Extroverts are energised by social interactions, introversion are energised by solitude and ambiverts are in the between. The extroversion-introversion continuum is all about how you gain and lose your energy. It literally has nothing to do with how socially inept you are, how anti-social you are and whether you have anxiety or not.
If you love solitude, don’t envy party animals, but you still can be sociable with the right crowd or adequate amount of energy, then you are definitely an introvert. You enjoy interactions, but they can be draining in excess.
If you are envious of outgoing people and wish you can be just like them, then you are definitely not an introvert. You are an extrovert shackled either by social anxiety or social ineptitude.
I know I am an introvert because social anxiety and awkwardness never make me solitary; social interactions never give me panic attacks and my poor social skills do not stop me from interacting with people I like or interacting for practical purposes. Not to mention that I never envy other people’s outgoingness. If anything, not only I find their lifestyles jarring, I have always hated how I was constantly forced to denounce solitary life.
They may be ignorant people who are willing to learn; in some cases, they indeed are. But, I don’t believe ignorance is the only culprit here. The more I hear anti-introversion comments, the more I take heed of the prejudice.
Despite having been informed of what introversion actually is and how to distinguish it from social awkwardness, social anxiety and even anti-social personality disorder, some people refuse to acknowledge its validity as a personality trait. Interestingly, they are never explicit about this.
Their mouths say they acknowledge introversion’s validity. But, from time to time, we still catch them claiming that introverts secretly want to be extroverted, that we secretly prefer social situations over solitude. Worse, they even still perceive symptoms of social anxiety and poor social skills as signs of introversion.
Maybe those people are still consciously anti-introversion; they lie about it because they don’t want to any (deserving) backlashes. Maybe their sentiment is subconscious; they genuinely believe they are accepting of introverts, not realising acceptance requires more than verbal expressions.
Either way, contrary to the words coming from their face hole, they still believe that people like them are the default normal, mentally sound people. They still believe that solitude is an inherently bad thing, simply because it is not for them.
And, no matter how hard they try to hide them, their true sentiments manage to seep through and will always do.
This is a bigger deal than it seems.
If you are already a self-accepting, empowered introvert, you would not be affected. But, what if you aren’t? What if you are still an impressionable and insecure introvert who does not know that introversion is a legitimate personality trait?
I definitely was one. Despite the fact that I was able to socialise on my own accord, I was made to believe there was something wrong with me; I genuinely thought my love of solitude was a symptom. If it wasn’t for internet and its bountiful introversion-related content, it would have taken a lot longer for me to reach self-acceptance.
And yes, I believe how those people treat introverts is an example of bigotry.
Dehumanising your fellow human beings and making them hating themselves simply because of their trivially “undesirable” traits. How is that not bigoted?
Oh and I am never tired saying this: the COVID pandemic has proven how much of a liability extroversion can be. If it wasn’t for extroversions who felt entitled to parties, the outbreak would have been more manageable. Extroverts can also be damaged people.
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