. But at the same time, they are probably among the most genuine folks you’ll meet, and there are good reasons for that. In our society of all-consuming fakeness, introverts often feel like misfits and outsiders. For many people today, a natural desire to make a good impression on others has turned into an obsessive need to be liked by everyone. And to fulfill this need, they lie and pretend to be someone else both online and in real life. An introvert won’t adopt these behaviors just because everyone else does. Let’s explore a few reasons why the quiet ones are authentic people. Let’s turn to neurobiology for a moment. According to Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D. and her book “The Introvert Advantage: How Quiet People Can Thrive in an Extrovert World”, introverts tend to rely on the parasympathetic nervous system. This side of the human nervous system is linked to the so-called “rest-and-digest” response, which triggers digestion, regeneration, and energy conservation in the body.
Therefore, this tendency to favor this side of the nervous system makes introverts calmer, contemplative, and less active in general. In essence, their energy is limited, so they strive to protect and conserve it. This is why they don’t talk much and get exhausted at large gatherings and in overwhelming environments. When you lie or act fake, it demands enormous resources: you need to watch out for your words, keep an appropriate facial expression, and think quickly to say the right things. Now, if an introvert gets tired by the very act of speaking, do you think they have the energy to lie and pretend? No, they don’t. It’s their neurobiological setup that prevents them from energy-demanding inauthentic behaviors.
The quiet ones are less interested in external rewards such as popularity, attention, and social affiliation. This trait too goes down to the way their brains work. Studies show that they are less reliant on dopamine, a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in the brain’s reward centers. Extroverts, in turn, are less sensitive to this neurotransmitter, so they have a stronger need to replenish its release and, therefore, satisfy their brains’ pleasure centers. For this reason, they are more motivated when it comes to chasing external rewards. It means that extroverts are wired to care more about being liked and getting other people’s attention. And sometimes, it makes them engage in fake behaviors. Think about all those photoshopped selfies on social media. And all those fake niceties people say to each other daily. All these behaviors aim to make a good impression on others and win their approval. As for quiet people, they are less interested in these things. While they too care about others’ opinions to some extent, gaining validation from those around them is not a motivating factor. So, an introvert won’t come up with insincere compliments to please their boss or have nice chitchat with the co-worker they don’t like just because the unwritten rules of polite behavior require them to. One more reason that is a natural consequence of the previous two is that introverts don’t care to expand their social circles.
They are comfortable with having very few friends, but they will make sure that they are in good company. For them, having many different social connections is both energy-draining and worthless. And so is fake behavior. Every introvert realizes sooner or later that pretending to be someone else is not going to get them real friends.
They might manage to make a good first impression, but they won’t show their real self. So, is it really worth it? In the eyes of an introvert, it is not.
They won’t maintain friendships with the wrong people out of loneliness – they are perfectly happy in their own company. Introverts may not always seem likable or friendly, but be sure that they will never try to win over you with fake pleasantries and insincere compliments. Being genuine is among their most underestimated personality traits. And even though authenticity is not valued in our society, it certainly makes life easier.
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