Introversion vs Extroversion, the epic battle that has been raging for centuries. Perhaps you’ve been accused of being a social hermit because you would rather be passively watching YouTube videos beneath the covers rather than spending time with acquaintances and strangers at a local bar. You’ve come to terms with your introversion but you still do not feel content. Introverts can easily get down on themselves because they might want to be more outgoing and they may feel guilty about turning people down time and time again. They may feel that being an introvert is a curse of sorts and they should behave differently.
But what if I told you that not all introversion is the same and there are introverts that are not the equivalent of a modern monk living in isolation? As a former introvert (I can still be this way at times) I know this all to well. I’ve also had interactions with plenty of clients that are self-proclaimed introverts but do not subscribe to classic introvert behavior. For lack of a better term, I am going to coin the behavior they do display social introversion. Let’s dig deeper.
These individuals are actually extroverts living the lives of introverts. But why does this occur? I’ve found that it is mainly due to the quality of the interactions that are available to them.
If a social introvert anticipates that their upcoming interaction will not be mentally stimulating or enjoyable, then they will avoid it. This is different from a standard introvert that will choose to avoid any and all interactions in a social setting, they would rather be alone in most situations. This is why you might see someone that is usually a “loner” having a great time at a social event like Comic-Con, they are in their element! I’m talking about my former self by the way.
It is also different from extroverts as they would prefer almost any kind of social interaction over being alone. The type of stimulation matters less to extroverts, they can make most social situations enjoyable.
So to wrap things up, social introverts are not opposed to social interaction really, they mostly enjoy it as long as the interaction plays to their interests and is mentally satisfying. So if you fall into this category, re-examine your interests and reach out to social clubs that allow you to indulge in them. You can be social on YOUR terms, there’s no right or wrong way to be an introvert.