There is a lot of buzz on the internet at the moment surrounding the ‘Rise of the Introvert’. A quick search and you’ll find several articles on the subject from notable publishers, some of whom you may even have heard. The notion is that current restrictions on our social and work lives are actually beneficial to a large number of people – estimated to be somewhere between a third and half of the population.
As a self-diagnosed member of this group, I thought I might delve into the reasons why this might be and present them in this blog for whomever might take the time to read it. Therein lies the first clue to this ‘rise’ perhaps, as these words are presented with equal fanfare as those typed by my more outgoing sisters and brothers, with the same chances of being heard.
The discussion surrounding these personality traits is not a young one - more of a Jung one. It was 100 years ago this year when psychoanalyst Carl Jung published his “Psychological Types”, in which he offers the four main functions of consciousness are regulated by the two attitude types: extravertism and introvertism. Modern interpretations understand extroverts to be outgoing, energetic and talkative whereas introversion is a behaviour that is more reflective and reserved.
The definition that I like, and which holds the truest for me, says that an introvert wakes up with a full social battery and each interaction with another person depletes that, compared to an extrovert whose reserve starts off low and is energised every time they encounter someone else - another clue maybe, as to why introverts might be enjoying time connecting via computers more than those who find technology getting in the way of chat.
Perhaps an interesting modern study might be the use of emoticons by personality trait. Is it the extrovert or the introvert who litters their text with symbols and abbreviations to tell us how they might be feeling? Or do we all do it, and it’s more about how extreme the symbol might be?
For example, I very rarely cry with laughter - it would need to be something incredible (although Harry Hill on Junior Bake Off is a contender) and yet a quick look at YouTube or Facebook comments sees the whole internet seemingly awash with little round faces producing lakes of tears at the slightest thing. I bet they’re ROFL-ing too. The most I seem to manage is a bit of a chuck-LOL, with rolling around on the floor reserved for the odd occasion when perhaps I may have had one too many pints of Tennents Extra-vert.
I’m reminded of the Sermon on the Mount (slips into Radio-4-Thought-for-the-Day mode) and the passage suggesting that the meek shall inherit the Earth. Or more precisely the Monty Python reimagining in the Life of Brian, when a group of followers are struggling to hear the words from on-high amid talk of noses. They wonder if blessed are the Greek, or perhaps the cheesemakers when finally, it is agreed that the meek are indeed the benefactors and that they have also had a hell of a time 😂
I don’t know about all of that. I’m standing towards the back of the blog followers and hearing that the geeks shall inherit the Earth. And I’m one of them! All very exciting.
But what would I do with it? Big parties are out, I’d be too exhausted (see above).
Time for some quiet reflection I think, and maybe I’ll seek the views of some of my chattier friends who love a natter about this sort of thing.
Somewhere therein lies the answer.