Introverts Have “No Personality”

Introverts

There are downsides to being a hermit hidden in the cave of your own mind.

Namely, that people, and, frankly, usually extroverted people, find you boring.

I can’t express how much this sense of my own dullness has worn down my self-esteem over the years. No matter how much I tell myself I do not care what other people think of me, deep down, I do care. A little bit.

I don’t mind the fact that people gravitate towards extroverts in social situations; I mean, that just leaves more breathing room for us to hide in a corner and whip out a book. What I mind is the fact that introverts are written off has having no personality, just a bland cardboard cut-out of a person strutting among real blood-and-flesh humans.

Am I the only one who has noticed this?

I used to feel a sinking feeling inside my chest every time I talked to someone while hanging out with an extroverted group of friends; because while they would dazzle the newcomer, I’d be standing to one side, feeling like the congealed food at the buffet that no-one wants to touch, just, you know, standing there, with a raincloud over my head, staring down at the metaphysical puddle of rejection pooling about my shoes. It’s an icky feeling. It makes you feel unappealing. It makes you feel a bit worthless.

It’s like if I’m not charismatic and talkative and bright as a firework, I’m nobody.

It’s definitely got something to do with the extrovert ideal salivated over by our society. Look on television, and all you see are bright and vibrant personalities, who chat freely and an express their sense of humor and wonderfulness in front of millions of people. I get that. People like stimulating people, and it’s easier to be stimulated by someone chatty rather than someone who talks quietly and seriously and avoids looking at the camera.

But that doesn’t mean introverts are boring. It just doesn’t. It’s like personalitial (it’s word now, yes) discrimination. It’s like saying all Asians are good at math (Side note, as an Asian-Australian myself, I am living proof of the erroneous nature of this statement. Mhm). You get what I mean? You’re generalizing an entire group of people, assuming they all have a particular quality, when we’re individuals. We’re not a homogenous group of silent sentinels, dull as a brick, or a wall of bricks. We’re individuals, do you hear me?

I’m sure some introverts are boring. There are boring people of all shades, of all nationalities, of all races, of all genders, of all sexualities, of all personalities. But just because we’re a little more reserved than your average Jane giggling with the boys, doesn’t mean we’re boring. It doesn’t mean we don’t have a personality. We just need a bit more teasing and coaxing and time for us to get comfortable with you, and for our own unique personalities to bubble to the surface.

Then again, what constitutes having “no personality”? I mean, that’s a rather subjective statement, isn’t it? It almost seems to suggest that having a personality means to be extroverted, doesn’t it? Well, that’s wrong. That’s messed up. It’s like saying the word “beauty” is synonymous to being white. Deliberate but subtle exclusion through the words we use that permeate our everyday lives and subconsciously embed certain concepts of the world in our heads. You’d be surprised at the power of language, and of what you see or hear constantly, through the media, among your social circles. We are absorbent creatures.

You know what? Seeing as we can’t change the mindset of society, my fellow introverts, let’s just leave this post with a secret flutter of joy in our hearts. Let’s think about it this way. We’re like the jewels at the bottom of the chest. The phoenix bird underneath the pile of pigeons. It takes work for people to break through our barriers and discover our personalities. Maybe the reason people say we don’t have personalities is because we’re so reserved, initially, though being reserved technically is a personality trait.

We’re not easy to get to know. But for the people who try – and they’re the only people who worth our time, anyway – once they dig through the layers, go hunting a bit, put in the effort, they can often discover something quite wonderful. I know that. Well, I don’t know if my personality is anything special, but I know that there are millions of introverts out there with beautiful hidden personalities, strange quirky sense of humors, sweet oddities and mannerisms. Even though I’m an introvert myself, I find lots of introverts downright adorable.

So, yeah,  we do have a personality. But it’s up to you to put in the effort to get to know us, and discover that personality rather than brushing us off as being boring. We don’t deliver ourselves on a platter, eyeballs arranged tastefully next to hands, with a side dressing of hair, for you to tuck in (This concept is getting weird, fast. Just like to say that I do not, under any circumstances, condone cannibalism). We don’t come ready-made. You’ve got to assemble the phrenological components yourself, read the manual. You’ve got to cook and carve your own pig. And you know what?

We’re worth it. We really are.

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10 thoughts on “Introverts Have “No Personality”

  1. Sorry I havent commented for a while but I do read it. Everytime I read your postings I feel like we must be related somehow (even though I am on the wrong side planet in the USA). I think I am going to start blogging again. I used to blog extensively but I stopped. Got too political and full of religious confliction (as in I have my beliefs but struggle greatly due to what religious people are like). Anyway, I may sound nuts. I think I identify the most with you about introversion and social stuff.

    I do not agree about love (well not completely) because I did find a wife who is somewhere between Introvert and Extrovert on that scale. We met online. In person I would have never talked to her probably being so introverted.

    Anyway, I always felt like I had to be a fake person at work and around people. One nice thing is at my job now (IT in a basement and not desktop support), I rarely deal with people. If i do, it is usally by email. I just hang out in the basement and keep computers running. My coworkers are mostly introverts too so its not a real social office.

    Small talk is a special level of hell.

    • I fake it as well. Like you said, I just have to. But I hate it. A lot. And yes, small talk burns the years off my life. That’s how it feels like most of the time. You know, the majority of the population, and their pleasures and hopes and dreams, are quite baffling.

    • It is okay. I know it is. Acceptance is tricky though; sometimes, you just go out into the world and they throw tomatoes at you and you just think to yourself, “Oh heck, they hate me, I’m worthless.” Maybe we should practice catching the flung fruit, and eating it with a grin on our faces. You know, thanks for the free food. If you reject me, more time to ponder and create.

  2. It is the extrovert who says, “Make yourself more outgoing, be more extroverted, be more like us.” They have a great need to assimilate. I say…why? I do not want to be like them. I know who I am, an introvert, and would rather focus on developing that person instead of fumbling to be something I am not.

  3. This is a great post. My most prevalent thought after reading it is that if there is anyone in the world thinks that you are boring or void of personality, obviously hasn’t taken the time to get to know you very well or hasn’t read your wonderful, thought provoking writings. Maybe the fault lies with those who think otherwise. After spending a while on your site, I’d have no problem concluding that you’re a very unique, emotionally blessed human being that writes beautifully. Thanks for sharing with us.

    • Oh, goodness, thank you, but you are praising me to a degree I do not deserve! But if I have helped you in any way, however miniscule, peeled back a corner of the universe perhaps, or made you feel even the slightest bit less alone, then I am glad. You are so, so kind. So kind I could cry. That’s one of the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me, even though I cannot fully accept the compliment. Thank you for reading.

      • Oh wow, youre so humble, its cute ^_^

        I dont know about anyone else, but i find shyness and introversion extremely attractive
        Cant think of anything more attractive actually, its just so cute

        Well exept in myself, i hate it that im introverted
        Its a huge obstacle for me along with my intrests to find anything even remotely resembling a functioning love life
        I never go out, always sitting alone listening to music, gaming, watching a movie, or programming

        People often call me weird or different(well i guess i am, rarely find someone i share intrests with), they call me timid, oh well

  4. Look, just because your dumbass doesn’t have a personality doesn’t mean no body else has one as an introvert. I’m an introvert and I actually have a personality. Speak for yourself, not for everyone else. Going around and saying that “Oh look, I don’t have a personality because I’m introverted, so that must mean that every introvert has no personality”. That’s not how it works at all.

    • I completely agree with you—I wasn’t saying introverts literally have no personality, but that our personalities are more subdued, leading to the impression that we have “no personality”. Please try not to use offensive remarks such as “dumbass”,as they can be hurtful. Thank you.

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