You guys have been doing a thing and I really REALLY need you to stop doing the thing anymore. If I catch you doing the thing, then I'm going to smack you upside the head and give you a list of websites to check out and books to read.
If you're confused, let me clear a few things up for you, okay? Take a deep breath and get comfy, because here we go.
Introverts have a bad name and it hasn't stopped yet because people keep perpetuating the stereotype and no one has really put the real research out there, although plenty of people have tried. There is still this notion going around the introverted people are socially awkward, shy and antisocial. THIS IS AN UNTRUTH!
The real difference between introverts and extroverts is the way in which those people gain and release energy levels. Extroverts gain energy from people. They tend to feel more energized and pumped up after hanging out with their friends, going to a party, spending time in a crowd, etc. Whereas on the flip side of extroversion, introverts gain energy by spending time alone either watching a movie, reading a book, or completing a project, etc.
When extroverts are full of energy, spending time by themselves may be a nice reprieve. When introverts are full of energy, a night out with their friends might not be something they are dreading or loath to do. Ya feel me?
I keep seeing these articles about the "extroverted introvert" which just annoys me to no end. No person is a true introvert or extrovert based on the stereotypes of either being constantly inundated with new people or hating social interaction of any kind choosing to spend a majority of time with your nose in a book. And I'm SICK OF IT. I'm so tired of people perpetuating the stereotype that introverts can't be social creatures.
JUST STOP SPREADING THE INSANITY.
If you find that you feel more energized after you've spent a couple hours reading your book and you would like to go out and pub crawl Friday night with your friends doesn't mean that you're not introverted. It might even be shocking to learn that introverts even process a lot of social prowess and may even have a nice circle of friends instead of just one or two.
I know, your mind is blown, isn't it?
But seriously. Everyone falls on the spectrum of intro/extroversion and while some people are more on one side or the other doesn't mean that people don't also fall in the middle. There is such a thing as an ambivert, actually.
I'd like to challenge you to help change the dialogue surrounding introversion and extroversion. If we start changing the way we speak and write about it by realizing that it's a spectrum instead of a black and white issue then we can better understand our fellow humans.
Remember that it's not about how shy a person is. Shyness has nothing to do with introversion, it's merely a term for the fear of social judgement. Whether you gain or give energy by being around people or away from people is what gives you your introvertedness or extrovertedness.
Now go forth and turn the stereotype on its head!