Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Introvert or Shyness?

After my post "Vogue Introverts" that I wrote on 6/6/2015 I had a several discussions with someone who is much more knowledgeable on the issue of introvertism than I am, so I'm redoing this post for more factual and truthful information. 

   Lately, I’ve noticed a certain term that seems to be everywhere and used all the time by people my age. Introvert. Now, instead of saying that someone is shy or has a quiet personality, they say that they are introverted, but is introversion really the same as shyness? In some ways yes, but in other ways no. An introvert personality is by no means a bad thing, but it can be difficult to deal with. I, myself may have had introvertive traits my whole life and I've hated it.

    When I was growing up, being shy was not considered cool. If you were shy, you were the weird kid (it really doesn’t help when you’re also the only homeschooled kid in the church youth group). People were always being told to be more outgoing, talk more, and participate more. Now, society has seemed to give people the idea that being shy gives you some sort of mystery element, which is termed introvert. It’s perfectly acceptable to call yourself 'an introvert' and not just say you're shy.

    Shyness is simply being nervous around people, for a temporary period of time. Introversion is a deeper almost mental situation. Introvert personalities share similar traits with shyness, but introverts may have a hard time coming to terms with the issues that make them the way they are. Introverts (by proper terminology) are people that restrict their contact with other people and pursue solitary activities such as reading, writing, etc. However, I believe that being an introvert goes deeper than being reclusive.

     Introverts can be around people, but not for long periods of time. They have to have some time alone, as someone said, "to recharge their batteries," Introverts have been known to do well among groups of people, but they must have some time alone or they can become very overwhelmed or stressed out. Maybe this might come from fear or nervousness. In many ways, after someone described it to me, I thought it sounded luck running a mental race. Start out slow and then find your comfort zone, but at the end, you need some time to relax, before you can start over again. No two personalities are the same and you can't judge one person by another.

     Shyness is also a multifaceted personality, but at times it is less to to do with people and more to do with one self. It can range from being nervous in public to being afraid of what people think of you (it has sometimes even been categorized as selfishness, which I think is going to far). Whereas introverts need to relax and unwind, shy people need to build self-confidence and independence.

     I didn't understand what this board was at first until it was explained to me. I thought it was simply a personality test, but it is actual scientific testing that is used to determine where one falls on the scale of introvertism. My question is, how long did it take to compile all that evidence and data to make one scale?? I believe that you could possibly fall into more than one category there. It seems to be primarily used for people who have gone through severe mental abuse and may not know where their general personality lies. It almost looks like a spiritual gifts test that determines where your place in the church is (if you haven't taken one of those, you should!!)

     I don't think someone should fall into the lie of not caring about what people think about you. You're family and friends are the ones who have to put up with you and their opinions matter. Although, don't end up centering your whole life on what they think. They're are their for moral support and criticism to help mold you into a good person. 

     What I'm trying to drive home here (and I never write a post about social issues, unless there's a point behind it.), is that saying you're an introvert and being an introvert can be two separate issues and I don't believe that someone can be completely introverted either, they can have other contrasting personalities that help balance their introvertive personality. If you're saying you're an introvert because you believe it's the same or similar to being shy, chances are you probably missed the mark. Also, don't claim to be an introvert just because it's the cool thing to do. Check yourself and ask other people around you what they believe your personality to be. All personalities are different and people can have different traits of introversion and yes, it can be difficult and oftentimes lonely, but the world is not meant to live in alone.

Personal thanks to Jamie for better explaining these issues to me! I want to always be honest and fair in what I write and it can be hard for me to accept criticism (although, Jamie wasn't doing that all!), but it's the only way I can grow as a writer. 

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