introvert

Introverts are people who prefer quiet and alone time compared to going out and being around lots of people. 

Introversion and extroversion. What are these terms? While they may sound like something out of a sci-fi show, I'll tell you.

The APA Dictionary of Psychology says introverts tend to be more withdrawn, retiring, reserved, quiet and deliberate. Maybe you enjoy a good conversation, but after a few hours, you need to lock yourself away to recharge your social battery.

On the contrary, extroverts are usually outgoing and openly expressive. They recharge by interacting with people. The APA Dictionary of Psychology states that both of these concepts exist "on a continuum of attitudes and behaviors." Perhaps you're a good mix between the two; then you'd be considered an ambivert.

According to writer Olivia Guy-Evans from simplypsychology.org, Carl Jung was among the first to define what an introvert, extrovert and ambivert are. Olivia Guy-Evans says Jung described introverts as viewing the world subjectively; they tend to focus on the inner world of reflection and are thoughtful and insightful. "Jung believed a balance between extroversion and introversion best served the goal of self-realization," Guy-Evans wrote.

Opposingly, extroverts take on an objective perspective of the world; they tend to be more involved with the outside world of objects, sensory perception and action. Guy-Evans also wrote that psychologist Hans Eysenck based the concepts of introversion and extroversion on biological factors. Specifically, it's a balance between the excitation and inhibition of the autonomic nervous system.

Ava Hurley, freshman exercise physiology major, said she considers herself an extrovert. Hurley comes from a small town where everyone knows each other. Hurley states that everyone's familiarity with each other allowed her to be more comfortable around a large group of people. She also has an outgoing personality because she likes to get to know everyone. Hurley said one of the pros to being extroverted is social confidence. There's no trembling when being in a large crowd or feeling your social battery drain as you talk with someone, she stated, "however, there are cons to being an extrovert, like being labeled as loud and annoying.”

Bradley Peacock, senior theater arts major, stated he has a complicated relationship with his introversion. Peacock says he enjoys talking with people and getting to know others. As an introvert, he's been able to sit back and observe the rules and etiquette of the "social game," yet it's difficult to become immersed in it. "Anxiety has kept me from participating in this game, which is a game I desperately want to play," Bradley stated about how being extroverted seems fun, he just can’t stand the build-up of anxiety from it. "And so I find myself snugged away in my apartment writing on my laptop or watching movies."

Sometimes a person experiences a clash of emotions regarding whether or not they want to be alone. Their personality may be a combination of both introvert and extrovert traits, thus they become ambivert. This is the case with Riley Yates, senior majoring in theatre arts. "I can get equally charged and drained by social interaction," Yates said. They said when they are having a bad day, sometimes they'll want to be around others, and sometimes they'll want to self-isolate for a bit. "It's sometimes hard for me to truly know what I want," Yates said.

The concepts of introversion and extroversion are complex and have a large gray area. It depends on the specific individual and the entirety of their personality. Some people gain energy from surrounding themselves with people, others need distance and that's perfectly okay. Neither is better or worse than the other, and no one should force themselves to be something they're not.

(1) comment

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