The Sweet Pursuit

Former Associate editor Margret Aldrich on the hunt for happiness, community, and how humans thrive

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The Benefits of Being an Introvert

8/23/2011 3:23:54 PM

Tags: introverts, extravert, introversion, extraversion, happiness, psychology, social psychology, emotions, Big 5 Personality Test, NEO Personality Inventory, NEO-PI-R, Psychology Today, Margret Aldrich

Lock and door 

Introverts, stand proud. Even in our world of ever-increasing extraversion and oversharing, there are advantages to keeping life close to the vest.

“We don’t all have to be extraverts to be happy,” writes Susan Krauss Whitbourne, author of The Search for Fulfillment, for Psychology Today.Recognizing and appreciating the complexity of introversion can allow you to accept yourself for who you are, one facet at a time.”  

Whitbourne, in fact, lists six facets of the introversion-extraversion scale—warmth, gregariousness, activity level, assertiveness, excitement seeking, and positive emotion—and explains how introversion in these areas can be beneficial to our relationships, personal fulfillment, and general well-being. For example, she says:

You may not be the first person someone meets when they go to a party, but you may be the most interesting once someone gets to know you.

When forced to be alone, gregarious people can easily go stir crazy. People low on gregariousness instead are just fine being by themselves and involving themselves in quiet contemplation.

Because [introverts] react slowly to situations as they develop, they’re unlikely to commit the kind of social gaffes that people who have a higher reactance can make. Not only that, but being thoughtful and low key can make you an easier companion than someone who always needs to be on the go.

Curious to know if you’re a certified introvert? Take the Big 5 Personality Test, a simplified version of the NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R), and discover where you rank on the five fundamental dimensions of personality—including introversion vs. extraversion. I’d tell you my scores but, in true introvert fashion, I don’t want to reveal too much.

Source: Psychology Today 

Image by gill.holgate, licensed under Creative Commons.


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Post a comment below.


JWT Meakin
8/26/2011 3:53:17 PM
Being a raging introvert, I have decided to keep my comments to myself.

Amy Glaser
8/24/2011 8:27:44 AM
I am relatively open to new experiences, well organized and can be relied upon, neither particularly social or reserved, good natured, courteous, supported, and generally relaxed. Complete middle road. Typical me!

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