“Introverts live in two worlds: We visit the world of people, but solitude and the inner world will always be our home.” -Jenn Granneman, “The Secret Lives of Introverts: Inside Our Hidden World”
I think by now most of us are familiar with the terms introvert and extrovert, but if you aren’t, check out the video by BBC Ideas below.
The difference between introverts and extroverts is where they get their stimulation from. Extroverts tend to get their energy from social settings and introverts are recharged with quiet, alone time. Like most things, introversion and extroversion are on either ends of a spectrum, with gray area in the middle. Ambiverts are a personality type that tend to balance extroversion and introversion and are usually more socially flexible.
Not all introverts are the same. Jonathan Cheek PhD, found that there are four types of introverts, and that most introverts are a mixture of more than one type.
I myself have always been introverted. When I was younger, I was soft spoken and preferred to spend my time alone exploring in the woods next to my parent’s house, imagining hidden worlds in the meadows and trees.
I used to equate being an introvert with being shy and quiet, and used to envy people who could walk into a room and strike up a conversation with anyone. It seemed like some extroverts could make fast friends with most people instantly, whereas for me, it was a slow process getting to know someone enough to call them a friend.
The world praises extroversion. From the time we are young, we are urged to be bubbly and personable and to command a room if we want to be heard. Our workplaces and schools cater to extroverts and our society values making quick decisions and thriving in team settings and open-work environments. There is of course room for every personality type, but I wouldn’t change my introversion for the world. Introversion is not a defect, but a superpower.
Introverts are great listeners. We listen with intensity and love a good story. Most of us have the ability to make anyone feel seen and heard. We make great friends, partners and coworkers.
We have beautiful imaginations; we can create and house worlds within our minds. We are thinkers and creators. We soak up the energy around us like sponges and can bring calm to chaotic environments.
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