Things Introverts Need to Stop Saying

introverts negative stereotypes

I’m really getting tired of it.  And it really needs to stop.

Too often online, I see things like “I hate people” or “I’m anti-social” or “I’m hiding in my room so I don’t have to talk to my roommate/brother/friend, etc.”

It. drives. me. crazy.

Because it does something horrible: it reinforces negative stereotypes about introverts.  And – worse – we are doing it to ourselves.

I started this blog because I wanted to increase positive views of introverts and decrease negative views.  It breaks my heart to see people constantly judging themselves by extrovert standards and coming up short.  Just because you’re different doesn’t mean you’re defective.  And if you don’t advocate for yourself, who will?

I get that it’s social media and it’s where people go to vent and complain.  But I usually see some variation of “I hate people” at least once a day.  And there are millions of people on Twitter.  So that negative message is getting out there.

So here’s my introvert social media pledge:

  • I will only say positive things about being an introvert.
  • I won’t feed into negative stereotypes about introverts.
  • I will support my introvert connections on social media.
  • I will respond positively to tweets/updates about listening, observing, connecting, etc. (any positive introvert trait).
  • I will gently correct my extrovert friends when they make inaccurate assumptions about me or introversion in general.

The only way we can eliminate the shy/loner/anti-social label is to actively fight against it.

Join me?

Image credit: burakowski / 123RF Stock Photo

 

 

 

Comments

  1. What a nice list and a good reminder. I find myself often resenting the extroverts that not only invade my space and quiet but blame me for not being happy about it. It has taken me many years but getting better at thinking of my introvert traits in good way. I definitely getting better at taking my silence and quiet when I need it.

  2. Those statements may simultaneously reinforce negative stereotypes and be honest, true expressions of how they feel. I’m not confortable with asking them to stop. It’s better for all on the intro/extra spectrum to speak honestly and try to understand each other than to censor oneself because someone might not understand.

    That being said, an introvert usually means “unsocial” not “antisocial”.

    Avoiding social interaction by managing ones physical location is perfectly normal, acceptable behavior. IMH(Introverted)O

    Be who you are. Try hard to understand those who are different. You don’t have to like other people’s behavior to understand it. But if you understand it, you will be able to cope with it. They with us and us with them, for all values of us and them.

    • I think my concern is with the cumulative effect — and who’s reading the message. I don’t want to censor anyone. I just want people to think about the message they might be sending when they say things like “I hate people.”

  3. When I started my blog, I specifically wanted to avoid rants. Although as rants go, this one is pretty tame. ;-) I’ll join you in your crusade to keep it positive. However, I reserve the right on my blog to continue to discuss the difficulty and conflict that arises in my own life from being an introvert/loner. It’s pretty much why I started it – to connect with and support others who deal with these same issues. You were one of the first people I connected with, and I’m glad I did! Let’s face it. Being an introvert is just plain awkward sometimes. We need to advocate for each other! Count me in.

    • Hey, I’m all for the kind of blogging that you do. :) It’s less about ranting and more about trying to grow understanding and knowledge. I think my concern is with the short, one-off statements like you see on Twitter. Blogging allows a much broader discussion and doesn’t sound so much like complaining.

      Thanks for taking the pledge! I’m glad we’ve connected too. :)

  4. Yes, great post, Susan. What really gets me down is why I see introversion used as an excuse for that negative anti-social behaviour/attitude. The justifying rudeness by a label if that makes sense. It is something I am ever conscious of in myself – ie I don’t want to behave in a certain way because I think that’s what I can get away with because ‘im an introvert’ or whatever. Knowing who you are should be a freeing process not a pigeon holing event.

  5. I have been guilty of jokingly saying “I don’t like people” many times over the years, but after gaining a much deeper understanding of my own introversion I recognize how untrue it is. What I don’t like is feeling uncomfortable, out of place or misunderstood. I share and support your pledge, and agree that it’s important to dispel the stereotypes.

    • Susan Steele says:

      Yep, I think we all make those kinds of statements from time to time. But we have only ourselves to blame when people start believing them. It’s hard to change the thought patterns, but I do think it’s worth the effort. Thanks for commenting!

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