Hey boys and girls. It’s time for an episode of Introversion for Dummies! I thought today we’d dive straight in to MY favorite topic:
That’s right, kids. There’s a difference.
1. Not all introverts are shy. I’m a “writer,” which means I’m also a bartender. When people come into my bar, I’m all like, “HEY, WHAT CAN I GET FOR YOU, YEAH THAT’S GREAT, AWESOME.” It’s a job that requires me to be very much the opposite of shy all the time. I also happen to be incredibly, painfully introverted. But how can that be? How do I interact with hundreds of drunk people every Friday night and live to tell the tale? Of course, it is entirely possible to simultaneously dread socializing and also be socially capable. I’m not about to go dance on a table, but that has less to do with my shyness and more to do with the fact that I really just don’t want to. Talking to people takes energy! Energy that I would much rather spend on my writing or my Netflix account or whatever.
2. Not all shy people are introverts. One of my best friends is the perfect example of a shy extrovert. She loves socializing, loves going out and meeting people, loves talking just to say something. But she also gets anxious and self-conscious every time she goes anywhere. She wants to be the center of attention and to get to know EVERYBODY, but she also struggles with some degree of social anxiety that makes it hard for her to socialize unless she’s been, uh…socially lubricated. Ladies, you know how it is.
3. Introverts are not necessarily socially awkward. While it’s probably true that most of the socially awkward people you will meet will be introverted by disposition, this is probably just due to the fact that introverts are less inclined to go out and practice those social skills. At the end of the day, though, that’s what it’s all about. Practice.
4. Extroversion and introversion have everything to do with how you prefer to function and nothing to do with how you actually function. Is the horse dead yet? Should I beat it some more?
Thank you and goodnight.
–Taylor Brogan, Contributing Editor