After a long day at work, what works best for you to get relaxed? If you hang out with friends and like to party, you are probably an extrovert. If you find your bliss in your living room, lounging on the sofa in front of the TV with your bowl of popcorn, you are most likely an introvert!
Personality Types: Introverts & Extroverts:
Popular belief suggests that extroverts are socially amicable, outgoing and happier in their disposition compared to introverts who are withdrawn, shy and socially awkward. But unlike popular understanding, psychological definitions vary in their perspective and interpretation of introverts and extroverts. We all have a unique personality depending upon the combination and patterns of thoughts, feelings and actions we use to interact with ourselves and the world. Introversion and extraversion are two qualities.
What is Introversion?
The definition of introversion is the quality of a person to seek insights, learnings and energy from Within themselves. On the other hand, extraversion means the quality where a person seeks insights, emotional comfort and energy from the Outside world. An introvert might evaluate their social interactions based upon how the world affects them whereas an extrovert might evaluate on the basis of how they influence or impact the world.
Introversion is not equal to Shyness
Shyness is different from introversion. Being shy is a type of social fear, which even extroverts can experience. A person who is extremely outgoing otherwise, is a proclaimed extrovert; may feel shy in front of that one girl he feels attracted to. This is mostly because the extroverts do not spend much time introspecting or attending to their feelings; and thus emotional bonds may make them jittery.
Introverts are comfortable within themselves and prefer more ‘me-time’. Extroverts can feel bored or uncomfortable to be on their own and prefer to be amongst people.
As we see, introversion and extraversion are simply different kinds of traits. According to Carl Jung, none of us are pure introverts or pure extroverts. We use a combination of the two qualities tipping more towards introversion or towards extraversion.
Very many famous successful personalities like Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Sir Isaac Newton, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffett, and many more, are introverts by nature. Infact, many people who choose the careers as script-writers, artists, scientists, orators; are found to be introverts.
Muhammad Ali, Steve Jobs, A few examples of extraversion could be marketing people, advertisers, reporters, leaders etc.
Are Extroverts Happier then Introverts?
We could benefit from recognising that happiness is not a quotient that can be measured by the intensity of extraversion or introversion. The popular belief formed that extroverts are happy has developed because others can evaluate happiness by the impact the extroverts tend to have by their pleasant personalities focused on the outside world. Introverts might be happy in their own creativity or imagination and thus seldom appear to be happy in presence of people.
Although there have been psychologists and studies which refute this opinion, and argue that Extroversion is directly correlated to Happiness, this belief is probably coming from the cultural expectation which regards extraversion as a more socially desirable trait.
An extrovert will be unhappy at the thought that “Aww…I have to spend time alone today”. And an introvert will be the happiest for the same – “Oh, I get to spend some time alone today!” The same thing can make one happy and another unhappy.
Happiness can be visible to others or felt by self, introverts and extroverts are equally happy or unhappy depending on other factors of one’s personality like a sense of purpose, self-acceptance and a strong support system. Not only gregariousness, exuberance, and talkativeness; but peacefulness, contentment and calmness can also be the hallmark definitions of what we call “being happy”.
So, what do you think? are you an introvert or an extrovert? And are you happy being the way you are? 🙂