There are lost of myths about introverts and if you Google the subject you’ll find a lot of articles, here are two that you may want to take time to read.
If common stereotypes have anything to say on the matter, it’s that introverts are socially awkward loners who abhor large crowds and don’t like people very much. An introvert may not be a particularly friendly or happy person, but hey, at least they’re smarter and more creative than the average extrovert.
Despite comprising an estimated one-third of the general population, introversion may be one of the most frequently misunderstood personality traits. But the silent revolution of introverts — catapulted into the spotlight largely by the work of Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking — is shedding light on the experience of introverts living in a culture that tends to value extroverted qualities like assertiveness and outspokenness over solitude and quiet contemplation. [read]
I wrote this list in late-2008. Around that time, I was lucky enough to discover a book called, The Introvert Advantage (How To Thrive in an Extrovert World), by Marti Laney, Psy.D. It felt like someone had written an encyclopedia entry on a rare race of people to which I belong. Not only had it explained many of my eccentricities, it helped me to redefine my entire life in a new and productive context.
Sure, anyone who knows me would say, “Duh! Why did it take you so long to realize you’re an Introvert?” It’s not that simple. The problem is that labeling someone as an Introvert is a very shallow assessment, full of common misconceptions. It’s more complex than that.
A section of Laney’s book (page 71 through page 75) maps out the human brain and explains how neuro-transmitters follow different dominant paths in the nervous systems of Introverts and Extroverts. If the science behind the book is correct, it turns out that Introverts are people who are over-sensitive to Dopamine, so too much external stimulation overdoses and exhausts them. Conversely, Extroverts can’t get enough Dopamine, and they require Adrenaline for their brains to create it. Extroverts also have a shorter pathway and less blood-flow to the brain. The messages of an Extrovert’s nervous system mostly bypass the Broca’s area in the frontal lobe, which is where a large portion of contemplation takes place.
Unfortunately, according to the book, only about 25% of people are Introverts. There are even fewer that are as extreme as I am. This leads to a lot of misunderstandings, since society doesn’t have very much experience with my people. (I love being able to say that.) [read]