Introversion Is Not Unsociability

This is not what I’d have expected to want to blog about from reading Bootstrapped by Alissa Quart, but it is what it is.

[R]ecall the words of the anarchist nobleman Peter Kropotkin, whom we met in the previous chapter: “Under any circumstances sociability is the greatest advantage in the struggle for life.” (I have been saying that to my introverted husband for seventeen years.)

This is a frustratingly-persistent fallacy. Introversion is not unsociability. An introvert, absent a concomitant anti-sociality, simply is atypically exhausted by socializing, and tends also to have atypical recovery needs afterward.

(For previous posts on this and related matters, see the search results for “introvert” and “introversion”.)

Quart’s husband more likely either isn’t an introvert and simply is anti-social, or is an introvert but one who isn’t accessing, or is being denied access to (regardless of any intent or awareness behind the denial) the sort of toolkit an introvert needs in order to survive socializing.

Pretty much any introvert who isn’t also anti-social will end up coming across as anti-social if they aren’t accessing the tools an introvert needs in order to make socializing possible, because they simply will avoid the discomfort and enervation by refusing to socialize.