IS BEING AN INTROVERT A GOOD OR A BAD THING?

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First, an article about 10 myths about introverts:

http://owlcityblog.com/2011/06/27/10-myths-about-introverts/

This article basically describes the cold, hard truth about introverts, and that introverts are not necessarily a bad thing. Sure, introverts may be some sort of an outcast, but at least the thing is to respect them.

Now, obviously, I'm not trying to defend them or anything, but yeah, different people have different characteristics, and that we should respect them for who they are.

Feel free to debate as you see fit to. But please, no flaming. Thank you.

Me? I'm partial introvert, partial extrovert. But I still want to strive more towards being an extrovert while still maintaining some of my introvert self.

EDIT: Rephrased the title to better reflect on the topic.
Besides for introverts complaining about their lack of getting laid, in all seriousness I never thought anyone seriously entertained the idea of introverts/extroverts being 'good' or 'bad'. It's like saying someone liking chocolate chip cookies is good or bad. It's just a personality type.

author=eplipswich
Now, obviously, I'm not trying to defend them or anything, but yeah, different people have different characteristics, and that we should respect them for who they are.


Introverts or paedophiles...? Who ever thought introverts are that bad they need defending? That probably condemns 50% of the population. You might as well title the topic "are extroverts good or bad?" Also, not being an extrovert does not equal being an introvert. It's not either/or, it's a sliding scale.

Now, if you are talking about those at the extreme end, people who have serious problems relating to or interacting with other people (hikkikomori if you will...*ahem*) then I would still have to ask, good or bad for whom? Of course, if you are extremely introverted and you hate it, wishing you could be outgoing, then it's bad. But if you don't mind being by yourself and shunning human interaction, then you're not hurting anybody so who cares?

I guess one side-effect of the Internet is that those who are extremely introverted in face-to-face communication can feel more comfortable with interacting over it. This means there are thousands of interactions happening every day between people who don't really have the social skills to have a normal conversation. Is in any wonder there is so much trolling, flamewars and misunderstandings? Unfortunately this has been really obvious with certain members of this site in the last few days.
introversion
n
1. (Psychology) Psychol the directing of interest inwards towards one's own thoughts and feelings rather than towards the external world or making social contacts

extroversion, extraversion
n
1. (Psychology) Psychol the directing of one's interest outwards, esp towards social contacts

(from the Collins dict.)

I wouldn't label people as introverts or extroverts (because that's just wrong and fuels the prejudices in my opinion). I rather think of introversion and extroversion as skills that can both be useful in moderation:

Introversion helps in becoming self-conscious of your qualities and flaws, thought processes and beliefs, and therefore is mandatory to work on becoming a better person.

And extroversion helps in becoming conscious of who others are and how they feel about, think of and react to you, and therefore is mandatory to work on building and maintaining healthy relationships.
author=Avee
I wouldn't label people as introverts or extroverts (because that's just wrong and fuels the prejudices in my opinion). I rather think of introversion and extroversion as skills that can both be useful in moderation:


I think that's pretty simplistic. There are definitely people who are more introverted and there are people who are more extroverted. There are degrees, yeah, but it's not about it being a skill or whatever, it's a static, ingrained personality trait in an individual. There's no prejudice about it or whatever. That's just how it is.
chana
(Socrates would certainly not contadict me!)
1584
I think environment can also have an effect on how much of an intro/extrovert a person is.
author=Avee
Introversion helps in becoming self-conscious of your qualities and flaws, thought processes and beliefs, and therefore is mandatory to work on becoming a better person.

And extroversion helps in becoming conscious of who others are and how they feel about, think of and react to you, and therefore is mandatory to work on building and maintaining healthy relationships.

So can I safely say it's good to have a balance of introversion and extroversion? For me, I certainly think so too. But I guess we can't force someone who's more towards introversion to be more towards extroversion. Definitely not so the other way round.

Which goes to say being an introvert is okay, even with some people mocking an introvert for being too quiet or talking deep stuff that is just incomprehensible, hence becoming an outcast. Maybe, as long as the introvert doesn't mind, it's all good. But is it actually?
@Feld: Personality traits aren't static. Most of one's personality builds itself through experiences and become more and more anchored with repetition, which leaves an impression of statis and leads to people defining themselves (I used labeling as a synonym of defining here but that might have bene wrong. Blame my knowledge of english), but in fact personality is ever-mutable.

We do agree that there are degrees and there shouldn't be prejudices though.

eplipswich
But I guess we can't force someone who's more towards introversion to be more towards extroversion. Definitely not so the other way round.

I'm not sure about that because I don't think introversion and extroversion are the opposite sides of the same coin. One is about reflecting on the self, the other is about reflecting on others. That sounds like two different skills to me IMO.

Anyway I know who you are referring to here. I didn't give a lot of thought about all that. I believe everyone should be welcome to RMN as long as they follow the rules.
chana
(Socrates would certainly not contadict me!)
1584
@eplipswich : deep stuff shouldn't be incomprehensible (unless you're talking to idiots of course).
author=Avee
@Feld: Personality traits aren't static. Most of one's personality builds itself through experiences and become more and more anchored with repetition, which leaves an impression of statis and leads to people defining themselves (I used labeling as a synonym of defining here but that might have bene wrong. Blame my knowledge of english), but in fact personality is ever-mutable.

We do agree that there are degrees and there shouldn't be prejudices though.

What I meant was, personality is static in the short term. Yeah, personality is malleable and changes and evolves with experiences and the person. However, being wildly different than you were last Tuesday is pretending 99% of the time for the sake of a given goal, not actually a personality change. Introversion and extroversion aren't 'skills' that can be turned off or on, they're integral degrees of a person.

A normally shy person who muffs up the balls to speak up to his boss about a promotion isn't utilizing a 'skill', he's just going outside his character as necessary to get something done. Likewise, a normally loud person who shuts the fuck up for a minute to hear the teacher talk isn't utilizing a skill either, he's just going outside his comfort zone to shut the fuck up. A 'label' isn't by definition 'prejudice', because sometimes 'labels' are actually pretty fucking accurate about an individual. In fact, I don't think you know what prejudice means;

'an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge'

or

'any preconceived opinion or feeling, either favorable or unfavorable.'

Calling someone an introvert or an extrovert when they really are those things and may even identify as such isn't prejudice, it's just, uh, making a judgement call.
When I used prejudice I was referring to the misconceptions about introverts that are in the OP's link. Sorry if my sentence wasn't clear.

Eplipswich, don't forget to read my previous edit (I know I miss these a lot myself)
author=Avee
One is about reflecting on the self, the other is about reflecting on others


I think you need to reassess your definition of the term, I don't think we're all riding the same bus here.
Yeah, I'm referring to one of the few possible definitions and am probably twisting it to see the positive side it can have :P That's just me.
...cool, I got some stupid thing about identify your personality to get better bla bla bla, in my school, the most stupid thing I ever heard u.u just like the horoscopes they say thing's that apply to all, but funny that the site you put describes me more than the 95%. So I can practically give the point of view from an introvert person. so...,

One time Albert Einstein said something like this, everyone is a genius but if you measure a fish for his ability of fly is obvious that he is going to be an idiot. The thing here is the same, and practically, who is better introver or an extrovert? what is better to be a white man, or a black man? so that's why to choose wich one is better is a stupid thing.

also:
author=papasan96
I guess one side-effect of the Internet is that those who are extremely introverted in face-to-face communication can feel more comfortable with interacting over it. This means there are thousands of interactions happening every day between people who don't really have the social skills to have a normal conversation. Is in any wonder there is so much trolling, flamewars and misunderstandings? Unfortunately this has been really obvious with certain members of this site in the last few days.

I feel more comfortable for other reasons really. When I find something to talk I can really talk for hours like the web said and talk with everyone without getting the other person annoyed, the problem is that I didn't talk with EVERYONE because their conversations are just not interesting for me, so practically they see me like a person that doesn't have a good skill in social aptitudes due that I don`t really talk much with people. And the reasons because I feel comfortable here is because here I can check what interest me and what doesn't and just put my point of view.
Yellow Magic
Could I BE any more Chandler Bing from Friends (TM)?
3154
There's nothing wrong with being an introvert. Shyness, on the other hand, is probably not the best quality to have (I say "quality" because I have no idea if shyness is considered a personality trait or not and I can't think of any other word to use - curse my awful vocabulary).
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
6003
Article is kinda dumb as it tells you a list of "myths" and then has a paragraph under each one explaining that it's actually true and gives you more details about how and why it's true.
The guy from Owl City is an attention whore, not an introvert.
I'm also really confused by the idea that introversion/extroversion could be good or bad at all. They're just things. Though I do wonder if you're misinterpreting the most extreme side of introversion as being the only side.

Really, all that defines an introvert/extrovert is how they instinctively react to being around people and being alone. An introvert is overstimulated in a crowd or tense social situation, making them uncomfortable, while an extrovert is under-stimulated while alone, making them restless and frustrated. I guess one could see that and say that a balance would be best, going by that alone, but even then there's the issue of such a balanced person having less of a tendency toward specialization in what they do. Since an introvert can spend time alone, just mulling over ideas and thoughts for hours without a problem, they have more potential to be talented artists, writers, scientists, etc. Extroverts, on the other hand, can work with people without easily getting burnt out, and thus make awesome CEOs, performers, negotiators, etc. So, short version, extroversion and introversion aren't good or bad. They're just things.

Now, yes, there are psychological disorders that play off of introversion and extroversion in ways that make it look like they're the problem, but usually it's more of an interaction leading to a bad result, rather than the more mundane, common piece of the puzzle (The intro/extro personality) being an issue. It's like people blaming violent video games as being the reason behind a kid's crazed killing spree, when really the kid's delusions and anger management issues are the reason why he took a look at that game and decided that, hey! This looks like a good idea to take into real life!

As an introvert with social anxiety disorder, I'm still easily able to tell the difference between what reactions to social situations are just my introversion, and which are due to my fight or flight instincts being a confused mess. Protip, not wanting to go to that guy's party out of mild discomfort about the idea of dealing with a bunch of people is my introversion. Wanting to run away from his karaoke machine as if it were a bear about to maul me is my anxiety disorder. (That, and the fact that no sane person would ever own a karaoke machine and I probably came to the only logical realization that he may actually be a bear wanting to maul me.) So yes, the two of them are similar, but they're not at all the same thing. That same sort of connection can be applied to pretty much any other personality disorder and how it makes people react around other people and/or suspicious karaoke machines.
Decky
I'm a dog pirate
19517
I go from being wicked extroverted to being wicked introverted at the snap of a finger. That's by far my biggest life challenge.
I am fairly introverted, as is my wife, and in my experience a lot of extroverts sincerely think there's something wrong with you if you're a little quiet or not ecstatic about the prospect of participating in some big group activity.

College was the worst, lol. I went to a small residential college and everyone just thought you were so weird if you were more comfortable being by yourself than being a part of the "community."
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