Friday, March 16, 2012

Dangers of Being an Introvert

Searching for "are introverts dangerous"? Try this post instead.

As long-time readers know, I am exceedingly introverted. Not that I don't like people, but I need a lot of time by myself to be happy. There are benefits to this: self-knowledge, meditation, and the time for creative endeavors. But being introverted can be dangerous if taken too far.

Introverts are at risk for living in the past. Reflection is useful, but one can slip into a world in which rosy memories of the past always surpass today's reality. Memories are easy. They don't require the stress of dealing with people while still providing the pleasure of humor, love, and camaraderie. Living in the past can make us resentful of the imperfect present.

The internet can also be a danger for introverts. As with memories, it allows us to get many of the benefits of relationships without the risk of seriously engaging ourselves. Certainly the internet can be a positive; I use it to keep up with pictures from my Goddaughters and share stories about Peter. But if the internet begins to take the place of real human interaction, it has become a problem.

Finally, introverts can live too much within themselves. We might become too self-centered, egotistical, and proud. For example, an introvert is very conscious of her own activities. At the end of the day, I might reflect and notice how many chores I did during the day. This is fine, but becomes a problem when I am so aware of my own contributions that I begin to ignore my husband's contributions. I would live so much within myself that I resent others for not being as I am.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? What potential pitfalls do you see in your personality type?


  1. I am definitely and introvert, and as an introvert I find chit chat mundane and a little boring. This can make me appear rude, but really I would rather talk about important issues than who beat Duke at basketball.

    1. I'm with you! I guess that's one reason I like the blogs I follow; they're not idle conversation, just real information.

  2. I'm almost exactly between the two. If I don't get out to talk to someone outside the family for a week or two, I go crazy and feel depressed, even with internet access. But if I'm out and about two or three days in a row, I start to feel overwhelmed and exhausted. I could talk for hours with my friends, but I feel shy around new people. Sadly I seem to have the weaknesses of both types! Like other extroverts, I can be shallow and fail to reflect. But like other introverts, I fear opening up to the point that I absolutely will not speak out when something is bothering me ... leaving me brooding for weeks about stupid things (which drives my husband crazy when he finds out he could have fixed something weeks ago if I'd only spoken up).

    On the bright side, I do get a lot of enjoyment both from my alone time and from my social time.

    1. I totally agree I can be out of the house for few hours but then I feel overwhelmed and have to come back home.