Introverts: As Beautiful as a Sunset
It might be that one of the reasons we really appreciate sunsets is the same reason why introverts seem so natural. It’s the beauty of being able to appreciate peace and quiet. Introverts are branded as unsociable people. It’s not that they hate parties or commotions, but rather that they consider them communication barriers.
Introverts don’t consider a night alone with a good dinner and a TV show wasted time. On the contrary, they consider these nights a necessity. It’s recreational time they enjoy before having to go out into the world again. This happens to a third of the population.
According to Sophia Dembling, psychologist and author of The Introvert’s Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World, introverts like to delve deep into subjects they’re interested in talking passionately about. Some of these tend to be the meaning of life or the nature of love.
Many times, we confuse shyness with introversion. However, these are two entirely different concepts. Shyness is the fear of social disapproval. Introversion is a preference for environments that are not the most stimulating. Shyness is, at the core, painful. However, introversion is not.
“If you’re an introvert, you also know that the bias against quiet can cause deep psychic pain. As a child you might have overheard your parents apologize for your shyness. Or at school you might have been prodded to come “out of your shell”.”
They feel alone in crowds
Despite the seeming contradiction, it’s normal for introverts to feel alone among many people. They prefer to spend their social energy on close friends, colleagues, and their families. How often do we talk just to fill quiet spaces? How many times do we waste our breath on pointless conversations?
Introverts can have strong social skills and enjoy parties or work meetings. But after a short time, they prefer to go home. They listen more than they speak, think before they talk, and often feel like they express themselves better in writing. They tend to avoid conflict. Some may be afraid of small talk, but they enjoy profound discussions.
They’re easily bored in environments where there are many people or stimuli. This explains why introverts pay more attention to the details and feel overwhelmed when there’s too much stimulation.
“You’re always saying people don’t like you but people can’t like something that’s not there.”
Are the brains of introverts different?
A Harvard University study detected different patterns in the brains of people classified as introverted. This study shed some light on why they behave this way. Introverts have a higher quantity of grey matter, which is also thicker in certain areas of the prefrontal cortex. These areas are related to abstract thought and decision-making.
Other characteristics of the brains of introverts, aside from their more developed prefrontal cortex, are their higher level of activity in their frontal lobes and their anterior thalamus. This makes these people better at remembering events, making plans, and solving problems.
These kinds of people pay more attention to what’s going on inside of them and not around them. By the same token, they have a higher level of brain activity in the learning, motor control, and vigilance areas. This makes them more cautious.
“In seeking wisdom, the first step is silence.”