Introvert

Why We Should Quit Saying Introverts Hate People

I’m an introvert, and I have a confession: I like people. Well, most of the time.

I’ve noticed in many introvert communities online there is a certain stigma attached to being introverted that is perpetuated by extroverts and introverts alike — that introverts hate people. We’d rather die than go to a social event. The idea of hanging out with friends is pure torture to our sensitive souls. Each time our phone rings we have a minor panic attack. While these articles and memes are funny and relatable to an extent, they send the wrong message about introversion. I want to clear this up because I believe that learning about temperament is essential to better understanding ourselves and others. It’s unfair to classify all introverts as anti-social, just like it’s unfair to stereotype all extroverts as wild partiers.

A similar misconception is that introverts hate small talk because we hate people. Disliking small talk is not a trait of introversion. Most people don’t enjoy small talk or forced conversation with people who they’re not comfortable around. Some extroverts are better at these things, but that has more to do with the fact that they socialize more in general than introverts do. The more you do anything, the better you become at it. The better you become at something, the less you dislike it, generally.

The Truth About Introverts

While introverts don’t hate people, we do get drained by being around other people for extended periods of time. We recharge by spending time alone. For many of us, there is no such thing as too much alone time. But this doesn’t mean we can’t be at a party for 15 minutes before needing to escape and hide under the covers with our cats.

Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, explains: “Introverts, in contrast, may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas. They prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family.”

I enjoy parties, as long as there are plenty of like-minded people who I can engage in interesting discussions with. Afterward, I’ll probably want to hibernate for a while, but that doesn’t mean I hated every minute I spent around other humans. I can’t speak for every introvert, but personally, if I don’t want to be at a party, I won’t go. And if I’m in a situation where that’s not a simple option, I try to make the best of my time there.

Many introverts also identify as shy or socially anxious. These are qualities that make events like parties and other social gatherings harder to go to and get through. Although many introverts identify as shy or socially anxious, these are not unique qualities of introversion. Many extroverts experience shyness and social anxiety, as well.

Why We Should Quit Saying Introverts Hate People

If we want to educate others on what being an introvert means, we have to stop spreading the “introverts hate people” posts. The introvert-positive movement has done a lot to help extroverts understand and respect our quiet temperament. But it’s a lot harder to get people to understand you if you’re constantly reminding them of how much you hate them.

Another reason we should quit saying introverts hate people is that it’s simply not true. Very few of us would give up our loved ones for a life of complete isolation. If that’s what we really wanted, more introverts would be hermits or monks. Most humans need community and relationships to be happy. We need coffee dates, long phone conversations, and gatherings with friends. As introverts, we just need a little less of these things than others. And that’s ok.

Megan is an introvert and INFJ personality type who enjoys reading, researching, and writing about personality psychology and human behavior. As the founder of this blog, Megan wants to help other INFJs better understand their personality to improve their personal and professional lives.

9 Comments

  1. Yes. Yes. And yes! As an INFJ, I couldn’t agree more! Thank you for explaining this. I also see a trend of fellow introverts who almost use it as an excuse for being rude. I need my space at times, but I try my darndest NOT to be rude. Idk if this would be a unique thing with my particular introverted type, but I would much rather be honest than rude. Anyway, I kinda went on a tangent there! Lol I really just wanted to say thank you for posting this! ❤

    1. I’ve also seen people use it as an excuse to be rude, and I think that people who don’t understand introversion probably see that as an insult. Since INFJs are so sensitive to others feelings, it could be that we pick up on this kind of stuff more than others, though. I’m glad you liked the post!

  2. This is a fantastic article!!! You nailed it and I’m so glad you wrote it. Thank you!!!

  3. I’d actually argue that introverts can be better conversationalists — some extroverts talk without saying anything, so can bore me, while introverts tend to say something only when they have something to say.

    1. I agree! Extroverts can be great at small talk, but for introverts it’s about quality over quantity. 🙂

  4. 100% in agreement. I’m terrified at making small talk, but I love getting deep into long chats with someone about subjects we both care about. I don’t “mingle” at parties; I find one or two people with whom I can relate and we’re good for the whole evening. We introverts need to spread the word that we do like being social.

  5. Yes! Your post resonates with me! I’ve told folks I’m an “introvert” and they laugh and say–“you’re too outgoing to be an introvert!” I just smile–and go home to recharge! Thanks for the clarity!

  6. There are many misconceptions for both sides, I think. I have extroverted friends (mainly ENFPs) who are even less social than I am at times and crave escapes from their loud and social surroundings.

    People just need to remember that we are not just I or E, we are human and we are fully capable of exhibiting traits from both ends of the spectrum. Don’t get me wrong, I love M-B and how much it has helped me to understand things about myself and others (and my J sensibilities are definitely pulled by the allure of putting things into neat little boxes), but we can only use it as a rough sketch, nothing more.

    Excellent article. I’m very glad that I came across this blog. Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks Emma! I agree that there is much more to a person than being introvert or extrovert, or even their MBTI type. But these things are great tools for beginning to understand ourselves and others better. Glad you liked the article!

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