Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Introverts in an Extroverted World

Sarah Chana Radcliffe M. Ed., C.Psych. Assoc.

Nearly half the planet is introverted, but too often they’re still looked at as strange. How to live with and nurture an introvert — including yourself.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The word “introversion” was coined along with its opposite — extroversion — by Swiss psychiatrist Carl (C.G.) Jung in the 1920s. Jung was referring to a person whose orientation to life is mostly internal, through his own thoughts and feelings. The extrovert, on the other hand, focuses on the external world, the world of people and activities. The extrovert is quick to jump in, while the introvert is reflective and likes more time before taking action.

According to Jung, all people have both characteristics within them but one is more dominant than the other in any given person. Practically speaking, this means that each person has times when she feels the need to focus internally (think about things, mull matters over, daydream) and likewise, times when she is drawn to the outer world (participating in meetings at work, engaging in projects, hosting guests). An introvert simply feels the need to turn inward more often than her extrovert counterpart does.

These tendencies are measured in modern personality tests such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). From such tests a person can learn whether his personality is predominantly introverted or predominantly extroverted. However, most of us simply “assess” ourselves. If you’re a “people person,” you call yourself extroverted; if you’re a “homebody,” you’ll say you’re introverted. Although this isn’t exactly what Jung had in mind, the movement toward or away from social interaction is probably the issue that matters most to us.


To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"