Why do extroverts love to party? Why are they prone to talking? Why introverts love to be calm? Why are they prone to thinking? Science reveals that the brains of introverts and extroverts are really different, which is why they see things differently.
noun (psychology) a person who tends to shrink from social contacts and to become preoccupied with their own thoughts.
Introvert comes from Latin intro-, “inward,” and vertere, “turning.” It describes a person who tends to turn inward mentally.
(psychology) a person concerned more with practical realities than with inner thoughts and feelings
a psychological term, it was borrowed from German extravertiert, from the prefix extra- “outside, beyond” plus Latin vertere” to turn.”
These two personality types are opposites — introverts focus inward, into their own thoughts, and extroverts focus outward, into the world.
An introvert is less likely to socialize and loves time alone. They are known to avoid large groups and easily get drained of energy among a big crowd.
An extrovert is widely believed to be an outgoing and fun-loving person. While that may ring true, it is not at all the true definition. An extrovert is an individual who is easily energized amongst large crowds.
If We Assume that we all are batteries, then in such a scenario we can see that introverts recharge alone, but extroverts get energy from other people.
What exactly makes introverts and extroverts see things differently?
Introverts process stimulations via a different pathway than extroverts, which in turn makes them see things differently.
Shorter extrovert dopamine pathway
Introverts and extroverts respond in a different way to the neurotransmitter dopamine. This is a feel-good chemical that carries information between neurons. Dopamine contributes to feelings of pleasure and satisfaction. And this is why you feel high when you eat your favourite food or make love to your partner or earning money or climbing the social ladder. Dopamine is responsible for motivation to seek external rewards.
Both introverts and extroverts have the same level of dopamine in their brains but there is a difference in the activity of the dopamine reward network. It is more active in the brains of the extroverts than introverts as per Scott Barry Kaufman, the Scientific Director of The Imagination Institute.
Information from the outside world like images, voices, travels a shorter pathway ( i.e – “quick response” areas of the brain where taste, touch, sight, and sound are processed), before entering an extrovert’s brain.
So, when it comes to talking to a stranger at the party or asking a girl for a date, being alert to the surroundings and taking risks or grabbing a high profile project at work – extroverts are ahead of introverts. It’s the dopamine that makes the extroverts highly energised and their mind is always full of the enthusiastic rush of good feelings. Dopamine and intensity of the stimulation act as a cue that they are achieving their goals. They feel rewarded for socializing and a fun night out.
On the other hand, introverts are sensitive to dopamine and feel overstimulated, according to Dr. Marti Olsen Laney in her 2002 book, The Introvert Advantage, Then, what motivates introverts to go on in life?
Longer introvert acetylcholine pathway
Introverts use acetylcholine a different neurotransmitter, which is also linked to pleasure. Unlike dopamine, acetylcholine makes us feel good when we turn inward. That is engaging in activities like self-reflection, deep thoughts, reading books, walking in the woods and so on.
This is why introverts prefer calm environments. It is easier to turn inwards when there is no external stimulation. The more an introvert spends time alone, the more they get the pleasant effects of acetylcholine.
Information from the outside world travels a long way (i.e areas of emotional meaning, speech, right and left frontal lobes, left hippocampus and so on) before entering into an introvert’s brain. Therefore, introverts process information more thoroughly than extroverts do. This is why introverts take longer time to put thoughts into words, react, or make decisions!
Introverts have more grey matter than extroverts
According to a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, introverts had a larger, thicker grey matter in their prefrontal cortex — the area of the brain associated with abstract thought and decision-making. However, extroverts had a thinner gray matter in that same area. This explains why introverts are more inclined to abstract thought, while extroverts tend to live in the moment more.
If you get them mixed up, remember that introverts turn inward and extroverts like external action.
8 common things from the eyes of Extroverts and Introverts
Here are examples of few common things that introverts and extroverts see differently. Reading this will give you clarity about both personalities.
Love is not a noun but a verb, a state wherein you put all your efforts to make your partner cheer. Love is where you are head over heels for someone and can’t wait to meet them and take them out with you.
Love is A Celebration, and the best time to Celebrate Is Whenever you Can.
Something more than just a feeling, something that pumps up your adrenaline and makes you do things that make both of you happy.
Love is a scary feeling. Something that makes you think about a person all day long.
“Love is essential, gregariousness is optional.” – Susan Cain
An intense feeling which makes you long for them but you cannot reach out to them. Something that brings out the artist in you, something that makes you sing a song or write or paint. Someone you wake up each day in hope to see but can never gather enough courage to talk to.
it is a state of being lonely accompanied by boredom. A time when they start desperately looking for the company because people’s presence is what recharges them and solitude drains their energy. In the process of finding a company, they even tend to visit different chat forums and social network.
solitude is a blissful state, a place where they find solace and also recharge themselves. Crowd and people drain their energy, introverts need solitude to fill back the energy. They enjoy solitude as much as an introvert enjoys parties.
Phones are the best thing that happened to mankind. The tool that helps them connect with all their ‘contacts’ even when they cannot afford to be physically present around them. Communication usually is very casual among extroverts, usually hours of talk without a purpose or a subject in mind. A mode which helps them satisfy their need of being heard by someone.
They like to go to the point and try to avoid small talk as much as possible. They mostly resort to indirect methods of communication, like texts, chats and emails and avoid phone calls or direct meetings highest. While they love to ‘text’, Phone calls are disturbing machines which deprive them of their peaceful state of mind.
An obligatory source of knowledge which you must grapple to end up with a good job.A source of entertainment when there is nothing else around and a travel companion for a long journey by train or bus especially when there are no people around to talk.
A book is a best friend, a means to travel the world, meet new people and have an adventure without any apparent inconvenience. A home where you find solace and your savior in cafes or places where you want to avoid people from talking to you. Reading a process to enhance your creativity and books your favorite gift.
5. Being a Good Company
A good companion is all about not letting the other feel left out or lonely. It is mostly by spreading joy by bringing everyone together. Keeping a conversation going by not letting it drop to an awkward silence. Asking people about their how abouts and engaging in small talks to start a conversation.
Being a good companion is more about respecting the others personal boundaries and giving them a healthy breathing space. Good manners are not disturbing or bothering people unless absolutely necessary. Talking to the point without engaging in useless, time consuming awkward small talks. Simply letting people be, allowing them their personal space and time and not trying them engage them in a conversation unless absolutely necessary.
6. Being bored
Being bored is mostly ‘not doing something’. They constantly seek to keep themselves occupied. They cannot sit idle without anyone to talk or show their actions to. They constantly seek approval from other humans Being bored is mostly having to be alone at home with no one to talk or give them company.
Boredom is when they have to be in a place they don’t want to be, with people they don’t really know. The obligatory social gatherings where people get together and engage in small talks. You will find the introvert sitting in a corner wishing it to be over soon or imagining a situation where they come up with an excuse to leave that place get back in the comfort of their solitude.
Weekend means party time. Time of the week when they can be around a lot of people. Dance, talk, go to places like clubs attend parties and enjoy. They wait for this day to recharge themselves by being around people, talking with them and socializing. Weekend means a movie or party time. A day to have fun.
Weekend is the time to rest and relax. It is a time when they can get away from the crowd in office or university and be there in the solace of solitude. It is the time when they recharge themselves. Introverts love weekends because they can be alone, read their favorite book or watch their favorite show or just lie down in bed and stare at the ceiling, it’s just important to be alone.
A friend is someone who will keep you company. For extroverts making new friends is a daily routine, they love to meet new people and make new friends. They want to have more number of friends irrespective of their perception and compatibility. They just want people around them so they just go around socializing and making new friends. For them, the quantity matters i.e the number of friends they have.
Making new friends is too big of a challenge. Introverts like to take their time in understanding people before approaching them if by any chance they are interested. They don’t want more number of friends but they want the honest, loyal and understanding ones. Introverts want someone who won’t waste their time in small talks.
They don’t befriend people easily, they observe and analyze and if they feel they are comfortable enough then you get in their circle and believe me when I say introverts know how to keep a friendship. For introverts, it is the quality that matters not quantity.
I hope it’s clear to you now that why introverts and extroverts see things differently. If you enjoyed reading the article, then please share it with your friends and folks and anyone who is struggling to understand introverts and extroverts.