I’ll admit, the whole “introvert vs. extrovert” thing is something that I once found useful. Habitually shunning human contact in favor of books or video games tends to lead to all sorts of unpleasant labels like “loner,” “shy,” or “recluse.” People never used “misanthrope,” but they should have, because it’s a badass word.
I found it freeing when there was this zeitgeist online to redefine my behavior: I’m not a hermit, I’m an introvert! You’ve probably read it before, but here’s what the meme ended up being:
- While extroverts gain energy from social interaction, introverts gain energy from alone time.
- Introverts enjoy other people, but they lose energy when they interact.
- You should feel grateful when an introvert spends her/his energy on you.
- Challenging an introvert’s need for alone time is worse than the Chernobyl disaster.
Behold My Shiny New Label!
While the concept of introversion isn’t new, this idea of introvert-as-superhero is. It’s a reframing of something that was once negative, turning it into a badge of honor for those who choose to sacrifice their limited “energy” resources for the sake of their friends and loved ones. Suddenly, it was hip to be square.