Are You an Introvert or an Extrovert?
Does an invitation to a big party excite you or fill you with anxiety? Does a quiet weekend alone sound comforting or unsettling? Does a crowded loud stadium energize you or does it completely drain you?
There is no right or wrong answer.
But your answer may identify you as an Extrovert or an Introvert. We are all wired differently and tend to be either extroverted, introverted or some combination of the two.
An extrovert is energized by being around people and is stimulated by activity: sounds, lights, and action.
Introverts are drained by all of this, they find their sustenance in solitude or small groups in quiet settings. Did you know only one third of the population are introverts?
We are a minority.
I say "we" because, for the most part, I am on that end of the spectrum. Quite often, introverts are artistic, creative and deep thinkers...so I have that going for me.
However, because the general population falls into the category of extroverts, sometimes it's hard for them to understand their introverted friends and why we don't like big parties or loud crowded places or large groups of people.
But it's not so much a "like" factor as it is an energetic drain. The same way too much quiet time and solitude may make an extrovert uneasy or restless.
There is no right or wrong, but it’s easy to judge in a society that thrives on social interaction, calendars crammed with personal obligations, and sensory overload.
To an introvert it can all be overwhelming.
Maybe that's why so many introverts seem to be drawn to yoga and the quiet practice of stilling the mind and becoming one with our breath and body?
To practice yoga, all you really need is yourself and a mat, and you don't even need a mat, so it's a perfect fit for an introvert.
But not all yoga has the same effect. I've been in crowded, sweaty, Bikram studios where the mats were just inches apart and the instructor was shouting commands and I felt my body tense up and my breath get shallow the same way it does in a packed room or crowded elevator.
It's a physical reaction as my mind pleads with me to please get out and go somewhere quiet with space. I totally respect Bikram yoga, it's not about that; it's about our environment and our natural energetic reactions.
Many people love that kind of atmosphere; it stimulates them and makes them feel alive. We all react differently to the same situation. It's OK to be either way, Introvert or Extrovert. Or to be a little of both, which most people are.
Neither one is nicer or friendlier, it's simply a matter of how our energy is attained and depleted.
If you're an introvert, don't beat yourself up for wanting to be alone and don't be afraid to say no to the next social invitation. If your extroverted friends love you, they will understand.