It is easy to misidentify our personality types.
We will do it all the time, from taking inaccurate online tests, to consuming online articles that portray false information about what it means to be introverted, extroverted, thoughtful, thinker, etc. There are many confounding factors that get in the way.
But one of the most frustrating arguments people use to defend their concept of themselves is introverted, ‘I know I’m an introvert because I hate people.’
That is where I need to get a hot second and take a step back.
Hate people is not an inherent quality of introversion. On the contrary, a taste for people is not an inherent quality of extroversion.
Let me elaborate with a metaphor.
I really enjoy weight training. In fact, weight training is one of my favorite things in the world.
I like the feeling of bending my hands around a bar with weight. I love the strength that resonates through my body when the baby is on the bench, something that seemed impossible to press two months before. I like to relax after a good session.
But I can also only weigh for an hour and a half at a time. Because weight training is exhausting.
Because if I worked longer I would damage my body. Because even though I love weight training, it depletes my energy and has a (temporary) cost in mine.
But I can be tired of that and I need to limit the amount of time I spend in it, while I love it.
Do you see what I am heading here?
My two best friends in the world are introverts (an INFP and an INFJ, to be specific) and both of them need a lot of time alone to recharge. Both are easily stimulated in excess. Both prefer deep analysis (in the areas of emotion and intuition, respectively) to the broad exploration of different ideas. But both are still incredibly affectionate people, who think about the world of people in their lives.
In the same way that I like to exercise, my INFX friends can skip a social commitment below. But that does not change the way he feels about other people, which is, in both cases, overwhelmingly positive.
Being tired of something does not mean you hate it. It simply means that you need time to spend time in order to live healthily.
So perhaps we can conclude that hating people is not an intrinsic quality of introversion, just as you do not like people to be an inherent quality of extroversion.
Consider the opposite situation: I, once, met an ESTJ who became addicted to drugs because he “hated people so much that he could not stand it with sobriety”. But guess what? The guy is still leading with Te. He was extrovert from beginning to end, only one that was oriented towards the world of achievement and achievement, in the place of the world of emotions and socialization.
But hating people did not classify him as an introvert; it’s just an extrovert who hates people.
Because when we talk about introversion and extroversion, we forget that these terms do not refer only to what we like to party or not.
Being an introvert means to please the parasympathetic side of your nervous system. It means gaining energy when focusing on a specific thing for a prolonged period of time (such as reading an interesting book or delving into a single line of thought).
On the contrary, being extroverted means the other comprehensive side of the nervous system: being oriented towards action, discovery, and inquisition. Does an extrovert have to be ‘discovering’ people to use this side of their nervous system? Do not do! We can have this side of ourselves focused, set goals for ourselves, even open pasta on our computers to explore a wide variety of topics simultaneously.
None of these definitions speaks of how much or how little we like people, it simply tells us how much or how much we like stimulation, and what is our preferred way of looking for it.
So, for the love of all holy things, can we help ourselves in introversion with ‘hating people’?
This is not only incredibly unfair to the many introverts in the world who dedicate their lives to caring for and supporting others, but it is inaccurate. He is looking at the definitions of ‘introvert’ and ‘extrovert’ in the wrong way. And it is distracting people from getting to the core of the real reason they ‘hate people’, which is more likely to be related to low self-esteem or past negative experiences with others that remain unresolved.
Hate people you do not like in an introvert, well com