Think of this: at any social setting (party, club, work, school, anywhere where people hangout really), those people who are merrily hanging out by the watercooler, or having their lunch break together or simply just chatting away indifferently are the extroverts, while that one guy standing quietly alone in the background is the antisocial introvert right? That’s the problem. Society tends to put people into two categories: Introverts and extroverts based on how they are presented to the world, and that’s simply not true, especially when you synonymize introvert with antisocial.
There are those who work well with people and those who work well on their own. But that doesn’t mean there is something broken with the latter kind, and it certainly doesn’t mean that they don’t like other people.
The other important fact to consider is that not everyone is what they seem to be, and that’s totally fine. People are not defined by how they act in front of the world, so what is the best indication as to what really define a person? How do you really know the real side of the person in front of you? Simply look at what they’re passionate about. And that is really what differentiates you from the rest, your doings, what you like to do, and how you do it.
As Dr. Brian Little, a personality psychology researcher (and author of My, Myself, and Us), puts it:
You are like some other people, and like no other person.
Just because someone excels at what they do best when they are by themselves doesn’t mean they must prefer shutting themselves off all the time. And certainly just because someone always cracks those hilarious jokes and warmly shakes every passersby’s hand doesn’t mean they are in the place they feel the most comfortable.
People are very flexible beings, and have the power to slip into any role we are sincerely motivated to pursue. A natural introvert with a passion for teaching will be compelled to extrovert themselves to fulfil this task and go out of their way to entertain, enlighten, and educate their students, and this doesn’t change their introvert fundamental nature.
This simply proves that our personality development is much more complicated than people tend to conveniently label.
Watch Dr. Little's insightful TED talk here: