How many articles have you read about the quiet ones being misunderstood and judged for their personality?
I’m an introvert myself and an avid supporter of the quiet ones with their unique qualities. However, there are times when introverts become judgmental and narrow-minded themselves.
Let’s talk about the ego traps that can affect introverted people (especially those who are highly or extremely introverted).
1. Assuming that all extroverts are shallow, stupid and talkative
With countless psychology articles about the quiet ones, it may sometimes become difficult to distinguish between humor and reality. While most of those posts about things only introverts will understand just mean to bring a smile to your face, sometimes people take them too seriously. That’s why some introverts tend to think that their extroverted peers are nothing but shallow chatterboxes.
In reality, extroverts can be as intelligent, deep and well-read as introverts. Similarly, not all introverted folks are deep thinkers and geniuses. The truth is that a person can be dull, shallow and narrow-minded regardless of their position on the introversion/extroversion spectrum.
It is true that as a rule, introverted individuals tend to be more introspective and thoughtful because of their reserved nature. But if someone has an extroverted personality, it doesn’t necessarily make them chatty, stupid and superficial.
In fact, some of the smartest people I know are extroverts, or rather ambiverts. They fall somewhere in the middle of the introversion/extroversion spectrum and like both being around people and being involved in more quiet activities, such as reading and thinking.
If someone is an extrovert, it just means that they gain their energy from the external stimuli, such as communication with other people or being engaged in ‘tangible’ activities like gardening or crafting. Introversion is not an absolute predictor of high IQ levels, deep thoughtfulness and wisdom.
2. Getting irritated by sociable people
This is one of the ego traps I’m struggling with to this day. Sometimes, when I go to the park nearby to enjoy a quiet walk, meeting loud humans on my way can be irritating and draining. I usually catch myself thinking something like: “Why did you come my way? Didn’t you have anywhere else to go?” or “Is it really necessary to talk so much/laugh so hard? Someone is trying to have some quiet time here!”
When an extremely introverted person stumbles upon a bunch of noisy teens, college students or kids, it is easy to become a grumpy human-hater for a moment. However, the truth is that all people have the same rights to the public place you are visiting.
There is no point in getting angry at people who are being social and happen to intrude on your silence. If you are a highly introverted individual who doesn’t like noise and social activities, it doesn’t mean that those around you should abstain from them too.
In fact, it is rather selfish and narrow-minded to get mad at other people for being social and having a good time chatting, joking and laughing. After all, everyone enjoys different things in life and it is wiser to let people just be themselves and try to respect their needs for communication.
3. Feeling superior to non-introverted people who don’t like intellectual activities
Similarly to being irritated by sociable persons, some introverts feel superior to their extroverted peers who are not into thoughtful and intellectual activities like reading or writing.
It is awesome if you understand the power of the quiet ones and know how to make the most of your introverted nature. It is also great to feel proud and lucky about being an introvert. But it is different when your introversion, or rather your ego taking advantage of your introversion, makes you feel superior to other people.
The truth is that everyone is passionate about different things, and being a book lover or a chess player doesn’t make you superior to someone who enjoys dancing and hanging out with friends. After all, it’s your integrity and morals – not your pastime preferences – that make you a decent human being.
Remember the well-known quote which perfectly puts what I mean here:
4. Feeling angry when those around you refuse to play by your rules
Introverts, particularly the most deep thinking ones, often feel alone and misunderstood. It has to do with the fact that in the society we live in, the power of the quiet ones is greatly underestimated. More importance is given to qualities such as self-confidence, leadership and communication skills.
So it makes sense why some introverts feel like they don’t belong here and no one understands or appreciates them.
While is okay to feel lonely and misunderstood sometimes, it is different when you actually blame other people for that. Misunderstanding is part of human relationships and you can’t expect that those around you will guess how you feel or what you want at any given moment. We all have a different perception of life, and what comes naturally to you is nearly impossible for someone else to understand.
Equally, you may get annoyed when the extroverts around you refuse to play by your rules. No doubt, it can be extremely draining for the quiet ones to have a small talk with someone they don’t care about or being at a social gathering with people who make them feel awkward.
But when you get irritated every time someone is asking you something innocent out of courtesy, then it’s not your introversion – it’s your ego talking.
Do you struggle with any of the above-described ego traps as an introvert? Please share your experiences in the comments below.