If you grew up as an introvert, there is no doubt that you’ve heard things like “you should speak up more” at least once in your life. According to a recent global sample done by the Myers-Briggs Company, 56.8% of people identify as introverts, but society still holds strong biases against them.
Susan Cain, the author of the 2012 book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking,” coined the term “Extrovert Ideal.” It refers to the fact that when people are asked to name an ideal person’s qualities, they always name qualities typically found in extroverts.
The Extrovert Ideal is so prevalent in our society that saying insensitive things to introverts is just a fact of life. But that’s not something that introverts should stand for or non-introverts normalize.
If introverts were saying similar things to extroverts, we wouldn’t stand for it. Here are five statements extroverts would regularly hear if the tables were turned.
1. Why are you so loud?
This question sounds rude, right? Well, it’s the same as asking an introvert why they’re so quiet. And we do that constantly.
Introverts are quiet because it’s in their nature. They’re not stuck-up, aloof, or upset with you. In all likelihood, they just had nothing to say at the time and didn’t feel the need to speak.
2. You know what they say about the loud ones.
What do they say about them? Usually, when switched to introverts, this phrase implies quiet people are quiet because they have something to hide.
To imply that introverts have malicious intent behind their quietness is offensive. Being quiet isn’t a character flaw or reason for suspiciousness.
3. Can you quiet down?
Telling someone who’s talking to be quiet would be incredibly rude. So why is it okay to tell a quiet person to speak up?
As a quiet kid, my classmates always told me, “You never talk” or “You should talk more.” But I always thought to myself, “Why?”
You don’t owe anyone your internal narrative.
If you don’t have anything to say or prefer to keep your thoughts to yourself, you’re allowed to stay silent, and no one should force you to speak.
4. You need to stay inside more!
If I got a dollar for every time someone told me I needed to get out more, I would be a rich woman.
Extroverts are rarely chastised for always going out even when it might be wiser to have a night in. But if an introvert feels drained and decides to skip a party, they’re immediately labeled as “no fun.”
We are fun — just not when surrounded by a bunch of strangers.
5. You’re talking a lot. Are you okay?
Honestly, if I’m not feeling okay, I might talk more (but that depends on the person). Yes, if someone’s going through a rough time, their instinct might be to hold it in, but that’s not everyone.
Being quiet is not necessarily an indication of a person’s emotional state. Whether you’re more outgoing and talkative or quiet and introspective, you’re still normal. There’s no incorrect way to express yourself.
Though society might not be there yet, just know that you’re perfect the way you are, whether introverted or extroverted.