So...I just read another article describing introverts as people who will predictably avoid crowds, noise, and chaotic overloads of stimulation (whereas their extroverted counterparts are always said to seek out such environments). The author of this article used situational venues to illustrate his point, claiming that introverts wouldn't be likely to attend sporting events and rock concerts with much frequency, while extreme extroverts are season ticket holders.
I'm sure there's some truth in that, but I don't think it's a complete picture. I think one's interests are mostly independent of the tendencies to be introverted or extroverted, and consequently, you could have an extrovert who enjoys reading poetry in a coffee shop and an introvert who enjoys going to football games.
Frequently, I read things that kinda paint introverts as these nervous, incapable, crowd-fearing people who need to recharge their batteries every single time they leave their homes. Even the articles that attempt to give a more in-depth definition of what it means to be an introvert or an extrovert seem to fuck it up somehow, and I'm almost always left with this bad picture of agoraphobic homebodies who just can't wait to curl up into the fetal position for six hours because they had to buy groceries that day.
I'm exaggerating and ranting a little, but does anyone else get that impression?
To the guts of where I'm going: I'm constantly around sports venues all the time, for work and for recreation. This means being surrounded by large throngs of people, often. It doesn't bother me at all. When I'm working, I'm doing exactly that - the people are present, but I don't have to interact with them (it's like having the anonymity of a big city versus the invasive nosiness of a small town). When I'm at an event for fun, I get caught up in the noise and the excitement and I love it - this mass of people just bonds with itself over a common interest, and I don't have to use any energy at all to make that happen. Wearing a team jersey? Okay, cool, high five and here's a beer. Boom. Done.
I took this picture about a month ago...
...and I honestly felt comfortable. The crowd grew so much bigger, too; by the time I got to my final position at Hutchinson Field, I turned around and saw what had to be a million people at my back. It was an awesome day, and I got lots of awesome pictures.
For contrast: afterward, I traveled to the west coast for a family reunion (an obviously much smaller get-together, maybe twenty or twenty-five people). However, I was expected to directly interact with all of these people for seven days. Suddenly, all the noise and all the business and all the meddling and friendly questioning and nagging and everything just grated on me like nobody's business. I love my family, but definitely prefer them in smaller groups, for much shorter periods of time.
Basically, by the time I flew back and was making my connection in Denver, I felt an immense sense of relief at being alone - even though I was still in a busy airport.
I think fearing large crowds might be more related to social anxiety, which is not at all the same as introversion...and maybe feeling uncomfortable might simply be a sign of one who is a "Highly Sensitive Person," which wouldn't necessarily have to be synonymous with introversion, either.
So. Are crowds really introvert repellent? Or is it the task of social interaction, and then to what degree? Are the stereotypes really just stereotypes?
Or am I not an introvert? Am I an ambivert or full-blown extrovert? I don't think so, but I'm open to your theories. On that note, how do you guys feel when you're around tons of people - where's your threshold for energy loss, and what causes it (communication with others or stimulation in general)?
Apologies for the enormous post...I, uh, seem to always have too much to write about whenever I actually decide to say anything.