Introversion and extroversion represent one of the most recurrent dualities in the human mind. They are considered two opposite ends that do not understand each other, naturally antagonistic but as I said they also represent a duality, because they are two sides of the same thing that do not exist in a pure way, we have characteristics of each side even so we lean more towards one of the two. On this occasion I want to talk about the least popular and most underestimated: introversion.
The taste for solitude, the inclination to the development of introspective thinking or silence are characteristic of introversion, which are totally different from the typically extroverted features of our society and this is a problem, since introversion has always been underestimated cause of this difference. Introverted people can often seem strange people and their way of being upset others (extroverts), those people who do not understand the reasons for the apparent silence, shyness, isolation and denial to participate in the world, that preference to stay at margin. The qualities and characteristics of an introvert should be considered as a matter of curiosity, and not of rejection as we have become accustomed. It is well said that "every head is a world" and introverts simply prefer to inhabit that internal world rather than the external world, so it is necessary for us not to try to understand them, but rather to accept and understand that there are people who simply are the way they are.
The so-called "archaeologist of the spirit" Carl Jung made in the twenties a classification on the "personalities" or psychological types, in which you can perceive the weight of two of his most radical postulates: the collective unconscious and the archetypes. According to Jung, the diverse personalities that characterize the individual and the individual itself are a product of the environment: to a great extent, the external forms our soul, speaking nothing more than what we live in the present but also of the symbols (archetypes) of the past that continue determining our personality, such as our childhood home or the religion we professed. That is what the collective unconscious is about, a life drive that manifests itself in our personality and not just any vestige or inheritance. Jung deepens in the soul and what is the individual as part of a whole (a cosmos) and that is why his psychology is credited with the adjective "deep".
Jung says there are two ways to get along in the world:
Extroverted, who are distinguished by the direction of their interest, the movement of their libido (energy) always outward.
Introverted, very "functional" (there are four functional activities divided into the rational: think and feel, and the irrational: perceive and intuit), which direct their libido to the interior and that are carried out in abstraction (hence abstracted).
From the classification that Jung made between the two psychological typologies that have popularized the world, there are many debates about the differences of these personalities, according to the approach of neuroscience these occur at the cerebral, physiological level; that is, introverts and extroverts have different brain characteristics. According to a study by Harvard University, people with a tendency to introversion have more gray matter in their prefrontal cortex, an area linked to decision making and abstract thinking, suggesting that introverts are better equipped to dedicate themselves to reflection and extroverted people for action and live in the present. The study suggests that the difference between the two types is not only expressed in the personality but also in the visual capacity; there is a test designed by Tom Nixon that demonstrates the connection between introverted personalities and their differences at the brain level, which denotes that a greater amount of gray matter translates into better visual perception to decode or recognize abstract images, Nixon's designs contain "hidden" images that, according to him, only introverted people could discover thanks to their cerebral quality.
According to Nixon, if you are an introvert you can see the hidden image. Do you see it?
According to neuroscience, which reduces everything to brain excitations, the brain of introverts works very differently from other people. According to Scott Barry Kaufman, in introverts the circuit of dopamine, which is the neurotransmitter of rewards, is not as active as in extroverts, and this makes a stimulus such as a social event feels good and gives pleasure to an extrovert but overwhelm an introvert; both have the same amount of dopamine but the extrovert's brain is more active and hooks it into its cycle.
Christine Fonseca explains in her book Quiet Kids: Help your introverted child succeed in an extroverted world that "acetylcholine" is another aspect to take into consideration. According to Fonseca, the activity of this transmitter, which generates pleasure but in a more internal way and provides the ability to focus on an individual task for longer periods, is where most introverts fall; This is easier in quiet environments and that is why introverts try to limit external stimuli. They cancel out themselves from the external world by finding their well-being in the inner world.
Then it could be said that being introverted has certain benefits compared to being extroverted, despite the fact that there are many prejudices about introverted personalities, they have been perceived as narcissistic, shy, selfish or even psychotic beings. But thanks to the growing interest in activities that require calm and internal immersion, such as yoga or meditation, contact with nature and all those practices that demand patience and silence, negative perception towards introverts has begun to change greatly in measure lately. The differences in the affective and social processes of an introvert and extrovert arise due to the different brain characteristics they possess. Introversion brings more benefits to the world than we think.
Introverts are usually silent people, but this does not mean they have nothing to say or do not have an opinion on a subject, just the opposite: introverts are usually thoughtful people who therefore have opinions on many things. The silent quality is not something to underestimate, both introverts and extroverts can take a surprise after knowing what is behind that silence, and is that not what is needed more to this world now, silence?
Introverted people are more susceptible to reasoning ideas before carrying them out, this means that they can be as good leaders as an extrovert because they can have a more open disposition for people to govern their ideas and this is something important to consider if you work collectively and you want to achieve results.
Introverts are those people who usually sit at the back in a room, or at the back of the bus, not only to leave quickly when they arrive at the stop. Introverts sit in that corner where they can observe, analyze and learn from other people, and the fact of having interest in others represents a strength of character. That is, introverts study people better, and this ability to analyze is important if we want to empathically accept that we are different beings from each other and thus begin to get along better with others; remember that there is not even an extrovert who congenies totally with the accepted social system, as I mentioned once: there are no facts but interpretations, therefore each individual can have several perceptions of reality.
To introverted people banal conversations are made uncomfortable, things like the weather or the football game from last night bother them, and Laurie Helgoe (author of Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength) says "not because they dislike people, but because we hate the barriers they create between people." A party for an introvert is an opportunity to meet those who they already know and spend a good time with them, rather than to meet new people. The kind of person who feels alone in a crowd and for whom the self-promotion in the professional task seems an activity that lacks authenticity and therefore of which they avoid talking. People who like to "jump into the depths", like to talk about the meaning of life, the nature of love or any subject on which they find special interest in speaking passionately, such as a color.
They get easily distracted and bored in environments where, according to them, the stimuli are excessive. For them, an afternoon alone just by having a coffee or at home watching a television series or movie is not time wasted at all, but a time necessary to recharge energy to go back out into the world. Due to the quality of leadership they may have, it may be easier for them to speak before an audience than to converse with one person. They are people who can party for a period of time but then activate a dynamic of mood decay. Able to ignore a phone call or message after seeing who it is until they are truly ready to speak. They are very precise, they have special ability to notice things that others miss.
Their interior monologue never ceases, since they think more than they say. They are often referred to as "old souls", because of their analytical and reflective thinking that can create some sense of wisdom and even make them look older than they actually are. Thanks to the taste for abstract thinking that they can develop, they can capture the "full picture" of a situation. That friend to whom you tell him often to leave home and participate more in the world, due to his tendency to isolation and silence. Writing is usually a common habit between them since it is a way to communicate without establishing an immediate contact. People who usually alternate between intense periods of solitary work with an intense social life.
Currently we live in a fast way, just as information and this way of living apparently requires extroversion, in the socially accepted way to relate as individuals or achieve success. A society should not segregate some or privilege others, but rather benefit from building bridges between introverts and extroverts since they provide different ways of relating and both represent a whole in a holistic way. In spite of everything, in these times being introverted is like a war cry, extroverted traits are overrated and being introverted is seen with strangeness. We are in frantic times in which attention has focused on material achievements and appearance, therefore it is necessary to revalue the practices of introverts, as they could serve as a guide to consider new habits to relate and even reset the paradigm.