Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Introverts = oppressed?

I saw this originally posted here, original here, and was a little surprised that it is so popular? The accept-me-as-I-am introvert movement has gotten pretty big, and I think it's great that people are realizing that just because someone appears to be pretty antisocial does not mean that they think less of other people or wish them ill. Unless, they do? Because the below illustration and accompanying text sort of makes it seem like introverts could do without most people. Not only does the illustration include a lot of specious claims and outrageous generalizations, there is also a lot of stereotyping of other types of people.

But here are some of the more bizarre claims of this particular introvert:

  • "introverted people make their own energy and, rather than taking it from others, give it on social contact." They make it? How? By eating? Glucose rich foods? And it's odd, apparently extroverts do not make their own energy? They're essentially parasites?
  • "they tend to see extroverts as obnoxious predators" Ok, yes, non-introverts are not just parasites but predators.
  • "interaction . . . is expensive and they don't want to spend it on something annoying (read: wasteful)" I guess most people are not worth the introvert's time...
  • There's also a list at the end of how exactly to approve of the introvert while not wasting their time. Good to know.

I see this all of the time -- people preaching for tolerance for one group (their group?) while simultaneously putting down another. I think that's what a lot of people assume that I am doing by promoting greater awareness and acceptance of sociopaths, but I don't think sociopaths are better than other people. First of all, there is no legitimate criteria with which anyone could make such a statement (although it seems like most people would disagree with this statement -- I often hear people's assessment that sociopaths are human garbage and should be disposed of). Second of all, how could I possibly determine the worth of a human being whom I will never come to know fully (I don't even know myself fully). I

'm aware that this is apparently a very rare characteristic to have -- not judging people's worth. It's so foreign a concept to some of you that you will not believe me when I say it is true about me. Why? Because you do this, you assume everyone else must too? This assumption to me is a testament of the prevalence among the empath community of an implicit (or explicit?) valuation and hierarchy of the worth of individual humans. Is this why it's so easy to convince the masses that certain people are scum and not worthy of empathy or common decency?)

So everyone hug an introvert (also realize that you are energy sucking predators). 


  1. Pervasive human resistance to adaptation which requires intentional restructuring of emotional interpretation of stimuli.

    In economic terms, people with emotion X, want to export the cost of change onto others. This justification allows the individual to be lazy and avoid the discipline of adaptation, while blaming others for his state rather than himself.

    For the more Solipsistic females in the world, I can grasp it, since their emotional intensity seems to render them cognitively impaired. But for most of us, it's just pitiful justification of laziness.

    The failure of our civilization to retain norms suppressing this behavior, especially in the states, or in any country, is directly proportional to the activism of feminists. Postmodernists are anti-rationalists. Totalitarian humanists are anti-realists. Together they have given vent to self deception.

    Just how it is.

  2. You cannot compare introverts/extroverts and psychopaths. The reason people judge psychopaths to be scum of the earth is manifold: 1) They glom off everyone else and leave them depleted physically, materially and spiritually 2) Often - not in all cases I'll grant you - they deliberately set out to hurt people.

    Extroverts may get a charge from being around people but they don't set out to harm them, and don't leave them feeling like shit.

    1. You do realise that there are different types/subtypes of extroverts right?

  3. Most of the introverts I know (including myself) wish they could
    be a little more extrovertish. Most of societys tangable rewards
    go to the extrovert.
    The difference between the introvert and the extrovert is that the
    14 year old introvert in Massachuetts had to kill his teacher to
    "posess" her. A 14 year old extrovert will either have an active sex
    life so he doesn't have morbid fantasies about his teacher or the
    social acumen to actually bed her in a legitimate way.

    1. This is Exhibit A of the deeper pattern of group judgments like the ones about introversion:

      Members of a certain group (that control the dialogue) inherit the social currency. Taken in small pieces, it seems like ME's post is about blatant self-promotion for "extroverts" to feel good about. But it's part of a larger dynamic, one that you often find underlying what appears to be petty narcissism.

      As a result of these assumptions, certain groups receive control of their history and how they're perceived, both by their own members and others. As the post above pretty much (inadvertently) points out, 'extroversion' is a paper tiger that people buy into, or are often dropped into as a result of how they're raised, their social circumstances, and their skills.

      The post I'm responding to asserts that extroverts get laid more than introverts because they're more equipped to navigate society's "game" of risk and reward. It also asserts that introverts are more likely to go crazy because they can't handle "their feelings" and society punishes them for it. Is that true?

      Not by itself, nah. But people think it is, so that's what happens in practice. Introverts get demonized by the majority for being weird, and everyone strives to be extroverts to get laid.

      From here on I'm using 'get laid' as a metaphor for receiving social currency, because it's pretty much the penultimate expression of the concept. But the reason for the gap between introverts and extroverts is pretty much that it's a wholly made-up spectrum with only anecdotal evidence that completely favors the extrovert in the sense of social dialogue. The introvert/extrovert divide is often construed as evidence and justification for certain obnoxious, extroverted behaviors, and also as a blame mechanism. People structure their entire lives around it (as evidenced by some of the philosophers on this comment thread, eyuch) and despite that it's pretty much totally arbitrary.

      Extroverts are more likely to get laid because people that self-describe as extroverts recognize and reward other extroverts. Inherently, people /want to be extroverts/ just by the way that the spectrum is constructed. So you get a situation wherein people, recognizing patterns in others that they describe within themselves, are more likely to gravitate to those people, and as a result the extroverts tend to self-congratulate by rewarding others like them for their behaviors, thereby continuing to find justification for their own.

      And it's as simple as that. Our society is set up with a lot of gatekeepers that control your success, from teachers to employers to more subtle social dynamics in friends and family. And those gatekeepers often see themselves as extroverts, so they reward extroverts more often regardless of what would be the 'objectively' better decision for their long term success.

      And that's why the myth that extroverts get mad poon while introverts are sad virgins hiding in their basements persists. The sheer simplicity and stupidity of the myth is what feeds its continued existence, because it doesn't take a genius to buy into it and see how it could apply to their own life. And on some unconscious level, people realize that buying in is more likely to make them successful, because they see other people rewarded according to it.

  4. Energy is infinite. No one can rob you of energy, but what ends up happening is that introverts feel drained by being around people because they feel they have to be more extroverted to fit in; they try harder and so forth. This obviously wears them out and they feel the extroverts have drained them. This happened to me yesterday. I had to go out to lunch with coworkers. I hate it every time a lunch is called. It's uncomfortable and puts a real strain on me as I don't have anything much in common with the rest. I know how to fit in, but it's not fun. I'm an introvert and an INTP in the Myers-Briggs. Most days I want to be left alone. I have to try extra hard to give a shit. Am I a sociopath? I don't wish harm on others, but every time they call for a meeting, a lunch or a get together, I wish for something to happen to cancel the damn thing. So, this is the natural me... As I've said here before, I believe we can choose to be different than we are. At least when it comes to the bad stuff. Being an introvert isn't bad, though, but it's not useful in the work place. Once people know me, they love me, but rarely does anyone get that chance.

    Sociopath 506

    1. Are you sustained by inner resources or narcissistic supply? This seems to be the question at the heart of what appears to be introverted self righteousness.

      If only life were that simple. Feeling superior to others who walk a different path than you is its own sort of narcissistic supply. Isolated misanthropes may like to believe that they do not need people, but they are delusional if they do not recognize that they exist in a world where we are interdependent upon others. Most introverts are associated with at least one extrovert who acts as ambassador to the outside world. While it is true that the introvert is not "needy" in terms of seeking the attention of new acquaintances, that same introvert often places very large demands on the extrovert he/she relies upon while feeling superior to.

      There's nothing wrong with being an extrovert or an introvert. What's problematic is the self righteousness of seeking to prove your way is morally superior.

    2. It's easy to fit in. Just pretend that you're really stupid, people love that.

    3. Mach - did the poster ever say he felt "superior" to others? I think not. Straw man there, careful. This is where flawed prejudgment comes into play. Many people that identify as being introverts (such as myself) in the US of A, do not feel that we are any better/superior than others/extroverts. We accept others as they; the issue is, some persons (such as yourself) use a logic of: if a person does not "fit in" with me & my group, they therefore feel they are superior. This is utterly flawed. And I do not feel I am any better or worse than you, Sir/Madam Mach...

  5. Bellum omnium contra omnes

  6. In your first paragraph, you use the term "antisocial", but I think the term used should actually be "asocial", which indicates lack of socializing/interpersonal contact. We should avoid using the terms interchangeably, as "antisocial" has a very different meaning.

  7. Introvert here (though not to the extent of this writer). Definitely don't wanna be hugged by an energy parasite....

    Although it is clumsily explained and in a way that tars other groups of people, there is something to the 1st point. It is said that introverts lose energy (i.e. become tired) while being around others and recuperate it through time spent alone, whereas extroverts find human contact so enjoyable that their become more energetic the longer they spend with others. Obviously, it's purely psychological so there's no question of extroverts 'stealing' the energy of introverts, that's just paranoia.

    I perhaps share M.E.'s disdain for the idea that people's worth can be judged by individuals objectively, although I'll freely admit that there are people with whom I don't deem it worthwhile spending time but doesn't everybody?

  8. Of course. Doesn't matter where you fall on the spectrum, no one likes everyone.

  9. If you want to see" human garbage" just go on twitter and you can see that having any aberrant thought or unpopular opinion insights mob mentality instantly. I am sure that most of the users are not sociopaths but behave worse a Salem witch hunt. lisa

  10. Since a few may possibly completely wrong employ your bank card details putting an individual shaadi inside of trouble. It is almost always good to find self-assurance gradually so that you will never obtain fooled.

  11. Power comes from the ability to empower.

  12. I don't know miss Thomas, I think you took that article too seriously when its just trying to explain things in a funny way.

  13. I see this all of the time -- people preaching for tolerance for one group (their group?) while simultaneously putting down another. Well remember this? - "Narcissists think they think and feel the same as other people (just better) and are consequently less able to alter their behavior, even if it would be in their best interest -- just another reason why sociopaths are better than narcissists." Learn to take everything with a pinch of salt.


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