This is a blog about introversion by introverts with the hopes of generating discussion on the subject.
For some background, here’s a quick summary of what exactly we’re talking about.
What is introversion?
“Introversion” is a term popularized by the psychologist Carl Jung. Introverts are often reserved and enjoy being alone. They are the opposite of extroverts, those who are energized by stimulation from other people.
There are a lot of misconceptions about introversion out there. Many people think of introverts as misanthropic, as weird loners, or shy. If someone is social and appears to be outgoing, it can be difficult for some to believe that person is an introvert.
There are a few things that people need to know about introversion. The first is that no one is completely one or another. Introversion and extroversion exist on a spectrum and everyone falls somewhere in between. That means, of course, that some people fall further to one end and others fall further to the other end, but everyone possesses qualities of both.
The second is that introversion isn’t about being a loner or being shy (although there is a correlation). The main difference between introversion and extroversion is that an extrovert is energized by socializing while, for an introvert, socializing can be draining.
To explain an introvert’s relationship to socializing, I like to use the analogy of exercise. For introverts, going to a party, for example, is like going to the gym. It can be fun and enjoyable, but it takes a lot of energy, and when it’s over, they need a chance to rest and recharge. Similarly, introverts know that socializing is good for them (sometimes), but they usually have to force themselves to do it.
The final thing that needs to be clarified is the misconception that there is something wrong with introversion and that introverts need to be “cured.” Introverts aren’t unhealthy; they simply have a different personality type. This means that they have their own strengths and weaknesses to complement those of extroverts.