkative person is an extrovert.
I have a fellow friend who, like me, can be outgoing in certain situations. When he is comfortable with people, he loves to be the centre of attention, but he is an introvert. He needs alone time to get his batteries recharge and can get buried in certain groups.
I remember that one of my other introverted friends leaned over to me and said that he obviously did not know he’s actually an extrovert. And just liked thinking of himself as an introvert. She thought that just because he was not the type of introvert she was, that he must be an extrovert.
But, in reality, every introvert is different and comfortable with different things. Some people with introverted nature have social anxiety and get buried in social settings, while others love some attention. Both types of introverts are relevant and valid, and this does not make one person less or more of an introvert than the other.
Introversion is not something you can always see: It does not always look like a person standing in the corner. Instead it may be the person who has the life of the party, who then has to spend hours alone afterwards.
2. They don’t like you and use need “alone time” as an excuse.
Sometimes, people assume that a friendly introvert is using it’s alone time to not hang out with them. They will hear an outgoing person saying that they need alone time and take it personally, thinking that they just want to get away from that specific person.
Possibly, a friendly introvert may act outgoing and social in most situations. But then run into someone when their social battery is drained. The person then assumes that they don’t like them because they aren’t as friendly as usual. And in some cases will stop inviting them to events. This is a common misunderstanding. Often it is assumed by people that friendly people will be friendly until they are with someone they don’t like. They don’t think about how the introvert’s social battery is drained or that they really need alone time. Instead of it, they take it personally.
I’ve learned to handle this by telling people that I need some alone time, not because of them personally, but I need to get my energy tanks full.
3. They must be faking their friendliness
When people get to know that someone is an introvert, they sometimes assume that their friendliness is an act. I don’t want to lie, but sometimes I put on a smile on my face and talk about nothing when all I want to do is escape the talks at hand. But usually, I genuinely enjoy talking to people.
The misconception is that every introvert has to fake every friendly meeting. When they are talking to someone, they are secretly planning their escape. The thing is that no one enjoys talking with everyone. You’re an introvert or not, someone will strike up a conversation at the wrong time or will rub you the wrong way.
Introverts have more hours in the day where they don’t want to talk to people than extroverts, but we also can genuinely enjoy the talks. As an introvert, I get buried in groups but love one-on-one talks. I could talk for more hours than you think, about literature, theology, or Taylor Swift’s intense brightness of light, but small talk is difficult for me.
Many of the introverts are also often the people who know exactly which person is uncomfortable in the room. We are the ones who have stood in the corners of a party to keep an eye on it and start up a conversation with the person standing there now. Sometimes we are friendly because we know how important it is for someone to listen and care about what we have to say.
4. They don’t need to prepare for socializing
Introverted people take time to prepare for social situations. Something I have run into is the assumption that because I’m friendly, I’m down to hang out at a given moment. If a friend texts and asks if I want to come to a game night right now. I probably don’t want to. I have not stored the energy I need to be social yet.
5. They enjoy every type of social situation
People like different levels of socializing. Like most of the introverts I know, I love one-on-one hangouts or small groups situations. Anything larger than that, and I began to get buried and am likely to run out of energy faster or just retreat into my shell.