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Are You Really an Introvert or Extrovert?

The intro vs extrovert is always a fun debate because most people don't know it in the psychological sense. As people argue amongst themselves, they solely attribute someone's quantity of interaction at most, judge based off the social battery. We never acknowledge the effect of our environment on our personality. We know poor diet, lack of vitamin D, lack of social interaction, family stresses, career and personal unfulfillment, weight, and other exposures all play a role on our mental health, but rarely is taken a step further in how our personality is affected. Many adopt the title introvert because they typically find themselves isolated or extrovert because they often choose being out. But what if we're missing something?

In psychology introversion and extroversion are described as such:

Extroversion is a personality trait typically characterized by outgoingness, high energy, and/or talkativeness. In general, the term refers to a state of being where someone “recharges,” or draws energy, from being with other people. (Psychology Today)

Introversion is a basic personality style characterized by a preference for the inner life of the mind over the outer world of other people. (Psychology Today)

The key takeaway is where one recharges along with preference. Many who identify as introverts do not recognize their loss from limited experiences nor what brought them to introversion. As we know with epigenetics our exposures cause different physiological reactions. I question the introvert to look at their history. Has their diet been fueled by fruits and vegetables or processed meats and sugars? Was their household one that allowed for individual exploration or were they sheltered? Were they encouraged and poured into by their parents or often scolded and denied request? Was enough time spent outside or majorly indoors? Successful conditioning from lack of fulfillments, poor diet, sheltering, denial, and instilled fear may cause one to adopt an introverted lifestyle.

On the contrary I challenge the extrovert to identify the same questioning, along with is their motive to explore from years of confinement. Is this the product of one feeling limited or even feeling caged or shackled, they now overcompensate? Take a young woman beginning her freshman year of college boarding away from home. No longer sheltered, she now feels incentivized to explore a world of drugs, alcohol, sex, parties, a new way of dressing and more. A person who's lacked attention young now seeks to be in the light of others for approval and assurance. Again, trauma responses from unhealthy environments. Unhealthy as in not fulling to curiosities of a child.

After identifying how they were raised I challenge both to what they feel while back in isolation. Does the introvert feel stuck in their thoughts, sad and disappointed, or do they feel themselves recharging? Does the extrovert feel themselves happily reflecting and recharging or does the lowering of dopamine make them want to go back into the world? I then challenge the level of productivity. What are the thoughts and ideas when isolated vs a group setting? For an extrovert they may find it better to operate in isolation knowing the distraction a group can cause, whereas an introvert may gain more from a group, recognizing having limited thoughts when in isolation.

As someone that spends much time alone, a suffering may be felt in often isolation and not recognized because introversion was inherited as a response from childhood and/or society. Older, this person may forfeit the ability to explore. This is not to say one wouldn't want to spend time away from the world, or once creatively sparked needs a quiet room for structure to work efficiently. It emphasizes where, what, and how does one feel recharged to be most productive. On the other end the extrovert may be doing more damage than good by over exposure to indulgences. This is not to say they shouldn't continue to seek new experiences but are they allowing themselves to process and develop enough individually? Misconceptions are made from the crossovers of perceived tendencies. Circumstance vs preference. Small ques show which side one may accurately sit on. I.E choosing to live alone vs having a roommate. Circumstance may force one to a roommate when they prefer isolation and vice versa. One's lifestyle may bring them to possibly traveling for work, often times being alone, but are much more productive with a group to build with.

For many these personalities were inherited or placed on them. Until adulthood they did not have the freedom to explore or on the other end, forced to gain structure. Many adopt each of the terms based on where they feel they find themselves most. We're all humans and all seek social interaction and time to debrief. We are all affected by our exposures of food, social interactions, household(s), etc. The unfulfillment and what was internalized young are prominently expressed in the freedom of our adulthood. Personal preference doesn't accurately tell us one's personality. Instead, we must focus on our productivity following the interactions with others. Circumstance may take one a direction not appropriate for their personality. And this is most accurately scaled by one's energy following an interaction amongst a preferred environment. So now I ask you, are you truly an introvert or extrovert?

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