Q. What is Introversion?
A. Introversion is a personality trait (defined by C. G. Jung) where we prefer to relate to the world by first taking it “inward.” Our energy comes from within. Extraverts, on the other hand, are energized by direct interaction with the world, such as socializing. We all possess introversion and extraversion to some degree, but, according to Jung, we inherently prefer one over the other.
Q. Is it similar to being shy?
A. Shyness is a fear or anxiety about social situations, and can feel lonely and isolating. Introversion is a natural trait. Studies have shown a slight correlation between introversion and anxiety/shyness, but introverts and extraverts alike can be shy.
Q. How much of the general population is introverted?
A. It was once believed that about 25% of the U.S. population was introverted. More recent studies have shown it to be closer to 50%.
Q. Are introverts prone to mental illness?
A. No correlation has been shown between introversion and depression or other mental illness. In a few studies, a slight correlation has been shown between introversion and anxiety.
Q. What are some traits of introversion?
- High concentration skills
- A rich innner life
- A tendency to pause to consider before speaking or acting.
Q. How can I interact effectively with my extravert friends?
A. Since we all possess both introversion and extraversion to some degree, we can choose to be outspoken and social when we need to. We can even enjoy social activity. We simply need more solitude breaks to recharge our “social batteries.”
In the same vein, we can learn that it’s ok to pause to think, or to ask for the solitude that we need.
Q. How can I get my extraverted friends/spouse/family to give me the peace and quiet that I need?
A. It helps to understand that extraverts need interaction as much as we need our solitude. Try to talk about and appreciate each others’ differences. Encourage extraverts to seek the social outlets that they need. Create a space for yourself to where you can escape when people and noise become overwhelming.