Introversion, extroversion and personality types

There is a distinct boundary between the different types of energy human beings give off, and it makes us vary on some fundamental level. Not in necessarily an unfavourable level, but one all the same. An unsavoury observation by those who have not put the effort into researching the differences of personality types, see it in black and white terms. Introverts are quiet, and shy whilst extroverts are loud and outgoing. One is more favourable than the other in societies mind at times, to succeed you have to be a ‘talker’ and hence people are forced to conform to the stereotypes of being an extrovert. I have in the past, and I would not be surprised if others I know would admit to this. Fundamentally, I believe this has drastic effects on those who are introverts but feel as if there is something wrong with them because they do not act like others around them.

It is suggested that there is a 3:1 ratio of extroverts to introverts on Earth, and I do believe this to some extent*.

Extroversion and introversion are two differing traits in each human beings personality. Along with other traits this makes up who they are as a being. I know, finally, that I am an introvert and have grown to accept this fact. Now, I know that sometimes those who I speak about this to are confused about the differences between extroversion and introversion, so I will list some definitions:

Introvert(sion): These are people who are often thinking inwardly, they are described by themselves or others as being in their ‘own world’ and are more occupied with their own thoughts. They internalise their thoughts, dreams and feelings, rather than articulating them externally to others.

They most likely have these characteristics:

• Thoughtful.
• Have a keen passion for their own development and understanding of the self.
• Private about their emotions.
• Quiet and can come across as unconfident around larger crowds and people they don’t know.
• Socialise, and more confident, around those they have known for a longer time.
• Observe, and learn through watching situations/others.

The downsides of introversion though is that they are often described as being ‘distant’, ‘cold’, ‘shy’ and ‘up themselves.’ I have been described as these on many occasion, I can agree with being shy, but the others are stereotypes placed upon my personality. Introverts tend to have partake in a small social group, only conversing predominantly with those they are most comfortable with, and being social can at times be difficult causing certain amounts of discomfort. Introverts often are not those who speak before thinking, they may spend ages articulating conversations in their minds before speaking to others, as they need to mull it over in their heads to decide the impact their words will have. Introverts will need time to themselves, to be alone, for a certain amount of time to gather their energy after being social. A downside to this personality type though as introverts are that because they are outnumbered by extroverts in society they may find people want, or make, them change themselves in order to be accepted. It is despicable as a society, that those who are seen as more ‘quiet’ would be alienated to the extent they feel as if they need to be something they aren’t. The amount of times that I was told when I was at high school by teachers that I was ‘too quiet’, ‘reluctant to partake in class discussion’ and ‘uncooperative’ is an indescribable amount. They should have been supportive instead of forceful in applying their bigoted beliefs, but of course not as the educational system has always had its flaws.

Although introverts can have a tricky time as they are outnumbered considerably, we have a particular gift which is pleasing. It is known that a vast amount of introverts are very creative. They make up the majority of writers, artists, actors etc…they excel in situations which they can flourish independently whilst embracing their personality. This is most likely down to the fact that they are always thinking about things, so they express these thoughts into words.

Now, moving onto the other side:

Extrovert(sion): I have been mistaken for an extrovert at times, and I will explain why later in this post, but this personality trait differs massively to introversion. These are the people who may be described as ‘party animals’ or ‘overly-friendly.’ These are the people who are gain their energy by being around people, and socialising a lot. They may get restless when they are left by themselves, as they get bored when not around others.

Extroverts unlike introverts speak a lot. They are the talkers, whereas the introverts are the writers, to be able to understand something extroverts talk it out. Whilst introverts think about it. Extroverts enjoy socialising, may be more prone to night outs and a common misconception is ‘getting drunk a lot.’ This is another stereotype that is applied to introverts, which makes them feel sometimes as if there is something ‘wrong with them.’ The majority of introverts I know do not feel the need to go out a lot of the time to pubs, or clubs, but are continuously asked by people whether they have or not. If as an introvert you say ‘No, I don’t go out a lot’ it instantaneously makes you in the eyes of the other look ‘lame’ or like the ‘freak.’ Do not misconstrue what I am saying, introverts can still go out and socialise, but they may not feel the need to as extroverts do, as they are energised by being around others.

Extroverts excel in small talk, which a lot of introverts do not like or can maintain, and they are more at ease talking to people they may not know. They are the ones you see who can go up to random people and feel no problem speaking to them, or they may look completely natural in doing so.

After those definitions, you probably know what one you come under but if not you may be ambiverted which goes against the Carl Jung theory, but this is when you share traits which come under both introvert and extrovert categories. You may be one of the people on the spectrum who are more towards the middle than to the ends. I am more introverted but I am quite close to the middle, so I can come across as extroverted sometimes if I feel the desire to be so.

Also, knowing your personality type really helps put your life into perspective, I have taken a few tests but not officially, but the type seems to be too much of a match to what I am like to be a coincidence. So, until I am proven wrong, I am an INFJ.
They are soft-spoken, use language which is sensitive, and can be easily mistyped as being extroverted (I know this one I kept getting typed as an ENFJ), also INFJ’s take a lot of care with others feelings, and although they are introverted have a massive passion for the ideals they hold in their lives. Once they have exhausted themselves, unfortunately it is easy for this personality type to feel unhealthy and get stressed easily. Accordingly, only 1% of the population are INFJ’s so it is quite easy to feel misunderstood if you come under this type, some characteristics to this personality are (courtesy of http://www.16personalities.com/infj-strengths-and-weaknesses):

1. They are creative and have a strong imagination.
2. They can be insightful and can easily see through facades and dishonest intentions, making it easy to step by manipulation (if they choose to believe their intuition).
3. Can be looked at as being inspiring as they speak in human terms with a writing style which is seen as warm.
4. They can make an impact with their writing if they choose to.
5. Passionate when they believe something is important enough, they can put everything into something if they feel it is necessary, the way they go around doing something may be unconventional.
6. They have strong beliefs, and if people threaten them then they aren’t afraid to tell it how it is.

Weaknesses though are:

1. Sensitive.
2. Very private.
3. Perfectionist.
4. Have a habit of not looking after themselves, and becoming ill because of it.
5. Always need to have a reason to do something.

To conclude, it can be found that as human beings, although we are all the same we differ in our own unique ways. You may be an extrovert, an introvert or even an ambivert but it doesn’t matter. All humans need to do is accept each other for whom we are, whether that be an INFJ, an ESTP, or an INFP or so on and so forth. If you haven’t already, take some time to look into personality types, everyone could do with understanding themselves.

*My sister at university studied psychology and sociology, my dad studied psychology when he was in education, and finally I studied Higher Psychology at school whilst also learning sociology in my first year of university on the side of my main degree in English Literature. In essence, I am not a professional by any means because I do not specialise in this subject. I don’t believe knowledge comes through educational attainment, but having a passion for a subject, and I’ve researched and compiled data to do with this for months. However, all ‘facts’ are stuff I have picked up and can’t reference – do not take it at face value.

References:
http://psychology.about.com/od/trait-theories-personality/f/introversion.htm
http://www.scienceofpeople.com/2014/12/ambivert-extrovert-introvert/
http://giftedkids.about.com/od/glossary/g/extrovert.htm

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