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Introversion as a Way of Life

Updated on January 11, 2017

Introversion as a Way of Life

The way a person derives energy in order to conduct life is a physiological determinant known as either introversion or extraversion. Introverts derive energy from being alone and extraverts recharge their batteries from being around other people. This article describes the introverted personality and lifestyle. In the United States, extraverts comprise seventy five percent of the population while the remaining twenty five percent is introverted. Sixty percent of the academically gifted population is introverted.


The Misunderstood Introvert

Introversion is not a mental illness, it's a personality type. Carl Jung a Swiss Psychiatrist first coined the term after breaking a professional relationship with the famous Sigmund Freud. Jung proposed that introverts are self motivated and that they become more energized from internal stimuli as opposed to the constantly communicating, speaking before thinking extraverts. Introverts do think first and speak later. They need to formulate their thoughts before engaging speech. This is due to brain wiring differences between the two, extraverts having more ready access to verbalization because of a shorter pathway between connecting thoughts to words. Extraverts speak while thinking and introverts think while speaking or don't speak at all. This leads to a misunderstanding toward introverts as being shy, withdrawn, unstable, or as being loners. Extraverts love parties, being able to small talk and rejuvenate, whereas the introvert gets drained from these interactions and seeks quiet.

There are many different personalities within the realm of introversion. All seek alone time to reenergize. These may be poets, engineers, scientists, mechanics, clerical workers, and teachers, among others. Extraverts do these things as well, the difference is that the latter seeks out others to share their readily available, short term, live in the moment thought processes via constant verbal interchange, either face to face or cell phone, introverts are more apt to text, and need to get away from this constant chattering to read a book. Introverts are more prone to envision and become more driven by a concept rather than a group.

A very few introverted types have been mistaken for being extraverted because of their love of and for others. Their stories have been chronicled from time immemorial. Great thinkers such as Mahatma Gandhi, Jesus Christ, Eleanor Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, and Abraham Lincoln have been proven to have had introverted personalities because of the way they conducted their lives, the words they shared, and the profound ideals by which the world benefited. Remember, introverts comprise sixty percent of the academically gifted population.

Introverted Personality Types

There are eight different personality types which fall under the psychological energy enabling source of Introversion as developed by the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator Test. These eight are each assigned four letter group associations to differentiate themselves from one another. They comprise, ISTJ, ISTP, ISFJ, ISFP, INTJ, INTP, INFJ, and INFP. The first letters in the groups stand for (I)ntroversion. The seconds denote (S) Sensing, or receiving data from the five senses, and (N) Intuition, or receiving data from internal intuitive processes. The thirds delineate how the individual acts upon the data received, either through (T) Thinking, or logical calculations, and (F) Feeling, or value oriented considerations. The fourths relate to (J) Judging and (P) Perceiving, psychological thought processes that determine how an individual executes life's duties and obligations, either by seeking closure to problem solving, (J), or keeping options open to decisions, (P).

Introverts tend to have two distinct life programs, a public and a private one, whereas extraverts tend to behave the same whether at work or home. Introverts have been forced by society, especially in the United States, other cultures are more tolerant of the introvert and may even aspire to emulate this individual, to conform to unnatural behaviors in order to execute the work-a-day duties of a capitalistic, or even socialistic, economy. The "movers and shakers", the "go-getters", and the "status seeking bureaucrats", are enough to make the quiet introverted person want to cry or go to hide. The introvert must swallow hard, "make-believe" until the act is down pat, and smile until it hurts in order to fit and to please the extraverted majority. At many times and levels, the introvert is an overlooked, ignored, and persecuted minority.

Introversion and Psychology - Introverts at Work and Home

Introverts comprise only twenty five percent of the American population. Read more on introversion at work, home, and what it means for the individual. How do introverts relate to friends and family? What makes them tick and how do they respond to stimuli from the outside world? What motivates the introvert? It's all here. Read on!

Tell the world what you think! Is it time for introverted individuals to take a stand and pronounce their differences and to display pride in who they are? If you are introverted, speak up, please!

Introversion and You - Introversion vs. Extraversion

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      4 years ago

      Very true :)

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      5 years ago

      Great lens. I'm also an introvert and am looking to find a career that I can stand to do. Too much work in customer service. My family are mostly extroverts and it can be really hard for them to understand me.

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      6 years ago

      My entire life, friends and family have viewed me as a 'down' person. Part of me believed it, the other- figured out how to conform. This created an unbalance within me. Anyhow, I'm sure we all have sung this tune.

      Recently through meditative introspection, I realized I am wired differently and researched this. Being able to classify myself as an introvert has brought a tremendous amount of relief. As an overtly expressed introvert; not only has any social pressure been lifted, but thanks to other brave introverts, I can cite literature so my extroverted family can understand. I am not the type of person to force anything upon anyone, but in this case to ease their suffering. I can see the hurt in their eyes when I decline family gatherings. Thank you to the solitary trail blazers and good luck out there

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      7 years ago

      Just wanted to send out my support. I read your post at another Squidoo article and just read your post. Very good. My whole family is introverted..strangers in a strange land. (Well, my Dearest Husband (DH) doesn't think he is but I did several quizzes and I think he is.) I often feel like an imposter in the real world. I have to act a certain way to get by. But, that's what American society expects. You must be an aggressive, go-getter and behave much like a shark in the water. It is so very hard to find a career/job or managers I can endure. So, I'm at home with my kids. Best of luck to you, INFJMan.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Really interesting article, thanks for sharing!


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