All That Glitters

There are two particularly diametric personalities in this world – each having its own unique worth, and each providing a life experience very different from the other; the inward-focussed, (aka introverts), and the outward-focussed (aka extraverts).  I am not here to insinuate that one is superior to the other; each occupies a different location on Carl Jung’s personality scale, and each offers the world its own special gifts. How boring would the world be if we were all the same?

Most people fall somewhere in the middle between introversion and extraversion on the continuum.  A small minority inhabits the higher spectrum of the introversion side, while another small minority sits on the extreme side of extraversion. I can always immediately tell the difference between the two.

If you have ever sat in a meeting with the colorful, verbose, and gregarious peacock, you will know you are in the midst of the extraverted personality. Possibly even, the extreme extravert. You will recognize him or her by their love and ease of the gab, their flamboyant and colorful style, and their theatrical presence in the room. They will look alive, energized and pumped. They will look like they are loving the limelight because they likely are loving the limelight. And they will shine and glitter and stand out amongst the crowd. It will be hard not to notice the extreme extravert.

Way on the other hand, you might or might not notice the introvert, depending if you care and are paying attention, as the one who will make sure to find a seat on the outer fringes of the room, closest to the door. He or she will be eye balling their surroundings and constantly glancing at their watch. Their entire body will be pointed toward the exit, and they will look in that direction with longing.. Their body language will be screaming their discomfort and their desire to escape. Or, they may simply look aloof, uninterested, or distracted.

The extreme introvert is definitely not comfortable in the midst of a boisterous crowd and as a result, they may retreat into their bubble in order to escape their nerve wracking and over-stimulating environment. From an outside perspective, this leaves them appearing uninterested and bored. This is not necessarily the case, although it may well be… What the outside eye does not see is that they are likely to be deeply processing what others may not have even noticed. They may appear aloof but within their own world, inside their bubble, they are already making connections on a deep and concentrated level about things the shiny, sparkly extrovert may have totally ignored in exchange for being engaged, in the moment, and in the limelight. Give the introvert some time to process though, and he or she may repay you with surprisingly in-depth observations and insight.

So, I suppose the moral of my story is that although some may shine and glitter and sparkle on the surface for all to see, there are others whose life-light comes from within, subdued by depth. It may be the ones with the softer sheen that will surprise you with their gifts in the end. You just need to look more closely to catch the light that glows from beneath.

This entry was posted in Extroversion and Introversion, Introversion, Personality Type, Psychology, Self-Concept and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to All That Glitters

  1. irishkatie says:

    Ahhh, and there are those like me ….sort of in the middle…but I think we are called the nurturers? At any rate, I fall into the category of people that makes sure that everyone is okay with what is said,

    “What of Mary? She might have some thoughts too. What do you think Mary?

    That is me. And you are right, often you find the ones that are quiet has interesting insights. *smiles*

    • lthibault11 says:

      I wrote about the more extreme traits of introversion/extraversion but most people, like you, fall in the middle somewhere. It really is mostly about whether you are energized by your outer landscape, or your inner landscape. Introverts can be very nurturing people as well; they just do it in a quieter, more subtle way 🙂


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