Functional Introverts

 
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gardenersdelite
(former member)









Posted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 1:35 pm    Post subject: Functional Introverts

Society is very hard on introverts. We are told to grow up and become extroverts, as they are more functional. Obviously, it is the extrovert that is making this statement, wanting to legitimize their superiority. In reality, most new discoveries come from introverts not extroverts.
We are all born somewhere on the continuum between introversion and extroversion. No one is totally one extreme or the other, but leans more one way than the other. Where we are born is where we die. We do not become more introverted. We do not become more extroverted. We can learn to become more functional as an introvert or extrovert.
It is easy to tell, early on, whether a person is introverted or extroverted. Observe the kids on the first day of pre-school. One group of kids goes out and plays. They don't know the rules. They don't want to know the rules. They see the rules as limiting them. They are the extroverts. The other group of kids sits back and observes. They want to know what the guidelines are and whether they have the ability to participate within those guidelines. Once they understand these things, they go out and play just as effectively as anyone else. They are the introverts. The key to introversion vs extroversion is not shyness vs outgoing, it is thriving on structure vs threatened by structure. Often times, introverts see themselves as extroverts, when they are just functional within their structure.
An introvert going to a non-structured party where they don't know anyone will be a wall flower. Let's say that introvert is into magic. This person stands in the corner doing magic tricks. Pretty soon, that person is the center of attention, the life of the party. That doesn't make that person an extrovert.
If you take an extrovert to a field of wild flowers they will say "Wow, nice, now what?" They are always looking for something bigger and better, valuing extremes. It is almost as if they realize that they haven't developed any depth and fear that either they or others will see that there is nothing below their beautiful facade, if they don't keep on the run. If you take an introvert to that field of wild flowers, that person can study one flower for a long time. Introverts are more into subtleties, which makes them less likely to get bored. They dig down deeper and make greater discoveries.
Often, opposites attract. People are intrigues by the opposites and hopeful that some of those qualities will rub off on them. Unfortunately, we also tend to be threatened by the opposite, fearful it will take over. We usually don't gain in ability by being with someone who is extremely adept at that ability, as we tend to rely on their expertise and just feel more and more inadequate in comparison as time goes by. Relationships between introverts and extroverts aren't impossible, but challenging. Introverts need structure. They usually don't care whether the structure comes from them, others or the situation. If they know that they will talk with their partner on the phone every Tuesday from 8pm-10pm, they will comfortably go about the rest of their week, knowing where they fit in and where they stand. Extroverts need to allow or provide some structure without feeling it limits them. Introverts need to understand that extroverts cannot be limited. The more an introvert understands their place in a relationship, the more comfortable they feel. When they don't understand where they fit in, they push for structure, which others see as clinginess and control.
While introverts will never be totally comfortable in non-structured situations, they can become extremely functional once they have discovered and developed their structure.
Enjoy the value and depth of your introversion and live a happy and fulfilling life. Very Happy
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abalboa_PREV
(former member)









Posted: Tue May 30, 2006 6:02 pm    Post subject:

[deleted]
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breakinout
(former member)









Posted: Sat Jul 01, 2006 9:19 am    Post subject:

More discoveries are made by introverts then extroverts? That's an interesting statement. What is the percentage of introvert vs. extrovert discoveries, again? Trying to put a noble spin on intoversion might make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, but overall there are far more negative aspects to introversion then positive.

Think of all the squandered potential. All of the fun, and interesting things the world has to offer that didn't get experienced and won't in the future, because the introvert was too afraid to try.

Structure might be helpful to an introvert only because it might help compensate for our lack of ability to consider what is going on around us. It is the inward thinking that the extrovert doesn't have to deal with which makes them immediately much more in tune with subleties of a sport, or a social situation for example. The self absorbtion we possess can generate a lot of anxiety, when we're required to not be like that.
Anyway, I'm rambling so I'm gonna go.

Peace Out!
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timshere




timshere

Joined: December 27, 2004
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 3:02 pm    Post subject: Introvert Reply with quote

I agree being introverted can be a real handicap at times.I retired 4yrs ago and decided to do something about it.I take medication now and feel better about life and myself than I have for many years.There is behavior therapy that is supposed to help also.Dont wait until youre an old man like me to do something about this.Doctors are very non-judgemental and see people like us every day,they can recommend help for you to open up and be more at ease around other people.Good luck.
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thethinker1




thethinker1

Joined: October 20, 2006
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I'm quite happy being introverted. I am not shy, but I do value my time to myself without any distractions. After all, introverted persons tend to be the most serious, most of the time, and I value my seriousness. Heck, the Romans valued seriousness too, believe it or not.

But I do concede that being too serious has its risks. I always keep track of my mental health as well as bodily health, and often I have to remind myself to relax since I often do plenty of research as a hobby of mine. I'm a bookworm, and that takes mental energy yet it is at times habitual.

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elle92




elle92

Joined: February 13, 2005
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

`I prefer being an introvert as well. I do not like being shy. These are two different things. I feel sorry for extroverts because they seem to need constant reassurance, constant outside stimulous, and can't seem to do anything without a gaggle of people around, and need to be talking non-stop.

My boyfriend has been on the phone four times in the past half hour. It's ceaseless socializing that I find tiring and often boring, since I HATE small talk. I used to think once I was not as shy that I would looooovvvveee socializing all the time. NOPE. I thought something was the matter until I discovered that I was an introvert.

I like being an introvert because I am independent. I don't need to glom on to any warm body to listen to me talk. I can do things like go to a movie or concert alone without feeling weird. Many times I prefer it.

I had a real introvert moment during the superbowl. All I wanted to do was watch the game. Enjoy the commercials. But it was hard because all the extros were talking during most of the game. I would have enjoyed the game more at home alone. But I notice for extros, concerts, plays, sporting events are just an EXCUSE for them to yak at one another. LOL.

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marcus1978
(former member)









Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:20 am    Post subject:

`Actually, I disagree that we don't change throughout our lives. I think we change in all kinds of ways throughout our lives. For example, as a very young child I was very quiet and sensitive, but around the age of about 8-12 I was quite loud and extroverted, and then became much more introverted again as I went into my teens.

I've also found that some particular herbs make me more energised and more extroverted.

I also think the situation you're in makes a big difference, and the people you're around.

So I don't think it's that simple. While I agree that a person shouldn't be forced into being something that they don't feel natural being, I think it can also be a mistake to define yourself too rigidly as always being a certain way.

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marcus1978
(former member)









Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:42 am    Post subject:

breakinout wrote:
More discoveries are made by introverts then extroverts? That's an interesting statement. What is the percentage of introvert vs. extrovert discoveries, again? Trying to put a noble spin on intoversion might make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, but overall there are far more negative aspects to introversion then positive.

Think of all the squandered potential. All of the fun, and interesting things the world has to offer that didn't get experienced and won't in the future, because the introvert was too afraid to try.

Structure might be helpful to an introvert only because it might help compensate for our lack of ability to consider what is going on around us. It is the inward thinking that the extrovert doesn't have to deal with which makes them immediately much more in tune with subleties of a sport, or a social situation for example. The self absorbtion we possess can generate a lot of anxiety, when we're required to not be like that.
Anyway, I'm rambling so I'm gonna go.

Peace Out!


I disagree with this post. It is perfectly possible to be totally happy and be an introvert. There is nothing at all being wasted if an introvert is being their natural self. There is so much potential for the introvert when it comes to creativity and thinking "outside the box".

I think it is actually a shame when otherwise introverted people feel they have to force themselves to socialise and be open to everyone and everything around them, all the noise and chaos, when instead they could be spending a blissful day by themselves, or with just 1 or 2 other people.

Seriously, have you ever had wonderful experiences by yourself? Or with just 1 or 2 other people? Do you really think all joy and happiness lies within socialising in an extrovert way? Do you really think that all solitude is wasted and miserable? I really feel for you if this is the case.

Honestly, introversion can be UTTER BLISS sometimes, if you are true to yourself, and just be your natural self.

Introversion doesn't mean anxiety, it doesn't mean shyness, it doesn't mean depression, it doesn't mean sadness, it doesn't even necesarily have to mean social awkwardness. Not if you become confident and happy within your own introversion.

Please, don't confuse introversion with these other problems. If you're experiencing any of these other things, then you have other problems beside your introversion.

"Think of all the squandered potential." Like what? Small talk? Being noisy? Sitting in a pub getting drunk? Talking rubbish? Shallow friendships? If an introvert feels that they need to force themselves into extrovert situations just to experience any sense of fulfillment in life, then there is something seriously wrong.

I think that every time a person forces themself to be in a situation which isn't matched to their natural temperament then that is WASTED TIME, that is squandered potential. If an introvert spent loads of time in noisy nightclubs and pubs, think of all the squandered potential, all the beautiful daydreaming they could have done, all the wonderful poems they might have written, amazing creative ideas they might have otherwise come up with.

Being a certain way (introverted or extroverted) is only a problem if a person fails to fully understand the situations, activities and people that they are best suited towards.

Being an introvert is only a problem if you're in a nightclub and expected to get up and dance and be noisy, or if you're surrounded by extroverts who are not on the same wavelength as you. But just by the same notion, being an extrovert could be a problem in a library or an art gallery, for example.

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arias
(former member)









Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:58 pm    Post subject:

`Thank you marcus for setting that post straight, it was rather naive.

I think the best thing for any introvert is to read Marti Laney's 'The Introvert Advantage : How to thrive in an Extrovert world'.
It tells you plenty about introverts, and she has gleaned and gathered her information into this book from real research that has been conducted into introversion.
You actually use the parasympathetic nervous system more, you use a different neurotransmitter more, have a different thinking process/neural pathway.
We work with the Long-term memory and not the short, and have a longer neural pathway, which is why we don't work well when pressed for answers.
A fine example of this is, have you noticed how extrovert's, when debating, or discussing values of something, or more commonly arguing, try to 'win the conversation' - as I call it, rather than settle the arguement.

They'll come up with a snappy 'answer', something that sounds good and final, rather than true. If an introvert is arguing with an extrovert they usually find it very difficult and look wrong, yet they simply can't quickly enunciate their vast knowledge when not given sufficient time to think, and the extrovert can only concentrate on giving a snappy jazzy answer. Happens everywhere all the time.

I'd hate to be an extrovert. I *nalyse them all the time I'm around them at college and ceaselessly find flaws in everything they do. Call us cynical, misanthrope, whatever, we just see what's really there more often, there should be millions more people like Gregory House.

Anyway the more you read about introversion (again I highly recommend Mart Laney's book, it's easily a life saver) the better you will feel, I guaruntee it.

'Disclaimer' : I understand extroverts contribution to 'society' I am not saying they are worthless at all. I understand Introverts are not flawless, at all.

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navrark
(former member)









Posted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:45 am    Post subject:

breakinout wrote:

Think of all the squandered potential. All of the fun, and interesting things the world has to offer that didn't get experienced and won't in the future, because the introvert was too afraid to try.
Peace Out!


Wow, terrific words breakinout!

I look back over my life, and I feel sorrow over how much has been lost. Why didn't I just have a normal youth, be popular in school, go to college and now have a high paying career?

How many beautiful women might I have dated? Might I be married to a real beauty now and have children?

I watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer the other night. That was a movie that came out probably when I was 15-16. I never saw it back then, this was the first time.

It made me sad, because it reminded me of the time when I was young and I had my whole life ahead of me. Now I am twice that age and I feel greatly disappointed at my loss.

I never wanted to go out and party when I was in my 20's. I just wanted to sit at home alone. Only now as I am older and looking back do I think about what I have lost.

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nov1509




nov1509

Joined: November 15, 2009
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

` Introversion is slow suicide.
You are already dead to the world.
You simply drift along day to day observing the lives of others .

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nov1509




nov1509

Joined: November 15, 2009
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

navrark wrote:
breakinout wrote:

Think of all the squandered potential. All of the fun, and interesting things the world has to offer that didn't get experienced and won't in the future, because the introvert was too afraid to try.
Peace Out!


Wow, terrific words breakinout!

I look back over my life, and I feel sorrow over how much has been lost. Why didn't I just have a normal youth, be popular in school, go to college and now have a high paying career?

How many beautiful women might I have dated? Might I be married to a real beauty now and have children?

I watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer the other night. That was a movie that came out probably when I was 15-16. I never saw it back then, this was the first time.

It made me sad, because it reminded me of the time when I was young and I had my whole life ahead of me. Now I am twice that age and I feel greatly disappointed at my loss.

I never wanted to go out and party when I was in my 20's. I just wanted to sit at home alone. Only now as I am older and looking back do I think about what I have lost.



Even if you did do all those great things, they would now be nothing more than a memory.

You can never relive the past. .

I wonder if it feels any better to 'know' that you once were popular, beautiful, and had all those great things, or if the popular guys feel the same sorrow as we do.
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navrark
(former member)









Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:09 pm    Post subject:

nov1509 wrote:
Even if you did do all those great things, they would now be nothing more than a memory.

You can never relive the past. .

I wonder if it feels any better to 'know' that you once were popular, beautiful, and had all those great things, or if the popular guys feel the same sorrow as we do.


No, I'm only 33 - tomorrow - and I think I'd still have lots of friends and be very sociable.

Heck, if that dang Overseer hadn't ruined my church I'd still be with those good people and possibly be courting a super Christian hotty.

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lilz




lilz

Joined: October 23, 2010
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Introversion is slow suicide.
You are already dead to the world.
You simply drift along day to day observing the lives of others .


Thanks for the laugh.

I've traveled the world and have enjoyed every experience and encounter. Many of my greatest "journeys," however, have been inward. My time alone, exploring inner universes and finding deep truths mean every bit as much to me as traveling the Alps or walking Parisian boulevards.

One of the many wonderful things about introverts is their ability to internalize and understand the places and people around them. Because of that we don't attack extroverted lifestyles even if we can't fathom living one.

Many times people confuse shyness with introversion. I can imagine that feeling shy could feel like a barrier between a person and the life they want to lead. True introverts, however, don't long for a constantly external life. We have amazing inner worlds paved with ideas, mysteries to explore and depths of understanding to dare.

Dead? I give that a hardy laugh. Introverts are alive and vital in ways those who's nature keeps them on the exterior will never understand.

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