Introversion and Extraversion

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Posted on my Fully Human FB page on 1/8/2020
Here is an interesting article about Introversion and Extraversion, which are often misunderstood in general society. A lot of what it says I have told my clients over the years. For many, it has been life changing.
The Myers-Briggs people have long said that there are many more Extraverted people born than Introverted, which is why it’s so easy to feel ‘different’ if you are an Introvert… Because extraverted people are the majority, the world is designed by extraverted for extraverted. The school system is a nightmare for introverts and so are open-plan offices, which are one of the worst disasters to ever befall introverts.
The MBTI is based on the idea of understanding one another and our differences rather than judging others for being different than us. If we understand our strengths and weaknesses we can all work and relate better to one another and in a way that supports everyone’s personal growth and development. We are all equally valuable but we are not the same.
The original ideas come from Carl Jung who was interested in the question of why people have conflict. He realised that people see the world differently and engage with it differently. He was interested in harmony and cooperation and he understood that self-accceptance and accepting of others in all our differences are key to this. The Myers-Briggs, mother and daughter team, developed his ideas into the useful test and tools we know today as part of the MBTI. Many employers have engaged Myers-Briggs practitioners and have put their staff through the testing and training process but instead of learning from it they did nothing with it. Or else, people were pigeon-holed. This is not what the MBTI is intended for.

One of the things people don’t necessarily know is that one of the differences that Jung saw between Introverts and Extraverts is that extraverts seek to adjust to any new system they happen to join. When an extravert goes into a new workplace or social group, they try to figure out what the rules are and how to fit in with them. Introverts on the other hand, do not try to fit in so much as to change the system if they think there are things wrong with it. Introverts are inward-focused according to Jung, and Extraverts are more outward-focused.

It might explain why from an evolutionary point of view there are more extraverted people born than introverted. Is it possible that those that sought to fit in better rather than criticise or question the group, were more easily embraced and protected by their groups? Those who questioned how the group did things and pointed out what they thought was wrong and how things can be different or better, might have suffered more rejection, hence less of their genes are around because they didn’t survive as well as extraverts.

But another point about this is that the fact that we have a majority of extraverts might explain why there are more conservatives in the world than revolutionaries. Conservatism is about keeping things as they are and not liking change or upset to the system. Conservatism is about resisting change even when it is evidently needed.
If there are more extraverts around that might explain why the world seems so resistant to change. You will find that new ideas and revolutions in the way we think and do things tend to come from introverts, not extraverts. But since the majority are extraverts, the world its more conservative and change tends to be slow-paced and reluctant, even if it is necessary.
Humans in general have trouble with change but Introverts tend to see what is wrong everywhere they go and because they are more inward focused they can imagine things that are different to the reality around them. Extraverts are outward focused which means that they try to adapt to the systems around them rather than focus on changing them.

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