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Studies suggest introverts are outnumbered by extroverts by about six to one. Most people assume that introverts are shy, lonely, and fearful of social situations, but these stereotypes are not true. Introverts are not afraid of socializing or being around other people; they may just prefer small groups or solo activities to large gatherings and bustling social events, at least some of the time. Though they may be presumed to be aloof or arrogant, people who lean heavily to the introversion side of the scale simply have an alternative way of navigating the world around them.

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1. Extraversion vs. Introversion

The terms "introvert" and "extrovert" were popularized by Carl Jung, a famous psychoanalyst who believed that extroverts directed their energy toward others while introverts focus their energy inwards. Researchers measure extroversion and introversion on a sliding scale, with the extreme of each personality type on an opposite end of the spectrum. Most people fall somewhere between the two, having a variety of introverted and extroverted qualities. In this article, we will use the term "introvert" as shorthand for "people with more introverted qualities" — those on that half of the sliding scale.

Introvert Extrovert Children diane39 / Getty Images
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