When it comes to being social, both extroverts and introverts can have a hard time. Most of the time, both extroverted and introverted people are labeled as being in a certain way. Society has created some standards and myths about them that most often are just not true. People who are being extroverted are often mistaken for being confident, and introverted people are mistaken for being shy and unconfident.
But what does it really mean to be an extrovert or an introvert? These are personality characteristics that are often influenced by many factors like family, social environment, genetics or emotional intelligence.
They are often misunderstood and there are some myths that need to be explained and eliminated.
Introverts don’t like risks
Risks or fears have nothing to do with being extroverted or introverted. This myth is as popular as it is untrue, because having certain fears or not assuming certain risks has nothing to do with being an extrovert or an introvert. There are people who are extroverted that are extremely fearful and use their extrovert qualities in order to mask those fears from being too visible, and they are introvert people who like challenges and risks just as much as other people do. It has nothing to do with being an extrovert or an introvert.
Extroverts are happier people
Nothing more untrue than this. A simple example would be big comedy actors or personalities such as Jim Carrey, who often plays happy or extroverted roles, but who was suffered from deep depression. Being an extrovert or an introvert has nothing do to with happiness and well-being. Both extroverts and introverts have equal chances of happiness and this is a personal choice that is influenced by other factors.
Extroverts like to socialise more than introverts
There is an old misconception of introverts being unable to socialise or avoiding socialising, which is definitely not the case. Introverts love socializing just as much as extroverts do, but because extroverts are usually ‘the life of the party’ introverts often get mislabeled for being antisocial. It’s true that introverts like to spend more time alone, but they also like to be surrounded by people and they give 100% whenever they do so.
Introverts are more likely to develop mental illness
It’s very sad and revolting that people often associate mental illness with being extroverted or introverted. There is still so much stigma around mental illness although we live in times where information is everywhere and instead of choosing to be kind, we choose to label people. Just because someone is more talkative or open doesn’t mean they are not likely to develop any mental illness. Mental illness doesn’t discriminate, there are well-known people that are very popular or famous or rich or have many connections that deal with mental illness. The risks of mental illness depend on factors such as genetics, trauma and overall behaviour rather than being an extroverted or an introverted person.
Introverts as not as confident as extroverts
Just because a person doesn’t talk as much as others it doesn’t mean that he’s not confident. Confidence doesn’t depends on how much of an extrovert or an introvert you are. Confidence is something you earn, something you work on every single day, something that needs to be taught and understood, and it doesn’t come with a personality characteristic. You will be surprised to see how quiet people are much more confident than people who are very easy-going.
All in all, it’s really not important how you act, but it’s more important what you know, what you choose to spread around you and it’s also important to be kind at all times, to all people equally.
We never know what silent battles someone might be fighting, so instead of putting labels and setting standards, let’s focus on understanding and caring more for each other.