“Double Whammy” © Edward Michael Supranowicz
Introversion VS Extraversion
Introversion and extraversion were introduced as part of a theory of personality discovered by Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in 1910. They exist as part of a spectrum with each personality type at opposite ends of the scale.
“Ex-tra-ver-sion ek-strə-vər-zhən:” a personality trait or style characterized by a preference for, or orientation to, engaging socially with others.
“In-tro-ver-sion, in-trə-ˈvər-zhən:” a personality trait or style characterized by a preference for, or orientation to, one’s own thoughts and feelings.
Extraverts typically enjoy social settings and are more likely to thrive when amongst people. They are usually described as more outgoing, confident and approachable than their fellow introverts. The term social battery is also associated with traits such as extraversion. Someone’s social battery can, for instance, be filled up through social interactions and gatherings. On the other hand, being alone would lower the social battery of an extravert. There are downsides to being an extravert: a study done during the Covid19 pandemic found that extraverts suffered negative consequences from the protective measures such as the restrictions on public gatherings in comparison to their introverted counterparts. Moreover, the fear of being alone is often associated with being an extravert. Questions such as “Why can’t I be happy on my own?”, “Am I enough to entertain myself?” are often raised. Finally, extraverts tend to seek the support of their peers and that can sometimes lead to a deep need for approval from others.
Introverts, on the other hand, prefer to be alone and social settings can turn out to be overwhelming for them. Their energy is cultivated through retreating to their own mindspace and being alone. Introverts are usually seen as shy, quiet and self-aware human beings and describe themselves as more introspective and comfortable in small social gatherings. Additionally, introverts tend to think before speaking or acting which makes them less prone to impulsivity and the associated consequences of it. As Susan Cain, author of the bestselling book: “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking,” said: there are many advantages to being an introvert. However, being an introvert comes with its fair share of struggles. Because of their more silent personalities, introverts often get overlooked and, in a world that is reliant on being social to succeed, they tend to struggle with expanding their network.
Extraversion and introversion are often pinned against each other and are considered to be mutually exclusive personality traits. However, it would oversimplify one’s psyche to put them in a box. The truth is, as for many personality traits, it occurs on a spectrum. One may find solace in staying alone but still enjoy the company of others while another can prefer to be out and surrounded by people but still feel peaceful being by themselves. It is all about balance.
Now, why does it matter? In the end, it is a matter of identity. Not that being either an introvert or extravert would define someone completely as a person, but it can help in finding tricks to be alright with one’s self. Identifying what personality traits you correspond with can help build a community of people that are alike and understanding of your way of thinking and feeling.
Raphaelle is a 24 years old French woman born and bred in Paris. She moved to London when she was 17 years old to study a BSc in Biomedical Sciences, she then decided to continue her studies and complete a Masters of Science in Global Public Health. After that, she was determined to dedicate her time to writing about global issues and to advocate for mental health. She now works as a literary intern for the Oddball Foundation. In her free time, she enjoys embroidery and watching period pieces.
Edward Michael Supranowicz is the grandson of Irish and Russian/Ukrainian immigrants. He grew up on a small farm in Appalachia. He has a grad background in painting and printmaking. Some of his artwork has recently or will soon appear in Fish Food, Streetlight, Another Chicago Magazine, The Door Is A Jar, The Phoenix, and The Harvard Advocate. Edward is also a published poet who has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize multiple times.