What classifies as an introvert?
- You enjoy and feel refreshed after having time alone. almost as if your batteries are recharged.
- Your best thinking occurs when you are by yourself.
- Great listener, other people ask for your opinion.
- You often wear headphones in public situations.
- You don’t like small talk but can talk for hours about things you care about.
- Animal lover, prefer to be with them over humans.
- Nature is very close to your heart.
(NOT MY OWN WORDS BELOW)
One theory of the brain science behind introversion and extroversion suggests that it all comes down to dopamine. In 2005, researchers at the University of Amsterdam studied groups of volunteers who were identified as introverts and extroverts via a personality quiz. The volunteers gambled while researchers monitored the activity in two regions of their brains: the amygdala and the nucleus accumbens, which are both tied to excitement and reward. The amygdala handles emotional reactions, while the nucleus accumbens is tied to how we process dopamine, a chemical that we use to process “rewards” and positive reactions.
The researchers found that the folks identified as extroverts had stronger reactions in those two regions while gambling, implying that extroverts may actually have brain wiring that rewards seeking out novel activities like meeting new people, trying new things, and other hallmarks of extroverted behaviour. Conversely, introverted brains may not be rewarded with such behaviours, which is why introverts might find staying home with a book more rewarding than going out to a club. They’re literally not getting the same high from it that their extroverted companions are.
My experiences as an introvert with social anxiety
All of my life i have been slated, bullied and branded ‘ shy one’. My own family since i was a child have made numerous comments about me being quiet and sometimes told me off for not talking. Obviously this had a big effect on me growing up and its only now at aged 25 i can understand more about why i am the way i am. I now know i am normal and all of things i am passionate about is due to being introverted.
To make matters harder for myself i also suffer with social anxiety.
The defining feature of social anxiety disorder, also called social phobia, is intense anxiety or fear of being judged, negatively evaluated, or rejected in a social or performance situation.
So combining the two, life can be a real challenge at times. For me i feel good and at my best when i am surrounded with animals, in nature, alone, with close family and writing or expressing what i have to say. Its funny because introverts are always seen as being shy or quiet to others but this is so far from the truth. Introverts have MORE to say than extroverts…. what i mean by this is that introverts are deep thinkers and are thinking about everything they want to say its just they haven’t found the right person to have meaningful conversations with yet. Extroverts may talk a’lot but if you get into a good conversation with an introvert they will out talk you!. Im of course simply speaking from my own experiences and cant speak for all fellow introverts.
I despise small talk… even in shops, hairdressers, beauty salons, food shopping etc all of these things means small talk has to happen. I always order things online to avoid this and always dread appointments as i know small talk has to happen as its part of their job. I know that me being the way i am has meant i have few friends and struggle big time to make new ones, i struggle to trust people and struggle to have conversations with people as its usually about things i care less for or simply don’t want to talk about, for example a conversation for me goes like this Person: ” hey, how are you ?” Me:” good thanks”. End of conversation. Extroverts conversation…
Person:” Hey, how are you?” Extrovert:” Hey, i’m great thanks”.Its a lovely day, How are you?”.
I do laugh at my own blunt responses sometimes when i chat to Kyron, you have to laugh really 🙂 To that person i likely come across as rude but i’m really not. I simply don’t have anything to say or don’t want to talk. To me it seems as though being extroverted is normal but if you are introverted theres something wrong… I don’t think its fair to force people to talk or go to events etc if they feel awful or drained by doing so. I avoid social situations wherever possible! but put me in a room full of cats and dogs i would have the best time ever. I don’t prefer animals its just simply the fact that i get more out of being with them than with people. People drain me of all of my energy and are far more negative than animals ( since they cant talk right 😉 ). If however i am with the right people i do feel good such as close family or friends i trust.
What are your experiences like? have you spoken to an introvert or are you one too?. Its ok to stand out and be different.