You can imagine introversion and extroversion as being on either end of a personality trait continuum. While introversion and extroversion are themselves two extreme personality traits, most people fall somewhere in the middle of the continuum. In fact, many theories of personality proclaim that everyone has some degree of introversion and extroversion, but most people tend to either be more introverted or more extroverted. Extroverts are described as social, assertive, talkative, and excitable. Introverts are quieter and reserved and don't seek out social situations as often as extroverts do. People who are introverted possess several personality traits that make them unique.
Whereas extroverts get energy from social situations, introverts must expend energy in them. Introverts tend to find social situations draining and need time alone after spending time around a lot of people. This doesn't mean that introverts don't like spending time with other people. However, while an extrovert may go to social events to meet new people, an introvert prefers to spend quality time with close friends.
Introverts need time alone for their health and happiness. Many introverts enjoy gardening, listening to music, reading, writing, watching movies, or doing other activities they can enjoy by themselves. Solitude is a welcome break from socializing for an introvert. Introverts often need some time alone after attending social events to give themselves time to recharge.
Introverts prefer to work alone rather than in groups. People who are introverted can focus and produce high-quality work in solitude whereas they find trying to navigate the social aspects of working in a group overwhelming. Those who are introverted may work well with others, but if given a choice, they will choose to work alone.
People who are introverted tend to be quiet. They carefully observe their environments, taking in all available information. Introverts carefully listen to someone's thoughts, feelings, and opinions and only offer a response after they have had time to digest the information. A research study indicates that introverted individuals may make more effective leaders than extroverts, especially when they have a team that's proactive. An introverted leader is more likely to listen to and process the ideas of their teams than extroverted leaders.
Introverted individuals enjoy socializing, but they prefer to keep a small circle of friends. Research shows that having high-quality relationships is essential to an introvert's happiness. Introverts tend to make good friends. They are loyal, reliable, and very attentive. The people within an introvert's circle of friends should feel lucky because introverts are choosy about who they add to their circle of friends.
Introverts prefer to think about their words rather than participate in the spontaneous give-and-take interaction verbal communication requires. Interestingly, research has found that people who are introverted have more gray matter in their prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that's responsible for processing abstract thought. Introverts possess more neurons in the brain that are devoted to reflection than extroverts. Reflection and abstract thought often lead to excellent writing. An introvert's writing is typically clear and organized as these individuals have an understanding of the issue at hand.
In Western culture, people who can make split-second decisions and can react immediately to problems and threats are valued. Introverts tend to think things through thoroughly. They consider all aspects of an issue before they take action or come to a conclusion. This makes them excellent decision-makers, and they often do well in roles where they're responsible for making important decisions.
Extroverts prefer stimulation from the outside while introverts prefer spending time in their inner world, in their own imaginations. Imagination breeds creativity and innovation. Many introverts are great writers, artists, and performers. Steve Martin, J.K. Rowling, Dr. Seuss, Albert Einstein, Steven Spielberg, Isaac Newton, Bill Gates, and Charles Darwin are just a handful of introverts who have made significant contributions to the world.
Introverts aren't distracted by the outside world the way extroverts are. When they can work in solitude, they can hunker down and concentrate on the task at hand. Oftentimes, introverted individuals can spend hours alone researching or writing. Their ability to concentrate allows them to become highly proficient experts in their fields.
People who are introverted spend a lot of time in their inner worlds examining their strengths, weaknesses, and goals. Introverts tend to strive to improve themselves as they continuously evaluate who they are. They also tend to be more considerate of others because they think about the consequences of their actions and how they will affect others.
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