Do you consider yourself introverted? Do you see it as a strength or weakness?
Personally, I’m an introvert. I like my own alone time and being by myself or with one or two other good friends keeps me insanely inspired. When I’m around large groups, my energy goes down and after a couple of hours I can’t keep up with it.
I used to think this was a bad thing, but I’ve begun to see that I can use that knowledge to my advantage and not lie to myself. And I used to associate introversion with being shy and anti-social, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
I’ve worked hard on my social skills for years now, and people wouldn’t label me as a social outcast if they met me..but I do feel the urging need to leave a party after a couple hours because I get bored of talking to so many people.
More importantly, i’m interesting in what your thoughts are on introversion.
Do you feel like it’s a struggle to be introverted in a very fast-paced extroverted world?
Do you want to learn to be an extrovert or at least take advantage of your introversion and still be a social person?
Would love to hear your thoughts on this.
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I think society is definitely shaped in the favor of extroverts. These days, even getting a job, it’s about who you know and not what your skill set is. If you don’t have very well-developed social skills, you’re fucked in a lot of ways. A couple months ago, I was in a student organization meeting that was voting on positions. Some of you may know what I’m talking about, but you have to give a couple pros and cons for each person upon discussion. And for one person, somebody called out “introverted” as a con, and nobody disagreed. This was the moment when I truly realized how negatively society views introverts.
I took a Myers-Briggs at the career center at my school, and I got INFP. The lady who discussed my test results described the I/E distinction as based on where you draw your energy from. If you have had a long day, what do you do to recharge? Some people mentioned wanting to leave parties after a few hours, It’s because having so many people around emotionally drains introverts. Maybe I’m biased, but I love introversion and would rather be introverted. I’m reminded of a quote from one of my favorite movies:
“Constantly talking isn’t necessarily communicating.”
-Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
I tend not to talk unless I have something meaningful to say. And I’ve noticed that the things introverts say tend to be pretty powerful or witty. If I don’t have anything to say, I don’t speak. That’s it. I know some extroverts who rarely ever say anything meaningful, and I think a lot of deep thinkers tend to be introverts. Which makes sense, because deep thinking takes introspection, which is natural for introverts and something that’s difficult to do if you’re constantly in a crowd.
I would like one of the polls on the sidebar to ask whether you consider yourself an I or E. I wonder if the results would tend to swing either way.
@memarshall63, I’m reading that right now actually — love the scientific information involved in it. Thanks for sharing it…every introvert can benefit from reading this.
@chodebalm, I have taken the test a couple times..usually get INTP or INTJ depending on the month.
@mentalkink, Exactly! It’s all about finding that balance that’s right for you. Glad you enjoy being an introvert, though..we’re awesome :)
@ecoylogy, Have not seen this yet, I’ll take a look.
Thanks everyone for their responses so far…the reason I’m asking is because I want to see if there are people that would be interesting in learning tactics to embrace their inner introversion while learning the skills necessary to lead their own lives and the world.
I write on a personal development website for people that want to become leaders of their own life, and it seems that I want to narrow that down to teaching introverts how to accept it and use the extroverted skills when necessary..especially since that’s the story of my own life ;)
It’s insane though. Growing up I was thought I was just shy and anti-social, but knowing now that it is not completely correlated to being an introvert, my self-esteem and self-confidence skyrocketed. It’s just how we communicate as introverts, although people may see it otherwise. Learning how to accept it and optimize it has done wonders for me.
Lesson: just because you are an introvert doesn’t mean you are born to be shy or anti-social. It’s simply an orientation for how you get your energy and motivation in the world.
I’m introverted, and when I was growing up it took me awhile to realize how much of a gift it is. (to me, anyways) At recess and stuff, I was always the kid sitting on top of the monkey bars just hanging out and thinking/ day dreaming. I always felt awkward being in large groups of people and would much rather be alone in my room reading or drawing. My family used to force me out of my room to spend time with them! Haha. I can sit in a room and just daydream. When I took the Myer’s Briggs, (INFP) I was shocked at how spot on it had me. It was like the article was written just for me. Like I said before, I think of being introverted as a gift, although it can be challenging at times, especially at college when everyone wants to go out and party and I don’t. I never really understood the point of small talk, and I get overwhelmed when a lot is going on, especially if it’s loud and people are everywhere. It’s hard to explain over and over again that no, I’m not anti-social, and no, I don’t hate people, and no, I’m really not shy. It’s also challenging since my boyfriend and best friend are both extroverted. I get worn out trying to keep up with them sometimes, but it’s all well worth it, since they’re both amazing. I wouldn’t give up being introverted for the world. It’s a part of who I am.
After writing the upper comment I’ve realized there is just a stupid classification of introvert and extrovert, we shouldn’t be classified… Sometimes in your life you would need to act as “extrovert”, for example in a job interview (and we all know it) or at a party (because you are at a place which the only purpose is to coexist with people), the important and healthy response here is to learn how to balance when you have to act as an extrovert (because you can be) and when you have to act as an introvert. It’s not bad being one or another, I think the key is to learn to mediate, all types of excesses are bad. And the most important, we have to accept the way we are and not try to change only to be accepted, the change is good but only if it would make you a better person.
@karlhorpestad, Yeah, in some ways it really did, although I do miss “my old personality” a bit, I had such an easy time talking to people. But I also learned how to sort out between my friends and acquaintances, to see who really wanted to be my friends and who only used me and didn’t care about me (I guess this happened because of my suspiciousness of peoples intentions).
As to my accident, it happened because i was hit by a drunk driver without a drivers license (who wan away) when I was on my way, to what I think is the equivalent to high school, on bicycle. – so I’m not happy about people driving after drinking. Anyways, I was in the hospital, lying in a coma for about 2-3 days. I was in the hospital for a total of 13 days. I had gotten a serious concussion, small brain hemorrhages in the back of my brain, a broken femur on the left leg, a broken toe, a 16 cm long flesh wound on my right thigh (left a scar) and a lot of scraches.
After that, I was transfered to a place that specialized in these kinds of injuries. There I was in rehabilitation for 4 months and 7 days. And after that, I was given permission move home to my parents where I had to attend further rehabilitation for another 4 months.
After I was done with all the rehabilitation, I was told that had I just been lying for another 5 minutes, I would probably have died.
So yeah, I guess you can call that serious. But since I can be very stubborn, I’ve been able to reach about 80-90% of who/what I was before, so although I’ve gotten what the specialists call a “hidden” handicap, I’m very lucky in that respect (“hidden” meaning skill-wise, like concentration or overview etc.). I am now in the progress of becoming an Informations- and Communications-engineer (I guess it’s called computer engineer in English?).
I wouldn’t say I’m introvert naturally, but when most people do not undersatnd the points you make, you tend to adapt and limit yourself to what they do understand. I make jokes often, because I am capable of doing such and it puts others at ease. People who know me know not to pick my brain or they will end up confused with a headache.
@chabalamp, I was the same way a few years ago, and still experience anxiety today. I would feel shaky and panicked around strangers, and I would cling to only people I knew well at social gatherings. If I didn’t really know anyone, I would stand alone. It got better as I got older, but it’s still there. I don’t believe in medicine for “social disorders” so I won’t go there. Just do what you feel is comfortable.
My favorite thing extroverts say to introverts:
“God! You talk too much.”
Nope. I’m just not into your small talk.
@iluvdamusic, Introversion is not related to shyness whatsoever, although most people think that they’re related.
Introversion just means that you gain energy from being alone or in small groups. Extroversion, on the other hand, means that you become energized while talking with many people. Neither suggests that you like socializing — you can be a shy extrovert.
I wrote a whole article on it..shameless self promotion, but it fits ;) http://www.innergladiator.com/introverts-guide-part-1/
The whole point is that you can be the most social person and still be an introvert. It just means that you need to handle yourself differently — you’re probably not gonna like small talk and want to be the center of attention. That’s okay. You can still be highly influential and be an introvert..it has NOTHING to do with shyness.
Someone once said that being an introvert in an extroverted society is like being a woman in a man’s world. And, as both a female and an introvert, I can agree with that, lol. Yes, we’re equal but society will probably never see that because we’re not the default. While it is a little frustrating, I love being introverted. I feel more independent and I know that the few friends I have are great ones.
Granted, I do love hanging out and partying sometimes, but it’s never very long before I think “I wanna go home and play video games.” My sister is my complete opposite: always wanting to go somewhere and hang out with someone, do something… Very restless. I like being still.
Yes, I’m introverted. I hate small talks. I only talk when I have something to say.That’s actually a good thing.I’m comfortable with my own thoughts, I don’t want to chit-chat with anyone.
It’s not bad to be an introvert.Without us world would be incomplete.
“A world without Introverts would be a world with very few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers.”
@lytning91, That’s interesting.
Although many people view being introverted or extroverted as a question with only two possible answers, most contemporary trait theories measure levels of extraversion-introversion as part of a single, continuous dimension of personality, with some scores near one end, and others near the half-way mark. Ambiversion is falling more or less directly in the middle and exhibiting tendencies of both groups. An ambivert is normally comfortable with groups and enjoys social interaction, but also relishes time alone and away from the crowd.
@flyingrhino, I did, however I feel like there is more to shyness than the fear of judgments. I’m don’t fear what people think of me ( still working on it, but not near as much as I use to) but I still feel like I have some shyness to me?
@michaelo, Perhaps not, but I felt compelled to share anyways.
I’ve seen a psychologist for depression I’ve never had, and have been prescribed antidepressants which I’ve never taken. Obviously, others have perceived my lifestyle as abnormal, and therefore undesirable and in need of change. Funny thing is, I’ve never been more at peace in my life. As long as I am content, it matters little to me how I spend my time, or from which social settings I derive energy from.
@michaelo, It sounds like the accident left you with a lot of impressions. The easiest time to change yourself is in time of distress or crisis. Might I be so rude to ask how serious the accident was? Did it leave any physical marks?
@lee12527, Seems like you’re another person who looks at introversion as being shy and quiet. This doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with introversion, A lot of introverted people aren’t that very shy and if you place them within a small group of people that doesn’t talk about crap (like a lot of extroverted people – referring to smalltalk), they can be pretty talkative. The same with getting respect or meeting women, meet the right conditions and introversion is just as effective as extroversion, you just have to understand introversion.
@vskren, I disagree with not being able to label people as intro- or extrovert. Of course, there’s ambivalent, like you mention, but most people are just intro- or extroverted with one or more adjective(s) placed before the substantive.
i’d like to be more extraverted so that I may soak up more ideas and have more memorable conversations. however, at this stage in life i feel i have more listening to do than talking. i guess you could say i’m introverted but i don’t like labels because i feel they can affect you on a subconscious level, making you act more limited than you realize. i’d say i’m either or depending on the situation, but i do also feel that sometimes just listening instead of talking, instead of reaching out, can cost one opportunities, be it in business, creative pursuits, seeking a friend or significant other, reconnecting, etc.
@luzimzo, Behavior can be trained or conditioned, yes, but that won’t change the fact that you’re either introverted or extroverted. If you’re an introvert and you get trained or conditioned towards extroversion, then you’ll just become an outgoing introvert. Or if you’re extrovert getting trained or conditioned towards introversion, you’ll become more of an introverted extrovert. Even if you get trained or conditioned towards the other, your “base” will remain the same: an introvert or extrovert.
If you’re an introvert, you generally recharge your energy by being alone or in small groups, the total opposite of an extrovert. This is a trait that you can’t remove.
You’re right that people usually exhibit a behavior that is like their parents, TV, etc, You generally speak the same language as your parents and friends, but that is because you grow up with that language. When you grow up, you learn and imitate all the time. But at some point, you begin thinking for yourself. You begin to develop – or have already developed – your own behavior. That’s what defines YOU. You think for yourself and do things the way YOU want and be how you want to be, not how other want you to be. You’re not a copy of your parents or friends or whoever, you’re YOU.
@optimystic, If you’re fine with how you are, as long as it isn’t destructive, then you should stay like that. What good would it do to listen to others, just because they think you’re abnormal? A lot of them are likely to be extroverts anyways, and since we live in an extroverted world, a lot of them will think there’s something wrong with you.
While you may suffer from anxiety, please don’t misinterpret it as, or blame it on introversion.
Read @feren6 ‘s guide on introversion, it gives you a lot of information (you’ll find the link earlier in this discussion).
I used to be the biggest extrovert person in the world (well at least in my town), but now I’m happy to say that I’m becoming in an introvert person. Being extrovert it’s fun guarantee for sure and you’ll be surrounded of people all the time, but when you arrive home and notice that you just had a bunch of one night conversations, that you know many people names but not people real feelings, that’s when you start to feel the emptiness of a social leader. I learned that I rather prefer to have a small quantity of real friends, of better quality conversations and listen instead of talking nonsenses.
Glad to hear that there are other introverts out there who are happy about it. I consider myself an introvert. I can be alone for hours and find something to do and think about. But whenever I’m with other people I tend to be extremely quite and not really know what to say. I also have an extremely hard time relating to people, and finding subjects in which I can talk about, overall I don’t get the whole small-talk kinda deal. There is definitely a part of me that would like to have so extrovert qualities, but I have no idea how to go about acquiring them.
I’m also curios if other people feel like their voice has been quieted by others(usually extroverts) from being walked on, and belittled, thus making it harder to converse with people?