Tuesday, January 19, 2016

An Introvert on the Prejudices of Psychologists

Introverts are the most misunderstood category of people. It is supposed that an introvert does not talk. Such a person keeps to oneself and does not seek company. Many go to the extent of considering an introvert to be arrogant. In schools, introverted children give a favorable impression to teachers. They think that if a child is quiet, he/she is well behaved and more likely to be studious. This is an automatic assumption and a psychological one. This assumption can be dramatically different if the teacher insists on team work. If the child is uncomfortable working with other children then they tend to think that there is significant discomfort and goading is the need of the hour. If a child is active and cannot sit still in class, teachers tend to view that as an aberration. It can get to a point where parents take their children to psychologists and they are often diagnosed with attention deficiency hyperactive disorder. It does not occur to teachers and parents that children have a certain natural tendency and to force them to behave in a manner that is incongruent with their natural inclinations is hazardous to their well being. There are ways of nurturing them. It takes time and children are not nurtured in a day. This applies to adults as well. If the education system is such that time is of the essence and teachers are under pressure to complete the syllabus within a time frame, then quite obviously the system is flawed. 

Introverts are viewed differently in different cultures. In some countries, introvert is seen as socially underdeveloped and in some they are seen as being more focused and stable than extroverts. There is also a gender bias involved. In so called liberal countries and also countries that are midway, introversion in men is not considered desirable. In women, it is considered by such societies as more acceptable. The reason is that men were always considered to be dominant on account of primordial instincts and it would interest the readers to know that this belief is also entertained by developed nations with or without their knowledge. With blind dating and the capitalistic idea of free press, the stereotypes of masculinity and femininity have reached an all time high and intellectual acumen has hit an all time low.  
An introvert is reflective and derives strength from within. There is a stronger need for solitude and it is in silence that an introvert recovers from the vicissitudes of life. To conclude that such people do not want friends is a mistaken notion. There are introverts who seek like-minded company. They may not participate in interactions with people but they can be unusually observant. Those who engage in interactions do not have the distance to notice subtle variations in people. This distance proves to be a natural advantage for individuals who would much rather watch a social game than play it. 

Psychologists, parents, teachers and peers harp on the need to have self-confidence. If there is a word or phrase in the English language, I do not like, it is self-confidence. Confidence does not refer to anything specific. There is only a context against which it is measured. Usually glamour obsessed people judge someone as confident by looking at their mannerisms and body language. This does not make someone confident. In fact it tends to amount to stupidity. What people see is a reflection of who they are. What they can see is a reflection of what they want to see. 

Psychologists and personality developers especially in India tend to lay greater emphasis on the importance of such projections without delving into details. You can only be confident about what you know. To be confident about what you do not know is a sign of insecurity. There is a tendency among people of fashionable dispositions to pitch style over substance. This is detrimental to the development of their psyche and the collective psyche of the masses unless the latter is beyond the influence of the former. 

Psychologists have yet to understand the nature of their own misplaced sense of moderation. They swear by the idiom that anything in excess is bad. This is limiting as a masterpiece is always borne out of the excesses of a vibrant intellect. People with moderate constitutions have never produced a work of art of any significance. Masterpieces have been produced only by minds in frenzy. Take any artist as an example and recoil in horror.

To define is to limit and psychologists have made professions out of defining human behaviour. They have to be rejected if the potential of your being has to blossom.
‘’Be as you are” is not just a book by David Godman. It is necessary to understand yourself better and realize your full potential. History is full of theories but no theory has survived history.      


Anonymous said...

Excellent piece of writing with interesting analysis and insights. The eagerness to characterize and stereotype a behaviour without due observation and understanding can limit an individual's potential and thereby the society. I like the ending "Theories have never survived history".

Varun said...

Fantastic article. The compelling conundrum of the "introvert". Very aptly explained. The differences in the way a person is viewed is reflective of the society's acceptance or the lack of it, as the case may be.

I particularly enjoyed the part where you that mentioned psychologists and personality developers are trying to project confidence as a quality that comes from within. Self reliance comes from within. Confidence is just a word that tells us whether someone knows what he's talking about or not.

Unknown said...

Great article.

Unknown said...

Thanks. I am very glad you like it.

Unknown said...

Very welcome . Looking forward to reading more