I have been reading a lot of very misleading pop-psychology articles on the web about introversion and extroversion, which I think people are taking way too seriously. Some authors have even taken it into their own hands and created new subgroups which are neither introverted nor extroverted, but rather somewhere in between. I think it is time to drop some knowledge on what it is we are really talking about here…
So What Are The Two Verts?
Introversion and extroversion are not statements about your personal confidence or your abilities to socialise. They are not about your choice to go to parties or stay at home, and they are not about reasons why you are single or prefer long term relationships. The two ‘Verts’ are about which social situations you feel energised. Everyone needs a bit of alone time or time to get things and thinking done by themselves at times. Likewise, everyone needs to socialise and connect with other people (and brains). The question is, when you are feeling emotionally drained, do you prefer to be around people or do you need to go to your cave? When you are faced with a problem, do you talk with others about it or do you need alone time to decide what to do? Do you keep your good news or secrets to yourself, or are you holding it in as long as you can before blurting it out to the first person ahead of you in line at the supermarket?
The Majority Of Us Are Loud Mouths
Studies suggest that 80% of people are actually extroverted in that they need to be around other people in order to regain their energy and spirit. That does not suggest that these people don’t need their time alone or need to retreat at times, but rather that downtime is not their way of recouping.
Why is this useful to me?
The theory is not designed to box you in and make you another number. The two ‘Verts’ are about you understanding yourself better. Feeling tired lately? If you are an introvert you may feel a natural drive to spend some time in your room, playing computer games or reading books for a few days. If you are an extrovert, you may feel the urge to call your mates one by one until you find someone who is keen to meet up and shoot the proverbial shoot.
Either way neither vert is really positive or negative, rather both offer a way for humans to cope with all the drama of everyday life.
Ray Medhora can be found practicing child and family therapy in Sydney Australia as well as training other aspiring counsellors to help them reach their goals.. Ray always feels odd writing in third person.