Flash Fiction, Introverts, Microfiction

Value Introverts–Don’t Try to Change Them!

"Introverts Need to Be Valued...Not Changed" (plus microfiction) by Brenna Pierson


She was an introvert and had heard that she needed to be more “out there” one too many times. So she hiked the hill and thought, I am now “out there.”


Do introverts really need to be more X, Y or Z? Not really.

These days, there is a lot more awareness about what it means to be an introvert. No longer is an introvert just labeled as someone who’s “quiet” (though that’s still a part of the stereotype sometimes for those who are not totally aware of what it means to be an introvert).

Amongst all the awareness, though, a comment on a forum once asked, “Can we stop with the introvert stuff already?”

You know what the answer is? Sure—but first, three things have to happen.

Society needs to stop automatically valuing extroverts over introverts. Some people may claim that this doesn’t happen anymore—but it absolutely does. Once when talking about the Myers-Briggs test, a co-worker said to someone else, “Oh, you don’t want to be an introvert.” Why? Is it evil? Does it hurt other people? Start wars? What? The last everyone checked, being introverted itself doesn’t actually cause any harm.

Introverts need to stop being donned with stereotypical labels. “Quiet” is the obvious one here, but there are others. Similarly, introverts are often told they need to be more “out there.” Why? See #1 above. There’s really no other explanation.

Along the same lines, it does no good to announce to introverts something like “You’re quiet.” That comment has about as much of a point as saying, “You have brown hair” for no particular reason. Usually, when one points out someone’s characteristics, it’s a compliment, insult or has some other point. Apparently, introverts attract pointless comments more than other people.

Extroverts should not automatically get promotions over introverts. This does not happen 100% of the time—there are introverts who are lucky enough to have their skills and capabilities are recognized. However, we all know situations where an introvert does a better job than the extrovert—and guess who gets the promotion? Again, it all goes back to #1 above.

So yes, we absolutely can stop pointing out that introverts should be understood—once that actually happens.


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