In 1921 the doctor, psychiatrist and psychologist, Carl Gustav Jung, published one of his best known works, entitled ‘Psychological types ‘. In it, he presents typical functioning mechanisms of the psyche and revealed the existence of two different types of attitudes of the human mind: introversion and extroversion .
Introversion is characterized by introspection, that is, introverts are mainly interested in their inner world, their emotions and their personality . On the contrary, extroverts focus their interest towards the external, so they are naturally more sociable and attentive to their environment .
It is strange that there is a completely introverted or extroverted person. However, we all have an attitude that tends more towards one or the other . There are moments in our lives when it is convenient to be more introverted or, on the contrary, more extraverted. But having both attitudes by nature is not possible because, since they are two extremes, they are mutually exclusive.
Extroversion is probably more accepted in society precisely because of its condition of being more social and because it is more linked to the world that surrounds the extrovert. However, neither of these two attitudes is better or worse than the other , each of them has its positive and negative points. The ideal is to find a balance between the two.
What are introverts like?
Introversion is often confused with shyness or a lack of sociability, but they are different concepts since an introvert is not necessarily shy or antisocial. Being an introvert or introvert means preferring to read a book than going to a party or prefer to have a deep conversation with one person than to have banal conversations with a group of people.
For an introvert, the fact of spending time alone or alone becomes a necessity and this does not mean that he does not like spending time in company because he usually enjoys his friendships and more social times. What happens is that an introvert is more easily overwhelmed by external stimuli. Therefore, a crowded place, with a lot of noise or with many lights can quickly drain the energy of an introvert , who will have the need to move away from that place until they find themselves in a more solitary environment.
This need to spend time alone is intended to recharge energy because otherwise, the person may feel physically and mentally exhausted and depressed. Every daily insignificance, such as having to repeat a phrase during a conversation, is magnified in such a way that it can even block the person or produce an emotional outburst that for the rest will be disproportionate , such as crying. With this it is evident that isolating from time to time is necessary for the mental health of an introvert, because loneliness helps them stabilize their emotions and control levels of anxiety and stress .
Do you want to be alone?
An outgoing person often finds being alone a bore and a waste of time, but contrary to this belief, having a thoughtful moment of the day to dedicate to oneself is extremely positive for everyone.
For a person who is not used to it, being alone can become a challenge, but it is certainly a necessary skill that must be learned . We are going to see some signs that indicate that you need time alone, even if you are not aware of it:
- You don’t feel like looking at your phone. We live in a world where the mobile phone has become a necessity , and you probably always respond to calls and messages, but if you hear the ringing of your phone and decide not to answer (even if it is available), it may be because you need to pass time alone.
- Frustration becomes a common feeling in your daily life. That means your tolerance threshold is cracking, or that you have what’s known as a “human hangover.” Frustration is a borderline feeling that needs a time of reflection to evaluate your current situation and to know why you have reached that state.
- If you dislike the idea of being left alone, it may be because it is what you really need . Many people feel nervous and vulnerable when they stay with themselves, so they can avoid that moment at all costs, producing the opposite effect. That is, they can become hyperactive and hypersocial, constantly seeking to make plans. If this happens to you, seriously consider taking a break to meditate on your life and establish the changes you need to solve the problems that have led you to this situation.
- Everyone around you becomes irritating. We all have days when we would like people around us to disappear, because of their bad sense of the world, because we consider that they do things the wrong way , or simply because their mere presence is unpleasant to us. If you reach these levels of sensitivity where it would have been much better not to get out of bed in the morning because you cannot bear the company of any person … Right, it is time for you to seek some solitude.
- Sick in the worst moments. The human body is a really efficient machine, but if you don’t take care of your body, if you fill it with stress, it will sabotage you when it hurts the most , forcing you to stay home and stop your frenetic pace of life. Your body knows you better than anyone else and will force you to relax through illness or extreme exhaustion whenever you need to.
- If you feel like your emotions are out of control, stop, understand them, and let them flow. We usually hold back when other people are around, so staying alone is an opportunity to relax and let go of what we have inside . If your tears come to your eyes lately for any reason, stay alone and cry until you relax, and then give yourself a treat, practicing a hobby that you have abandoned or whatever you want, alone time is a private moment for you.
Benefits of being alone for a while
We have just seen ‘symptoms’ that introverts live with on a daily basis, but that anyone who is extroverted or prone to extroversion can suffer at specific moments in their life . For this reason, it is important to know these extreme situations in order to act on them. They are situations that produce anxiety and emotional discomfort , so introspection is a great way to overcome them. Let’s now see some of the benefits that solitude brings us:
- You are going to recharge your energies . Being constantly connected with other people can be mentally draining as we unconsciously bear the responsibility of making other people feel good about our company. Constant interaction is emotionally and mentally exhausting work, which requires a time of silence and solitude to recover.
- Reflection is necessary to cope with the rhythm of modern life. The days go by so fast that many times we do not realize it and we can feel that events are passing and we do not have time to assimilate them. P or self – reflection is why it is so important . It helps us process and be more in touch with our thoughts and feelings, and to know ourselves better and be more aware of our current emotional state.
- You will start to enjoy doing things alone. When we are with other people we have less freedom of action since in a social environment concessions are necessary. But you can use your alone time to do an activity that you enjoy and do it without compromise. You will really feel more and more free to do things that you are passionate about. This certainly makes you a more independent person.
- Time alone is always more productive time . Without external distractions, what you do alone will help you focus faster, and consequently, you will do it faster and more efficiently.
- You will appreciate your relationships much more . Spending time alone gives you time to get to know yourself better and, therefore, to love yourself more. This is also reflected in your social relationships because you begin to see them in a deeper way and perceive details that perhaps you did not appreciate before. You can also be more aware of all the positive things that social relationships bring you.
- You will appreciate yourself much more. Once you learn to be alone and put yourself first, reflecting on your needs, what you like and what you don’t like, your attitude towards life will be much more relaxed. Social stress disappears and that anxiety that the people around us feel happy , too. When you are alone you worry about yourself, and that is not selfishness at all. When you are alone there is no need to apologize or seek acceptance from anyone.
The value of loneliness
As we have seen, spending time alone or alone is not bad, nor strange . It is personal time that everyone needs to a greater or lesser extent. Each person has different needs, but being alone is a need that everyone has .
Spending time alone we learn to know each other better, to love each other, and to evolve as people . When we are alone it is possible that we discover things about ourselves that we do not like, and that is not negative, on the contrary, it is the first step to change and improve as people , since since we are born we are in constant personal evolution.
For all these reasons, we should not see moments of loneliness as traumatic , as long as loneliness does not become chronic in our lives. If you are not clear about your personality type, that is, if you tend more to introversion or extraversion, you can take the Myers-Briggs personality test to find out .