Introversion and Extraversion

I’m gonna do something here that I don’t often do, and (in my lifestyle of filling myself with sugar and caffeine and definitely not drinking enough water) I kind of have little right to. Imma give some self-care advice. Now I know what you’re thinking, “oh boy, here he comes preaching about how we should love ourselves and not shave our legs for society and prepare ourselves for the approach of the robot overlords”. While these are things I believe, it’s not my message today, it’s about looking at one of the most fundamental psychological principles which affects us all in our lives, introversion and extraversion.

Since this is a topic that hits close to home with stuff I’ve been dealing with, I’ll preface this with something I learned quite recently, you can’t assume which you are based on certain lifestyle choices. To slightly better describe what I mean, I’ll give a couple examples. Myself, I read comics, play lots of Pokemon (both video game and card game), play board games, and enjoy writing. All aspects of an introvert. I, however, am extraverted, I thrive on being surrounded by my friends, and spending time in some social situations. The reason I’m not great in all situations, is I can get quite shy, a quality that has a different stemming point from introversion. My partner is a nurse, so has loads of patient interaction; attends choir with other people; attends church when she gets chance; and has regular meetups with friends from work or university. Once again, extraverted qualities, but belonging to an introvert in this case. Lifestyle doesn’t make this choice for us. All through high school, because I didn’t really share this hobbies with anyone, I assumed I was an introvert, so chose to spend more time by myself, thinking I would feel refreshed and happy with myself. Only recently have I discovered how wrong I was, and how big an impact it had had on my life, and how I felt about myself.

introvert lobster

As much as we can’t assume how our own lives are affected by this, we also can’t make assumptions about how others will act depending on which category they fall in to. Let’s put it to sleep now that all introverts shut themselves in their room all day and are shy and reserved, and that all extroverts never shut up and are show-offs who want all the attention from everyone all the time. Some of the best authors were introverts, able to produce some of the greatest pieces of literature and art the world has seen, and presented it to the world, so they could enjoy it. I can’t think of any famous examples, but I’m a very reserved and private person, not many people know everything about me, or can tell how I’m really feeling a lot of the time, and I’m very happy with the spotlight off of me. Labels don’t describe everything about us.

The reason I went with this post, and the main thing I wanted to bring out of it was for people to want to try and learn a bit more about themselves. As far as online quizzes go, most aren’t great (although apparently if I were a cocktail I’d be a Martini since I’m usually shaky because of my nervousness and I’m slightly bitter), but definitely check out some of the Myers-Briggs tests you can do online. They’re usually fairly good at figuring out what makes you tick, and may surprise you with the result. Maybe put it to the test as well, spend a little time just by yourself doing a solo task and see how you feel, and do the same in a group environment. It’s definitely something that’s worth finding out, especially before you spend years assuming you fall in to one category, and drain yourself trying to force yourself into things you don’t want to do. Trust me, you don’t get the years back, so find out sooner. Above all else, be happy with your decisions.

Keep having fun guys, Michael switching off!

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