A list some of the most frustrating comments and assumptions I have come across regarding my reserved behavior:
1. We need come out of our “shells”.
No, we don’t. Stop telling us what to do.
2. We are stuck up.
Just because we don’t not talk much doesn’t mean we think we are better than everybody. Why do you care so much for our approval, anyway?
3. We are dead inside.
Just because we don’t openly express our thoughts and emotions doesn’t mean we don’t have them. People have actually asked me why I don’t get happy and excited about stuff. (Because you don’t make me particularly happy or excited..) I remember one time mentioning to an acquaintance that I was really depressed during my mother’s illness. Her answer? “Really?! You don’t seem like the type who would get depressed.”
4. We are the only ones lacking in social grace.
Extroverts traditionally get a lot of credit for being outgoing, social butterflies. However, I know many extroverts with bad manners. They text while another person is speaking to them. When they do put down the phone to speak, they mainly talk about themselves. Many of them gossip and make insensitive comments about others. In other words, those who are outgoing and talkative can be just as offensive as those who don’t talk enough.
I want to clarify that I am aware that shyness and introversion are not the same. However, they have overlapping behavioral traits that many people are biased against.