Inverting The Bias of Introverts

extroverted vs introverted

All our lives we’ve been taught the benefits of being an extrovert. We’re told that life gives nothing to those that keeps to themselves, and continues that the outspoken and charismatic have made great strides in history. This has skewed, in more ways than one, the opinions we have towards introverts as a whole. The prefix intro-, then, shares a negative stigma due to this label…or does it? Truly, we see introverts as a less enthusiastic and enjoyable alternative to extroverts, but does that mean that the prefix intro- has to be negative? The short answer is no.

Intro- is a prefix that we need greatly. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to introduce ourselves to those we wish to befriend. Of course, introduce and introvert have nothing to do with each other. Only one, however, comes with a negative connotation. Why is that? Well, one major reason is that extroverts are much more outspoken (clearly) with their accomplishments, while introverts are content with their feats and don’t see a reason to brag. When Jonas Salk created the polio vaccine, he refused to patent it, his reason being “would you patent the sun?” This is just one example of how introverts strive for personal victories, not ones that gave them renown or fame.

We prefer the extrovert because we only know of the extrovert. The people that survive horror movies aren’t usually the shy, innocent ones, but instead the pretty, outgoing people instead. We label them as isolationists, content with books and their own thoughts instead of being part of a group. Different should not mean bad, and yet we use it to call them deviant. If deviant is generally considered a bad thing to be, then how could we use it interchangeably and expect it not to be? The sad fact is that many consider those that don’t conform to be weird. Weird is bad, and since introverts are strange, they’re bad too.

The prefix is only being given such a negative name because of how our society labels abnormality. Truly, if we want intro to be a completely positive word, we as a people can. It is not given a label my nature, and can surely change over time. Similar to how pink used to be a boy’s color, times change and so do interpretation. Just because we consider antisocial people to be strange in this timeline does not mean it must stay that way. We are not dealing with the prefix non- where it is clear that the word can only be negative…but then you have strange cases like nonviolent. Isn’t that a positive word given to a negative prefix? If so, who says that words must abide by their prefix’s bias? I say we should Invert The Bias of Introverts and come to terms that not everything can be given a label.

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