Today I was bit surprised, but delighted to get a call from ABC 702 radio‘s The Drive Show program hosted by Richard Glover. I was invited to participate in an on air discussion about introversion and extroversion. I hadn’t looked at the news today but apparently there are plans for people are going to Mars. Well some people are going to Mars and extroverts apparently may not be acceptable to NASA.
The literature says you can be introvert, an extrovert or an ambivert ( a combination of introvert and extrovert). Extroversion/ introversion are generally considered to be on a continuum. Extroverts tend to be talkative, assertive, gregarious, enthusiastic people who tend to get bored if they are by themselves. Extroverts may enjoy big parties, getting involved in community activities, political parties etc.
Introverts enjoy reflection, solitary activities like hiking , fishing, read and writing. Introverts enjoy being by themselves and do not find big groups of people particularly rewarding. Introverts prefer one on one conversations or small groups to big parties.
Many people would have a mixture of extrovert and introvert qualities and would be labelled ambiverts. Ambiverts are reasonably comfortable in group settings but still enjoy time alone.
There seems to be a common misconception that introverts are necessarily socially anxious. Some socially anxious people may be introverts but not socially phobic people are introverts. People who are introverts may prefer solitude and solitary activities but that does not necessarily mean they are fearful of social interaction.
Western society values extroversion but there are many good qualities associated with introversion such as being a good listener, thinking before one speaks, being happy working by oneself. Introversion is associated with intelligence and giftedness.
If you are interested in introversion you might like to read the book “Quiet” by Susan Cain.