One of the hard things about being an introvert is trying to make people understand what it really means. In a recent interview at Someday Syndrome, I identified myself as being an introvert, and someone who only knows me online (with the exception of one telephone conversation) expressed surprise, because apparently I “have a wonderfully outgoing personality.”
I couldn’t really take offense when what she said was such a compliment, but the reality is that introverts are typically perceived as shy, snobbish, or anti-social. Although there are introverts who can accurately be described using one or more of these terms (including some who even describe themselves that way), I don’t think any of those words applies to me. In fact, I am quite outgoing in some situations, but no matter what quiz or personality test I take, it’s quite clear that I am in fact an introvert. I explained to my online friend that I’m not the shy kind of introvert, but am more focused on my thoughts than the outer world, and prefer to meet people one-on-one than in large groups.
Last week as I was working on a crossword puzzle (a popular activity for introverts, I’m sure), one of the clues was “Introverted?” I immediately got my back up, expecting the answer to reflect an inaccurate, if not derogatory, stereotype. As I began to fill out the intersecting words, I was delighted to see that the answer was in fact DRAWNINWARD. I wonder if it’s safe to assume that Frank A. Longo, who constructed the puzzle, is an introvert?