Differences between extroverts, introverts and shy people
Why do some introverted people feel frustrated with the way they are?
Nowadays, it seems that successful people have the most friends, are the most persuasive and communicate the most with others.. The trend is to go to as many parties as possible and be the king of your social circle, mastering all possible social skills.
In recent times, the extraversion has become the ideal to which we should all aspire. If a person is more comfortable reading than at a party with loud music and hundreds of people around, he is labeled as shy and asocial, and we say he has a problem.
Recommended reading: "How to know if you tend towards introversion or extraversion".
And while it is true that some people who avoid social situations do so because of a problem (such as social phobia, anxiety or exaggerated shyness), others do so because they actually prefer solitude. Almost a century ago, Carl Gustav Jung defined two personality types in his work Psychological Types, classifying people into introverts and extraverts..
Differences between introverts and extraverts
In this article we are going to examine the differences between introversion, extraversion and other related concepts. We start with the first of these, social anxiety.
Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobiais a pathology classified within the anxiety disorders. It is characterized by the fact that the person who suffers from it suffers a persistent fear of one or more social situations, due to the fear of being ridiculed..
The most common symptoms are chest tightness, sweating, trembling legs, blushing, negative thoughts, fear of negative evaluation.... These symptoms can appear in different social situations that the person has to face, such as public speaking or being at a party.
Like all disorders, the problem of social anxiety arises because the person would like to be able to behave normally in the situations that frighten him/her, but is unable to do so. To alleviate this, he or she usually resorts to one or more coping strategies, which can range from not going to parties and social gatherings, to getting drunk or taking drugs to increase his or her sense of control.
Many people suffering from this disorder could be classified as extraverted, and it is precisely the clash between their desire to relate and their fear of social situations that causes them the most suffering.
If we imagine a straight line with social anxiety at one end and introversion at the other, shyness would be more or less in the middle. Contrary to what many people think, shyness is not considered a psychological disorder, although it shares many traits with social phobia..
The main difference it presents with social anxiety is that, while a person with this disorder will tend to avoid situations that cause discomfort, either by not going or by using some other coping strategy such as drinking alcohol, a shy person will still be able to expose him/herself to those situations. That said, having to deal with their own feelings of discomfort in the process.
Another difference is the generalization of symptoms. While a shy person may enjoy certain types of social situations, depending on the conditions of those situations, someone suffering from social phobia will feel discomfort in almost all situations in which he or she feels exposed to criticism from others.
As in the previous point, we can find many extraverted people who are at the same time shy, so we cannot identify introversion with this behavior pattern either.
But then, what is introversion? Traits of an introvert
According to Jung's theory, one of the most important classifications we can make between people is whether they are extraverts or introverts.
The difference is in how they get the stimulation they need to feel good.. While an extravert is "charged" with energy in social environments, an introvert generates his own internal stimulation, so that very energetic environments saturate him and end up exhausting him.
Therefore, an extrovert will tend to seek out situations where there are lots of people, loud music, or extreme sensations.. It will not be rare to find someone with these characteristics being the center of attention in a group, or surrounded by many friends, doing extreme sports or performing on stage.
On the contrary, and although an introvert can also enjoy these things, they will usually look for other types of activities to relax: reading a good book, having deep conversations with close friends, spending the day in nature...
To recap: am I introverted or shy?
Of course, there are no pure introverts or extroverts (and as Jung himself said, "if there were, we would have to look for them in the psychiatric ward"). We can all show characteristics of one type or another depending on the moment and the situation in which we find ourselves. in which we find ourselves. But it is important to know that it is possible to enjoy solitude without it meaning that we have a disorder.
In summary, if you think you are an introvert, see if you fit these five characteristics:
- Although you enjoy socializing, you tend to prefer talking in small groups rather than with a lot of people at once.
- When you go to a party, instead of increasing, your energy decreases over the course of the evening, sometimes to the point of wanting to leave long before everyone else.
- You don't mind being in solitude from time to time, you know how to enjoy your time with yourself.
- You have a few close friends, and your relationship with them is very deep.
- When you are interested, you are able to engage in superficial conversations with people you don't know, although you usually don't put much effort into this task.
On the other hand, if you see yourself reflected in the following characteristics, you probably suffer from shyness or social phobia:
- You would like to meet more people but just imagining approaching a stranger makes you uneasy.
- You are not able to enjoy parties because when you are at one you worry about what others will think of you.
- Although you do not like to be alone, many times you do not leave the house for fear of exposing yourself to situations in which you will feel bad.
- Sometimes you feel that you have contradictory desires, because you would like to talk to a person or expose yourself to an audience, but at the same time just thinking about it makes you panic.
I hope this article has helped you to understand the differences between introversion and the various disorders that can affect our behavior with others, and to better understand your own feelings about social situations. better understand your own feelings about social situations..
(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)