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  1. #11
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    I mean I became sick with a chronic illness around the time of feeling burned out. It wasn't feeling sick in and around any particular social event or socializing, but instead a all the time sort of thing.
    That makes more sense - stress can really do that.

    Sure, I force myself to be around people if I am not up to it and the situation demands it but it doesn't really change the introversion. I don't "grow" into being less introverted just sometimes have to work around it.
    The issue is if you avoid people entirely - ie: the examples show people who are avoidant. If you feel like the world is out to get you because someone says hi... that's an issue. However, if your friends expect you to go out every single night, all the time, to parties with lots of people... that's not an issue.

    I don't feel anxious about being around people, I do often feel irked at having to put up with their reactions to me. The usual "You are so quiet", "Are you depressed?" "lighten up!" and the other stock comments. People are draining anyway and when they have to be like this, even more so. I highly prefer being around other introverts to avoid this in my private life. It gets really old to have to keep re-explaing and re-justifying one's self to others. The "suspicion" thing about my more reclusive times also gets really old. Both of these things just make me want to withdraw from the situation just as soon as I can.
    As someone who had this as a child - badly, to say the least - I grew out of it. I'm no less drained and I do find it irritating... but I've learnt not to shell myself in either. Really, I know how this conversation goes... I say I'm very introverted. The other person says I can't be that introverted because I'm not like that. I say that I learnt it. The other person says it can't be learnt. I say that I did it. They say...

    The problem is that introversion here is just a catch all phrase for "unable to deal with people". I'm about as introverted as one can be. I've overcome it as much as I probably can and I'm still quite bad. I'm clearly on the unhealthy side - it didn't take my parents or the psychologist to tell me that.

    The message I want to give is that it can be handled, if one is willing to try to do it. I had to force myself to go out and sell tickets. I had to force myself to talk to people at work. I had to force myself to go out with friends or have them over.

    We do have rational concious control over ourselves and our environment - and these things shape up.

    (I will, however, say that it is easier to do for me because I'm not as "neurotic" as most of the population. Heightened negative emotions can make this harder to deal with. At the same time, very very little of the population is as introverted as I am.)

    I'm not going to argue against introverts accepting who they are. I just find that "acceptance" is the same as "excusism" for too many things.

    But again with say the last item in the list, if the professor wants to be secretive about the minute details of his private life and he is happy with this, why is it necessarily "unhealthy?"
    That one is a bit of a middle ground. However, I do have someone like that. I'll say hi, and they'll ignore me. And everyone else. Sorry, that's not healthy. I may not say hi to everyone I pass by in my apartment, but I'd never ignore someone.

    I bet that he thinks that if he says hi, he'll have to make... egad... small talk. It's rather unfair for that nasty outside world to impose on that introvert... :rolli:

    If the introverted couple are not unhappy with their limited social life, can it really be said to be unhealthy?
    At a certain point, yes. It is not healthy to shut out external contact.

    If these people are kind to others and can support themselves through work in our society, why should they be treated as if they are defective.
    What people? The first example you mentioned couldbe seen as exactly the opposite, while the other one don't even have "other people" on their radar.

  2. #12
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    After reading this post by Toonia and posts on this thread, I am curious to know should these situations be considered examples of healthy introversion?

    I've bolded the parts that I find questionable. I don't think that's healthy introversion. I would also like to add before I get tarred and feathered that I don't view introversion as a personality defect. If you need to be alone to recharge, that's fine. I don't try and force social interactions with the introverts in my life (at least to the best of my ability). Nor am I trying to quantify how much alone time introverts need.

    I am not suggesting introverts make themselves into extroverts and then everything will be sunshine and rainbows. If the people listed in these situations are content with their lives as they are then they should continue as they are. But Toonia mentioned some of them experiencing anxiety just thinking about interacting with people. I wonder if people are confusing social anxiety and phobias with introversion.
    I'd say those are extreme versions of introversion, but I wouldn't necessarily label them as unhealthy. If they are completely unable to function in society than it is unhealty. Otherwise it is just a strong preference.
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  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    I'd say those are extreme versions of introversion, but I wouldn't necessarily label them as unhealthy. If they are completely unable to function in society than it is unhealty. Otherwise it is just a strong preference.
    Even if they were labeled unhealthy does that mean they can change?
    In addition, if they can does that mean they should change?

    After all what allows you to function in society depends on the society you live in.

    Wouldn't more people be "healthy" is we were simply more tolerant as a society, and allowed avenues for people like this to function?

    I ask these questions, because I feel autism in particular being labeled as "unhealthy" is a problem. I think we should create avenues (or simply allow) autistic spectrum people to function in society.

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  4. #14
    heart on fire
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post

    As someone who had this as a child - badly, to say the least - I grew out of it. I'm no less drained and I do find it irritating... but I've learnt not to shell myself in either. Really, I know how this conversation goes... I say I'm very introverted. The other person says I can't be that introverted because I'm not like that. I say that I learnt it. The other person says it can't be learnt. I say that I did it. They say...
    Pt, I am not scared of most people. I am not filled with anxiety about dealing with them as a rule. (I do have some anxiety about some verbally abusive people who are relatives those rare times when I have to deal with them. )

    I get drained when I deal with people. I hate also having to deal with them when I am drained and my wits are very dull at those times.

    I can push myself to be more extroverted. I already said this. However, when I do push myself to be more extroverted it has been my exprience that eventually I am going to have a total crash in energy, I have at those times lost my personal center and been very scattered, ungrounded. I did learn to fake being more extroverted, I could not train myself to BE less introverted.

    I have learned that it is best for me to budget my energy and let myself be introverted as I need to be.

    The problem is that introversion here is just a catch all phrase for "unable to deal with people". I'm about as introverted as one can be. I've overcome it as much as I probably can and I'm still quite bad. I'm clearly on the unhealthy side - it didn't take my parents or the psychologist to tell me that.
    I was shy and extremely withdrawn as a child, timid and scared to approach people, afraid to speak my mind, afraid to say hello to someone I didn't know. I have been able to mostly over come the shyness, but not the introversion. There is a difference.

    I can walk up to people and introduce myself or ask questions. I can ask a neighbor if she would like to come over for cake and coffee sometime. I can speak in groups. I can get on a PA system and make an announcement at a job. I can cold call customers and ask questions about orders they placed. I can approach a customer and ask if they need help or make suggestions about what they might like. I can verbally confront a bully or someone who has said untrue things about me, I can express an unpopular opinion. This would all have been impossible for me once. Now it is possible but doing so always comes at an energy cost to me. I have not been able to train that out of myself.

    I do think that some shyness comes from being an introvert in the fast moving extrovert world with all of its over stimulating aspects and the expectations put on an introvert child by adults who think they can be pressured for their own good into extroversion.

    The message I want to give is that it can be handled, if one is willing to try to do it. I had to force myself to go out and sell tickets. I had to force myself to talk to people at work. I had to force myself to go out with friends or have them over.
    Well, I started work in a public contact job at age 15 and it was hard at first to push myself to be that out there...so I agree that introversion should not interfer with things related to earning a living or it is a real unhealthy situation for that individual. Being able to work this way with people increased my need for time to recharge.

    Yes, one can force change oneself, but I found I personally had real limits on my personal energy. During my 20s when I was trying to behave more like an extrovert than introvert (part of my big self improvment project!) I was driving myself scatterbrained and down to a exahusted level trying to be an extrovert when I am not.

    I have not had to force myself to have people I am comfortable with over to my home and often have very enjoyable times with people and look forward to them and save energy in my bank of energy for those times. I have a chosen few friends whom I cherish very much and enjoy their company very much.

    However, I am often not talkative enough for some extroverts. In a large group I often prefer to listen and only occassionally give input. Some extroverts,are uncomfortable with this. They push and push. It makes me the center of attention and I hate being put in that position, especially by people who should know me by then. It makes me avoid their parties in the future just because I don't find them enjoyable. I am not afraid to be at their parties, I am not sweating palms anxious, I just flat don't enjoy them because they drain me and I would rather save my energy for other things.

    That one is a bit of a middle ground. However, I do have someone like that. I'll say hi, and they'll ignore me. And everyone else. Sorry, that's not healthy. I may not say hi to everyone I pass by in my apartment, but I'd never ignore someone.

    I bet that he thinks that if he says hi, he'll have to make... egad... small talk. It's rather unfair for that nasty outside world to impose on that introvert...
    I do try to always say hi, but I don't always do the small talk thing. If I am tired, I will do what I can to avoid crossing anyone else because I just can't think of what to say and I don't want to have to deal with their bruised feelings over my lack of communication right then....I know that some people just won't understand that. I have got a dear introvert friend who we have this thing that if one of us doesn't feel like talking we can just say so right up front with no hard feelings and gosh that is such a comfortable friendship for both of us.

  5. #15
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    That would seem to make a lot of people unhealthy.
    They are. What definition do you propose? Can you be psychologically healthy and unhappy? I don't think so.

    Extreme anything is going to lose you social points. I've seen it happen to extroverts (mostly ENs) and I've experienced and observed it as an introvert.
    It has happened to me on the E side of the spectrum, I testify, especially in settings which call for more reflective atmosphere such as public libraries and cinemas. Strangely enough, I seem to be unable to modulate my level of extroversion according to the rules of the environment, so I might even appear to be slightly I when immersed in a very loud-party atmosphere where I see others as "forcing themselves to extravert" by partaking in say, shouting matches et al

    If they are completely unable to function in society than it is unhealty
    Why? I don't give a shit about functioning in society, I want to function by myself and with people I care about, society can die for all I care.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Sahara's Avatar
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    I agree also that introversion is seen as unhealthy, and sometimes I think I am defective myself because of how extreme it seems to be going. I can see how it is affecting my life.

    I used to do the grocery shopping myself, actually go and brave the world, get some fresh air, get some exercise at the same time. Yet because of how withdrawn I feel, this avoidant attitude of mine, I am now doing my shopping online, and no longer have even that avenue. See that's extreme, when you want to go shopping for a new outift and try it on, yet the thought of all those people around, just outside the door, puts you off even trying.

    That's unhealthy wouldn't you say?
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  7. #17
    Pareo cattus Natrushka's Avatar
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    I think "extreme introversion" and "avoidant behaviour" or "social anxiety" are being mixed up here. One can be 'extremely introverted' (raises hand) and still be able to function in society. I can do parties / social events. I can even enjoy them. But 90% of the time I would rather be left alone. It's my preference.

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  8. #18
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Natrushka View Post
    I think "extreme introversion" and "avoidant behaviour" or "social anxiety" are being mixed up here. One can be 'extremely introverted' (raises hand) and still be able to function in society. I can do parties / social events. I can even enjoy them. But 90% of the time I would rather be left alone. It's my preference.
    What about liking both? I can easily amuse myself when being alone, and I also like going at parties.

  9. #19
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    Even if they were labeled unhealthy does that mean they can change?
    In addition, if they can does that mean they should change?

    After all what allows you to function in society depends on the society you live in.

    Wouldn't more people be "healthy" is we were simply more tolerant as a society, and allowed avenues for people like this to function?

    I ask these questions, because I feel autism in particular being labeled as "unhealthy" is a problem. I think we should create avenues (or simply allow) autistic spectrum people to function in society.
    Well it is irrational for a person to expect society to conform to them. On the other hand I don't think it is healthy to conform to society to the point that you are not true to yourself. There is a healthy balance. One solution might be to change your environment. For example a small town in Maine does not have the same environment as Manhattan. Or sometimes there are small things that one can do at work (or in their free time or whatever) to make their life easier. It's not realistic to want society to conform to your standards, but also it is realistic to know that there are many different niches in society out there, and it is easier to find a suitable niche than it is to change society as a whole.
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  10. #20
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Well it is irrational for a person to expect society to conform to them.
    Again, what about just plain not caring about it?

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