Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Integrating And Transcending the Introversion / Extroversion Dichotomy: A Series

Well, that title certainly looks all fancy like. But let me take out all the fancy terms and put down the bare bones behind the idea for this "series": I'm going to examine the dichotomy between the two main types of social interactors, namely introverts and extroverts, and hopefully come up with a way to get rid of the line between them.

That sounds really, really dry. But the general idea behind it is rather down to earth. If any of you remember, I said that one of my two New Year's Resolutions was to hang out with my friends more. Well, I'm going to expand it to developing a greater capacity to interact with other people. Why? Well, that's what the rest of this introduction will be about.

I suppose if I had to choose between either the introvert or the extrovert label, I would have to choose the former. You could say I'm a self-proclaimed introvert, though I'm sure that is how most people would describe me as well. For as long as I can remember, I've always been more interested in myself than others, for numerous reasons. As a really young kid, ie before grade school, I could entertain myself for hours on end with just myself, some action figures, and an overactive imagination. As I entered grade school, I continued on that same general trend. Anyone who went to Hilltop can remember me on the playground. Let's just say I wasn't the most active of my peers. I was more prone to standing out in front of the classroom door, lunch box in hand than to running around playing tag.

The rest, as they say, is history. Let's just say that the introversion continued, and continues to this day. It has improved, though. I would say that my first few years of high school allowed me to discover the real thrill of getting to know other people. Suddenly, my purely introverted tendencies took a 180 degree turn. Extroversion was fun. But only in small doses.

And that's where I stand today. So, why do I want to look at this dichotomy? Why do I want to resolve it? For a number of reasons.

  1. I've realized the severe limitations of introversion. Not only on your social life, but on every other aspect of life as well. Think of my node analogy. If you're introverted, you shut down AT LEAST 50% of those nodes before you can even reach them.
  2. One of my big goals in life is to help the world. The only catch is, to help the world, I'm theoretically going to have to be able to talk to / interact with other people. It's a little strange that I love humanity but have trouble with humans.
  3. College is coming up. That means a whole new environment with completely new people. And college isn't kindergarten. It's not okay to just sit on your stool, hoping that the extroverted kid in class will come and play with you. College is in the world of adults, and must be treated as such. Plus, it's a chance for the whole "new me" phenomena.
  4. Trying to solve this dichotomy should be fun. Personally, I always enjoy a good challenge, and tearing down a wall that holds me back always feels great. This is a definite shadow on my person, a weird little quirk of my "personality" that is worth examining. And any type of personal growth is a goal worth striving towards.
  5. There are probably at least another half dozen reasons, but some of them get personal (at least more personal than I'm willing to post on here), and others are really boring. So, I'll leave you with those.
There are the reasons for this post. I really hope to continue this "series" (not like all my other ones that died after the first post). I don't know how often I'll post on this, but with my new schedule idea, maybe I'll actually get stuff done instead of wasting "killing" time staring at a blank wall.

Stay tuned, if you'd like. If not, I'll continue with my normal postings as well.

This should be an interesting journey.


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