Introversus Extro

Nonsensical title — excuse me. 🙂

I was researching online for a novel I was thinking of writing (it’s not got very far!) and I came across this article from Psychology Today:

Field Guide to the Loner: The Real Insiders

It’s essentially another ‘introverts versus extroverts’ article. I got it slightly confused with the Wikipedia article on loners which claims (rather bleakly) that loners of all types are so much in the minority that they are considered social deviants (it doesn’t say that in Psychology Today), but I had the following written conversation with Mum (TV was up loud!):

Me: “Was reading an article that says three-quarters of people are sociable and look upon ‘loners’ as ‘deviants’ — but often they opt to avoid society because they are over-stimulated by it, and don’t get the same things from it (or from life in general) as the extroverts. Some can socialise for a bit (like Christmas parties with family) then they need to retreat and recuperate.”

Mum: “People who write articles invent their own statistics. How can they say three-quarters etc?”

Me: “No idea. Usually based on a study! It’s always possible most of the people they collared were extroverts to start with, as they were the ones running around and not hiding under sofas.”

Mum: “No — psychologists meet patients or loopy students.”

The next day I was still thinking about it, and when we were walking to town, I began: “If, as that article says, extroverts enjoy social nuances…” and Mum interrupted me (which probably explains why I grew up speaking really quickly, in a rush to have my say): “NO, they don’t! They just like the sound of their own voices.”

“Well, I was going to say that extroverts say they like people and are interested in them — but if they are only interested in ‘social nuances’ and not ideas… people’s ideas… then they can’t be all that interested in people.”

“Exactly,” said Mum.

I don’t know why I don’t write a sort of Winnie the Pooh book…. with me as Winnie and Mum as Christopher Robin!

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6 responses

  1. I think the idea of loners’ as ‘deviants’ is one written by extroverts. I agree tha introverts opt to avoid society because they are over-stimulated by it, and don’t get the same things from it (or from life in general) as the extroverts. I would say that is how I am and a lot of people I know who are introverts.
    I think we don’t “need” other people or social society as it exists to be happy. We find our own interests that are not really linked to pop-cultures or culture at all.
    I find that lack of conformity and desire for “fitting in always confuses people who are not that way.
    I think the weierdness cones, as the longer you are separated from regular culture…the further you get.

    I know I often feel like I need to dip my toe in here and there just to keep up on what’s going on so I have a vague reference for discussions with “outsiders”. It’s a slippery slope to “lonerville” 🙂

    1. A very slippery slope. 🙂 Seems there have always been loners; I’m sure not all hermits were religious or ‘mad-men’.

      “I find that lack of conformity and desire for “fitting in always confuses people who are not that way.”

      That’s an interesting thought — there’s always a certain amount of disapproval to contend with, giving rise to feelings of guilt etc, but it should be a case of ‘first walk a mile in my shoes.’ 🙂

  2. I really need to spellcheck more. I apologise. I hope that makes sense…

    1. Lots of sense. 🙂

  3. I laughed at your idea of a Winnie the Pooh book of conversations between yourself and your mum – it would make interesting reading!

    I’m a loner and take offence to being called a ‘deviant’ which implies extroverts are ‘normal’. Huh. The world is made up of different types of people and introverts are just different. They need their space alone. I tried a bit of socialising last night with a chap and came home just craving for my own space and never wanting to see him again because he’d invade my space. I treasure my space. It’s my haven away from people.

    1. I suspect my mother would be the one raising all the laughs in such a book. 🙂

      I feel like that more and more… cherishing not just my space, but my time…. have you ever jealously guarded your time off work from relatives who wanted to come and visit? It’s not that I didn’t like them, I just felt that my ‘me time’ had been eroded.

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