I had a guy ask me once, “Why do introverts always have to make it a competition between introverts and extroverts?”.
I think perhaps if you’re an extrovert, it would seem normal to me for you to read all of the comics and articles online directed towards introverts and feel like a competition was being created where there was none before; but believe me when I say that most introverts know that there really has always been a competition between introverts and extroverts - it’s just that our culture is designed in such a way that allows extroverts to succeed at it more easily.
In school, teachers force us to stand up in front of every new class and introduce ourselves, which sounds daunting for many introverts, who are generally uncomfortable with public speaking and drawing attention to themselves. They make us work in groups of three or more people, where introverts’ voices are often lost among the voices of the louder, more outgoing extroverts, even if they have better ideas than their louder peers. The curriculum is designed in such a way that a huge chunk of our mark - all the way from grade school to high school - is dependent upon how much time we spend participating in class, even though introverts are far less likely to do this without a prompt from the teacher, which puts them at an automatic disadvantage as compared to their extroverted peers. I went to a school once that was ‘open concept’ - in other words, there were no walls anywhere in the entire school to separate the classrooms from each other. This was supposed to foster communication and group work; as you can imagine, it was also very loud and distracting. As an introvert - and I can imagine this would have been true for other introverts as well - I often had trouble concentrating on the lesson at hand. I was so distracted by even the smallest sounds from other rooms that my GPA went up by an entire letter grade the year after I switched to a different school. And all of these same issues also put other types of students at a disadvantages well - for example, those who are shy, or autistic, or have anxiety disorders.
There’s always been a competition. It’s just that extroverts usually excel at it where introverts do not. Even social interaction can feel like a competition sometimes.”