The Shield

Natural yet hurtful labels of society

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Being an introvert or an extrovert has become a natural label in our society. However, just because someone is shy does not mean they are an introvert. Along with that, just because someone is outgoing does not mean that they are an extrovert. They are simply labels we feel the need to give ourselves as an explanation as to why we are the way we are.

When thinking of the opposing personalities, we have some stereotypical traits that we associate with each. An introvert is seen as lacking in social skills and spending most of their time alone. They are often thought to be more intelligent than extroverts, and thus, expected to do well in school.

Extroverts on the other hand are seen as outgoing, strong leaders and highly creative individuals. They make friends easily and have no problems keeping the conversation going. The lack of social awkwardness means that extroverts are expected to be involved with a large network of people .

We are quick to stereotype those around us because our mind feels the need to understand what is going on. When we see someone acting in a way we could never see ourselves acting, it’s easy for us to say they’re an introvert or an extrovert. However, someone we may be quick to label an introvert may not consider themselves an introvert.

Just because someone is awkward around new people does not mean that they are necessarily an introvert. There are plenty of extroverts that feel uncomfortable around new people, simply because it’s hard to test the waters around new people.

Just because someone can start a conversation easily and keep it going does not mean they are an extrovert. Many times, once you get an introvert talking, they can be hard to silence again. It is a matter of finding the right topic, which can be the case with anyone.

The idea that extroverts have larger networks of friends or that introverts are more intelligent gives the idea that there are certain goals each can accomplish. People do not see extroverts as being a straight-A students, though personality does not determine our intelligence, most likely just our work ethic. On the other hand, people do not see introverts as leading an organization.

The stereotypical categories that we place people in and the fact we view those personality traits as hindrances to their life goals is ridiculous. Though they might go about it in their own special ways, what determines our accomplishments in life are our work ethics and determination.

We should never let the labels we are given determine what we can and cannot do. Saying “she won’t want to join that organization” or “he won’t want to come to the study session” solely based off of a person’s labeled personality only hurts others. We lose out on a lot of opportunities by doing this.

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Natural yet hurtful labels of society