Discrimination against introverts? | INFJ Forum

Discrimination against introverts?

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by Holden On, Jun 17, 2010.

More threads by Holden On
  1. Sometimes I get annoyed at things I hear. Frequently, I hear people say things like "I don't care much for my sister's boyfriend... he's just not very friendly" or "She's no fun - she never wants to go out." Also, job descriptions often say things like "Seeking outgoing, energetic candidate," "must be a team player" and sometimes even outright "introverts would not be a good fit for this job."

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    Looking for someone who can make small talk with customers or work well on a team is fine, if that is a requirement for the job. But what I find annoying is when people assume that an introvert won't be good at such jobs simply because of their introversion. Most introverts CAN do those things, they're just not necessarily our favorite things or those that come most naturally to us. But heck, getting out of bed at 6:30 am doesn't come naturally to me either, and no one questions my ability to do that! (I ran into this problem when I was an internal candidate for a job opening in my office. Everyone knew I was am an introvert, and I had to try that much harder to convince them I could do the job, even though I had in fact been doing large parts of the job when another person was out on maternity leave! I eventually got the job, but not that time - I got it when another position opened up and I made sure in my interview to specifically state that I am certainly capable of doing the even the parts of the job that don't come naturally to me.)

    So what do you guys think? Is this discrimination, or simply a result of introverts being misunderstood? And what about such comments disparaging people for not being "friendly" (i.e. talkative with new people) and "social" (i.e. going out a lot)?

    (I haven't made up my mind about whether I think this is discrimination, and I'm not asking this out of any personal spite or looking for advice... I got the job and I like myself the way I am.... I'm just looking for a good discussion. :) )

    In a world of Es, what's an I to do? :)
  2. I feel your pain sistah! It is an interesting question. I've found I felt annoyed at this type of thing too because if anything, we are masters at forcing our extroversion. I guess it could be seen as discrimination because we all need jobs, but at the same time from my experience, I have found I'm happier and more productive in a job more suited to my temperatent. Still, it's less of a segregating situation when you are able to decide on a job's suitability for yourself at say an interview, than seeing in already declared in an add.
    #2 Ria, Jun 18, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2010
    Holden On likes this.
  3. I have noticed this kind of "discrimination" everywhere - especially in the retail sector.

    One get's the impression that more than 90% of customer service employees in some large retailers are extroverts. I can't say how anoying it is when half a dozen different sales people come up and interrupt when I am carefully studying/comparing electronic equipment. Such sales reps often seem slightly offended when their enthusiastic offers of help are met with a polite "no thank you" or "I'm still looking thankyou."

    Nevertheless, there is a large department store here called 'David Jones' and it seems that the majority of its employees are introverts, who are very unobtrusive, yet well trained in attending the customer.

    It is possible that when introverts don't function well in a retail environment it is far worse than when an extrovert doesn't. I have litterally had to walk into staff areas and insist that someone come out and help arrange my purchase - because the staff in one particular store were so reclusive.
    Holden On likes this.
  4. Being introverted has made it difficult for me to get a job as a teenager, because most jobs available to people my age require a certain amount of extroversion that I just don't have, and I haven't quite figured out how to act extroverted on job interviews yet. Sigh. So, yeah, I understand this completely.
    Holden On likes this.
  5. Heh! This is why I'm glad I've developed my Fe really well, I can act pretty damned E when I want/need to, like in an interview or when dealing with customers. Its really draining though, I come home completely beat and not really wanting to engage people on that level or even close for the rest of the night. However, I tend to "save it" for the customers when I am actually working, essentially saving my strength. Though I'm sure I come off as a bitch to my co workers by not engaging them as much as "socially expected".

    Fuck em I say

    Also, I HATE those assholes who like to "use" the MBTI in the workplace but haven't got a hot clue what it actually means...(to the detriment of anyone they perceive as inferior due to their lack of understanding). This is why I am dodging the rat race entirely and doing my own thing in life.

    /end misanthropy
  6. Dragon

    Dragon green skies
    Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 9, 2009
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    There is a huge stigma against introverts in this country. If you are known as or appear to be introverted, that is automatically a mark against you. They will assume you are bad to work with and less capable than others, and they may even be afraid of you.

    For the record though 56% (or so I've read) of people are introverts according to MBTI while really no more than 1/4 are introverts according to the common definition. People who don't know the difference between MBTI and common definitions but who try to use MBTI are morons, and they wont understand at all what they are doing. The MBTI definition of introversion depends on whether spending time with people energizes you or not.

    The common definition has many connotations such as being friendly and agreeable. The bottom line of the common definition is that people assume that introverts are too much effort to get along with; they may even assume they are neurotically crazy.

    The world is stupid and superficial.
    Holden On likes this.
  7. /me wonders if theres going to be a 'Discrimination against extroverts thread' to balance this one out :p
  8. *Is* there a significant discrimination against Extroverts?
  9. Being an IXTX didn't really help me with being a salesman. I won't lie, and trying to 'sell' a product feels like lying to me sometimes.

    "Oh no, our stuff sucks, the stuff over there is much better."

    I don't actually go that far, but I want to, and it makes me miserable not doing so.

    Needless to say, I am not a salesman.
  10. I had a job selling luggage at the mall for 2 months. It sucked. I didn't want people to waste their money on things they didn't need, or more expensive luggage than they'd budgeted for!

    Introversion was part of it, but really it was a conscience thing. I just couldn't do it either.
    Feelings likes this.
  11. We can discuss that in this thread, too, if any of the Es on this fourm care to chime in. :)

    I'm happy with the responses so far... I figured since this an INFJ forum, most people would "get it," but I wasn't sure. I started a topic like this on another random forum once, and people railed against me!
  12. Rallied against you? Did they proclaim you as inferior or a bitch or something for being an introvert, and to gtfo their earth?
    I can't imagine *any* rational argument for discrimination.
  13. I don't know if it's discrimination, I do think people could be more open to making the most of people with different abilities and styles although to do that you need to be a good manager, maybe that is why introverts and people that are different scare them, it places the focus on their management skills, better to just blame the introverts and not hire them to begin with, wouldn't want to look bad.
    DoveAlexa likes this.
  14. Point.. I don't know if it is like this or not, but interesting take. I have also noticed a lot of words describing being not introverted in job descriptions. I don't consider it discrimination, also depending on other parts of the job descriptions, other aspects of the job might require less extroverted skills.It will depend on the type of job.

    In a broader perspective I think there is a lot of negativity related to the general description of an introverted person. Like being shy, socially awkward, not good with people or not being good in communications, being a loner and more. I don't agree that this is true, but I think this is somehow the perception.

    I was to an interview for a job once, where the guy interviewing me commented that "A lot of your interests is one man activities" or something like that, and then he had a strange look on his face like if I was sick.

    I think it may be due to lack of understanding people and maybe fear. Not really discrimination. But who knows really.
  15. I was talking to a friend today abou how society (video games in particular) are made to cater to interverts. The example was that the local Gameworks went out of business and I launched into something about how video games and entertainment in general is made for people who dont want to leave their house - the supposed introvert. IDK it was just a tangent sorry for the derail.

    But on topic do you tell the interviewer that you are an introvert? Why would you do that?
  16. Railed against me. I mean, they became indignant. One guy said anyone who identifies as an introvert "has a lack of interesting things to say, is self-absorbed and possessed of a victim mentality." I didn't think that was very nice of him.
  17. No, but I think they can tell. And in my specific situation, I already worked in the office and was interviewing for a promotion, so everyone knew me and knew I'm an "I". They also knew I'm very capable, but it didn't seem to matter until I assured them that I could "overcome" my introversion on the job. (I also don't like when people say you can "overcome" your introversion... like it's a disability!)
  18. I'm a back office kinda guy. I tried doing extravert jobs. It sucks and I don't enjoy it. But if I want an extraverted job, I'll just misrepresent my temperament. It's easy to do unless the other person is very sharp. You can bet all the other candidates are exaggerating how wonderful they are. It's not unethical to follow suit, it's just how the game works.

    Also, from what I've seen, ENFPs and ESFPs make the best customer service staff I've ever seen.
    Holden On likes this.
  19. Wow what an arsehole.
  20. Hehe yeah.

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