Finding true meaning behind introversion and extroversion


Adhiti Chundur

It is a myth that all extroverts cannot stop talking, or all introverts have no social skills. There can be shy extroverts and outgoing introverts. “The key difference between introverts and extroverts [is how] energy and reward are derived. “ – source: Susan Cain, author of “Quiet: The power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking,” explores the worlds of introverts, and influential, important leaders who are actually introverts.

Psychologist Carl Jung first made the terms “introvert” and “extrovert” popular in the 1920s. A common misconception is that “introverted” means someone is shy.

Usually, the term “extrovert” would bring to mind a social, gregarious individual. The term “introvert” seems to have a more negative connotation, with introverts being thought of as antisocial or socially inept.

However, the true meaning of “introvert” and “extrovert” is different from what the majority thinks.

According to an article at “The Atlantic,” being introverted does not mean that a person is necessarily shy. Introverts just find other people tiring, and draining. They require time to be alone and “recharge.”

On the other hand, extroverts are “energized by people,“ and enjoy socializing. Unlike introverts, socializing is how they “recharge.” Extroverts and introverts react to social situations differently in that way.

Research has revealed that one of the reasons for this is the brain’s reaction to dopamine, which is a chemical released by the brain; one of its functions includes controlling the reward aspect of the brain.

An article at explains, “introverts tend to be highly sensitive to dopamine-much more so than extroverts. While introverts have this over-sensitivity, extroverts [can not] get enough of it, so they require a great deal of adrenaline to process it in their brains.”

Most people would not be labeled as just an extrovert or an introvert, but in fact most people are ambivert. This falls in the middle of the spectrum, and contains traits associated with both introverts and extroverts.

Although most people are in the middle, overall, they tend to lean one way or another.

According to Jung, “There is no such thing as a pure introvert or extrovert. Such a person would be in the lunatic asylum.”