An Introvert is a person who is energized by spending time alone. Often found in their homes, libraries, quiet parks that not many people know about, or other secluded places, introverts like to think and be alone. Contrary to popular belief, not all introverts are shy. Some may have great social lives and love talking to their friends but just need some time to be alone to "recharge" afterwards. The word "Introvert" has negative connotations that need to be destroyed. Introverts are simply misunderstood because the majority of the population consists of extroverts. (Urbandictionary.com)
introvert survival in extrovert world
When I was about 8 years old, my parents had to come to my school. The teacher used to have talks with the parents of each child in the class, in Dutch it is called “10 minuten gesprek”; a 10 minute conversation.
Needless to say that I was nervous and I asked my parents what my teacher had said about me. “He told us that you are very quite in the classroom” they told me. I was so disappointed. I had hoped that my teacher had noticed my eagerness to learn, my brightness, my creativity, my sense of humor… I was and still am an introvert, trying to survive in a world that almost worships extravert behavior.
The intro in introvert
The last blog of Mindfunda: Schizophrenic Dreams and Art: Mythology of the Soul, featured a book written by extrovert H.G. Baynes. Jung popularized the terms introvert-extrovert. Jung was a proud introvert. Baynes was an exception to the introvert Jungian world. Jungian people are usually introvert, and proud of it (maybe that is the reason why I like them so much).
The site English for students explains that the “Prefix INTRO means INTO & INWARD”.
And yes, I have always been someone who feels entertained when a song, a film, or a person tries to dive into the roots of a concept.
The same site, English for students dot-com tells me that “VERT comes from vertere. A Latin term meaning TURN”. So being an introvert means that you like to turn inward for direction. In my eyes, the only possible way to live a life worth living.
Most of us are somewhere in between the extrovert – introvert continuum. Because there is no doubt in my mind that the terms are part of a continuum that a person can travel on, using various subtypes between the two extreme poses of introversion and extroversion.
I can be very outgoing, talkative; and extroversive at times. But I always enjoy coming home, taking my shoes off and not having to pay attention to others all the rime. It has been quite exhausting for me to work in education, or in shops. I really needed time to unwind. If you would like to find out if you are more extraverted than introverted, here is a test you can take.
Susan Cain wrote a very popular book about introversion: “Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking.”
One out of every two or three persons, according to Susan Craig, is an introvert. That means that you know someone, are married to, or working with someone who is an introvert (don’t worry, it is not contagious).
“We live in a value system that I call the Extrovert Ideal-the omnipresent belief that the ideal Self is gregarious, alpha, and comfortable in the spotlight (page 4)”.
I had a dream about this extrovert ideal recently. In my dream I am part of a group that is known as “the small and silent ones” (That is a kind of Introvert Ideal I must admit). This is the dream:
I am scheduled to work late, at 7 pm. and I dread traveling alone through the dark. On my way to work I encounter a beautiful horse in the field. I walk towards him and we walk together. I lead him to a safe path and go on my way to work, There is a blond extraverted girl who tells me that she is not comfortable with me because I belong to the groups of small and silent people.
A horse, according to Medicine Cards, The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals, symbolizes: “True power, wisdom found in remembering pathways you have walked in another person’s moccasins. Compassion, caring, teaching, loving, and sharing your gifts, talents, and abilities, are the gateways to power” (page 178)”.
A horse, as a explain in the Mindfunda Mythology Course (paragraph 2.3), is also a very social animal. The combination of an introverted nature in service of the benefit of healing the community is a very good description of the core myth of Mindfunda.
Like the horse, seven is also a magical number filled with a magical power. It is the world’s favorite number. if I ask you to think about a number below ten, you probably think about seven, the first prime number. Across cultures and religions like Buddhism, Catholicism , as well as in the Islam, seven is a special number. I am number seven in the family I was born in.
Being an introvert in an extrovert society can be a symbolically powerful and healing experience. Just trust your dreams!
More about me, Susanne van Doorn: