One of the hard things about being an introvert is trying to make people understand what it really means. In a recent interview at Someday Syndrome, I identified myself as being an introvert, and someone who only knows me online (with the exception of one telephone conversation) expressed surprise, because apparently I “have a wonderfully outgoing personality.”
I couldn’t really take offense when what she said was such a compliment, but the reality is that introverts are typically perceived as shy, snobbish, or anti-social. Although there are introverts who can accurately be described using one or more of these terms (including some who even describe themselves that way), I don’t think any of those words applies to me. In fact, I am quite outgoing in some situations, but no matter what quiz or personality test I take, it’s quite clear that I am in fact an introvert. I explained to my online friend that I’m not the shy kind of introvert, but am more focused on my thoughts than the outer world, and prefer to meet people one-on-one than in large groups.
Last week as I was working on a crossword puzzle (a popular activity for introverts, I’m sure), one of the clues was “Introverted?” I immediately got my back up, expecting the answer to reflect an inaccurate, if not derogatory, stereotype. As I began to fill out the intersecting words, I was delighted to see that the answer was in fact DRAWNINWARD. I wonder if it’s safe to assume that Frank A. Longo, who constructed the puzzle, is an introvert?
Photo © Janet Barclay
The Introvert Retreat blog where this was originally published is no longer online, but if you’d like to network with other introverts, join us in The Original Introvert Retreat Group!