“Man has as many social selves as there are distinct groups of people about whose opinion he cares. In general, each of those groups shows a different aspect of his own personality.” – William James
Do you agree? Wouldn’t it be ideal to enjoy life with one authentic self that is not influenced by who we are with and in what situation? When Carl Gustav Jung laid the foundations of personality typology decades ago based on the relationship with the environment, he didn’t even know what it would look like in the 21st century. Perhaps (certainly) there was something to it when we are still interested today in how we behave and mainly why. For me personally, this typology is one of the basics for a better understanding of the world and those who make it up.
About 5 minutes before a speech in front of a large audience and a stomach clenched like never before, a trembling voice during an argument in a group, panic when meeting new people… Does it come to mind when I ask you to imagine an introvert? After some thought, maybe even with the help of Google, you would find other characteristics that undoubtedly belong to people with a more introverted personality type. Introverts are often categorized as those whose richness of internally experienced world often separates them from social events and interpersonal contacts and relationships. They simply often get by on their own or prefer a stable circle of a smaller number of friends. Someone might write that they are actually unsociable. Did you find yourself in the description of an introvert? Are you relieved that you are not one? Well, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but every one of us has this personality type mixed in, and I even believe that the more introverted, the better. Give me a moment, and I’ll explain why. 🙂
No division is black and white, so in this case, you are not reserved for only one type of behavior. In other words, it is pointless to attribute certain characteristics and behaviors to only one type of personality. An introvert is not just someone who has spent their entire life in a laboratory contemplating research dilemmas with minimal communication interactions, and an extrovert is not just a self-assured clown who can give a speech to a thousand people without breaking a sweat. Sometimes what may appear extroverted to us is simply the result of an introvert’s intense effort to meet the demands of a specific event.
The world needs introverts
If we look at an introvert only as a person with a personality that is inadequate for the current societal ideal in some way, we will only be cheating ourselves. Why? Because the world needs introverts. Behind great discoveries, advancements in society, and even perhaps your positive life changes is an introvert. To paraphrase the title of Susan Cain’s excellent book on introverts, the fact that we live in a world that often does not allow for a moment of silence is a challenge not only for extroverts, but also for the numerous other members of the population. One of the ways in which humans respond to the conditions in which they live is through adaptation. In other words, you get used to behaving in a certain way and almost accept the situation as your own. In the short term, this is fine, but would you want to live your whole life in a way that requires more effort than it brings you joy? If you talk constantly and a lot in life, you will be put in the box of chatterboxes, but if you speak less and pay attention to yourself, your surroundings, and others, the scale of introversion starts to tip in your favor. Is this bad? Not at all. I am glad that people are starting to realize this over time. Although that rich inner world is often not easy to identify as a contribution at first, give it a chance. A search for extroverts can be found on approximately 4.5 million pages, while there are three times as many results for introverts. It seems like a parallel that so much is written about introverts. Just as they themselves very willingly give textual form to their thoughts. Introversion is simply a commendable and respected approach to life. After all, introverts make up almost half of the population. 🙂
The Utilization of Introverts. Why not?
If you look at the requirements of future employers for candidates for the majority of job positions, you will find characteristics that are primarily suited to extroverts. They expect you to be communicative, have excellent presentation skills, be flexible, etc. Qualities such as decisiveness, attention to detail, and empathy are rarely seen. Of course, every job position is different, but on the other hand, having a bit of an introvert in a person is not absolutely detrimental. So let your inner introvert add the right touch to life. The richness of the inner world and unconventional ways of expression can often improve the quality of this stimulus-filled world in which we all exist.
Let’s not talk in general terms only, but do you remember a work meeting where even the quietest colleague had the chance to express their opinion? I assume it was worth it and not just talking to the wind. The lower reactivity of the colleague created space for reflection and consideration of all risks. Who will you turn to for advice when standing at the threshold of an important decision? Generally, we tend to seek those who will listen to us with calmness and consider all angles that we may not see. That’s why I personally think it’s good to mix any kind of teams, work or even non-work, in a certain ratio so that there’s a little bit of everything.
But what about romantic relationships?
The world can’t agree whether those opposites really attract in the long run, or it’s just short-lived and eventually they will repel each other. It’s all about communication. If the other partner is too loud for you and you need silence, analyze it and talk about it and find a compromise that will bring you pleasant coexistence. If one wants to go out every Friday and the other would rather stay home, agree on a ratio that is common for both of you and also on the setting in which you will spend your time. Let the wolf be full and the sheep whole, as they say. From conversations from various partnerships, I find that what we usually appreciate in the other is what we may not have ourselves, and at the same time, we admire it, so don’t be surprised that for a partner who loves to be the center of attention, your ability to weigh pros and cons and make decisions or your ability to soberly evaluate an investment is simply irresistible. Or gentlemen, who may not be the initiator of communication during a shared dinner with friends, let your partner love you for the peace that you can bring to life.
Whether you gather new strength in a crowd or in the shade and sound of peaceful music, let your uniqueness shine through, there are many people who will appreciate it. Once upon a time, there was a joke that every brunette needs her blonde, and I don’t mean it as a joke when I say that every extrovert needs their introvert. Simply allow yourself to be who you really are.
PS: Do you know who was the neck that turned the head of President F. D. Roosevelt? His wife Eleanor, an introvert whose inner strength, thoughts, and activities changed the world.