Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Introverts not well understood, not that they really care


September 23, 2014


QCS Managing Editor

It seems that lately, on Facebook at least, introverts like me are standing up for themselves, but I wonder why my fellow introverts feel they have to get militant.

Introverts are people who light up with stuff from their own heads. Extraverts light up with what they get from other people. Extraverts outnumber us two to one, but there’s nothing wrong with being either. Introverts often come up with ideas alone. Extraverts get together and make them work.

I didn’t know that introverts were being oppressed and misunderstood, though, not that I cared that much. If I watch “Meet the Press” followed by “Family Guy,” nobody seems to be stopping me and why I would do that is between me and myself.

There are some things you should know about introverts, though.

We aren’t necessarily shy. We initiate conversations, but not usually small talk. We do stand-up comedy, deliver motivational speeches and perform music in front of audiences. We can even be reporters. Even as an introvert, I will brazenly stick a camera in your face, then badger you with pointed questions. We do, however, require time alone.

Also, we will run things through our own filters rather than rely on approval from others.

For example, let’s say someone says that wall should be painted in a shade of magenta.

An extravert is going to consult with everybody before announcing an opinion on the matter.

An introvert will imagine the magenta against the furniture, then consult a color chart. If asked, the introvert is likely to issue an opinion and defend it but may not care what the decision is in the end.

A lady I know recently put a pro-introvert item on Facebook to the effect of “I need my alone time for your protection.” I responded to the effect of “Introverts should unite, but we are, after all, introverts.” It then occurred to me that I would never have pegged this lady as an introvert. She’s always seeking people out and is always eager to talk. I also remembered, however, that she reads widely and her thoughts are her own.

An introvert and an extravert can go to the same party, talk to the same number of people, and even enjoy the gathering. When the party’s over, though, the extavert wants to find another party. The introvert needs to recover alone, maybe with a book or the tube.

On the website of the Myers Briggs test, which, among other things, distinguishes introverts from extraverts, it says, “Everyone spends some time extraverting and some time introverting,” to which I’ll add it’s sometimes hard to tell which is which.

Steve Hansen is the managing editor at the Quay County Sun. He can be reached at shansen



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