Introversion and extroversion have existed for many years. For all this time only counselors and personality psychologists cared about them. But after Susan Cain released her bestselling novel titled “Quiet” everything just changed. The book opened new doors to understanding introversion. People who were naturally quiet, shy, and kept to themselves started to see their personalities in a different light all thanks to this book.
Introverts had spent years being told they were inadequate and void of any human connections. But once the book by Susan Cain came out, the narrative changed. Introversion was something cool. Introverts were now thought as creative people who had deep human connections and deeper thoughts. As introversion became cool, extroversion started to look bad.
Extroverts were now seen not as the outgoing and engaging people they used to be but they were now labeled shallow and superficial party animals. At first, Cain’s book was a simple way to understand introversion. But then again the debate became so intense that people started to come up with their own theories about introversion and extroversion. Most of these theories have since become urban myths and they are wrong.
Here are some of the common myths about introversion that are simply not true.
Introverts Don’t Like People
Introverts have often been viewed as people who like to spend time alone. Instead of going out on a Saturday night with friends, they prefer to sit at home all by themselves. This has often been misinterpreted to mean that introverts don’t like people. This is not true. A study by the University of Illinois showed that people who are considered introverts, in fact, spent the same amount of time socializing as extroverts. The study also found that extroverts too spent the same time alone as introverts. Other studies also show that introverts feel the same level of happiness when interacting with other people.
Introverts Are Depressed
Although this is a myth, there’s scientific backing to it. One study that involved over 2,000 people seeking mental health care found that most of them had signs of introversion. The study concluded that an extrovert was less likely to fall into depression compared to an introvert. Nonetheless, another new study contradicted this. The paper noted that while interacting with other people is good for mental health, the results are determined by how you define extroversion and introversion. In cases when the two were defined as human behavior as opposed to personality traits, the effects of human interactions in reducing the risk of depression were very little.
Introverts Prefer to Be Alone
There’s some truth to this but not entirely. Introverts too love to interact with other people and this brings some happiness to them. But unlike extroverts, they need much more time to recharge. While introverts spend time on their own, it doesn’t mean that’s what they prefer. They are simply trying to recharge in order to face another day. It’s simply a balancing act. You don’t want to be too lonely but you also want to limit the interactions so that they don’t become too exhausting.