Are extroverts really better than introverts?

Are extroverts better than introverts? Generally, people think of introversion as being shy, and extraversion as being more outgoing and talkative. Extroversion is actually the characteristic of looking for sources of gratification outside one’s self

A lot of the time, people will blur the meanings of introversion and extroversion, turning introversion into shyness (drawing back from contact or familiarity to others), and extroversion outgoingness (sociable and responsive to others). Generally, these definitions are not correct and stem from a lack of understanding towards each other.

Many people consider that the reason they are quiet is stemming from social anxiety, or, simply put; “shy.” However, in many cases, this is not true. While many introverts (as well as extroverts) undergo anxiety disorders in social settings, most introverts are not, in fact, “shy.”

Speaking as an introvert myself, most of us just prefer to be quiet. For many of us, we have no problem being alone or being quiet. We prefer it that way. It doesn’t mean we dislike social interaction; we would rather just be with good friends or to talk less, statistically speaking.

Extraversion and introversion result from many biological and psychological factors. One hypothesis about the roots of introversion is related to the cerebral cortex. The cerebral cortex is composed of the outermost layer of the cerebrum. It is responsible for much of a person’s memory, attention, perceptual awareness, language, thought and consciousness. Hans Eysenk proposed that introversion stems from a more active cortex.

Another theory surrounding the differences in introversion and extroversion is that extroverts have a more sensitive mesolimbic dopamine system. Because of this, the dopamine that is absorbed has a more rewarding stimulus.  Another theory is that blood flow is directed in more towards different areas of the brain in extroverts and introverts, making them more active respectively.

Extroverts generally report feeling higher levels of positive emotions than introverts. In fact, extroverted activity tends to create positive emotion in extroverts and introverts. However, introverts aren’t depressed. Most introverts report neutral feelings. Many people believe this to be stemming from Western Civilization. Western society tends to prefer the extrovert over their introverted opposites. Because of this, as well as many other psychological factors, introverts generally have a lower feeling of self-worth than extroverts.

However, there is no positive or negative side to being either an introvert or an extrovert. In fact, both have strengths and weaknesses that are beneficial in different situations. Most people in society believe that introverts make poor leaders and that extroverts are wonderful leaders. However, studies have shown that depending on their followers, introverts and extroverts are both good at leading. While extroverts are good at leading and motivating groups of introverts, introverts are good at listening to groups of extroverts and collecting ideas from them.

Introverts can tend to be very reflective, thinking more deeply than their extrovert companions. Introverts generally do better in a university setting than in a school setting. However, introverts and extroverts rely on each other, complimenting each other’s skills and personalities.

Society has somewhat distorted our views of introversion and extroversion, turning them into something completely different than what they actually are, and in turn creating stereotypes and ideas about them that are entirely skewed.

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