Pros and cons of introversion

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thrifty++
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Pros and cons of introversion

Post by thrifty++ »

I recently read Quiet by Susan Cain and it was a fascinating expose on research around what introversion is. It seemed to cover a substantial amount of pithy information that is hard to access from typical research avenues (google lol). It suggested a number of things about introversion which were overwhelmingly positive. I find that society generally regards introversion as a defect and a problem and inferior to extroversion. And the focus of discussions about introversion and extroversion seems so narrow. I found the book empowering to read as an introvert as well as convincing.

I have noticed that this forum seems to contain a disproportionate number of introverts. Is that because it is an online forum where introverts flourish? Or is it because it is ERE? Among many other positive features about introverts, one thing the book suggests is that introverts are far more capable of demonstrating delayed gratification. Delayed gratification being responsible for so many positive outcomes in life - wealth, academic success, creative success, BMI, level of income, etc the list could go on. Delayed gratification seems to feature so heavily in ERE. I am quite convinced this is something introverts have prowess in. I am wondering what others think about benefits and disadvantages of being an introvert?

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jennypenny
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Re: Pros and cons of introversion

Post by jennypenny »

Here is the book club thread on Quiet. I liked The Introvert Advantage by Laney. You might also like this.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Pros and cons of introversion

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Well, obviously, the downside of mastering the practice of delaying gratification is that you might end up with a basket full of melted, dusty Easter bunny in August or your virginity still intact at age 40. Also, introverts often suffer needlessly because they care more about what other people think about them than extroverts, because they imagine that other people are spending time thinking about them, rather than what they are really thinking about which is how to get some more chocolate or sex ASAP.

enigmaT120
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Re: Pros and cons of introversion

Post by enigmaT120 »

7Wannabe5 wrote: Also, introverts often suffer needlessly because they care more about what other people think about them than extroverts, because they imagine that other people are spending time thinking about them....
Huh?

Leave it up to me to confuse psychopathy or autism with introversion.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Pros and cons of introversion

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I was thinking more along the lines of self-consciousness (introverts) vs. self-involvement (extroverts.) Of course, most of the introverts in my social circle are Fs, so MMV.

thrifty++
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Re: Pros and cons of introversion

Post by thrifty++ »

7Wannabe5 wrote:Well, obviously, the downside of mastering the practice of delaying gratification is that you might end up with a basket full of melted, dusty Easter bunny in August or your virginity still intact at age 40. Also, introverts often suffer needlessly because they care more about what other people think about them than extroverts, because they imagine that other people are spending time thinking about them, rather than what they are really thinking about which is how to get some more chocolate or sex ASAP.
I hear you on the delayed gratification. Or you could be dead before you get to enjoy the well ripened fruits of your discipline. However I think extroverts very much care about what others think of them and arguably more than introverts. Introverts care about what others think of them to the extent of avoiding attention - which they do not want. So they will avoid doing things which may draw a lot of attention to them

The reverse is true for extroverts. They have a heavy desire for attention, praise and affection and to be popular and liked by everyone. Introverts care much less about those things and often want none of them and often only care about the affections of a very small number of people and the rest are unimportant. I have noticed for example how extroverts feel compelled, almost obsessively, to draw attention to themselves on social media. They feel the need to be seen doing something which they perceive as interesting. If not enough people notice on their wall post in Facebook, I notice extroverts will start tagging a lot of people in to make sure they have to see whatever said extrovert is doing. I have noticed that introverts will not do this. Sometimes they don't have social media accounts at all. They don't like other people knowing what they are doing and have so much less interest in whether everyone else approves or likes what they are doing or thinks it is fashionable. They are more interested in privacy.

I was out with a very extroverted friend and a couple of others at a dinner not long ago. He wanted to tag us all as having checked in at some restaurant. To make his life seem more interesting and to be more accepted by others to show he was doing something all the time. I didn't want to be tagged on Facebook at all. Partly for a practical reason as there was a specific person who I did not want to know I was in town. But also because I don't want everyone knowing my business all the time. Why do they need to know about every time I go to a restaurant or bar FFS. We ended up having this huge row over it. He ended up not posting it but he was sour for the whole dinner.

I think extroverted people are also more subject to status anxiety. Which is also unhelpful for ERE. They are more concerned about being praised and accepted by other people as being successful and more prone to spend on excessive luxury items to gain such approval. I think introverts care much less about such praise and attention and want to be themselves and be left alone and have a nice little secluded peaceful shack in the woods to philosophise and do whatever it is that calls them.
Last edited by thrifty++ on Thu Jan 07, 2016 4:17 am, edited 2 times in total.

theanimal
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Re: Pros and cons of introversion

Post by theanimal »

Well said, thrifty.

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fiby41
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Re: Pros and cons of introversion

Post by fiby41 »

@thrifty:

You can edit the audience of the people who can see what you're tagged in.

This way you don't have to have a row with your friend, he can tag you, but your friends on Facebook won't come to know.

How to: Go to Settings > Tagging > Select 'on' for Timeline Review.

thrifty++
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Re: Pros and cons of introversion

Post by thrifty++ »

I know but we had a mutual friend who I didn't want to see. lol

IlliniDave
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Re: Pros and cons of introversion

Post by IlliniDave »

Well, the biggest benefit of introversion (I am a strong "I" in my INTJ assessment) I can see as it pertains to ER is that it has allowed me to maintain my single status after my 2008 divorce. What might be loneliness for a more extroverted person is (blessed) solitude for me. The odds of me being able to chart the course I have for myself with any of the available women I have run across in person where I live are astronomically small. In principle I have no objection to sharing my life with a partner, there are obvious benefits, but I've grown selfish and any potential partner would have to have a vision for their future that is extremely similar to mine. I do not intend to give up what I've spent most of the last 8+ years striving for in a compromise for the sake of a relationship. The relationship must conform to me, I won't remold myself to a relationship. Sort of an alpha introversion maybe (does that even exist). And I think introversion cultivates a degree of inner self-reliance.

On the downside, I think introversion tends to foster a person getting locked into habits/behavior patterns, as I sometimes find myself steering clear of new/unfamiliar situations that would potentially require a high degree of social interaction. It also makes me a bit reticent to engage in networking which probably comes with an opportunity cost. So perhaps it makes me less free than others. Of course there's a flip side to that in that I am comfortable exploring the quiet places that an equally strong extrovert would consider "nowhere".

GandK
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Re: Pros and cons of introversion

Post by GandK »

+1 to IlliniDave's assessment. I came here to say something similar.

Where we diverge: as another raging introvert, I also don't experience loneliness when alone... but as a Feeler, I'm prone to feeling loneliness in company when I feel like I'm not connecting with anyone. Basically I'm totally OK not being around people, perhaps indefinitely, but when I am around people I need to fit in or else I'm unhappy/lonely. For this reason, and for the reasons Dave stated, if anything ever happened to G, I would likely not remarry. My new partner would have to be complementary to such a great degree that I felt like being in that relationship was more life-enhancing than solitude. I can count on one hand the number of people I've met in my lifetime about whom I can say that.

I also think the biggest downside of introversion is getting set in your ways. I think most of the people here will have to fight becoming "Grumpy Old Men" as we age. :D

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Re: Pros and cons of introversion

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@thrifty++- I guess I'm thinking about the sort of extreme extrovert who makes a great living in a sales position that involves repeated cold calls, and has no problem with endlessly hitting on very attractive women even though he himself is decidedly not. That's what I mean by not caring about what other people think of you.

I always test right on the fence for E/I and my DD24 once said "Mom, you aren't introverted or extroverted.You just don't even notice if there are other people in the room." So, I think I understand both perspectives, but maybe I understand neither--lol. When I was 8 years old, I would want to be alone in the morning to read a book on the topic of hypnotism, and then in the afternoon I would want to go find somebody to hypnotize. If I read a book on flooding the backyard to make an ice rink, then maybe I wouldn't need any co-operation with another human. That pretty much remains my modus operandi. I have never lived by myself, but that is because other people usually don't bother me enough to make me want to spend money on complete privacy. I very rarely feel lonely because there are like 6 billion people on the planet, and I very rarely feel oppressed by the company of other people because it is pretty easy for me to tune them out most of the time, unless they are behaving in a quite aggressive or obnoxious manner. My children used to throw balls of paper at me to get my attention. I sometimes wonder how long I could remain happy alone in a cabin in the woods with a pile of books and a well-stocked larder and wood-pile. I'm sure that sometime in the course of the first day, I would read something that I would like to talk to somebody else about, if there was somebody else around, but it wouldn't make me unhappy to just write in a journal instead. Day 10, I'm still okay writing in the journal, although maybe I would start talking to the woodland animals too. So, probably I would be okay until around Day 14 when I would want to go find somebody to have sex with me enough to go to the trouble of brushing my hair and hiking into town.

enigmaT120
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Re: Pros and cons of introversion

Post by enigmaT120 »

...over seven billion now, sigh.

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Ego
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Re: Pros and cons of introversion

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IlliniDave wrote:What might be loneliness for a more extroverted person is (blessed) solitude for me. The odds of me being able to chart the course I have for myself with any of the available women I have run across in person where I live are astronomically small. In principle I have no objection to sharing my life with a partner, there are obvious benefits, but I've grown selfish and any potential partner would have to have a vision for their future that is extremely similar to mine.
That's interesting. Cain says that introverts cope better with delayed gratification. I wonder if that would explain the unwillingness to accept a less-than-perfectly matched partner. Not that that's a bad thing. A terrible match is much worse than no match at all. But every match, even those that look perfect from the outside, have flaws.

It made me think about the regrets people have on their death beds in hospice care.
http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-23024/th ... -life.html

It seems those regrets often revolve around not spending time with people. I don't think I've ever heard someone say that they wish they spent more time alone.

Life is messy. Does this increased tolerance for delayed gratification cause people to indefinitely delay the things that are most important in life? If introverts use their delayed gratification skills to decline anything but the flawless match, are they missing out on the thing they would wish for on their death beds?

Or maybe it's only we extroverts who feel like talking on our deathbeds. ;)

thrifty++
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Re: Pros and cons of introversion

Post by thrifty++ »

IlliniDave wrote:Well, the biggest benefit of introversion (I am a strong "I" in my INTJ assessment) I can see as it pertains to ER is that it has allowed me to maintain my single status after my 2008 divorce. What might be loneliness for a more extroverted person is (blessed) solitude for me.
Me too. I hadn't thought of this being a T thing, and was just an I thing. But I can see where your heading. Mind you with my constant singleness I have thought I am missing out on economies of scale. But it would be worse if I was with a partner on low income high spend. If I am honest I think this is something I am constantly watching out for.
IlliniDave wrote: On the downside, I think introversion tends to foster a person getting locked into habits/behavior patterns, as I sometimes find myself steering clear of new/unfamiliar situations that would potentially require a high degree of social interaction. It also makes me a bit reticent to engage in networking which probably comes with an opportunity cost.
Yes I too am not a fan of networking. I also don't like the excess that comes with it. All the alcohol around and food. I think this is a burden towards the income side of things. I think that there is a strong correlation between income and networking. I struggle with career oriented networking. I find it tiresome and boring and rarely partake in it. On the other hand I enjoy networking sometimes in relation to my hobbies and interests, or where people are talking in depth about something of substance like philosophy or psychology etc.
7Wannabe5 wrote:@thrifty++- I guess I'm thinking about the sort of extreme extrovert who makes a great living in a sales position that involves repeated cold calls, and has no problem with endlessly hitting on very attractive women even though he himself is decidedly not. That's what I mean by not caring about what other people think of you.
Oh my god I have done that job when I was a kid. Its awful. I left after one day!

Riggerjack
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Re: Pros and cons of introversion

Post by Riggerjack »

. I am wondering what others think about benefits and disadvantages of being an introvert?
I don't put much weight on I vs E, as far as strengths and weaknesses. However, I think it is of primary importance in choosing a partner. I's and E's don't mix well. No matter what you are doing as a couple, someone is going to be put out. Going partying, snuggled by a fire, whatever, pretty soon someone is going to want to be doing something else.

Due to the I/E ratio, this is mainly an issue for introverts.

peerifloori
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Re: Pros and cons of introversion

Post by peerifloori »

Riggerjack wrote:I don't put much weight on I vs E, as far as strengths and weaknesses. However, I think it is of primary importance in choosing a partner. I's and E's don't mix well. No matter what you are doing as a couple, someone is going to be put out. Going partying, snuggled by a fire, whatever, pretty soon someone is going to want to be doing something else.
Hmm, I disagree. I'm quite introverted, but I've often been attracted to extroverts. My husband is very extroverted. We balance each other well. When he wants to know about something, he talks to people - friends, strangers, experts, whoever. When I want to know something, I research it online or in books. He enjoys spending a lot of time with his friends, I enjoy spending a lot of time alone. We both like spending time with each other.

peerifloori
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Re: Pros and cons of introversion

Post by peerifloori »

thrifty++ wrote:I think extroverted people are also more subject to status anxiety. Which is also unhelpful for ERE. They are more concerned about being praised and accepted by other people as being successful and more prone to spend on excessive luxury items to gain such approval. I think introverts care much less about such praise and attention and want to be themselves and be left alone and have a nice little secluded peaceful shack in the woods to philosophise and do whatever it is that calls them.
I don't entirely agree. I've met a number of thrifty-living, adventurer, wandering traveler types who are very extroverted. For example a friend of mine who has traveled across the entire Eurasian continent, from East Russia to Europe, with no plans, a backpack on his back, relying solely on the friends he makes for lodging and travel plans.

Conversely, I know plenty of introverts who are very subject to "status anxiety". They're just quieter about it.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Pros and cons of introversion

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

How do two introverts even meet and commence a relationship? The "rules" of dating seem to highly favor extroverted men.

OldPro
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Re: Pros and cons of introversion

Post by OldPro »

I see some obvious misinterpreting of the Myers Briggs test on this forum. It focuses on the Intrapersonal, not the Interpersonal. It is a tool to help you understand YOUR personal preferences. It is not a tool for helping you deal with interpersonal relationships such as dating or getting along with co-workers. You may want to read here for a comparison to another well known system called Social Styles which will do a lot more to help you understand your own behaviour and that of others as well as how to interact in relationships of whatever kind.
http://www.tracomcorp.com/wp-content/up ... Briggs.pdf

Comments like, "I think extroverted people are also more subject to status anxiety.", are also clearly a misinterpretation of what MBTI can tell you.

If someone actually understands MBTI, then they should understand that it tells you ONLY about yourself, not about anyone else. When you start attributing things like 'status anxiety' to other people based on MBTI, you have moved outside of what it is a tool for doing, understanding YOURSELF. It you want to understand others, you need a different tool and especially if you want to understand the BEHAVIOUR of others, something MBTI doesn't measure at all.

MBTI relates to your preferences. Social Styles relates to your behaviour. They are not necessarily directly connected and in fact often aren't. Research says they are only 50% of the time.

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