I think that for most people that know me, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I am very much an introvert. The term introvert first became popular after being introduced by Carl Jung in his Personality Theory. For the purposes of this article, we will only discuss Introversion and Extroversion (but I encourage people to look into Jung’s Personality Theory as it is quite interesting and is the building blocks on any personality test you take today).
So, what is an introvert and what is an extrovert? Well, an introvert is somebody who naturally reaches internally for comfort, while an extrovert is somebody who naturally reach externally for comfort. See how that works? It’s quite simple, but let me explain a little further. Most people who are introverted are often characterized by being quite reserved, while people who are extroverted are often characterized as being quite talkative.
For an Extrovert, being in a large group of people is key. They thrive on social situations and seek opportunities to engage with others. They are often full of life, positive, energetic, and are often to assert themselves in a group setting. Being around people and being involved often thrills extroverts.
While extroverts are full of life while being surrounded by groups of people, and introvert often feels quite drained in this type of situations. Introverts are more introspective individuals and prefer their time alone. After spending time with people, these types of people often need to spend time alone to “recharge”. It is important to note that most people equate introversion with shyness; however, this is not really the case. Shyness is a social anxiety based on a fear of social interactions, whereas introverts simply just don’t like unnecessary social interactions (they do enjoy spending time with their often small group of very close friends). Introverts are often characterized as very self-aware, thoughtful, interested in self knowledge and details, very private, and learning well through observation.
While everybody has traits from both introversion and extroversion, most people tend to lean towards one of these. As you might expect, extroverts outnumber introverts 3:1 and due to this significant difference, it is often hard for extroverts to understand the mind of an introvert. In fact, it is interesting to note that when people look back on all the great minds like Albert Einstein, Ghandi, Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt and Steve Wozniak were Introverts. There has been a massive connection between introverts and “giftedness”. Albert Einstein once said “It’s not that I am so smart, it’s that I stay with problems longer.” This is a common trait among introverts as they often enjoy and gravitate towards deep, meaningful thought.
They have also found that if you give an introverted child the opportunity to cheat on a test, even if they think they can get away with it, they are less likely to engage in cheating than an extroverted child. They also know that extroverted adults lie much more often than introverted adults. There is also an experiment in psychology where if you squeeze a drop of lemon onto the tongue of an introvert and an extrovert, the introverted tongue will salivate more since they are more sensitive to stimulation of all types.
We live in a world where a lot of credit is put towards Extroverts, when really, both personality types have many pros and cons. While Introverts may be quiet and reserved, there are many great things about Introverts and our society should be more nurturing and accepting to these types of people.