My teacher was giving an example today in class and it had to do with introversion, and every single time he used both shyness and introversion to refer to the same thing. He is a teacher of the psychology department. HE SHOULD KNOW BETTER. And the class just went along with it. And it kinda made me mad. It is that I don’t like speaking up in class, but if I did…
Anyway I’m not here to talk to you about how I almost got mad in class today, I’m here to talk about introversion. The option that is on the other end of the spectrum is extroversion. The most basic distinction is made by how you “reload” or how you relax. If you are outgoing and like to hang out with friends after a long day, you are probably an extrovert. If you prefer hanging out on your own, you are probably an introvert. As is said by Kendra Cherry in this article “People who are introverted tend to be inward turning, or focused more on internal thoughts, feelings and moods rather than seeking out external stimulation.”
As you might notice, this says absolutely nothing about shyness. Shyness has to do with self-esteem, whether you are comfortable talking to other people, and this is not a character trait. Character traits are usually static, they don’t change much over time. Introversion or extroversion, on the other hand, are character traits. Psychology Today words the difference like this: “Unlike introverts, who feel energized by time alone, shy people often desperately want to connect with others, but don’t know how or can’t tolerate the anxiety that comes with human interaction.”
If you’re not an extrovert and you aren’t an introvert either, you might be an ambivert, just like me (actually I think I’m an ambivert with tendencies towards introversion)! Ambiversion is actually just a mix of introversion and extroversion, so you have a little bit of both. Ambiverts like company and interacting, and it doesn’t drain them as much as an introvert would, but they like being on their own as well. If you suspect you might be an ambivert, check out this list by Psych2Go.
Are you an extrovert, introvert, or maybe an ambivert?