By in Relationships

Introverts Wrongly Accused of Bad Communication Skills

I am an inveterate talker. Yes, I have gotten into a habit of talking excessively when I am around those who are not as communicative as I am.

I am also an extrovert, as defined by many psychological typology tests. For those who are familiar with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), I am an ENFP.

Being extroverted does not mean that we (who are extroverts) are good communicators. Often some of us talk too much because we may feel the need to "rescue" those who do not talk much. We often are not good listeners, because we can be uncomfortable with quiet and being alone, as that is not how we get our energy.

Conversely, being an introverted personality type does not mean a lack of or poor communication skills. It simply means that introverts energize through more reflection and observation, rather than bouncing ideas off of people. Constant interaction exhausts them.

One of the best TED Talks I have heard is from author and speaker Susan Cain. In The Power of Introverts Cain speaks of her life as an introvert, as she speaks to her audience. (This talk is about 18 minutes long and I highly recommend that all introverts and extroverts listen now, before you finish and comment.)

Each of us needs to be comfortable with who we are and how we operate, as well as how we see others in our world.

Perhaps, Cain's talk will be the beginning.

(For more from Susan Cain, visit her website:

© Coral Levang, 2015

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Image Credit » by leovalente

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CoralLevang wrote on April 4, 2015, 2:18 PM

Exactly. I am working on one about extroverts now, too, as I was not comfortable with being who I am. Thanks for stopping by!

Pogonotomy wrote on April 4, 2015, 2:58 PM

Well said!!! I am more introverted than extroverted, but I don't think it necessarily means I'm poor at communicating. Actually when I talk to people on the phone or am comfortable with saying something, I am told that I am quite social. Sometimes I'm just more comfortable quietly observing :)

CoralLevang wrote on April 4, 2015, 3:08 PM

Thank you for stopping in and commenting.
I think that we all fall under criticism for who we are. We extroverts are seen in certain lights that are not very flattering, either.

It's good to see ourselves as perfectly imperfect...all of us.

alexdg1 wrote on April 4, 2015, 4:23 PM

I'm definitely an introvert. I'm an efficient communicator with the written word, but I am not a great conversationalist. I often wish I could talk the way I write.

Kasman wrote on April 4, 2015, 4:31 PM

Susan's main point seems to be that we are all equally valuable and equally necessary to society, yet that very society appears to rate one higher than the other! We should all take note of what is in our suitcase and occasionally share it with the world but will that world listen? Given that our society is the 'cult of the celebrity' I doubt that it will.
PS: I go to the wilderness as often as possible - in a literal manner although I think Susan meant it in allegory.

Bobbydem wrote on April 4, 2015, 10:19 PM

Some of us introverts are great communicators. The main thing to remember about an introvert is that they can be sociable, they just need time alone to recharge whereas the extroverts need to mix with people to recharge.

scheng1 wrote on April 5, 2015, 1:44 AM

If we are holding important official position, we will be very careful with our speech.

jiangliu1949 wrote on April 5, 2015, 5:06 AM

Extroverts may well be praised ,because they tend to break the ice by engaging others in conversation .

CoralLevang wrote on April 5, 2015, 10:44 AM

I suspect that you are better with conversation than you think you might be. If you were one-on-one with someone who had similar interests, or you had someone (an extrovert) who knew how to ask you questions to get you to open up, I don't think you would have a problem, once past the awkwardness of first meeting.

CoralLevang wrote on April 5, 2015, 10:47 AM

Society rates extroversion over introversion as more valued. Likewise, it rates linear-concrete thinking higher, because it gets the job done, so in some systems/company culture, the extrovert who tends to be more abstract-random, perhaps, is seen as flighty and unfocused. We try to turn people into something they are not.

I find myself going to the woods for hikes by myself a lot lately.

CoralLevang wrote on April 5, 2015, 10:48 AM

Exactly! And some of us extroverts can be quiet and need to be alone sometimes. emoticon :winking:

CoralLevang wrote on April 5, 2015, 10:50 AM

Not all are, but there is a price to pay for telling like it is, just as there is a price for not speaking up.

CoralLevang wrote on April 5, 2015, 10:51 AM

Some would see the extrovert as being too nosy.

We should praise all people for what they bring into the relationships we have.

alexdg1 wrote on April 5, 2015, 3:25 PM

Perhaps. It's been ages since I've been in a situation where my skills as a conversationalist have been called upon.

CoralLevang wrote on April 5, 2015, 3:39 PM

Perhaps, it is time to change that. Telephones have been invented, you know. emoticon :winking:

alexdg1 wrote on April 5, 2015, 3:52 PM

Oddly, I am at my worst on the telephone! When I was younger and landline phones were the main form of reaching out and touching someone, I was pretty good at chit chat over the phone.

I think I need to get out more and meet new people, or hang out with friends with far more frequency than I do now.

jiangliu1949 wrote on April 6, 2015, 4:59 AM

I simply can't imagine what the world is like if there are only the introverts.

CoralLevang wrote on April 6, 2015, 6:07 AM

It would be more quiet. LOL

jiangliu1949 wrote on April 6, 2015, 7:23 AM

I agree with you !

PriscillaKing wrote on April 6, 2015, 2:36 PM

I don't even remember my Myers-Briggs initials because I seem to be pretty well balanced between the other polarities, but I'm definitely an introvert, and I appreciate your learning about these things.

GemOfAGirl wrote on April 28, 2015, 9:47 AM

I'm actually quite shy and a bit of an introvert, but people tend to laugh at me when I tell them that. Perhaps its because, for many, many years now, I've used humor as a way of covering that up and I use that to present a more interactive face to the world. I'm sure people think that I'm actually telling a joke. And I'm OK with that. I'm much less shy in my writing, so it's all good.