I Don’t Think Being an Introvert Is a Bad Thing.

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A quiet moment
source: sadsadsadie

I heard a talk show on the radio recently where they were talking about introverts and extroverts. And it really bothered me. One of the speakers talked about being an introvert “but getting better.” The host used the word philosophical about 18 times in the span of 2 minutes as a way to describe his introvert ways.

Basically they came at it from the viewpoint of extrovert good, introvert bad. Being an introvert obviously means you hate people, being around people, and have to force yourself to talk to people.

I really don’t think this is true at all. I’m certainly no expert, but I do have 30 years’ experience in introvert ways. I think it all comes down to how you process.

Pool Party - Crowd
source: tekbassist

Introverts process internally, while extroverts process externally. Introverts recharge with alone time, while extroverts recharge in a crowd or group of friends.

Are either of these things inherently bad? I certainly don’t think so.

Both have their ups and downs, in my opinion. Sincerely needing alone time is difficult when you’re a parent of small children. I think that’s why I can get so frustrated after a day at home alone with the kids while some moms may be able to carry on for days without a second thought. When I can’t collect my thoughts and spend time considering why I am angry, why I react the way I do, etc, the frustrations really build up.

What I want people to know, though, is that being an introvert does NOT mean I hate people or dislike being around people! I strike up conversations with people at the grocery store or the park. I love to dig down and hear people’s real stories.

But I do NOT make small talk easily. I don’t just talk to talk. Which is probably why being in a huge crowd of people I don’t know is enough to make me want to go dive under my covers. I have trouble making friends, I think, because maybe I come on too strong. I will tell anyone anything.

Which is probably why I blog. I can process first, or as I write. And I can tell you anything without any notion of small talk. So there.

So yeah. Some days I wish I were a little more extroverted, but not many. I think it’s OK to be an introvert, and I’m sorry there are people out there who don’t think that.

What do you think? Are you introvert or extrovert?

13 thoughts on “I Don’t Think Being an Introvert Is a Bad Thing.

  1. Preach it, my introverted sister. I, too, can start a conversation with anyone, anywhere – but people exhaust me. I love them, but I need alone time like I need air. While it’s true we are vastly outnumbered (if I remember correctly, about 20% to 80%), I’m tired of the implication that being an introvert is “wrong” somehow.

  2. I am an introvert posing as an extrovert. I am definitely and internal processor, no matter how much I talk (which. is. a. lot.). Have you read Introverts in the Church by Adam McHugh? I checked it out from the library and didn’t get to it before it was due, but I’ve heard it’s great. I need to check it out again…

  3. I’m a slight introvert. That makes SO much sense about being just DONE at the end of the day when you are caring for needy little ones. I hadn’t thought about the impact that can have on an introvert before, and now I feel better about the fact that I do reach a point where I literally say to Tim, “Tag. You are it!” and lock myself in a room for 30 minutes of peace and quiet. It’s because my battery is depleted in a way that an extrovert mom might not be experiencing. And that’s not to say that extrovert moms don’t get really tired!

  4. I and my whole family are introverts to varying degrees. Most people are surprised that I am an introvert, ads I too can talk to just about anyone, and tell them anything. However, I DO like my alone time, especially out in nature with God listening to the peaceful sounds of His. I need time to process things with Him!

    • I agree. Nature is a good place to be alone with God. Beautiful way to put it! My husband is very introverted too (and a teacher, so he’s around people constantly), so I think he “gets” it when I go hide in my room sometimes.

  5. I LOVE being an introvert!!! I think we all need to join forces (from the security and solitude of our own computer desks, LOL) and let the world know that we’re not BAD, just different.

    Being around people makes me break out in ugly spots. Seriously. It’s embarrassing. Small talk is painful. And yes, as a mother of small children, I ACHE for time alone. After I’ve recharged (alone) I am such a better mommy.

    Thanks for writing this. It feels good to not be alone. In an introverted sort of way. 🙂

  6. I think it’s hard when extroverted parents produce introverted kids. I have a couple of friends who are struggling with this now. Their children become overwhelmed in crowds and are not particularly friendly. It drives the extroverted mother insane that her son seems ‘rude.’ I think he’s just really shy. I’m not sure which camp I lie in. Some of both sides, I guess.

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  8. So glad you linked this post in your comment! I’m always curious about what other people think about being an introvert 🙂 My son is more introverted like me, but my daughter is every bit as extroverted as her dad…sometimes makes it difficult for us to relate to each other, I think.

    • My husband and I are both definite introverts, but I think our daughter is an extrovert – she would be outside the house, with people ALL THE TIME. She can’t stand to not have some affirmation or be by herself for more than 3 minutes. Our 2yo son, though, will go play by himself in his room for an hour. (I love that kid.) We’ll see with #3! (He’s only 2 months.)

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