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Barbora Viktorinová

Extrovert Supremacy in the World

The purpose of this essay is to discuss the topic of extroverts and introverts in society, in terms

of social preference of extroverts and overlooking introverts, what are the main contrasts between

extroversion and introversion; distinguishing of shyness, high sensitivity and introversion, and

conclude what is the power of being an introvert.

The general definition of psychological types – extroversive and introverted – was

systematically elaborated by Carl Gustav Jung in his work “Psychological types” published in 1921.

He focuses on the approach of the psychological types to an object, not especially how they integrate

with others, but concerning their general attitude to themselves and to the others.

The introvert's attitude to the object is an abstracting one; at bottom, he is always facing

the problem of how libido can be withdrawn from the object, as though an attempted

ascendancy on the part of the object had to be continually frustrated. The extravert,

on the contrary, maintains a positive relation to the object. To such an extent does he affirm

its importance that his subjective attitude is continually being orientated by, and related

to the object. À fond, the object can never have sufficient value; for him, therefore,

its importance must always be paramount. (Jung 412)

In addition, Jung claims that the actual types have rather a random distribution, in a sense that

one child in the same family can be extroverted, and the other introverted. Also, he reserves a view

that extrovert’s actions and decisions are merely orientated by the objective relations - his

consciousness is directed to the world, outwards – and lastly, his values accord with the objective ones.

Introverts, on the contrary, are guided by subjective factors – feelings, which influence judgment

and behaviour.

However, in the contemporary research studies there are virtually as many definitions

of the psychological types as there are personality psychologists. At least that is the point of view

of Susan Cain in her book, “Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking”.
Nevertheless, she declares that the main difference tends to be similar within all opinions of modern

psychologists – it is the behaviour in relation to social situations, and the level of stimulation

from outside. Predominantly, extroversive people are extensively communicative, quick

in accomplishing their assignments and very fond of company. In contradiction, introverted people

are rather comfortable with less stimulation, preferring to pay attention to what is being said and

are deliberate in their decisions and actions.

At this point it is important to consider that introverted people should not be confused

with shy people. That is to say, shyness is not to be directly connected with introversion, because

the reverse is often true – some extroversive people can be shy, while some introverted people could

not, as Susan Cain proves and provides an example:

Shyness is the fear of social disapproval or humiliation, while introversion is a preference

for environments that are not overstimulating. Shyness is inherently painful; introversion

is not. One reason that people confuse the two concepts is that they sometimes overlap

(though psychologists debate to what degree). … In other words, you can be a shy extrovert,

like Barbra Streisand, who has a larger-than life personality and paralyzing stage fright;

or a non-shy introvert, like Bill Gates, who by all accounts keeps to himself but is unfazed

by the opinions of others. (Cain, Power 20)

Furthermore, introverts should not be interchanged with people with high sensitivity. Elaine

Aron, American psychologist, declares that 30 percent of high-sensitive people are extraverted. She

describes people with high sensitivity as those who “tend to be visionaries, highly intuitive artists, or

inventors, as well as more conscientious, cautious, and wise people” (Aron 31). In addition, extremely

stimulating situations or actions for people with high sensitivity are relatively less arousing for other,

more resilient people.

Modern world has no comfortable conditions for introverts. Being alone and in isolation is

a state which is being superseded. Forcing to be in contact with others is well-nigh constant – during

studies, in school, on social meetings; also, the pressure to be well self-presented occurs permanently.

Workplaces are designed for communicating with others persistently, to work as one team – the prime

example of it are open space offices. Society is accustomed to have extroversion as the ideal of social

behaviour – people live with an idea that being extroverted makes us successful. Thus, team working

is put as a standard for everyone, even though one third of entire population can work in privacy and

unaffected by disturbance in a much finer way.

As Susan Cain emphasizes, “culturally, we are often so dazzled by charisma that we overlook

the quiet part of the creative process” (Cain, Rise). On one hand, people are likely to see great pieces

of human creation, but on the other hand, they do not look at the psychological part of the process,

which happens frequently in solitude. This has a great impact on the employment of introverts’ skills,

talents and their energy; it is being wasted due to the unchanging level of discomfort. Naturally, it is

worth to step outside of the comfort zone, because it can move ourselves forwards in the mental,

psychological and often professional way, but if a person is exposed to such a stress for a greater

amount of time, it can cause a loss of happiness, productivity and creativity.

The power of being an introvert seems to be evident: they are equally productive as extroverts

when they are in solitude. Unfortunately, the society does not notice it and thus is not concerned with

this problem. By all means, we should work and interact together, because we need to connect with

each other, but we should also come to a compromise in work and school conditions for both

extroverts and introverts. People should be allowed to leave from the open area into private, separate

space to have a relief from socializing; children in schools should not only be taught how to work

together, but furthermore, how to work by oneself. It would be for the benefit of all, if we let introverts

be what they are and did not force them to change to the image of world which promotes merely


Aron, Elaine. The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You. Secaucus,
New Jersey: Carol Publishing Group. 1996. Print.

Cain, Susan. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. New York: Crown
Publishers. 2012. Print.

---. “The Rise of the New Groupthink.” Sunday Review. The New York Times, 13 January 2012. Web.
14 January 2017.

Jung, Carl Gustav. Psychological Types or The Psychology of Individuation. Trans. Il. Godwin Baynes.
London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co. 1946. Print.