A Spo-fan asked me the other day (or was it a few weeks ago?) please write out my thoughts on the topic of Introversion vs. Extroversion. I was about to write a most-fascinating entry about the drainpipes but this topic topic sounds more vital. There is a lot of rubbish about on I. vs. E. and perhaps I can banish some ignorance.

If you get one thing out of reading this, it is the following: the difference is “where do you go to get recharged?” [1] When you feel drained do you prefer to be to yourself or do you prefer doing something with others?  That’s it. That’s all that matters. That’s the difference.

Jung wrote a lot on the topic. He saw the two modes of operation as how does one process the world, internally (introversion) or externally (extroversion). His goal for mental well-being is always to get one’s psyche in balance as much as possible. One finds out which is your ‘major’ and go to work on the other.

It is nonsense to see these two terms as black and white, or it’s one or the other. “I’m an introvert!” I hear someone say in a bar or at a party. I have to hold my tongue to respond so what are you doing here.

Urs Truly has a predominate introverted psyche. There is nothing so pleasing to me as spending a day to myself reading and doing chores only to realize I haven’t spoken to anyone all day. Some friends find my statement hard to believe, seeing me mingle and interacting well with others in social settings. After all, I am in the blogging community for pete’s sake – that’s a very extroverted endeavor. Introverts do not lack social skills, nor do they hate socializing etc. It’s just if given a choice between happy hour or staying home with a good book they find more ‘charge’ in the latter.

People who predominately relate to the world through extroversion [2] often  find the other kind a bit bewildering. Es are more likely to encourage/push Is “out the door’ as it were. [3]  However even Extroverts see value in ‘down time’ and peace and quiet – at least the more balanced ones.

There is no war between the two types.

One is not ‘born one way’ and one is not destined to be just one way or the other.

Do not try to put yourself as one or the other.

Goal of learning this: balance out as much as possible while keeping an eye on what recharges your battery – a book or a telephone call.


I thought I would put up one cliche summary picture.

Get the gist and now discard. 


[1] If you like more fancy words: in what setting does The Ego find replenishment for spent Libido (viz. psychic energy).

[2] I purposely don’t use the words Extrovert and Introvert as they enhance labels. Nevertheless it is hard to avoid the lexicon.

[3] Thems mostly introverted seldom bother to try to make extroverted types stay more at home.  It’s an iniquitous arrangement.