Introversion is “the state of or tendency toward being wholly or predominantly concerned with and interested in one’s own mental life”.
Today’s Ted Talk video was about introversion, and how society is not always helpful when it comes to people who simply are able to find a little more of their energy for creativity in solitude.
I watched this video about three times in order to try to come up with a way to talk about introversion like I knew what I meant, that my knowledge of psychology and people was enough to give honor to these people.
I am not there yet, and I do not pretend that I can speak with the same confidence in this subject as the woman who I listened to today.
But what I can say with confidence, is what I can see of the world around me, and the people around me.
My mother is an introvert. She draws her ideas more easily from solitude, and she is happier reading a book, or playing an iPad app, or watching a movie alongside her family. She does love certain social activities, the ones with thousands of people milling about her, each with their own energy and ideas and wants and dreams. She is great fun to be with at Six Flags because it is a space where she is able to let loose and have fun.
But the primary source of her comfort comes from quiet, and I find it a beautiful thing to watch her in those moments, when she comes alive in a different way from riding a roller coaster, or pushing through crowds to get the roller coaster.
My father, both of my brothers, and my sister are extraverts. They thrive on social contact, they are gifted with the ability to interact with others with great energy, to flow and be wild in a wild place for hours. Where they do also enjoy the quiet controlled spaces, they are beings of social energy, and it is very interesting to watch them bounce through the world of people with an ability to be interested in and draw interest with their sunlight.
My stepfather and I seem to fall into the middle range, as ambiverts. We like social interaction, we can work in it comfortably for a decent amount of time, but we also draw a lot of our comfort and preferences from quiet spaces. We can be quiet or loud as the situation varies, and we are happiest as both.
To discuss what it is to be an introvert, or an extravert, and how much of the world changes around us, is more at this time than I can find words and meanings to put together. But as I learn, and as I grow, I hope to understand more what makes us all us.