The Myth of Introvert Weakness

Weak, shy, sheltered, spineless, head in the clouds, detached from ‘reality’

These are the things extroverts tend to assume about someone who does not immediately compete for attention. All such a person knows is the attention game. Anyone not playing is of course just someone who can’t play it very well. The extrovert sees people who can’t quite make it sleeping on park benches and assume they’ve encountered the same phenomenon when they meet an introvert. If they can be bothered to notice, their response is a mixture of pity and disgust.

In their view:
-One who does not speak out loudly is weak
-One who does not automatically assume they are right about everything has no spine
-One who does not attend attention conventions(social events) is sheltered.
-One who puts priority on mastering their inner selves has their head in the clouds.
-One who looks to the way society could be and recognizes that change is constant is out of touch with ‘reality.’

What we have ultimately is a rather low and contemptible individual. What we also have is a misunderstood individual.

The true introvert is in fact very strong and far more stable than the extrovert:

-There is no need to compete for validation from others by speaking loudly.
-There is the resourcefulness to consider what other views have to offer
-The ‘sheltered’ introvert builds knowledge and skills while the ‘wordly’ extrovert fritters away countless hours in idle chitchat.
-One who masters their inner self is made strong against anything that comes from without.
-One who looks to future possibilities recognizes that the present ‘reality’ is fleeting.

Extroverts readily click with their society and swim in its substance without difficulty. It makes life a lot easier.
Life is a struggle for the introvert. A struggle just to survive even as we watch the socialites thriving. We learn early that life isn’t fair, that society is inherently unjust. We expect punishment before reward. To be left alone is usually the best that can be hoped for.
Extroverts tend to deftly blind themselves to injustice(‘that’s reality’) are rather sheltered compared to introverts. Since there is no life for them outside of social status, they will follow any instructions given them by their authority figures. From the introvert perspective this seems rather spineless! Without some measure of self definition and defiance, most introverts would have been crushed long ago.

The introvert regularly deals with challenges that the extrovert simply cannot imagine. Basic social survival can never be taken for granted, only alone or with a few friends can one’s guard be relaxed. Life under the shimmering surface of society is not for weaklings.

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5 responses to “The Myth of Introvert Weakness

  1. I know that the characteristics of my introversion have led others to assume that I am a weak person. Since I am more on the reserved side and I am quiet a lot of the time people take those characteristics as signs that I can be easily manipulated and used for their amusement. And one thing I don’t like is being used for someone else’s amusement and being picked on by some obnoxious, loud, attention seeking monster of a human being. And that’s not to say that all extroverts are like that, but I have encountered one that was very much like that and she loved to torment quieter people, like some oversized bully. Extroverts who have those attention seeking characteristics tend to focus on and target more introverted individuals. They are the ones who fail to give credit to more introverted people because they think introverts are slow.
    I agree with the list that you did about how extroverts view introverts. But the funny part is that I view extroverts as being weak because of behaviors that they exhibit. So while they view me as being weak because I don’t seek attention, I view a lot of them as weak because they love attention. In my opinion, anyone who loves attention and talks a lot to get attention is a weak link and other poeple who aren’t as attention seeking will often see them as weak links as well. That’s why a lot of people who love attention are often avoided because they become an embarrasment to the very people from whom they seek attention from.
    I think one way that introverts can deal with narcissistic, selfish, judgmental extroverts is to beat them at their own game. Apply some of the very behaviors to the extroverts that they apply to introverts. They sure don’t like to see their behavior mirrored back to them.
    You have to be a mastermind to deal with some of these people because they can be quite observant and quick to point out any mistake, bad decision or unwise choice in people whom they think are weaker than they are.

  2. They see someone who:
    -Is outside of the group and is therefore a legitimate target
    -Seems passive: a perfect receptacle for their pent up tension.
    -Doesn’t act normal: don’t have to feel any guilt about aggression towards a wierdo.

    Furthermore, lots of people fight their way up through a social totem precisely so they can stomp on those below them.
    For one who is defined by society there are those who stomp and those who are stomped on. The ability to stomp on someone is confirmation that there’s someone of lesser rank.

    Finally, someone who has made it without playing the game must secretly outrage someone who has put all of their energy into reaching the top of the social heap and failed(as most people statistically must).

    I suspect that some part of them knows that having an identity founded on desperate and futile longing for status is in fact a position of weakness.

  3. Pingback: The Myth of Introvert Weakness | Neurodiversity

  4. I find I have this problem in social settings: I have demanding presence – one that is expected to lead and take charge. However, I have no such desire amongst most groups. I only wish to help those who are able to be helped; the ones far below my level of “spritual progression,” as I would describe it, are not “helpable” – by me, anyway. These individuals are closed off to what I may be able to offer, and they only want their egos stroked. And I do acknowledge this, but I am selfish and I end up stroking my own ego by not stroking theirs. I wish I knew how to open them; I used to think psychedelic substance was the answer, but I have found the experiences of extroverts tend to be very different from mine when under the influence. So I’m back to square one on opening up extroverts to a broader perspective.

    I think I am growing into an extroverted introvert, where I am slowly, but surely learning social cues and ways to manage a group situation successfully. My mental endurance for this, unfortunately, needs work, as I usually need time to retreat somewhere by myself before the group has actually dispersed. (I think meditation may help, so I will begin my routine once again). This, to the extroverts, I guess, comes off as asshole and egotistical. Usually, I’ve established rapport enough, so they don’t treat me as an entire outsider, but instead become confused and try to help. They don’t understand my NEED for alone-time, so I wonder if, in the future, explaining the differences between an extrovert and introvert mentality would help people understand.

    (I don’t expect an answer from anyone – I am aware I am blogging on this blog, Lol).

    My demanding presence may be due to my great posture and in-shape physical stature, as well as my differing ethnic background and even my acquired habit of changing tones when talking to sound very interesting (from observation of many extroverted friends). I think changing tones prevents auditory sensory adaption and forces the brain of the recipient of my message to keep listening. This habit would be neat to break, so I don’t draw so much interest, but it will probably be helpful for me in society so I’ll keep it.

    I have a question for those who have progressed to a state of inner mastery, where they project a sense of calm and composed wherever they go. Do you find this attracts the attention/interest of more people than ever before?

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