Good example, GreenDragon. I’m not too sure your example illustrates a true identity, however. Without the pretext of introversion/extraversion, the more I read into it the more I feel that your work environment and the people you must interact with on a daily basis are the reason as to why your energy gets drained by people. If one has to deal with people constantly needing your attention, expecting you to work for them, and trying to use you, it only seems natural to want to have a quiet walk in the forest and to have a negative opinion of socializing. Anger and resentment can build over time, and the energy of anger tends to drive its host into a sort of isolation.
If someone makes good friends, people that see the best in them, that love and respect them for who they are, then that someone can gather energy in the social way, then those people become a positive source of growth and a unique source of energy to gather from.
My point is that it’s not as simple as someone being an introvert or an extravert, that circumstances influence the ‘ambiversion’ in everyone, and that the need to define oneself or others can limit one’s conscious mind from understanding what’s going on. The energy that you gather while being alone can be very different then the energy gathered thru interacting with loving friends.
It doesn’t matter what kind of people we hang around. This energy draining happens regardless of the character of the people we choose to spend time with. I have noticed extroverts seem to do more draining than other introverts though, but there has never been a situation I could think of that has resulted in me gaining energy as a result of being social, no matter the person. Hell, even my closest friends. At best, the energy just drains at a slower rate.
I can agree that spending time with nicer people does put me in a better mood. Hell, if all people did was drain me and didn’t at least make me happy, I’d have no incentive to be social at all.
But happiness does not necessarily equal energy in this case.
Presence, your link is broken btw - it just leads to the ‘create a new topic’ page.
On topic - I think I agree with Presence on this, despite Wyvern’s argument - being around people and being social usually gains me ‘positive energy’, as it were, and I’m not that much of an extrovert - indeed, if anything I think I would be classified as an ‘ambivert’, as mentioned in GreenDragon’s post - and no offence, Wyvern, but I don’t really see how being around people, especially your friends, can be a ‘draining’ experience in any way. Could you please explain this idea a bit more?
I can agree with Wyvern here. As an introvert any social environment drains me. For a while I don’t think I could deal with this properly, even meeting one or two close friends would exhaust me. The more people and the less I know them the more energy I feel is drained, so if I can choose to stay home and watch a movie with a couple friends I’ll probably choose that over going to a noisy party with the same friends. As Wyvern said, it’s not that I don’t enjoy their company, it’s just that after some time I start getting tired and need to take a break Even when I have friends over I’ll end up spacing out for a bit, unintentionally, getting distracted and sucked into my little world for a few minutes and then “oh, right, there are people here I should interact with”
EDIT: I don’t think I explained how it’s draining, I’m not sure I really can. For me it’s like I’m me around me, and when I’m around people, whoever that is, it’s like I need to put on a mask, not really to hide the real me, but in a way that I feel presentable… I’m not sure that’s exactly it or those are the reasons, but keeping it up for a while can make you tired.
Probably the most exhausting thing I can think of is trying to read/remember/catch all those damn social cues. I really pride myself in my ability to read the character of a person, but I can’t for the life of me read their feelings and understand their gestures intuitively. I have to actively remember and rationalize it, remember when it’s my turn to talk, whether or not I should bring up ‘X’ subject at whatever time, etc. And I think that can be quite exhausting. And forget about it when I have to do this with more than one person at a time. I’d probably end up going silent.
I was thinking of my original post about this, and I realized there might be a small risk in using lucid dreams to change your personality - like, if for example people at your workplace generally think of you as very silent or shy in general, and then you start having great lucid dreams several times in a short while so that you are extremely elated by them, practice your social skills in them a lot etc - wouldn’t that possibly make some narrow-minded people start believing that you have become an Ecstasy addict or something?
I mean, if they have no idea about the potentials of lucid dreaming and you one day start to magically appear way more outgoing since you are fueled by your extreme joy and delight, what other explanations could there even be for the ignorant bunch?
I know this is stretching the idea a bit, but it’s not completely unlikely.
@Laurelindo: Who cares man, it’s your life, not theirs. You’re allowed to act in whatever way you want, socially; don’t enslave yourself in the name of good manners! You can walk around singing a song from Les Miserables for all you care, it’s your reality. You’re not bound by how other people define you. You’re not even bound by how you define yourself. If you want to shout in ecstasy at someone, then do it just to see what happens. Feel and observe all the feelings that arise; don’t fear them, don’t resist them…see what it is to be human.
Would you care if in a lucid dream you started talking to someone and they felt your elation was unusual? Would you care if people in your lucid dream thought you were an ecstasy addict because you were more open and happy?
From what I’ve learned about socializing—and I use to be extremely, death defyingly shy—is that life is more fun when you break the social rules to liberate your potential, that learning all the lame etiquettes is an unnatural process that takes time/patience to learn, and that the social rules are a way to try to keep everyone pleasant and sheepish.
@The Introversion/Extraversion discussion:
With introversion comes a certain type of energy and with extraversion comes another type.
Introversion brings you back to the place you have always known. It brings you to the feeling of home, it allows you to connect with your self, and things are a lot simpler. There are a lot of ways to describe it, but essentially I’m saying this is the particular energy that gets gathered thru introversion.
With extraversion you get all the extra—pun intended—energy that is ‘out there’ in the world. If we hang out with our happy friend, he/she may allow us to gather happiness. If we have a deep conversation with someone, we may gather energy from the intense experiences that they’re talking about. The energy gathered thru extraversion can be types of energy that we haven’t figured out how to gather on our own, thru introversion. Or it could be energy that directly challenges us to grow.
Spend too much time gathering energy thru extraversion and you start to feeling like you’re losing yourself. Spend too much time in the introversion and you start to feel stagnant and disconnected. Basically each extreme will have its own brand of suffering.
Totally agree with this.
I don’t know about you, but when I was younger I used to associate “introverted” to “shy” and “extroverted” to “socially skilled(?)” or something, and somehow I saw the first pair as something negative, and in turn, something was wrong with me.
I think that being introverted is not the same as shy and is not limiting at all. Let me explain. I consider myself to be an “observer”. I tend to be quiet and observe people a lot, just for fun. That doesn’t mean that I’m shy, I don’t mind speaking to people, even strangers.
With time, I realized that I was just quiet and that wasn’t a bad thing. I also realized that I enjoyed “me time” and that some social situations exhausted me, but overall, what Presence333 said above is pretty much how I feel about this.
Regarding the is issue of changing your personality or feeling limited by these labels… I think it’s not really something to worry about as long as you admit what makes you feel good and you do that, even if that changes in the future.
In fact I think this is the source of most of my problems . The “world” making you think there’s something seriously wrong with you if you have a hard time enjoying a noise party where you interact with a lot of people. I thought, as you said, that introversion and being shy where the same thing. It’s sad that I learned the difference a year or two ago .
Yeah it’s a pretty thought, but I also think there is a fine line between “odd, but OK” and “embarrassing weirdo”.
I don’t want to stick out too much, to the point that I make a fool of myself, if I can help it, but at the same time I feel a certain desire to make a somewhat dramatic personality twist just to surprise people, like the complete change from silent to very outgoing, for example.
It could be fun to play around with their expectations and see their surprised look on their faces.
Firstly sorry for the delay in replying, been distracted of late.
I can’t even begin to disagree with a good portion of that, I think you are probably spot-on with your assessment that the type of interaction at my workplace drains me a lot more than other interactions may and leads me into a state of isolation. It’s a bit of a shame that I don’t feel I have that much ‘spare energy’ for connecting to people outside of work, since you are probably right that I am missing out on getting to know some cool people as a result.
I would question the way you refer to gather energy though, but I think this may be because the term ‘energy’ is being used in different ways. You certainly can have your spirits lifted by a friend, and many of the positive effects you describe later. That still doesn’t change that being around people causes some measure inside to deplete, and when it gets to a certain point it makes us unhappy. The only way to recover it is to spend time alone and to yourself.
I’d have to agree with this. Saying energy draining might give a slight negative slant, and make it sound like a wholly negative experience, but I don’t think that’s quite the case or the intent. I also suspect “energy” is being used in different ways by different people.
It may be overwhelmingly positive to interact with people, even as an extreme introvert. That doesn’t mean that the need for time alone ever goes away just because it’s a positive interaction. Without time to live in my own world, I would become extremely unhappy, even if every interaction with people was mindbogglingly positive. Without time to myself to ‘recoup’ my energy I become drained, depleted and unhappy. This isn’t a flaw, fault or deficiency, it’s part of who I am. In fact it may even make me better suited to certain tasks. Many of my co-workers talk about the hell of being alone for long shifts, I love it.
I think it would be a surprise how little others think about what causes another person to change their behaviour. If you did make a dramatic change and became more social, I expect most people would just say you had gotten more talkative, or “come out of your shell” Not that I think such thoughts are a reason to keep behaving a certain way anyway.
I have to agree, you’ve clearly spent some time thinking about this and your conclusions are as well thought out as they are useful on this element.
I’d add that a measure of somebodies introversion/extroversion is how much of each thing is natural for them to do by default. That doesn’t undermine the fact that too much of either has consequences though, like you described.