I overheard the term introvert being used negatively and incorrectly the other day. It was being used by two people that are probably introverts themselves, who were discussing that a third person could not do something because this person was an introvert. I stepped in and straightened the two out about what introversion was and what it wasn’t. I didn’t hear the original conversation with the third person, but I suspect he was using the term incorrectly as a negative as well. Overall, this interaction resulted in a good discussion.
Some great progress is being made in the understanding of introversion and the great strengths that can come from being an introvert. I still get frustrated as I hear the term “introvert” used and interpreted so differently by so many different people. I have come to understand that the root of introversion is naturally spending more time in your inner world of ideas and needing and wanting time to think about things, which also often results in needing to think before speaking. These things are internally wired, and cannot be changed. But I can have a correct understanding of how I work and how I work best. And by understanding these things about myself, I can change how I view myself, and make the most of my strengths. It is also important to remember that no two introverts are alike. There seems to be a tendency to lump all introverts together into the “quiet and shy” group when this is not the case.
I have come to embrace my introversion, and have learned to appreciate all the strengths that come with it. I believe that as we have more open conversations about what introversion means, more and more introverts will be able to see how their own introverted strengths can help them be strong.