What is Introversion?

Introverts are often misunderstood in society. Often it is thought of as antisocial or shy/ This is wrong. Introverts can be just as sociable as extroverts. However, over time introverts become depleted of energy, whereas extroverts gain energy from social interaction. This means introverts often look to leave the party early when they tire of interaction.

Much of modern society seems geared towards extroversion. While extroverts are rewarded for chatter and noise, introverts are quieter and can be overlooked.

Introverts can seem antisocial, but this is not true. It is more the case that introverts are more in tune with the richness of their thoughts and imagination. This is a strength in many ways. Introverts are more measured and considered about their process and engage in deep thought before making decisions.

There are two chemicals that govern the difference between introverts and extroverts. Dopamine is a chemical neurotransmitter that is triggered as part of the reward pathways in the brain. For example, when eating, engaging in sexual activity, drug taking and addiction, or taking risks. Extroverts get the hit from this reward feedback, but introverts are more sensitive to it. This is why they prefer the gentle relaxed concentration of acetylcholine. For example when reading or painting and colouring.

Both introverts and extroverts have their relative strengths and weaknesses. Indeed, it is not binary, rather a continuous scale. You can be anywhere on the scale, with ambiverts being in between.

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