I get what you’re saying, though I’d modify it to “what other possible explanation could there be, from the viewpoint of a society that only values extroverts?”
There have been a number of excellent comments here, like about how dictionaries define introversion versus extroversion - that’s pointed out in “The Introvert Advantage” which is a really interesting read. However, the sad thing is that we even need a book like that! Would we ever see “The Extrovert Advantage” or books about dealing with being an extrovert? Hell no. And that’s absolutely infuriating. My extremely extroverted mother read that book, and she told me that it made such a huge difference in helping her understand me and why I did certain things. I guess I’m happy that she better understands my introversion, but it still pisses me off that that was even needed in the first place.
I’m 33 (34 in June) and the labeling truly has become less of an issue as I’ve gotten older, but that may also be because it was such a huge issue when I was younger. I have no idea what the average age is of other redditors in this subreddit, but I have a feeling that many of you are younger (though I accept that I may completely wrong). Even discussing introversion more (having successful books like “Quiet” or seeing articles in “The Economist” about how we deserve more credit, etc) is a step forward - though again, it’s so frustrating that we need that in the first place! But I think as we get older, people seem to care less, although I think the industry in which you work makes a difference.
Another reason I strongly believe that it gets better as you get older is that I decided to change careers, so I’m in law school now. The average age of a first-year law student is 27 at my school, but, as is the case with averages, there are plenty of 22- and 23-year-olds, and they are the ones - not the older students - who focus on labeling.
One final comment: part of it for me has been learning to care less. I don’t give a shit what those younger law students think. I hesitate to mention learning to deal with the labeling because it’s one of those things that you generally can’t force yourself to do - it just takes time. I know how annoying it is to be told that. What I’ve come to realize is that there are always going to be some people who try to label us as shy or stuck up or bitches, and you just can’t please everyone (nor should you try to do so). I only have so much energy (and patience), so why should I waste it on them? They don’t deserve my time or energy, so they sure as hell aren’t going to get it.
I apologize for the long post and also if it comes across as preachy - that is not my intention. I just wanted to explain further why I stand by my original statement: I truly believe it gets better as you get older. But in the meantime? Yeah, it fucking sucks.
Check out this book.
Basically you need to start paying attention to how your body reacts to things. I learned that I can be “on” as an extrovert most of the day but it will wipe me out for at least 2-3 hours when I get home. So I just need to chill out with a video game or podcasts and recover.
If it is certain type of events try to find ways to “beat them to the punch”. For instance if you want to avoid unnecessary meetings then deliver the ask before the meeting so you don’t need to attend.
Troubleshoot yourself or find a professional to help. Because that is what I ultimately had to do to get someone to help me understand my limits.
There's such a stigma around introverts, and it's really unfortunate, because *there is nothing wrong with you*. If you're happy, you do you. If your partner makes you feel really guilty about it, sit down and have a real conversation with him/her about how you feel and how introverts like yourself "work" and feel happiest.
Would highly suggest reading this book: https://www.amazon.com/Quiet-Power-Introverts-World-Talking/dp/0307352153. I think it might help you feel a little more empowered and confident in being an introvert.
Check out Susan Cain's book Quiet. If anything, it may make you feel a little more vindicated for being who you are.
With that, yes, the world is pretty well built around extroverts at the moment, but it is navigable if you have the tools. I recommend finding a therapist, not just for developing tools for your introversion, but also to maybe get some help with your social anxiety. If you can't afford one, and can't find a sliding scale one, a friend of mine with bipolar disorder highly recommended this book for developing some basic CBT therapies for navigating whatever kind of anxiety you have.
That’s awesome! I’m glad you had a good night in. Hopefully your husband understands where you’re coming from as well.
If you haven’t already, check out Quiet, by Susan Cane. . Even ADHD aside, this helped me put a lot of my introverted personality in to perspective.
Also check out this book:
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking https://www.amazon.com/dp/0307352153/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_ApQACbCDH85KV
It's a good read for understanding ourselves and hopefully help your Mom too.
And that stupid sarcastic joke: "So-and-so is being so loud over here! Haha!" I hate it.
Our society just values extrovert personality traits more than introvert traits. Check out this book if your curious about it
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking https://www.amazon.com/Quiet-Power-Introverts-World-Talking/dp/0307352153
Her book was quite informational. I’d probably recommend it to OP, even if it’s specifically about introversion— not just shyness, which we know is separate (but can have overlap). Still, it’s about how Western values shifted from praising character to personality, how work/school culture could make changes benefitting introverts, and like you said, that there are great qualities quieter people posses that should be celebrated.
Extraverts on the other hand get energized by social interaction.
(Social interaction requires a lot of processing.)
Why ? It may be related to an organism's baseline of arousal.
The idea is that extraverts may have a lower baseline arousal rate, that they enjoy raising by interacting socially.
Introverts have a high baseline level of arousal, which gets raised too far by too much social interaction.
It is thought that extraverts are the majority making up 85% of the population, and introverts 15%.
This would explain why open office plans are the norm.
Ironically introverts often self select for work that requires deep focus, and end up having to do it in open plan offices designed by extraverts who see nothing wrong with that.
This is a good book on the topic: https://www.amazon.ca/Quiet-Power-Introverts-World-Talking/d...
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
It was a paradigm shifting book for me, made me understand some people in my life in profoundly new ways, and helped me discover stuff about my own personality. It's particularly interesting to think about introversion / extroversion in terms of managing energy levels.
Assassin's Quest by Robin Hobb . Stock fantasy at its best.
Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C Clarke . Been stuck at halfway for too long, it gets boring in places.
: http://www.amazon.com/Quiet-Power-Introverts-World-Talking/d...: http://www.amazon.com/Assassins-Quest-Farseer-Trilogy-Book/d...: http://www.amazon.com/Rendezvous-Rama-Arthur-C-Clarke-ebook/...
: http://www.amazon.com/Assassins-Quest-Farseer-Trilogy-Book/d...: http://www.amazon.com/Rendezvous-Rama-Arthur-C-Clarke-ebook/...
Introversion and extroversion have nothing to do with shyness or how outgoing you are. It has to do with where you derive energy and I disagree with the author of the linked article that introverts just need to practice social interaction. As the book points out, introversion and extroversion can be determined very early in life, she mentions a study where infants who were more reactive to stimulus turned out to be introverts and infants who were chill turned out to be extroverts:
“The four-month-olds who thrashed their arms like punk rockers did so not because they were extroverts in the making, but because their little bodies reacted strongly—they were “high-reactive”—to new sights, sounds, and smells,” Cain writes. “The quiet infants were silent not because they were future introverts—just the opposite—but because they had nervous systems that were unmoved by novelty.” These “high-reactive” babies grow up to be children who need a lot of time to decompress after school, need time alone to be creative and explore. They are introverts, not anti-social, Cain explains. There is a big difference.
Aside from those I would suggest maybe reading Party of One  and/or Quiet , as they bring to light very well the fact that mainstream society unfairly and illogically looks down upon those who prefer aloneness. Being surrounded by laughing groups of sociable people has a way of making anyone not involved feel like they are missing out on something or that there is something wrong with them, when this might not be the case at all.
Props for such an honest post; and I hope you feel better soon.
  http://www.amazon.com/Quiet-Power-Introverts-World-Talking/d...
She sounds like a classic introvert. Slowness is a strength is a tenet of one of my favorite books Quiet .
I believe knowledge is power. You've fallen into the popular condonation that introversion is bad. It's not. It's just different from the norm. Around 30-40% of people are introverts. Extrovert tendencies are more numerous and visual so we assume it's "normal." Introversion is normal too.
I highly recommend the book Quiet by Susan Cain. It delves into the truth and science of introversion. Knowing why I act of feel the way I do has let me address the causes, not the symptoms. One example: introverts hate small talk, but love deeper conversation. We have trouble breaking the ice, but hold our on once the topic is "meaningful." You might trying going to places that facilitate that. Go to intimate pubs instead of crazy bars. Join a book club. Go to events for causes where you'll have a topic to discuss with others. Ask questions more than making statements. Other people like talking about themselves, and the more words they spew, the more things you'll be able to comment on.
Remember that your Facebook newsfeed is not real life. People only post the good things in their life. Since you have one place to hear it all about it, it seems like everyone is doing something cool all the time. They're not. You're doing something awesome by traveling the world. 9/10 of your Facebook friends would be jealous of your experiences. When you feel like you're missing out, ask yourself, "if I could go, would I want to?" You'll find that you would actually choose not to most of the time. How can you miss out on something you don't actually want? Art of Manliness did a article exploring this feeling.
EDIT: Now with links!