All About Introversion

If a crowded cocktail party feels like a holding cell to you, even as you gamely keep up your end of the chatter, chances are you're an introvert. Introverts are drained by social encounters and energized by solitary, often creative pursuits. Their disposition is frequently misconstrued as shyness, social phobia, or even avoidant personality disorder, but many introverts socialize easily; they just strongly prefer not to. In fact, the self-styled introvert can be more empathic and interpersonally connected than his or her outgoing counterparts. The line between introversion and lonely loners gets blurry, however, as some introverts do wish they could break out of their shell.

Getting to Know Introverts

Many people wear the “introvert” badge with pride, an acknowledgment of a shared, perfectly healthy appetite for alone time. Introversion is not synonymous with an aversion to people. Some who land high on the introversion scale might struggle with a sense of difference from the highly sociable folks at parties or in the office. But in truth, introversion and extroversion are two ends of a continuum. There is no obvious dividing line between introverts and extroverts, and plenty of people in the middle can appreciate the introverted person’s desire to recharge with a bit of solitude.

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