You might think your quiet classmate who sits in the back of the class is antisocial because he or she prefers working alone and does not socialize a lot. It could be the case that he or she is just an introvert who likes solitude and gets his/her energy from being alone for a while, rather than mingling in crowds. Nowadays our society is full of loud and fast-paced movies, large parties and tasks from school or a job that require enthusiasm and charisma. As a result, at times it seems like extroverts are better suited for this society, seeing that they usually are charismatic and energetic. I intend to prove you wrong though, in my opinion introverts are unbelievably important in this society. The terms ‘introvert’ and ‘extrovert’ were first proposed by Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist in the early 20th century and are now very popular in personality profiles. Keep in mind that most people are not a ‘true’ introvert or extrovert but somewhere in between, reacting differently in various situations.
The most important factor is how people obtain their energy. Introverts gain their energy from their internal thoughts, whereas extroverts gain their energy from their external environment. (O’Sullivan, 2014). In general, introverts are subdued and to most people it may appear like they often forget the world around them. During that time they do not stop thinking though, instead they are “analysing and thinking of creative ideas to one day share with you”. (Pinto, 2013). These ideas might become an important asset later on in solving problems. Introverts may have a greater appreciation of subtlety and understatement — talents that, when harnessed, can become great strengths. (Collingwood, 2007). Introverted people are vital to this predominantly extroverted society due to multiple reasons. Probably the most important advantage of having introverts in our society is that they bring balance to the chaos that we call life.
The stereotypical extrovert loves to talk a lot, and someone who talks usually needs someone to listen to them. Imagine a society where everyone would be an extrovert – that would lead to pandemonium. Nowadays scientists estimate that 50-74 percent of the population are extroverts. (Buettner, 2012). The other 16-50 percent are introverts and in a way make sure that extroverts can do their own thing, while they listen and observe, things they do best. As I mentioned in the second paragraph, introverts can turn out to be great problemsolvers.
While an extrovert may inform everyone of a problem when they encounter one (to discuss it and find a solution for the problem together), an introvert probably first tries to find a solution in silence, analysing the problem before seeking help from someone else if necessary. Of course both ways would eventually be successful to solve the initial problem, although the second method would probably turn out to be faster in the end. Problemsolving develops creativity, and solving problems on your own boosts independency and efficiency.
Because of this, introverts can actually make great leaders, for example Mahatma Gandhi, Bill Gates and Abraham Lincoln. (Schocker, 2013). Another advantage of having introverts in our society is that once they trust you, they make great friends. Introverts are great listeners and once you have earned their trust, you might get to hear some of their ideas and views on things, which can be a dazzling experience. Many introverts have a unique way of looking at the world, full of brilliant and creative ideas. To befriend an introvert, the most important thing to remember is patience. Throughout their lives, most of the introverts have learned to suppress their introverted tendencies since in general, this society values extroverted traits rather than introverted ones.
Also, often when introverts want to say something important an extrovert interrrupts them, making the introvert think it was a bad idea to try to speak up in the first place. This can cause the introvert to become even more quiet and distrustful of other people. That’s why you have to give an introvert time to open up to you, he or she needs to know that you can be trusted and will not make fun of their ideas. To sum things up: introverts are important to this society because they bring balance to it, they are great problemsolvers, efficient workers and make great friends. Above all, give them the opportunity to express themselves and do things their own way. Leave them alone when they want to be, but listen carefully to what they have to say; never underestimate the powers of an introvert, they are full of surprises.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marsha-pinto/introvert-traits_b_3794733.html (Marsha Pinto, 22-8-13, consulted 8-10-14) http://psychcentral.com/lib/the-benefits-of-being-an-introvert/0001060 (Jane Collingwood, 2007, consulted 8-10-14)