Don’t judge the introverts of the world; it’s more complicated than you think

“Introversion” and “extraversion” are terms most people are aware of, but few use them in their correct context.


There are two (well kind of) types of people in the world. There are those whose idea of a good time involves a room full of people—friends, strangers, acquaintances—partying, talking about the mundane aspects of everyday life, meeting new people and doing new things. Then there are those who prefer a more relaxed environment, sometimes alone, just watching a movie or reading a book and more in depth conversation.

Most people who have been through puberty are at least somewhat aware of the simplest ways their brains work—how they socialize, how they entertain themselves, etc. But introversion and extraversion are perhaps two of the most telling personality traits a person can possess.

“Introversion” and “extraversion” are terms most people are aware of, but few use them in their correct context. Many assume an introvert is a shy person while an extravert is an outgoing person, but such a presumption could not be more wrong.

The dictionary definition of introversion classifies it as a person’s tendency to direct his or her attention toward the self, while extraversion is defined as the habit of being predominantly concerned with gratification outside the self.

But the definitions also give a somewhat confusing explanation of what it really means to identify with one end of the personality spectrum or the other. By definition it seems as though introverts are self-centered while extroverts focus on the people or things around them.

In reality, however, the terms relate more to the way the brain works, and more importantly how a person receives energy. While an extrovert draws his or her energy from public connections, an introvert is drained of energy by excessive social interactions. The introvert is not just an anti-social hermit who dislikes other people, but he or she simply obtains energy from within himself or herself.

For some, extraversion is seen as the dominant or standard personality type. Such people may determine achievement in life based on social or public speaking abilities. But within such a stigma, in which only the social butterflies who easily assert themselves in a public situation acquire success, introverts are assumed to be the uncomfortable, shy people standing in the corner at parties.

For an introvert, that means sometimes staying home away from people outside a small circle is sometimes the best option. It’s not a lack of socialization or a loner characteristic. Staying home for an introvert means revitalization. It means more energy to put themselves in social situations later.