Our society is coming up with so many labels lately that it’s become difficult to keep up with them. As a result, we often confuse one label with another and sometimes, we mix the definitions of two or more labels. Sometimes, when we’re been labelled as a certain type, we limit our behaviour to that type and intentionally or unintentionally fit ourselves into the general image of that type. Also, Stereotypes often become identities of a group. Now, though stereotypes are often true, they’re not always true.
Introvert and extrovert are two of the most misunderstood labels. The stereotypical image of an introvert and an extrovert have become their identity and as a result, these stereotypical images have ended up becoming definitions of these terms.
An introvert is considered to be a person who’s shy and is not really good at small talks. Introverts are considered to be avid readers and they’re either considered to be geeks or individuals who are good at arts. Introverts are expected to be in a library or book stores or in the corner of a café. At a social gathering, an introvert is assumed to be where they’d get little or no attention.
An extrovert is considered to be confident and great at small talks. Extroverts are considered to be energetic and adventurous. Many people think that extroverts love attention. Some think that extroverts are jack of all trades, master of none. Extroverts are expected to be at social events/gatherings, pubs, and places full of people. At a social gathering, an extrovert is expected to be where he/she would get as much attention as he/she possibly could get.
Let’s keep the stereotypical images of introverts and extroverts aside for a while. An introvert likes to spend time with himself/herself; he/she prefers being alone over spending time with others. An extrovert likes to spend time with people; he/she prefers spending time with people over being alone. Everything other than this that you know about introverts and extroverts should either be forgotten or be detached from the definition of these two terms. Introverts can be confident and extroverts can be shy. An introvert can be good at small talks and an extrovert may like to read.
Now, this blog post is not merely about the actual meaning of the words introvert and extrovert. Like I said in the first paragraph of this blog post, “Sometimes, when we’re been labelled as a certain type, we limit our behaviour to that type and intentionally or unintentionally fit ourselves into the general image of that type.” I do not like to label myself as an introvert or an extrovert. I can be either of them but I’m going to be neither of the two forever. These labels may define me in a moment but they’re not going to be my permanent characteristics. Dare you call me an ambivert!
An extrovert would sometime like to be alone and spend time with himself/herself to get to know himself/herself. An introvert would have times when he/she would like being in the company of other people. Let’s not treat these labels as definite characteristics.
We humans have started putting ourselves in boxes to better understand ourselves and each other; that’s what we always do to make things comprehensible. But in the attempt of doing that, we’re limiting ourselves to certain characteristics. We’re not one thing; we’re numerous things. We’re numerous things, sometimes all at once and sometimes one thing at a time. We may be a particular label for once and we may be a particular label over and over again. What am I trying to say? Okay, let me put this in a nutshell: We’re limitless; we can be whoever we want to be.