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zander101's avatar

Opinion of Introverts?

Asked by zander101 (561 points ) October 12th, 2013

Some people have opinions or facts about introverts and usually classify them as:
-shy
-stuck up
-antisocial
-reserved

List goes on…

What’s your opinion?

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34 Answers

dxs's avatar

I think some people just need some time to get used to other people.

gailcalled's avatar

It’s easy. I find myself so fascinating that I am often happy to be alone.

Feta's avatar

I say still waters run deep.

The musician Elliott Smith always comes to mind when thinking of introverts.
He was quiet and gruff in appearance, but in person he was witty and, made obvious by his lyrics, quite emotionally deep. He was also very, very, kind and giving.

I find introverts more in-tune with their emotions than extroverts.
As an introvert myself, I’ve noticed I’m better at listening than extroverts. If someone wants to talk, I can listen…and I’m not waiting for the chance to offer advice, I’m just listening. I think people need that sometimes.

Kurt Cobain was apparently a good listener and an introvert. I think a lot of artists are.

Sunny2's avatar

I prefer introverts to extroverts who try to hog all the attention. You can just see the little kid they were: Me! Me! Me first!

thorninmud's avatar

I’d rather read a book by an introvert than an extrovert. I’d rather watch a movie by an introvert. But I’d rather have lunch with an extrovert.

In general (which basically means that I only half believe what I’m about to say), introverts have a more nuanced and well-considered view of things, so I like getting a glimpse at their worldview. It makes for a complex experience. But, as an introvert myself, I’m pretty damned uncomfortable chewing my food in silence across the table from some equally silent masticating introvert. Please God (and I say this as an atheist), let my lunch companion be some dude who’s happy to hold up the “conversation” all by him/herself. I’ll be the perfect audience.

Seek's avatar

I have a low tolerance for people.

I’m great one on one. I do very well in large, anonymous groups – like concerts. Small groups of people, where I’m expected to hold multiple conversations with many different personality types… that is hard.

I went to see Danzig this week with a bunch of my husband’s friends. All people I like. And it worked out well, because I could say hello, hug, isn’t this opening band surprisingly good, then move on. The greater part of my night was spent grooving on the barricade to the music.

The after party was exhausting. I couldn’t wait for it to be over.

It’s not snobbery, and it’s not that we don’t love you, it’s simply that being socially active takes a lot out of us. Like running a marathon.

Neodarwinian's avatar

Opinions?!?

Introversion is one of the five factor personality types used pretty extensively in psychology today.

It is a personality type and some of those opinions you have listed sound as descriptive on one hand (shy) and projective on the other hand (stuck up).

I stick with the facts and someday we may even have an explanation, biologically/environmentally speaking, for the OCEAN personality types. ( the E stands for the extrovert/introvert dichotomy )

Judi's avatar

My understanding is that introverts are energized by alone time and extroverts are energized by being with others. I appreciate our differences.

Pachy's avatar

Shy and private.

the_overthinker's avatar

I’m drawn to introverts. Haha, I enjoy talking to them. I’m told that I’m a comfortable person to talk to.

In my opinion, they’re more reserved, quiet, shy, and keep to themselves.

LostInParadise's avatar

I am an introvert, but in some ways I am atypical. I am not afraid of speaking in front of an audience. I can freely contribute to a group discussion. My problem is with one on one interactions.

Part of the distinction between introverts and extroverts is how we deal with a large volume of sensory input. I can’t concentrate in a noisy environment, but I know extroverts who have no problem concentrating if they are surrounded by a lot of chatter. Most extroverts love interacting in a social setting, but a lot of us introverts become exhausted by it.

Another distinction that applies in my case is that I am usually pretty good at getting a point across in a small number of words, and I get frustrated with people who do a whole lot of talking to make a point. They may justify themselves by saying that they are adding color to their conversation or are breaking things down to be more understandable. My reaction is , hey, just cut to the chase. A lot of us introverts also do not care much for small talk.

SABOTEUR's avatar

While I can’t speak for other introverts, I believe those descriptive words you used are accurate…though not necessarily negative.

It’s a matter of perspective and who is offering the perception.

Generally speaking, introverts are people who, for whatever reason, are more secure with themselves than they are with other people. What others see as shyness is usually a defense against unnecessarily exposing ourselves to people who may not have our best interest at heart.

Stuck up? Not really. We’re really quite sociable among people we’ve grown to trust. We can be quite antisocial, but what would you expect from someone who has mastered enjoying his or her own company? In contrast to our extroverted brethren, we don’t need to continually surround ourselves with people to boost our self esteem…and the drama that goes with it. We know exactly who we are and we don’t need other people to validate us.

We also have a tendency to say little unless we really have something worth saying. (You won’t find us engaged in “small talk”...what would be the point?) I’d say this is refreshing considering the number of people who entertain themselves by talking just for the sake of having something to do.

So yeah…I guess your description is on point.

Unbroken's avatar

As an introvert I don’t characterize myself as any of that.

Some people see my as shy stuck up or anti social. I am very social and out going in groups I am accepted in. I also generally have no trouble making conversation with strangers.

I do better in small groups or one on one where I understand the dynamic.

I can extend myself to hold people and groups together. When I have opinion or pov I believe in or its a group or people I care about. I tell it.

But I need want and look forward to my alone time. I like my own thoughts and hobbies. I can be worlds.away while in a crowd. I can be comfortable listening or watching.

zander101's avatar

I can honestly say that I appreciate all the responses I can relate where I’m introverted but can be extrovert when I’m comfortable, I feel that because I’ve maintained that type of personality for a while, standing up for myself may be a problem for some people. I’m currently experiencing some backlash in my life due to this and since I am an emotional individual it’s very tough to cope with.

Coloma's avatar

Extreme introverts are hard to feel a flow with in conversation. I’m the witty, verbose type, and if somebody is too introverted, there is just no feedback, play, As a mostly extravert type I often feel I have to keep carrying a conversation and it becomes tedious.
I am more extroverted than introverted, however, my personality type, ENTP, is known as the most introverted of the extraverts. haha

I can be really on and social but have a hermit side as well.
A perfect 50/50 split for me.
When I’m on I’m on and when I’m off, I’m happy to be alone for days at a time. .
I think there is nothing wrong with being on the quieter side as long as you can socialize and relate well.

Us extraverts have our issues to. Shit, for years I was the life of the party type and it would annoy me to no end when I would become quiet at a party or social/family gathering.
Everyone would start hovering around asking if I was okay.
WTF! lol

Ya know, us lively types want to be left alone at times too.

Just let me read this freaking magazine for 3 minutes. lol

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I like people that think things through, so I’m fine with introverts and I give them their space. Extreme extroverts, the one’s that get way to into my space might get punched. It depends on my mood.

hearkat's avatar

I’m an introvert and my sweetheart is an introvert. We spend most of our time in quiet, even when eating out. No one feels compelled to “keep up” a conversation, as we are perfectly at peace with peace and quiet.

raven860's avatar

If they were smart, then they would know…

Shyness and introvertness are not the same thing.

Introvert = you don’t need to be around others and are perfectly okay at doing activities with yourself.

Extrovert = You need to be around people and you grab your energy from them.

There are shy introverts and there are shy extroverts. That is a completely different issue.

At the end of the day, each person should be allowed to be who they want to be.

JLeslie's avatar

Stuck up? That never would occur to me. Why would someone think an introvert is stuck up? I don’t think they are necessarily shy either, but they can be both shy and introverted. I worry more about a shy person than an introverted person.

I think there are a bunch of personalities out there, that’s what makes the world go around. If everyone was an extrovert, or if everyone preferred to always be around a lot of people, probably a lot of work would not get done. I like to work around others, but plenty of jobs require solo efforts, and minimal interaction with ther people. An introvert is better suited for those jobs.

If someone is an introvert because of anxiety or fear or if they wish they weren’t an introvert, but seem unable to overcome it, then I think they need to try to change it. If they are content in their life, productive, and fine with being an introvert then that sounds ok to me.

DominicX's avatar

@raven860 pointed out something interesting; “shy” and “introverted” are not one and the same. I’ve known shy extroverts. I knew someone who craved being around others and was distressed by being alone for too long, but was overall shy, especially about meeting new people. Once he got to know them, though, he could be quite talkative and open.

I don’t have much of an “opinion” on introverts. It bugs me when people put them down, but it also bugs me when people label all extroverts and “loud and stupid” (I have heard this before). It’s just another type; despite being more extroverted, I can get along fine with introverts.

raven860's avatar

A question on this topic…how would you describe all the strong silent characters that we have in our universe. Like Vin Diesel in Chronicles of Riddick or Master Chief from Halo. Are you going to call them “Shy”? Lol.

Unfortunately those are the only characters I can think of right now but I think you get the idea.

DWW25921's avatar

Own who you are and be proud of it. there’s nothing wrong with being an introvert.

downtide's avatar

I am an extrovert and married to an introvert. I understand why they behave the way they do and it’s not wrong for them but it still drives me nuts sometimes. It’s why I spend a lot of time socialising with my friends, without my partner.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

As an introvert, I need my alone time or I get depressed. I have never needed or wanted more than several good friends. I still need social interaction but I usually keep it at arms reach. I can’t stand not being busy at something. So, going to a party with all of my friends and essentially sitting and talking about nothing is my least favorite thing to do. You’ll never know that talking to me though. If we are all out doing something active I’ll be having a good time.
Most would not peg me as an introvert unless they know me well.

syz's avatar

That’s like asking my opinion of left handed people – it makes no sense.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I’m with @Adirondackwannabe, I’m not into the ‘in your face’ kind of people much unless I’m in that mood myself.

I consider myself an socialized introvert, since I’ve always been forced by my career choices to be extroverted in that capacity. Frankly, I’d take a cabin in the woods and a dog, throw in some books and I’m happy. I’ve found that not many people are worth knowing/ loving in the long-term, it is what it is.

SnoopyGirl's avatar

I like all of your answers!! I am an introvert and I’m left handed! I had to throw that out @syz. I can hang out with extroverts, in all types of social settings. But I find myself at the end of the get-together, drained and exhausted. Basically its my souls way of saying that I need to recharge my internal batteries. I recharge my batteries by being at home and relaxing in a quiet setting. I can have other people around me, just need a little downtime. @KNOWITALL I believe that a lot of the world is made for extroverts (i.e. going to sporting events, concerts). I like your answer about being a socialized introvert. I’ve learned to adapt too. When I’m at concerts or sporting events, I usually prefer to leave a few minutes before the event ends, just so I don’t feel overwhelmed with the crowds. Isn’t it great that everyone is so different? The world would be so boring if we all were the same. It’s all about understanding one another and a little give and take.

starsignsunshine's avatar

Generally, I prefer introverts. I’m kind of an extrovert/introvert combo. Most of the extroverts I know don’t have any clue how to read social cues, or they are just too rude to care about other people. It’s all about “look at me” attitudes with extroverts. Also, they seem to be a bit more dim-witted than introverts, and as a result are draining to be around. Of course there are exceptions – but in my line of work I’ve met many extroverts, and I would say only about 10% of them were genuinely intelligent & fun to talk to.

Coloma's avatar

^^^^ Well….I am in that 10% no doubt.
I am a rare female ENTP personality and am highly intuitive, read people extremely well and am lightening quick with the improv and zany humor. I have people tell me often that I have “made their day” and friends are always asking me to write down dialogues they cannot deliver. I make friends with just about everyone I come into contact with, most recently a customer service guy that was helping me with a return on a defective item I ordered from amazon, we are exchanging emails and phone calls right now.

At least extroverts TELL you what’s on their minds, getting introverts to open up is like pulling teeth in a sound proof room blindfolded not to mention the high propensity for passive aggressive bullshit. lol

JLeslie's avatar

Wow. I consider myself in the 10% also. Only 10%? That seems kind of harsh. I guess @starsignsunshine is talking about the life of the party, vain, attention seeking, type of personality, some sort of extreme of the extroverts. Most of my family is intelligent and extroverted. But, there is a continuum I would say. If extreme introvert is 1 and extreme extrovert is 10, not everyone is a 1 or a 10, most of use fall in the middle, in the grey zone.

@starsignsunshine Was that 10% some sort of made up figure by you? Or, a stat you can support with some sort of scientific study? What is your line of work?

augustlan's avatar

I’m a major introvert and I don’t identify with any of the descriptions in your question, with the possible exception of ‘anti-social’. I love good conversation – even with strangers, and am definitely not shy and not at all reserved. Can’t really judge whether I’m stuck up, but I don’t think I am.

It’s just that being around other people for too long leaves me utterly drained. I need a lot of alone time to recover (and just to survive, really). The anti-social thing comes into play because I’d rather not go to most social events. They stress me out, so I’d just as soon stay home with a good book.

JLeslie's avatar

@augustlan I am becoming more like that as I get older. Needing more alone time. Have you always been like that? You have me thinking that maybe our brains work that way? As we age we get overloaded more easily. Too much noise, too many people, too much negotiating. I think women especially might go through more changes regarding this over a lifetime.

Another thing you have me thinking about is if introverts shy away from interacting with people in real life, but not from places like the internet, are they still introverts then?

augustlan's avatar

I’ve been like this all my life, but I did socialize a lot more during my teenage years. Even then, though, I needed quite a bit of alone time in between. It’s possible that I’ve gotten more introverted as I’ve aged, but it could just be that I’m more comfortable with who I am and with saying “no” to social events when I need to.

In my opinion, the internet is a freaking godsend for introverts – but it doesn’t make us not introverted. We just have a much more comfortable way of ‘being’ with people, now.

Coloma's avatar

Well I have certainly become more to myself over the years in my maturity. I think my balance is very good and balanced. haha
I am at ease both in social situations and do love to joke and be playful and exercise my extrovert, but I also cherish my all alone time as well.
I enjoy fluther and the internet because part of my personality structure is knowledge seeking and as an extrovert I can still be energized by stimulating reads and engaging in this forum.

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