Introversion: NOT a mental illness

In Lifestyle on September 2, 2011 at 4:31 pm

I have been comforted of late.  The blogosphere confirmed that Mrs. Phyne Dyner and I are not the world’s only introverts.  It turns out…

I'm an introvert and that's okay!

…there are LOTS of us.  Look how many blogs deal with the subject of introversion.

It is widely known in the extrovert community that we should get no respect, we are at risk for becoming unapprehended criminals (How many times have you heard, “Neighbors say the suspected mass murderer was quiet and stayed to himself”?), and we are “just shy”.

None of this is true, given our recently revealed large numbers and it is merely a libel spread by (pathological) extroverts.  We are not “shy”.  If we collate your personal characteristics and determine we can have a mutually beneficial relationship with you, then we will open up.  If we do not, or even fail to acknowledge your presence, it means we have determined any potential relationship with you will be pointless.

Extroverts are characterized by a pathological need to be accompanied everywhere by a juggler and dancing bears.  An extrovert will prefer an Saturday afternoon at Chuck E. Cheese to being alone.  We introverts are self-actualized and can have a party in an empty room.

Image: Woondu

In fact, we find real parties to be annoying and noisy.  The reason introverts are stereotyped as violently antisocial is because extroverts persist in goading us into singing karaoke and playing Pictionary at their parties.

Even quiet people have breaking points.  Karaoke and party games cross our line.  We like solitary confinement in a prison and see bashing the heads of people shoving microphones in our

Force introverts to play Pictionary at your peril.

face as the express lane into introvert Nirvana.  Stand us up in front a room full of extroverts with a big piece of paper and an oversized Magic Marker and you will probably walk funny for the rest of the evening.

Extroverts think they can fix us by forcing us to associate with their extroverted friends.  This thinking is as flawed as the myth that a gay man “just hasn’t slept with the right woman yet”.  We do not try to fix extroverts by putting them in a sensory deprivation room.

Do your extroverted friends a favor by not introducing them to introverts.  Such attempts usually fail and the extrovert friend walks away thinking there is something wrong with them.  This is especially true of introverted family members.  Extroverts wrongly assume that family members of extroverts are also extroverts.  When we fail to don a lampshade and dance with a broomstick for them, they get very uncomfortable.

Extroverts are very insecure about rejection by anyone, even being ignored by an introvert causes psychological damage.

Mrs. Phyne Dyner and I rarely argue.  This is because an entire weekend can pass without us speaking to each other.  No, we do not play “smoochie games” with pet names.  We said, “I love you” at the wedding, if that emotion ever changes each will advise the other via an email or a sticky note on the bathroom mirror.  Until then, we assume it’s all good.

Besides, most spousal arguments end with the male sleeping on the couch.  This is not punishment for an introverted male.  It simply means we get to stretch out and we get all of the blanket.

I suppose I should not have been surprised at learning there were so many other introverts in the world.

After all, we are introverts and tend not to reach out.  Therefore, my surprise was as genuine as that of an eagle looking over its shoulder and seeing an iguana flying behind.

Our brain is fine...thank you!

Introversion is not a pathology requiring diagnosis.  Tests, like the Meyers-Briggs Personality Inventory, were designed by extroverts using extroversion as a norm.   The test is a bit like forcing a left-hander to throw with his right hand and labeling him “crippled” if his throw is inaccurate or lacks power.

We introverts are all lefties living in a right-handed world.  In the dark ages of man, teachers whacked lefties with rulers in an effort to correct the left-handed “pathology”.  In fact, sinister behavior referred entirely to antisocial conduct connected to left-handedness.  Oddly enough, when the teachers quit whacking lefties, the anti-social conduct disappeared.

It appears the whacking was the cause.  When the extroverts quit whacking the introverts, our behavior will improve.

If there is any truism in the extrovert-introvert dichotomy, it is the fact that we find extroverts every bit as “abnormal” as they find us.

Go figure.


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