Normalize Introversion! Stop Conflating Introversion with Shyness

Introverts have been stigmatized as the “lesser-functioning” people of the Western world. While society has held extroversion as a more preferable asset to have, a majority of people preconceive introverts to be “shy,” “quiet” and even “anti-social.”


Just because someone is an introvert, it does not mean that we dislike talking to people. Introverts just have a selective group of people who we prefer to talk to.

Introversion and being anti-social are two completely different things. One: introverts, again, do socialize. Introverts don’t socialize all the time, as desire for human and social interaction vary significantly. 

While being antisocial is a disposition, it has also been conventionally described as a symptom that can be associated with multiple personality and psychotic disorders. It has an undertone of sanism, which is a form of discrimination and oppression toward people with mental conditions. It is problematic because conflating those who identify as neurodivergent with introversion and anti-social behavior together, dismisses a large group of people. It is a common misconceived and ignorant claim on what defines introversion.

If one is looking to describe someone who is opposed to social interaction, the word they’re looking for is asocial. So, here are the differences between the three words:

Asocial (adj.) — avoiding social interaction; inconsiderate of or hostile to others. 

Antisocial (adj.) — contrary to the laws and customs of society; devoid of or antagonistic to sociable instincts or practices. 

Introvert (n.) — a person predominantly concerned with their own thoughts and feelings rather than with external things.

Also, refrain from conflating introverts as a monolith of disposition by assuming that we all think and function the same way. Even though a majority of introverts prefer to indulge in their thoughts and need to recover for a day or two after hanging out with a group of our friends, some of us have slightly differing preferences as to how many times we socialize with people and how much time we choose to spend with ourselves.

Unlike extroverts, depending on what type of introvert one is, it takes a bit more time for them to build a strong connection with someone. Many icons who have been a part of history are introverts:

Malcolm X, Marshall Mathers, Susan Cain, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Isabel Briggs Myers, Nasir Jones, Virginia Woolf, Albert Camus, Soren Kierkegaard, Lonnie Lynn Jr., Noam Chomsky, Martin Luther King Jr., Simone de Beauvoir and the list goes on.

#IntrovertsUnite #IntroversionPower #EndIntrovertStigmatization