Common Misconceptions About Introverts – No 1 All Introverts Are Shy

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”Aaw.. look at you, so shy, You’ll come out of your shell one day. ” 

”I beg your pardon? But I won’t! Why? Because I am not IN the shell, not at all!”

While some of the introverts are shy (so what?) many of us indeed, are not.

Just the fact that I don’t feel the need to start a conversation with the first human being, that comes across my way at the social gathering, it doesn’t mean I am shy. Introverts don’t start the small talk. It is boring and drains our energy. 

   It always happens to me! People, who don’t know me personally, perceive me as an exceptionally quiet and shy person. Very little, chosen few, know the real me, happy and chatty person, as I am. Well… as long as we talk about something meaningful. I so don’t care about what you had for dinner on Sunday, and how you made it… Sorry, don’t mean to be rude, but still, please just don’t bother.

   I remember one awkward situation, on a work related social gathering. It was an evening  + music + drinks kind of thing, with all employees of the entire company, I just started working with. I knew virtually nobody! They had a very strong policy about socializing and everybody was ‘friends’ with everyone in the company.  As I was sitting by myself, enjoying the music, my ‘awkward, unacceptable behaviour’ could not go unnoticed (you can’t sit by yourself). Very soon, the people were approaching me with the phrase such as: ‘I hear that you are so and so, I am also’…. being sent to speak to me on account of  ‘Ah, she has a white spot on her dress too, you should definitely speak to her.

  My natural reaction to fake ‘small talk questions’ is yes/no or one word answer with no questions from my side. Sooner it’s over the better. And again, it doesn’t mean I am shy. In case you wonder how this ended…the next day early in the morning I was asked what was wrong with me last night and told:’We take a great pride in all our colleagues being one big family  and…’ 

  Since I needed the job, I wrote an email, stating that I was an introvert and what that means. Also, I explained that it doesn’t affect my work and so on… They were understanding and let me keep my job…

What are your experiences? Are you a shy introvert? How do you deal with small talk situations on social gatherings. Feel free to share your thoughts and Thanks for stopping by.

6 thoughts on “Common Misconceptions About Introverts – No 1 All Introverts Are Shy”

  1. Thank you for your comment Cheryl. Couldn’t agree more with you on that one. We are constantly pressured to ask the questions we don’t want to know the answers to, just for the sake of ‘being polite’ and having a conversation. 😶

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  2. Hi Nikole,
    I love reading about the whole introvert/extrovert scenario. I am an extrovert but many of my friends have turned out to be introverts. We seem to have a synergy where we connect and are there for each other in some way. They’re probably more grounded than I am and I’m good at breaking the ice in social situations, which was great when I was younger and single. My friends often took off with my romantic interest, although I wasn’t terribly inept at getting things moving either.
    What I have found interesting is that due to a chronic health condition, I haven’t been able to work for the last five years and so don’t have a lot of social contact during the day. So I am living a lifestyle which is more in tune with an introvert, than an extrovert and I am a fish out of water in my own home to some extent.
    I think it can also be a good idea to know where we fit on the introvert-extrovert scale when we apply for jobs so we find something we’re best suited to. I am best working with people, but ended up doing database marketing. Ooops! Another one of those things where you’re thinking if only I knew then, what I know now.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

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  3. Thank you for your comment Rowena. I agree with you about the synergy we (introverts) have with extroverts and vice versa, although in my case I find it overwhelming when in company of more than one extrovert. If there are more extroverted people around me I tend to shut down and leave the conversation. I can definitely relate to fish out of water feeling, only for me, it is always when being without a comfort of my home. And same as you, my job is not quite a fit with my personality. I have to have A LOT of conversations, initiated by me, which is virtually impossible if I don’t make myself do it. Shall we swap jobs? Lol…

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