This is the sixth in a weekly series debunking myths about introverts. (See last week’s post.) The basis of the 10 week series is the article written by Carl King. I will show his thinking, add mine and then encourage all of you to contribute your thoughts on the subject.
Don’t know if you’re an introvert or an extrovert? Take Susan Cain’s quiz.
Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.
My dictionary defines “rude” as: “offensively impolite or ill-mannered”. I don’t think that any of us intend to be impolite or ill-mannered. I think it’s just that we’re out of our element in a social or business setting, which are generally extrovert driven. We’re expected to be outgoing and interested in the other people around us, but that is the one thing that drains us of energy. It’s the opposite of how an introvert wants to live life.
We prefer meaningful talk to small talk, which to us seems pointless and superfluous. We’d rather have one quiet and insightful conversation than a hundred rounds of small, small, small talk talk talk.
We aren’t good socializers. Probably will never be. Even when we practice before a gathering, rehearsing opening lines, scripting ways of introducing ourselves, choosing conversation starters that we feel comfortable using, the time still comes when we run out of scripted material and have to wing it. Yeah, that’s the time the wheels come off the bus. Looming disaster makes us even more nervous, which causes us to becomes even more withdrawn. We start looking for the escape routes, and then (rudely and precipitously) exit.
And then there’s the blurting. How embarrassing is that? You know what that is. You’ve been trying so hard to come up with a response to something that when you finally formulate one it just comes blurting out of your mouth, usually right in the middle of something being said by someone else about something else. You’ve been so busy thinking that you didn’t realize the conversation has moved on to another topic. So you blurt, people stare at you, and you walk away quickly. Rude!
Then there is the famous Introvert Face. You know that face. The one where you are (politely) focusing so hard on what someone is saying that you get That Face. It can look judgmental or angry, but it’s just you, concentrating. The epitome of introvert politeness can look quite rude to the extrovert.
Then there is the Blank Face, the one we put one when we try to hide the rising panic we feel when it’s past due time to leave and we can’t quite make it to… the… door… just… yet…. You’re screaming inside your head and trying to hide it, so your face goes blank and people get the impression you think they are boring.
When have you been falsely accused of being rude? Hit the comments and share.
Coming up this week will be our first Club Introvert social event. Don’t panic. I guarantee you can meet quietly, and on your own time. It will be safe for all of us. We’ll have fun, I promise. Be sure to join Club Introvert so you don’t miss out.
Have a quiet day!
Hi. I’m Chris. I’m an introvert. Look for my ongoing series debunking the introvert myths (Sunday) and introvert cartoons (Wednesday), plus anything else interesting that I find in the meantime. Come and share with like-minded introverts. I also contribute to the new food blog Three’s Cooking, learning to cook from the heart, for the soul.