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Fidel Dorantes

Dr. Rand
UWRT 1103
01 November 2014
The Social Dilemma: Living as an Introvert in an Extroverted world
For those of you who find the idea of having a root canal more appealing than going to a
party with strangers, or the idea of being the center of attention as something worse than death, I
have some news for you. Take a seat if you're standing, brace yourself if youre sitting, this just
might be the biggest shock for you yet. Ready? Good. Youre an introvert. I know, crazy right?
Wait, whats that? You dont believe me! Well let me just go down my handy little list here, stop
me if any of this sounds familiar. You dont like being around large groups of strangers much,
you enjoy the times you find yourself alone and find those to be the times when your at your
best, you prefer intimate connections over shallow ones, youre reluctant, if not totally opposed,
to go out of your comfort zone, and in general people have always described you as the quiet
one.
For those of you who found the above mentioned statements as something that
completely does not describe them, Im sorry to say that I was wrong about you. But this isnt
the end of the world. There might be someone who you know that does match up with what Ive
said so far and I hope youll continue reading for their sake. For the rest of you, you who looked
at my little list and said Wow that does kind of sound like me! even a little, please read on. This
might just be one of the best decisions youve made today.

Whether or not youve realized it by now there is an unmentioned stigma to being an


introvert. Its ridiculous and completely unfounded but there it is, the horribly idiotic belief that
being an introvert means that you wont be as happy in life as an extrovert. And for those of you
who are reading this and thinking that its true, kindly perk your ears, open your eyes and see the
truth for what it is. Introverts can be just as successful, happy, and accomplished in life than
extroverts without having to stop being introverts. In fact, being an introvert can mean getting
even further ahead than if they were not.
Before I get into the wonders of why being an introvert is an amazing thing, I think it
would be best to show you where this misconception first started. While I may not be able to
give you the exact time and date of when humans started to diverge in their personality, I can tell
you who brought it to the spotlight. It all started with a man called Jung and his theory on the
nature of man.
Dr. Carl Gustav Jung, born July 26, 1875, was a brilliant psychiatrist and the founder of a
new theory of psychology, of which is now known as analytical psychology(Cowgil). While
under the tutelage of yet another famous psychologist, Dr. Freud, which spanned nearly five
years, Jung become appalled by his mentors complete disregard of his patients psychological
issues as purely results of base urges which eventually led to Jung leaving his mentor to pursue
an alternate path to helping his patients find self fulfillment(Cowgil). It was during this time that
Dr. Jung discovered his theory of different personality types, a theory which sparked a huge rise
in personality type tests such as the Myers-Brigg Type Indicator test, the Rorschach test, etc., in
which through a careful observation the trained psychologist could tell what type of personality a
person supposedly had based on how closely a person response matched to a particular

type(Korn). It was through this research that Jung was able to extrapolate his eight basic
personality types, the most notable of which were Introversion and Extroversion.
In his published work Psychological Types(1921), Dr. Jung described the two in how the
two types gain, transfer, and lose energy. According to Jung, the extroverted personality type as
characterized by an outward flowing of personal energy, an interest in events, in people and
things, a relationship with them, and a dependence on them (Jung). In slightly less technical
terms, these are your average party people. They are sociable, outgoing, need to be seen at their
best and love the attention it gives them. Extroverts tend to be favored by society for their
optimism and high levels on self esteem. The introverted personality are characterized by
inward flowing energy - a withdrawal concentrating on subjective factors (Jung). These are the
thinkers of society. Introverts generally are more happy when alone due to their rich
imaginations and prefer reflection over actual activity.
Where the casual reader will usually begin and end their argument is with how extroverts
are described as optimistic while the trait is altogether excluded from the introvert description.
The argument then takes on the form that in order to optimistic about life, which should bring
happiness to a persons life, people need to be more extroverted(Bratcher). This belief is most
generally presented, maintained, and acted upon in the western world that highly promotes the
extrovert values, whereas the East most typically, one might even say vehemently, takes the
opposite standpoint and favors introversion (Jung). While neither personality type is perfect,
extroverts generally avoiding reflection, prone to groupthink, and oftentimes reckless while
introverts are generally overly shy, sometimes unsociable, and hesitant due to a lack of
confidence, both have their strengths and weaknesses and both are invaluable for society to

advance and to function properly. Sadly, however, modern society has disregarded the
importance of harnessing the strengths of both introverts and extroverts by favoring the latter and
consequently stifling the growth of the former.
It isnt all that hard to understand why society as a whole has been led to believe that only
extroverts are truly happy in life and that only extroverts can make a change in society because
extroverts are more open about how they feel and act on how they feel. Introverts on the other
hand are less obvious in how they respond to the world around them. An introvert may feel
contentment, joy, sorrow, love, and hate but due to way introverts behave, reflection over action,
they may not express these emotions as powerfully as one may expect compared to extroverts
(Bratcher). That isnt to say that introverts are unfeeling, they may simply come off as such
because rather than being caught up in the emotions they are feeling, an introvert will instead
think about the reasons why they are feeling a certain way and plan for how to overcome the
emotion if negative or troublesome or how best to enjoy it if its a pleasant feeling (Bratcher).
This presents a problem to those who dont understand the ways introverts process their
emotions. For those used to immediately expressing and vocalizing what they feel inside, as
extroverts are presumed to do, an introvert may seem gloomy, skulking, or apathetic to what is
happening around them when in fact the introvert is finding the best way to react to the situation
at hand (Bratcher).
Another common, more serious myth surrounding introverts is that they are incapable of
interacting with extroverts or find little pleasure doing so. Admittedly, this is one argument I
have done a poor job of dispelling thus far and would like the opportunity now to make up for. It
was during his observation into the different psychological types of individuals when Carl Jung

first noted the marked tendency for introverts and extroverts to actually pair more often than
people of the same psychological type (Jung). Jung noted that each hopes that the other will
fulfill the role of being more capable than the other in areas where they both lack (Jung). This
desire is natural as part of mankinds ability to recognize the faults in himself and seek methods
to help improve their chance of survival and may usually last as long as both parties actively
work together to create a working balance of both their needs in life (Jung).
In the workforce there is often a more marked difference in the way that introversion is
treated. Rarely is there ever an introvert friendly environment inside of the typical office.
Introverts require low levels of external stimulation in order for them to produce the best amount
of work and the typical office rarely accommodates for such environments(Pitts).
Telecommuting has always been one way in which introverts have balanced the need for a more
low stimulation workplace and keeping their job (Pitts). As telecommuting is on the rise with
growing technology introverts are more and more capable of entering into fields that oftentimes
were unappealing to them due to the highly boisterous nature of the workplace (Pitts).
Furthermore, as individuals capable of inherently taking in input from others without the
overwhelming desire to put their own place in the process, introverts make extremely effective
leaders.
There is a discrepancy over what is naturally assumed to be a good leader and examples
of leaders in modern society (Stillman). When asked about what a typical business leader should
be like, many list off attributes normally associated with extroverted tendencies but when asked
to give examples of leaders who have made great strides in their fields, surprisingly enough the
majority of the names listed will end up in the introverted spectrum (Stillman). Introverts possess

many innate qualities that put them ahead of the pack when it comes to professions that require
leadership over others. Introverts are, as a majority, better listeners (Stillman). Ask any business
professional and the words active listening become rote. Introverts tend to wait and listen to an
argument and think logically about the best solution to a problem rather than interrupt others
when they are speaking (Stillman). Introverts can make better planners due to the tendency many
introverts have of being organized thinkers (Stillman). Introverts have higher tendencies to be
more in depth, both about their work and about their workers (Stillman).
Perhaps by now Ive managed to change your mind about introverts. And if I havent
then its a pity. It is time to stop treating introversion as something to be ashamed of or as
something that needs to be corrected. Introverts are a different kind of people but they are still
people like any other. By assuming that because they are different than what is promoted by
society as wrong society limits itself to a one answer fit all mind set that will severely cripple its
ability to resolve issues amongst itself. As Susan Cain says in her book Quiet: The Power of
Introverts in a World That Cant Stop Talking, Dont think of introversion as something that
needs to be cured (Cain). In a world that cant help but favor the extroverted and as a result
oftentimes lose itself in extroverted tendencies, introverts are vital components of society that
help pull it back when it goes too far and quietly do their part to allow everyone to live their lives
to the fullest. To all of you introverts who have read this, know that being you is not wrong. That
wanting to have time alone, by yourself, is perfectly normal. Live life the way you want to, not
the way others want you to. Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you're
supposed to (Cain). So if you still feel like going to the party, go for it and let them know that

being an introvert has nothing to do with how well you party. And if you start feeling drained,
yes it is okay to leave the party early if that will make it easier for you.

Citation Page
An Introvert's Guide To Starting A Conversation. Millennials In Manila: Lifestyle.
Millennials in Manila. 30 April. 2014. Web. 07 November 2014.
Bratcher, Sharon. Should Introverts be expected to act like Extroverts. Perspective.:
Soup and Buns. Perspective, 2014. Web. 07 November 2014.
Cain, Susan. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. New
York: Crown, 2012. Print.
Cowgil, Charles. Carl Jung Muskingum.edu. Muskingum, 1997. Web. 07 November
2014.
Jung, Carl G. Psychological Types. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1971. Print.
Korn, Melissa. True or False: These Tests Can Tell if You Are Right for This Job.
Journal Report: Leadership. The Wall Street journal U.S., 29 October 2012. Web. 07
November 2014.
Pitts, Leonard Jr., Commentary: Introverts and the art of telecommuting. McClatchy
DC. The Miami Herald, 12 March. 2013. Web. 08 November 2014.
Stillman, Jessica. 7 Reasons Introverts Make Great Leaders. Inc.:Lead. Inc. 17
September. 2014. Web. 09 November 2014.

Reflection:
1. The most interesting thing that I found out during this entire project was how much
attention this issue really had. Going in, after having changed my inquiry topic again, I
was surprised by the sheer amount of articles, studies, and blogs directed solely at the
topic of helping severely introverted people finding their place amongst a society so
fixated on extroversion. What surprised me even more was in finding out about how
many super successful people and famous celebrities from history were actually
introverts who were just very good at hiding it and who had found the way to disguise
their introversion long enough to convince others they could make a change.
2. The thing that I struggled constantly with, since even before I started writing, was
focusing on a topic. Because I like going too in-depth on a subject I usually end up
rambling on about anything that might even be slightly relevant to what I am actually
talking about and because of that I find it hardest to concentrate on what Im saying at
that moment and then end up getting lost myself. I still dont think that I quite was able to
bring the paper together as a coherent piece. However, I was able to finally decide on a
topic I really did believe was the most interesting thing that I could find about with the
time I had and decided to just go with what felt natural until I couldnt write anymore.
3. My inquiry project changed more times than there are characters in this sentence. What
started off as me wanting to know more about isolation and the effect it had on people
transmogrified into wanting to know more about introversion and extroversion to what
eventually became my paper on how introversion live in an extroverted society. And even
then Im sure my paper must sound like it changed focus completely after about a few

seconds. At one point I was considering doing another change of topic to why people
love the holidays, to why we love Santa Claus. I think the main reasons why my topic
could never stay in one place was firstly my conference, secondly my own waning
interest. As much as I can say the conference helped me gather my thoughts, it also left
me with more possible avenues of research that I could delve into. With so many options
I could have pursued and with not very much time left to craft a well written argument I
went with one that felt the most personal and went with it. The second was probably most
relevant while writing the paper. As someone who has been spoiled by the internet age, I
like quick answers with little effort on my part to seek it and so having to be the one who
created the answers for others I had to find ways to motivate myself into continuing the
argument by looking at any other factors that went with my argument. As a result I would
often get sidetracked and it would show in the paper.
4. I found that by looking at the historical portion of where the conflict originated in I had a
better understanding about why the argument even existed in the first place and I found it
easier to pick apart the points from both sides. It also helped to educate myself about
what I could be asking and what it would bring to the table. Sadly, I feel as if I didnt live
up to my own potential and in a sense, came to the party, looked around, said one word,
and then promptly left without even really turning any attention to what that one word
meant for the party.
5. I feel that at the very least my concept of what can constitute as an argument has
broadened due to this project. For this project I had to take all of the evaluation skills that
I had built up over high school and learn how to apply them in a college setting with new

requirements for what could constitute as valid research and all this in order to improve
the credibility of my own argument.
6. What I am most proud of about this process was in the reflection. As funny, (or sad,
pathetic, or ironic), as it is I am actually better at finding the faults in my own process and
in reviewing my overall work ethic than I was at doing the paper. I truly do not believe
that I have done justice, neither to the topic or to myself, and I know the reason why is
because of my own inability to focus myself on this paper. So I find it incredibly
hilarious that while writing this reflection I am more able to be direct about how I felt
throughout the process.
7. There are a lot of things that I still would like to learn more about. Just to name a few
being why it is that introverts and extrovert pairs are so common even in societies that are
extremely polarized between the two (like the West and East)? Or why in some cultures
introversion is seen as a feminine trait and extroversion as masculine or vice versa
depending on said culture? Just little tidbits of information that I found during my
research that peaked my curiosity but ignored in order to (try) focusing on my paper.