A New Definition for Introversion

– by Regina Hopkins, Introvert Unbound

introvert head

Introversion is typically defined by where you get your “energy.” Even in grad school when I was studying introversion vs. extroversion in depth, the energy definition was the one that was taught. All the books I read and lectures from my professors told me, “It’s about if you get your energy from being around others, or being alone that determines your preference for introversion or extroversion.” While I accepted this definition and went along my merry way, I never really bought into it 100%.

As fresh information comes to light and we learn new things, we re-vamp old definitions and ideas. While I’m not completely dismissing the original definition of introversion, more than 10 years later, I found a definition I like better and feels more accurate to me. Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, stated in a TIME article in 2012 that introversion is really about a preference for less stimulation. When I heard that definition, it just rang more true for me.

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Ditching the Introvert Crutch

– by Wes Colton, Introvert Unbound 

3d-happy-man-jumping-throwing-crutches-3d-illustration-of-person-joyful-jump-throwing-crutches-3d-drawing_csp17031606-2Sorry to break it to you, but being an introvert isn’t an excuse for sucking at conversation. All too often we introverts let ourselves skip social engagements by pretending we weren’t born to interact with other humans. But that’s just a crutch and leaning on it keeps us from standing on our own two feet.

Accepting and embracing the fact that we’re introverts is key. But so is recognizing that we live in an extroverted society where regular socializing is crucial to our friendships, love life, and career. And, believe it or not, developing social skills can actually make the process a lot of fun.

If you find it impossible to strike up a conversation with a stranger, it’s simply because you haven’t tried it enough. Granted, it’s way easier for extroverts to practice this skill because not only do they enjoy blabbing about whatever crosses their mind, they’re addicted to doing so. While introverts recharge by reading a book, watching a movie, or going on a hike, extroverts get their energy by talking to people.

But just because it’s harder for us introverts, doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Socializing is really just a habit, so as soon as you start doing it, it becomes routine. And if you do it long enough, you’ll feel weird if you stop (the same thing goes for hiding at home, of course).

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