January 28, 2023
What do you first think of when the word “introvert” comes up? A shy and quiet person? Merriam-Webster’s definition is “a person whose personality is characterized by introversion: a typically reserved or quiet person who tends to be introspective and enjoys spending time alone.” In the 1900s, a psychologist named Carl Jung was the first person to use the term “introvert,” explaining how these two personality types are sorted into how they obtain and spend energy. An introverted person may feel more comfortable being alone and dislike big crowds, prefer to write rather than talk, have few friendships but are very close with the friends they do have, dislike being the center of attention but are observant and make thoughtful decisions.
A few of my introverted friends have agreed with these statements, sharing that they dislike group discussions and are not comfortable with sharing their ideas. This does not pertain to the fact that introverts don’t speak at all, or that there is no room for growth and risk-taking. Taking risks helps a person grow and learn, and introverts are fully capable of doing so. Jack Dillion’ 26 says that “I think overall the teachers at Blake are really good and just school as an institution it does very much award [talking] directly to the classes.”
Some common misconceptions that I hear is that introverted people don’t have friends and they can’t be leaders. Many introverts I know have different levels of being one. Some have characteristics of extroverts, talking loudly and feeling completely comfortable with a group of people. Others on the more introverted side don’t talk as much but are still able to have a good relationship with others, like simple and kind actions. Introversion doesn’t mean an isolated life, but rather being comfortable with being alone. Dillon says “I think introversion is I don’t feel as much of a need [to] converse with other people as much like you’re okay with being on your own for a bit but then, you do enjoy being with your friends.”
A person can still talk and share ideas while being introverted, recharging by themselves in their own time. Dillon explains that “it’s a lot more than a simple binary, one definition that I really liked was, introverts are people who recharge on their own and spend their energy to interact with other people.” Dillon points out the fact that “if you’re an extrovert or an introvert it doesn’t mean it’s going to be that for the rest of your life or even that it’s going to be constant, [people] change and have different moods.”
The idea that introverted people can’t be leaders is false, as very successful people like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Elon Musk, Albert Einstein Emma Watson, Maryl Streep, Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela, and Abraham Lincoln are more introverted and are able to change the world with their ideas.