What the Terms “Introvert” and “Extrovert” Mean in Psychology

If a person loves being alone, they may be called an introvert. And an extrovert is someone that is talkative, energetic, and who loves spending time with other people. But are these definitions correct? And what do the terms “introvert” and “extrovert” actually mean in psychology?

5-Minute Crafts is going to tell you who introverts and extroverts are, what there is in between, and who came up with these psychological concepts.

What an introvert is

Introversion is a personality type characterized by traits such as reserve, passivity, thoughtfulness, and a preference to keep emotional states private.

Introverts are most comfortable interacting in small groups and in one-on-one relationships and are energized by spending time alone. They might seem shy but it’s not always like that. They just love spending time alone. This is how they recharge after interacting with someone.

In their regular lives, introverts love concentrating on a single task, analyzing situations carefully, and thinking more than talking. They enjoy doing things like reading, meditating, or writing in a diary.

Signs you might be an introvert:

  • You’re quiet and reserved in large groups or around unfamiliar people.
  • You’re more sociable with people you know well.
  • You love being alone and need alone time.
  • You recharge only when you are alone.
  • You love to think rather than talk.

What an extrovert is

Extroversion means that people get their energy from being around other people. They get pleasure from activities that include a lot of social interactions, such as parties and other public events. Extroverts work better in groups.

Extroverts enjoy being with someone else much more than being alone. They charge from being with someone and are bored when they are alone.

Signs you might be an extrovert:

  • You’re a sociable person.
  • You love attention.
  • You have a lot of friends.
  • You love talking and get filled with energy from communication.
  • You love working in a group.
  • You prefer actual communication to texting.

What’s in between

Introversion and extraversion are not exact opposites. There are people that are somewhere in between. They are called ambiverts.

An ambivert is a person that has qualities of introverts and extroverts. They feel comfortable in social interactions but also love spending time alone. Ambiverts change their behavior based on the situation: with strangers, they are quiet, and they are talkative with people they know well.

Who made these terms up

The terms “introversion” and “extroversion” were introduced by Carl Gustav Jung in 1910. He defined introversion as orienting for the inner world, and extroversion as concentration on an outside object. He believed that everyone had extraverted and introverted sides, with one of them being dominant. Over time, other psychologists agreed with Jung’s concept.

But the modern ideas at this concept are different from Jung’s ideas. He explained introversion and extraversion as the view of the world. According to him, introverts saw the world subjectively, and extroverts saw it objectively. But the modern views of introversion and extraversion are more focused on character traits.

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