Introverts and Extroverts

There once was a young male named Gerald. Gerald went to high school just like any other normal kid would around his age. He was also very outgoing and and was able to strike up a conversation with another student whenever he wanted to, even going out of his way to help those in need. People around Gerald considered him to be easy-going, but what they don’t know is that his mind is always running. Gerald is always reflecting on the actions he makes, and he always found people interesting but conversing with such always exhausted him both mentally and physically— almost as if he needed to recharge by himself before he can go out and do more engaging activities; socializing with others seemed to have always drained him. In fact, every time Gerald was invited to social gatherings, he would always decline in a polite manner claiming that that was not his style. Instead, Gerald would rather be at home curled up with a book. People did not understand his way of thinking but respected his decisions nonetheless. One day, Gerald was browsing on the internet and came across a personality test that peaked his interest. After taking the test, the results came in and told him a lot of personality traits he could relate to. There was a particular trait that stood out to him among the rest: Introvert. Gerald never heard of the word prior to taking the test and was baffled by how much he could relate to an introvert. So much so that he no longer thought of himself as weird because he never enjoyed hanging out in large social gatherings— he felt relieved. After learning more about introversion, Gerald fully accepted himself and lived the rest of his life doing what he wanted to do and not what society asked of him.

The concept of introverts and extroverts was founded by Carl Jung, a swiss psychiatrist, in the 1920s. Essentially, introverts tend to recharge by spending time alone; they lose energy from being around people for long periods of time, particularly large crowds. Extroverts, on the other hand, gain energy from other people. Extroverts actually find their energy being sapped when they spend too much time alone; they recharge by being social.Similar to Gerald, there are many introverts in the world. Yet there are nearly not enough compared to extroverts. To put things into perspective, extroverts outnumber introverts by about three to one. However, according to Carl Jung, there is no such thing as a pure introvert or extrovert. Rather, it’s more of a spectrum. The middle of the spectrum is called an ambivert which possessed a few qualities of both an introvert and an extrovert.

The importance of learning about these personalities is crucial if you want to understand people. Not everyone will feel comfortable at a party just like not everyone will enjoy going to a local café. Just like with Gerald and his friends, we should always respect people’s decisions and their boundaries.