User Tag List

123 Last

Results 1 to 10 of 38

  1. #1
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Enneagram
    1w2
    Posts
    5,514

    Default Healthy Introversion/Extroversion

    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    1. Principal performer for a major orchestra in Chicago spends her off season living completely alone in a remote cabin.

    2. University composition professor lives alone and resists the efforts of neighbors to interact. He doesn't greet those he passes or engage in small talk. He is seen as aloof and austere. He spends his time alone composing, reading literature and philosophy.

    3. Programmer with social anxiety lives alone and only interacts with others online. He works from home and occassionally drives to a scenic location to spend time taking pictures which he then posts on the internet. Days, even weeks can pass without interacting with people irl.

    4. An introverted couple never once in their lifetimes have anyone over for dinner. They spend much of their time together on their computers or watching tv. They rarely ever interact socially outside the home.

    5. A fledgling performer gives a few concerts a year which are dreaded for their social dimension. While setting up the eager audiences watch her asking questions. This creates a level of anxiety and depletion that places the performance at risk.

    6. After attending a required society meeting in which there are politics and social complexities, one introvert spends time observing and smiling, then immediately falls asleep on returning home in order to recuperate.

    7. An introverted programmer is distracted and uncomfortable with questions about his life and thoughts. He feels no pressure whatsoever to answer. He is unbothered by the potential social tension this creates.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
    Social Penetration Theory 1
    Social Penetration Theory 2
    Social Penetration Theory 3

  2. #2
    heart on fire
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    8,457

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    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. ...
    You don't view introversion as a defect unless it does not fit what you expect it to be. Is that fair to say?

  3. #3
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    MBTI
    ENTJ
    Enneagram
    7w8
    Socionics
    ENTj
    Posts
    5,908

    Default

    I think that as long as they are happy, it is healthy. If they aren't, it isn't.

  4. #4
    Pareo cattus Natrushka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    MBTI
    INTJ
    Posts
    1,213

    Default

    Introversion is a preference. Extraversion is a preference. Is being very extraverted unhealthy? Is being only slightly introverted unhealthy?

    With the exception of #7, which might cause problems if the guy works in an office and his coworkers are the people asking him questions he can't handle, I don't see a problem with any of those scenarios you listed.

    What should it matter if a couple doesn't have anyone over for dinner? Or if someone doesn't interacting with other people for days? On the flip side you have people who have others over every night and cannot stand to be alone. Is that unhealthy?

    I don't think any of it is unhealthy, frankly. Who does it hurt?

    This signature left intentionally blank.

    Really.

  5. #5
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    ISTP
    Posts
    4,474

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    I think that as long as they are happy, it is healthy. If they aren't, it isn't.
    That would seem to make a lot of people unhealthy.


    In any case, I do see some forms of introversion as "unhealthy"... assuming the biological reasons are valid, anyway. Coming from someone who has struggled with real non-socialised introversion, it is certainly a drawback. I try to be social... to become 'healthy', but it is a struggle.

    However, I'm not sure "healthy" is justified - this is akin to saying that low-iq is "unhealthy" since they both have biological basis to them. It is a disadvantage and strangely enough, probably shows up both at the low and high IQ ranges, same as introversion would... but I don't think it could be called "unhealthy" except at the extremes.

    Mind you, embracing introversion is a little bit silly - one should be embracing reaching for the "norm"... aka balance. That goes for Is and Es.

  6. #6
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INFJ
    Enneagram
    9w1
    Socionics
    INFj None
    Posts
    9,827

    Default

    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.

    My ENFP friend has actually had people make a disclaimer about her being "too much" right in front of her went they were introducing her. To which I say How rude!

    Don and I have had neighbors think we were weird and depressive because we are not outside flagging people down to talk to them I guess.

    I enjoy spending most of my time at home with my family, but can also enjoy being at church carry-ins and small gatherings once or twice a week. I can talk to just about anybody and have gotten over a lot of my shyness, so I don't feel too much discrimination anymore.

    Don is much more introverted than I am, but I don't consider it unhealthy. I just go to things without him when he doesn't feel like being around people. I figure just living in a house with five other people is a little draining for him, so there's no reason to push.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  7. #7
    heart on fire
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    8,457

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Mind you, embracing introversion is a little bit silly - one should be embracing reaching for the "norm"... aka balance. That goes for Is and Es.

    This assumes that there is some sort of choice in being either introverted or extroverted and that one may simply "move closer" towards one or the other. I can be social in group situations when the situation demands but I burn up so much energy when I do so that I cannot maintain it for long. It is not a choice and back when I faulted myself for this lack of energy to face such contact as well as other more extroverted persons do, I tried very hard to push myself more extroverted and all I ended up doing was losing my personal center. I also became sick physically which may have or may not have been related, just not sure.

    Okay, maybe I am "unhealthy" introverted that's always a possibility, but just because a extroverted person *thinks* I am an example of unhealthy introversion just because I am not a cookie cutter version of her introverted friends does not make it so.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    ISTP
    Posts
    4,474

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    This assumes that there is some sort of choice in being either introverted or extroverted and that one may simply "move closer" towards one or the other.
    Not any more than embracing depression would be recommended, which doesn't mean we have a choice if we are depressed.

    Most people, despite MBTI, are somewhere in the middle of the I/E divide. The unhealthy ones only show up at the two extremes. A preference is only a preference until you are having problems coping with it... after that it's called a disorder.

    Okay, maybe I am "unhealthy" introverted that's always a possibility, but just because a extroverted person *thinks* I am an example of unhealthy introversion just because I am not a cookie cutter version of her introverted friends does not make it so.
    True, yet here I am as an extreme introvert saying much the same thing. Some of those examples that were listed in the OP are edging very close to avoidance, which i;d classify as unhealthy.

    I can't maintain social contact for long at all... although I have taught myself to manage it as best I can. That's "healthy", if you will. Just because I get stressed out because my friends come over for an evening doesn't mean I shouldn't do it. Friendships matter, relationships matter, interaction matters. These are all balancing forces in our lives. If one can't manage to go through these kinds of typical average events, it's not healthy.

    (FWIW, yes, a physical reaction like getting sick is a very good sign of an unhealthy condition - I get the same thing from my mild ochlophobia. You can ask my GF about how tense I can get just being around people. My world starts to spin. However, the reality is that I have to work through that too. It's the only way to grow beyond it or not have it impact your life. Small steps though, heh.)

  9. #9
    heart on fire
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    8,457

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    (FWIW, yes, a physical reaction like getting sick is a very good sign of an unhealthy condition - I get the same thing from my mild ochlophobia. You can ask my GF about how tense I can get just being around people. My world starts to spin. However, the reality is that I have to work through that too. It's the only way to grow beyond it or not have it impact your life. Small steps though, heh.)
    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.

    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.

    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.

    I have at times in my life felt defective because no matter how hard I tried to give people what they want, it just never seems to be enough in this area. They assume I am aloof, pissed off, depressed, stupid etc just because I am not loud and constantly "on" with a huge smile plastered accross my face 24/7. There are times I can put this persona on as in a job or some other specific social need for it but it is very short lived.

    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?"

    If the introverted couple are not unhappy with their limited social life, can it really be said to be unhealthy?

    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.

    I do think it is important for introverts to realize the importance of daily greetings and returning smiles and realize that this comes accross as rejection to others.

  10. #10
    Senior Member indigo2020's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    MBTI
    INFJ
    Posts
    122

    Default

    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.

    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.

    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 have at times in my life felt defective because no matter how hard I tried to give people what they want, it just never seems to be enough in this area. They assume I am aloof, pissed off, depressed, stupid etc just because I am not loud and constantly "on" with a huge smile plastered accross my face 24/7. There are times I can put this persona on as in a job or some other specific social need for it but it is very short lived.

    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?"

    this is pretty much how i feel too.
    People who get nostalgic about childhood were obviously never children.
    Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes
    US cartoonist (1958 - )

Similar Threads

  1. Birth Order and Introversion/ Extroversion
    By CuriousFeeling in forum Myers-Briggs and Jungian Cognitive Functions
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 09-09-2011, 11:02 PM
  2. Too much focus on introversion/extroversion of functions
    By Evan in forum Myers-Briggs and Jungian Cognitive Functions
    Replies: 33
    Last Post: 09-08-2010, 09:03 PM
  3. Introversion/Extroversion
    By wolfy in forum Myers-Briggs and Jungian Cognitive Functions
    Replies: 62
    Last Post: 08-13-2010, 08:42 AM
  4. Severe Introversion/Extroversion
    By BlueGray in forum Myers-Briggs and Jungian Cognitive Functions
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 02-28-2010, 08:18 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO