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Why am I an introvert?

  1. Jun 2, 2013 #1
    This is a psychological, biological and a partly rhetorical question. Also I am seeking some advice. So I don't know the appropriate topic to post under.

    Are personality traits caused by environment and bringing up or are they genetic? What part of the brain causes different people to behave differently(talking about introversion and extroversion)?

    Also lately many people have told me talk more, interact more and be more social. I find myself completely normal having read about introversion including Susan Cain's TEDtalk on introverts. So should I try to change myself?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 2, 2013 #2
  4. Jun 2, 2013 #3
    You are an introvert because you live in a country where most other people were born more extroverted than you.

    In Finnland you might seem like a dangerously outspoken and loud person.
     
  5. Jun 2, 2013 #4

    collinsmark

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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0KYU2j0TM4
     
  6. Jun 2, 2013 #5
    Well I scored an INTJ. Majority people here voted for that - perhaps something to do with this being a 'Science and math' forum.

    So what decides personality - people around you, genetics, both or something else?
    And should I even try to change myself?
     
  7. Jun 2, 2013 #6

    Monique

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    It's both, there's definitely a genetic component, but environment plays a big role as well.

    Question also is, can you change yourself? Of course you can try to find a middle ground, you could try to be more open to interaction.
     
  8. Jun 2, 2013 #7

    lisab

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    My husband is an introvert who has learned how to interact with people the way an extrovert does. It can be learned. But, IMO, temperament is something that you are born with and it can't be changed.
     
  9. Jun 2, 2013 #8
    From my own experiences, it never changes. You can get more comfortable doing it by practicing though. Its actually pretty easy practice really, just strike up conversations with people and do the "small talk" thing. When you're buying some random thing at the grocery store, ask the guy if he's been busy or not. When you're in an elevator with another person say something about the weather. If you're standing in line at the DMV or bank lean over to the person next to you and mention how waiting on these long lines sucks. Don't worry about trying to keep up a meaningful and deep conversation, just get yourself speaking to people for practice. If the conversation is only two sentences long ("boy nice weather huh?"..."Yeah its beautiful out.") that's fine. With time you'll become more comfortable with it and you'd be surprised the kinds of people you can meet and the interesting stories you will hear.

    The introverted-ness does not really go away though (from my experience). I doubt anyone really knows how introverted I truly am but it is still a conscious effort for me, almost like straining physically. I imagine truly extroverted people do it so naturally that they don't even notice what they are doing. In my imagination I picture a situation almost like you're mom/grandma/wife asking you to open a jar of pickles while you are busy. You just grab the thing, twist it and hand it back without any thought whereas your they may have been trying to turn it for the last 5 minutes turning blue in the face.

    On that note it really depends on what level you truly sit. Just being kind of shy and quiet is not really a big deal, but if you are shy and quiet to the point where you never want to speak to anyone ever ever; that can be a big deal. In the real world we need to be able to communicate with people, whether for work/school or just daily living. If you are so shy that you become nearly incapacitated with the thought of talking to a strange about some project at work or school, then you really need to step out of your comfort zone and get to talking to people. It may sound silly but I've known extremely introverted people who were afraid of ordering take-out on the phone, or asking a sales associate in a store where to a find a particular item. That type of shyness is debilitating and needs to be remedied ASAP.
     
  10. Jun 2, 2013 #9

    S_Happens

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    It can certainly change, although it's not likely by choice. More detailed tests can show how well an individual can adapt to different/opposing traits, and how much stress is involved in deviating from the natural traits. Major changes in a persons life can have large impacts, including personality.

    My experience directly relates to the topic. In high school and through my first time in college I was highly extroverted. My tests scores were almost completely extroverted and my actual life agreed. After not completing college, going to work, and working towards going back to college again I've moved significantly more introverted. After returning to school, in simple tests such as those above I am within 1 of the divide and end up with an X.
     
  11. Jun 2, 2013 #10

    lisab

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    Don't confuse "introversion" with "shyness" -- they are fundamentally different.
     
  12. Jun 2, 2013 #11
    If you are such an introvert why are there so many people talking to you?
     
  13. Jun 2, 2013 #12
    I know, you are right, but I wasn't trying to give a rigorous treatise into Psychology (I couldn't even if I wanted to). I get the difference (fear versus voluntary avoidance) but I also know that social interaction takes practice. So avoidance of social interaction, for whatever reason, can be simply remedied by practicing it. I was shy but am still an introvert. Big social functions kind of drain me but I don't think many people would describe me as being particularly shy or quiet.

    My final paragraph is more to do with shyness versus introverted-ness. I've known lots of people who claimed they were introverts but were actually just shy. Main point being that being an introvert is not really a big deal but being shy can really mess you up pretty bad. Its the latter case that needs to be remedied ASAP.
     
  14. Jun 3, 2013 #13
    I don't understand why such a big fuss made over a person simply because he/she speaks less. In fact many people feel insulted if someone doesn't hold a long conversation with them or doesn't reply to the joke they emailed. More often than not the introvert feels the pressure and tries to go against his/her nature.

    Why cant people understand that contrary to what their silence might suggest, introverts are sensitive and caring?

    Only the dumb envy the talkative. - Kahlil Gibran
     
  15. Jun 3, 2013 #14

    WannabeNewton

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    This sums me up perfectly:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XU5iqrhwW0

    :)
     
  16. Jun 3, 2013 #15

    CompuChip

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    "We still never talk sometimes" :D
     
  17. Jun 3, 2013 #16
    Hmm, is that a picture of you in your new avatar image? I can't see past the enigmatic "Vanishing Point Perspective" you're portraying there...

    http://photoinf.com/General/NAVY/Perspective.htm

    And I turned the contrast and brightness up full blast.
     
  18. Jun 3, 2013 #17

    WannabeNewton

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    Well you know...art n stuff :p
     
  19. Jun 3, 2013 #18
    Yes, I think you look sexy enough to have a real life and a real family, just don't talk about the physics around the girls,(unless that's what they want to talk about), because otherwise that's inviting disaster.
     
  20. Jun 3, 2013 #19

    WannabeNewton

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    I don't talk to people much; I find it hard to stay interested in whatever it is they have to say. Did you see my result on that personality test page? 89% introvert lol
     
  21. Jun 3, 2013 #20
    Well, that doesn't excuse you from posting a timely picture of you. I wish were 18 again, I was getting all sorts of action back then. Not so much now.
     
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