U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Health and Wellness > Mental Health
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 09-28-2012, 09:53 AM
 
571 posts, read 1,026,512 times
Reputation: 1450

Advertisements

I could have sworn that when my husband was younger, he was an extrovert. He's 40 now, and he is says he's an introvert.

There's an interesting article on the characteristics of introverts.
Top 5 Things Every Extrovert Should Know About Introverts » The Definitive Self Improvement Blog - BrianKim.net

But if introverts are 'wired' differently, can they become extroverts? Do any posters on here feel they've changed from one to the other over time?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 09-28-2012, 11:59 AM
 
1,245 posts, read 1,574,027 times
Reputation: 1352
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelcake4 View Post
I could have sworn that when my husband was younger, he was an extrovert. He's 40 now, and he is says he's an introvert.

There's an interesting article on the characteristics of introverts.
Top 5 Things Every Extrovert Should Know About Introverts » The Definitive Self Improvement Blog - BrianKim.net

But if introverts are 'wired' differently, can they become extroverts? Do any posters on here feel they've changed from one to the other over time?

I was an extrovert in my late teens/early twenties and then became extremely introverted during my 30s. And now in my 40s I'm trying to be more extroverted. It's hard. It's also hard to stay motivated because when you think about it, being an extrovert is really only useful if it leads to opportunities or friendships/relationships. Small-talk, chit-chat is really pretty useless.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-28-2012, 12:41 PM
 
9,237 posts, read 19,610,621 times
Reputation: 22313
My true nature is introvert, but I learned in childhood to "fake extroversion" in order to get a better payoff in certain areas of life. In college and my early 20s, people would have considered me an extrovert, but I was pretty much playing that role because:
1. I was in my early 20s and you're supposed to go out a lot in your early 20s.
2. I was in my early 20s, and you're supposed to have lots of friends in your early 20s.
3. When you're in college and a few years after college, it's hard to afford your own apartment, so you gotta have roommates, whcih requires being friends with them and their friends.
4. I wanted to date guys, and not be completely celibate.

I don't believe that a true extrovert or true introvert can really change from one to the other. Our behavior just changes based on our priorities at the time. A major, sudden change in introversion-extroversion can also be a sign of a mental illness (eg. outgoing person becomes isolative, could be depressed).

There are also shy people who are not really true introverts. They might actually crave contact with other people, but their social anxiety keeps them separate. If they get help to overcome their shyness, then can become quite extroverted, but their nature didn't change, just their behavior.

When I was a kid, people thought I was shy, and I even believed that I was, since that's what I was told. As I got older I learned that I really didn't have social anxiety; I just preferred to not be around people much.

So I guess my point is, a person can't truly change from one to the other, absent a head injury, but if there is an apparent change, it's their behavior that's changed, and there's a reason for it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-28-2012, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Chicago area
15,325 posts, read 8,491,629 times
Reputation: 55900
I've always been an extrovert who married someone extremely introverted. I bombarded him with people throughout our marriage including all gay dinner parties. He is now more extroverted and walks up to strangers at parties and engages in conversations. Who is that man? I'm loving it. I disagree with chit-chat being useless. It's all about having fun and some laughs. Life is short and there are so many interesting people out there.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-28-2012, 01:02 PM
 
9,237 posts, read 19,610,621 times
Reputation: 22313
I want to thank the OP for posting that article. I collect articles about introversion, and she sums it up pretty well and pretty simply.

I love to have deep, meaningful conversations about topics that I find important. This doesn't mean I'm always serious; I can crack people up in my analysis of meaningful issues. But to me, small talk is like orangutans sitting around picking mites off each other: it's social stroking that some people need for group bonding. I'd rather just pick fleas off myself and concentrate on meaningful issues.

The energy-charging thing is the biggest difference, and if more people would understand that, there would be much more acceptance of introversion. Extroverts (or non-introverts) get energy from interaction with others, so they assume, not even consciously, that everyone is like that. Being alone is largely an unpleasant or neutral experience to them, so they decide there must be something wrong with a person who prefers the "unpleasant" state of aloneness. Those introverts must be socially awkward, depressed, or up to no good. If the extroverts see aloneness as neutral, not a good use off time, then they might see loners as lazy or unmotivated.

But we see all the social-stroking time as not a good use of time, and sometimes as unpleasant. Why would I sit and chat with people in a waiting room, when I could be reading a book???? An introvert will identify with that statement as much as a extrovert would reject it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-28-2012, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Western NY
559 posts, read 1,230,436 times
Reputation: 556
I remember reading something about this in The Introvert Advantage. The book mentions that people tend to become more introverted as they get older.

I took the Myers-Briggs test when I was about 20 years old, and again when I was 24. The first time the results said that I was an introvert, and the next time I took the test my results said that I was an extrovert.

In the books that I’ve read on introverts there are questionnaires to help determine whether you’re an introvert or extrovert. According to my answers to those questions I’m in the middle of the introvert-extrovert continuum.

I learned to "fake extroversion", as TracySam mentioned above, especially at work. Sometimes I’ll talk just to talk (some extroverts seem to be offended by silence and they just want you to say something), and I don’t complain about the times that the office gets so noisy that I can’t hear the person I’m talking to on the phone.

I like a lot of things that extroverts like. I like crowds at the mall or at events & festivals. I like to go out with friends. I always enjoy random conversations with strangers at the grocery store, the mall, and so on. I'm often one of the last people to leave a party at a friend's house.

Some introverted things about me are that I think before I speak so I might not get a sentence out as quickly as an extroverts wants me to, I don't like small talk, sometimes I like to stay home all weekend, and I’d rather have a conversation with 1 or 2 other people than try to get a word in edgewise in a group conversation.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-28-2012, 06:22 PM
 
Location: Cushing OK
14,545 posts, read 18,210,262 times
Reputation: 16829
My parents always said I was 'shy'. I devoured books. I did any craft I could get my hands on. I would hang out with my close friends, but they were few and I generally avoided most people. And the people I found as friends were the 'different' people who were generally considered 'wierd'.

But I spend a lot of time alone and I suppose mom didn't notice since she did too.

I've always loved real meaty discussion and hated small talk. My mom wasn't a 'joiner' and neither am I. I'm the one in the back of the room with a piece of paper and pen while I tune out the blah stuff.

The article was wonderful and has been saved since its so dead on. In my 'social circle' I'm very socially active. It happens to be fandom. I can carry on a *very* serious conversation about how the transporter works. Or the history of genocide. And I love 'what if'. I loved it so much that I had to learn to turn it off when thinking of personal life.

I'll never be an extrovert. In fact on myers briggs I test at 100 percent introvert. But a few years ago, after life was really messed up, I made a decision. I would be me. I wasn't going to pretend anymore. If I didn't speak to anyone for three days, it was because I *didn't want to*. I've also persued my interests without apology as well. Where I used to live, in an apartment with a lot of older people, I guess some thought I was strange, but it was fine. I just didn't care. I've felt so much better about myself and life since then. I think most of us come at some point to the moment when we claim who we are. I feel for those who are pushed by friends and spouces and other sorts who don't get it to be more 'outgoing' and give in.

Sure, I'd go to a party, but it would have to be the right kind, with the right people. Where people are trying to impress each other by how slick they can sound? Naw. One where the real draw is free booze. Definately naw. Nothing more boring than a drunk. A nice room party at a con where people drift in and out, eat and talk. OH YES!!!! I spend half the night every night at conventions at parties, but its people who are if interest and conversations which draw me in.

After the con, I go home, shut the door, lock it and don't want to see another living thing but the furries for a week. Even if I was having fun I feel utterly drained.

It's strange with crowds. Some like them since they are with people. I like them sometimes since you can be alone in one. It's like all the people are little moving dots and each is distinct and seperate, and never touch. Being very emphatetic, I don't like it when there is anger and sadness. I like the people at a street fair or some sort of medieval faire, or Disneyland, where its about joy since I can sense it. So a crowd can be a very satisfying thing if its the right crowd.

I wonder also, since it wasn't mentioned, if most introverts are 'always on'? My brain is always running something through it, maybe not on the surface but I know its there. I write stories for fun, (hopefully not always just for that), and I'll have a scene, think of it before sleep and wake up with it unfolding in a waking dream. There is always more than one thing too, and when I don't say anything for a long time, I'm just feeling the energy pulsing through.

Interesting that the physical wiring of the brain is different, as I've never heard that. But it makes sense. When I'm really deeply into something its like a bubble exists around me and all the rest is just not there, off some distance away.

And those who think you should 'socialize'... I was in a program with the county and we had to go to the center and socialize. I would have gone for the ceramics, but they wanted you to use forms. I wanted a hunk of clay to make whatever it felt like being. I completly redid the forms. But it was not enjoyable with 'help' buzzing around behind you. So I would go, sit on the couch and read, and when I'd gotten far enough go wait for the bus and go home. People would sit on the couch, which was too close, so I switched to bringing my crochet. It could easily cover the couch. Eventually I just quit going. Beware of having a mental health problem like depression or bipolar (I'm bp2) and being an introvert. It is considered something which needs to be cured....
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-28-2012, 06:27 PM
 
861 posts, read 1,098,542 times
Reputation: 827
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelcake4 View Post
I could have sworn that when my husband was younger, he was an extrovert. He's 40 now, and he is says he's an introvert.

There's an interesting article on the characteristics of introverts.
Top 5 Things Every Extrovert Should Know About Introverts » The Definitive Self Improvement Blog - BrianKim.net

But if introverts are 'wired' differently, can they become extroverts? Do any posters on here feel they've changed from one to the other over time?
I was a "introvert" until my early fifties. I'm now 59 and many people (who didn't know me in my earlier life) think I'm a extrovert. As I see it, I'm essentially a introvert that can turn on or turn off the extrovert characteristic. It's based on a few factors; Social need or desire, and my mood at the time. I just don't want to be "on" all the time. It's not in my makeup.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-01-2012, 11:09 AM
 
Location: Corona the I.E.
10,137 posts, read 14,640,815 times
Reputation: 9040
It can, and I am one of those folks. I do outside sales, which is extrovert, and when I get home I am so tired I don't want to talk with anyone. A change of professions for 6 years did it too. I went from outside sales to help running a trading desk for a hedge fund so I only spoke to most people by phone, and then was forced back to outside sales for job reasons.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-01-2012, 11:19 AM
 
7,349 posts, read 8,327,924 times
Reputation: 4521
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelcake4 View Post
I could have sworn that when my husband was younger, he was an extrovert. He's 40 now, and he is says he's an introvert.

There's an interesting article on the characteristics of introverts.
Top 5 Things Every Extrovert Should Know About Introverts » The Definitive Self Improvement Blog - BrianKim.net

But if introverts are 'wired' differently, can they become extroverts? Do any posters on here feel they've changed from one to the other over time?

happened to me , depression completley and utterly transformed my personality
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Health and Wellness > Mental Health
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top