Congratulations, You've Actually Been Wrongly Defining Introvert This Whole Time
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Congratulations, You've Actually Been Wrongly Defining Introvert This Whole Time

Introversion and shyness are not the same thing.

Congratulations, You've Actually Been Wrongly Defining Introvert This Whole Time

So I'm always seeing memes, articles, news and whatever else on the divide between social types. It's a common practice to put people into one of two groups: introvert or extrovert. From what I can gather, this has risen in popularity with the rise of the popularity of the Myers-Briggs Personality Test, which indicates introverts as "I" and extroverts as "E" in their personality assessments.

Most of the people I know buy into the dichotomy between introversion and extroversion.

Introverts are depicted as shy, borderline anti-social, introspective and as liking to keep to themselves. They prefer a quiet evening at home reading to going out and getting blasted at a party with a bunch of strangers.

In contrast, extroverts can't get enough of people. They're always out at social events, meeting more people than they can keep track of, and are restless when they're alone with their thoughts.

As someone who is neither an introvert nor an extrovert in this sense, I completely hate this divide and feel that, much like the Myers-Briggs test, this puts people into largely over-simplified categories.

The main issue I take with it is that introversion has come to be synonymous with shyness and, to some extent, misanthropy. People use these terms interchangeably, but for me, as a social introvert, there's a big difference.

Let me explain.

Some use these terms interchangeably, but others use them as it relates to one's "social energy." What do I mean by social energy? Think of that friend you have that's just, you know, kind of a lot. You love this friend, but you might also describe them as "exhausting." That's your social energy.

The social energy of extroverts and introverts works in much the same way. Extroverts might like time to themselves or small gatherings, but they might also grow very restless or bored without the pep they get from a big gathering or doing something very socially interactive. Similarly, introverts may enjoy going to parties or big outings, but they also need their alone time to recharge their batteries.

I consider myself a social introvert because as much as I love going to a big gathering, meeting people, and socializing, I start to get anxious and cagey without some time to myself to just reflect or do something solo like writing or playing music.

So, yes, I enjoy my quiet evenings at home, but, god, there's also nothing like going out dancing with a big group of friends at the Union on a night when everybody's gone out to groove.

We all exist on a spectrum. I've never been fond of labels because they never tell the full story about a person.

So what do you think? Are you comfortable being the extrovert or the introvert, or is there more going on there that nobody's really asking about?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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