It’s alright to be in introvert in this noisy world we live in. Really, it is. The world around us extols the virtues everyday of those extroverted, creative, and charming leaders. But it’s also worth championing the introverted, creative and charming leaders. There are both kinds of people, I promise.
It begins with understanding introverts when compared to extroverts.
Extraversion means “outward-turning” and introversion means “inward-turning”. People who prefer extraversion draw energy from action: they tend to act, then reflect, then act further. If they are inactive, their motivation tends to decline. To rebuild their energy, extraverts need breaks from time spent in reflection. Conversely, those who prefer introversion expend energy through action: they prefer to reflect, then act, then reflect again. To rebuild their energy, introverts need quiet time alone, away from activity.
The extravert’s flow is directed outward toward people and objects, and the introvert’s is directed inward toward concepts and ideas. Contrasting characteristics between extraverts and introverts include the following:
- Extraverts are action oriented, while introverts are thought oriented.
- Extraverts seek breadth of knowledge and influence, while introverts seek depth of knowledge and influence.
- Extraverts often prefer more frequent interaction, while introverts prefer more substantial interaction.
- Extraverts recharge and get their energy from spending time with people, while introverts recharge and get their energy from spending time alone.
Now, I basically copied-and-pasted this from the Wikipedia page, but did you take the time to see that bullet point at the bottom? That’s the key. Action vs. Thought, breadth of knowledge vs. depth of knowledge, frequent interaction vs. substantial interaction, and then the best comparison of all:
Extraverts recharge and get their energy from spending time with people, while introverts recharge and get their energy from spending time alone.
There are so many different kinds of introverts, but this last contrasts illustrates what all introverts have in common. We all need time alone to recharge. It’s just that simple. The amount of time alone may vary, and who we allow into our alone time may vary; but the time alone things…it never changes.
Do any of these definitions help you identify people in your own life? Who are they?