Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How do you feel about loners?



Do you consider yourself somewhat of a loner?  And how do you feel about finding yourself in that category?  I have noticed that people who are loners, or who feel like they are more introvert than extrovert often feel ashamed to admit it....as if there is something 'wrong' with enjoying solitude.  North American culture seems to be dominated by extroverts, and introverts often find themselves being goaded into 'loosening up', 'hanging out', 'getting with it' and even being viewed as strange.  As I searched the web for an image to illustrate this post, I discovered that loners are described as 'twisted' and 'geeks'.  Yes, people with mental illness are often loners.  However, many very normal, well-adjusted people have an innate preference for alone time.  I'd like to look briefly at what is right, okay and advantageous about being an introverted type or loner.

In my professional work I have observed that introverts are often more reflective and more prepared for the difficult work of looking within.  Introverts are often more observant and more likely to have actively confronted the existential challenges of life.  Introverts and extroverts who are in relationships often have difficulty coping with the other's behaviours.


None of us are wholly introvert or wholly extrovert.  Many extroverts know how to balance their enjoyment of reaching outward and find ways to build quiet, reflective time into their outwardly-focused lives.  Many introverts have observed how to 'play the game', fit in and have developed a 'pseudo-extroversion' that they can enjoy in social situations.

If you observe carefully, you can spot an introvert/pseudo-extrovert at a social gathering.  They enjoy all the exchanges, laughter, commiseration with everyone else ... but now and then they will take a little break and go stand alone on the balcony, go to the bathroom, wander over and gaze at the art on the wall.  The make-up of their nervous system needs to take a little break from all the incoming stimulation.  After a little break, they will rejoin the gathering and participate and enjoy like everyone else.

I was pleased to discover the following article which illustrates that introverts have nothing to be ashamed of in their particular way of relating to the world around them.  In fact, there are many advantages to being introverted, just as there are to being extroverted.  Even if you are not an introvert, you may have a partner, a child or friends who are - and this article may help you better understand them. 

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.  Where do you think you fall on the introvert/extrovert continuum?  I am a definite introvert, with well-developed pseudo-extrovert skills.  Many friends find it difficult to compute when I say I am an introvert.  I do enjoy conversation, learning, laughter,  exchange, emotional intimacy....but I must carve out my alone time - 'must' being the key word.

So here is the little article - let me know what you think! 

"Field Guide to the Loner: The Real Insiders Loners are pitied in our up-with-people culture. But the introvert reaps secret joy from the solitary life.
By Elizabeth Svoboda, published on March 01, 2007.


Miina Matsuoka lives by herself in New York City. She owns two cats and routinely screens her calls. But before you jump to conclusions, note that she is comfortable hobnobbing in any of five languages for her job as business manager at an international lighting-design firm. She just strongly prefers not to socialize, opting instead for long baths, DVDs, and immersion in her art projects. She does have good, close friends, and goes dancing about once a month, but afterward feels a strong need to "hide and recoup." In our society, where extroverts make up three-quarters of the population, loners (except Henry David Thoreau) are pegged as creepy or pathetic. But soloists like Matsuoka can function just fine in the world—they simply prefer traveling through their own interior universe.


Loners often hear from well-meaning peers that they need to be more social, but the implication that they're merely black-and-white opposites of their bubbly peers misses the point. Introverts aren't just less sociable than extroverts; they also engage with the world in fundamentally different ways. While outgoing people savor the nuances of social interaction, loners tend to focus more on their own ideas—and on stimuli that don't register in the minds of others. Social engagement drains them, while quiet time gives them an energy boost.


Contrary to popular belief, not all loners have a pathological fear of social contact. "Some people simply have a low need for affiliation," says Jonathan Cheek, a psychologist at Wellesley College. "There's a big subdivision between the loner-by-preference and the enforced loner." Those who choose the living room over the ballroom may have inherited their temperament, Cheek says. Or a penchant for solitude could reflect a mix of innate tendencies and experiences such as not having many friends as a child or growing up in a family that values privacy.


James McGinty, for one, is a caseworker who opted out of a career as a lawyer because he didn't feel socially on-the-ball enough for the job's daily demands. He has a small circle of friends, but prefers to dine solo. "I had a bad cold over the Thanksgiving holiday, but that spared me from having to go to my brother-in-law's," he says. "I'm not a scrooge; it's the gatherings I dread." Matsuoka feels his pain: "I can't do large crowds with a lot of noise," she says. "It's stressful to maintain positive interactions and introduce yourself 20 times. I really have to turn on my motor to do that."


Matsuoka, who is divorced, is open to romantic relationships, but "whomever I'm with must know that at least one day a week I need to lock myself in my room and stick feathers on a sculpture," she warns. Artwork is a form of meditation for her. "I get completely sucked in. It clears my mind until nothing disturbs me." While a few studies have shown a correlation between creativity, originality, and introversion, perhaps more striking is the greater enjoyment introverts seem to reap from creative endeavors.


Amanda Guyer, a psychologist at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, has found that socially withdrawn people have increased sensitivity to all kinds of emotional interactions and sensory cues, which may mean that they find pleasure where others do not. Guyer separated child subjects into "outgoing" and "reserved" groups and then had them play a game in which they had to press a button in order to win money. The reserved subjects showed two to three times more activity in the striatum region of the brain, which is associated with reward, than did the more outgoing ones.


Previous MRI studies have shown that during social situations, specific areas in the brains of loners experience especially lively blood flow, indicating a sort of over-stimulation, which explains why they find parties so wearying. But Guyer's results suggest that introverts may be more attuned to all sorts of positive experiences as well. This added sensitivity, she speculates, could mean that people who are reserved have an ability to respond quickly to situations—such as coming to your aid in a moment of need—or show unusual empathy to a friend, due to their strong emotional antennae.


Research by psychotherapist Elaine Aron bears out Guyer's hunch, demonstrating that withdrawn people typically have very high sensory acuity. Because loners are good at noticing subtleties that other people miss, Aron says, they are well-suited for careers that require close observation, like writing and scientific research. It's no surprise that famous historical loners include Emily Dickinson, Stanley Kubrick, and Isaac Newton."

Of course, there are negative aspects, challenges that come with introversion but for today, for a change, I thought we could look at the positive side of being  a person who is more introverted than extroverted.

(P.S.  Don't forget to enter my giveaway!  Details are in my January 25th post.)

68 comments:

  1. i enjoy talking to people. in a crowd i am an extrovert. i do crave my alone times though and find peace there. so sometimes i will slip away when i need it.

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  2. Of course, as soon as I read the word "loner" in your great post, the background music starts again in my head. This time it's Neil Young, from 'way back when. Seems like he may be onto something. He, being a loner, is willing to sing about it. On record, even. Something for me to think about. Maybe a slightly extroverted introvert? Wherever we may fall on the scale, we occasionally find we have the courage to sing about it. EFH

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  3. this was very interesting for introverts such as myself..you are right, as is this article that so often we are looked at as strange or different when in reality, we are simply being who we are...in my experience those of us who are introverted tend to be more compassionate and aware than those of the opposite persuasion but i tend to feel that's simply because extroverted people are often moving too fast in their world, thus missing the forest for the trees, so to speak...thanks for an enlightening post!

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  4. Oh Yeah, I am a Introvert/pseudo, even some of my close friends haven't a clue. There is a time and a place.

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  5. When I was very young I was called "shy" extremely "shy". I played alone, not out of choice just because I grew up in the middle of nowhere and only had an older brother who couldn't be bothered.I explored the mountain, creeks with wild animals by my side- alone. I was never afraid. I could not quite grasp the social contrivances, the nitter natter of pat phrases expected in conversation or at gatherings. I don't like parties and usually find myself alone in the yard or under the grape arbour. I can carry off appearances for short bursts, people would not know how introverted I really am- I can fake it pretty well by now, but it is exhausting. Reading a room, the energy of people, the false and the sincere, hits me full on in a crowded situation. If it is too uncomfortable I leave...making some urgent excuse. Overly sensitive, is what I have been percieved as.

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  6. I don't know if I was born a loner or if my childhood created it. But I have spent most of my life with myself. I have never felt shame in this, it is what it is. I am also an extrovert. I am bold in action and words and would never be confused with a wall flower. But I live very easily alone. That said, I spend too much time alone and recognize this, so I have been making some effort to move about in the world. Because my work is at home I am not engaged on a daily basis with coworkers. I have to seek interaction.

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  7. I love this post! I am an introvert. Although I do live with my boyfriend. But I also think it has a lot to do with the fact that I was an only child too. I always found ways to entertain myself. I never needed attention from anyone or needed to be entertained by others. I like having a few close friends, but I also like doing things for myself. I'm selfish! ;oP

    This quote is great too:
    Some people simply have a low need for affiliation.

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  8. A big thank you for putting this on your blog agenda and also for the article, it helps me see being a loner in a more healthy and positive way. Too easily one feels inadequate, unworthy etc.. There's a song written by Jon Lord for Frida called 'The Sun Will Shine Again' in which there's a line about being one's own best friend. When I was married to a psychotherapist he tried to change me! If one is creative then being a loner seems to fit, in fact seems almost essential. Much food for thought.

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  9. I am most definitely an introvert with a strong pseudo-extrovert side. I can be the life of the party when I want to, but I much prefer small gatherings with one or two close friends. And I NEED my alone time. Can't live without it. I can only keep up the facade for so long at a party, then I have to sneak away and take a walk or sit quietly somewhere for awhile.

    Most people who don't know me well would probably say I'm an extrovert, but that's only because I learned long ago how to play the part so I could fit in. The real me is all about quiet introspection and processing of emotions.

    But I guess anybody who reads my blog already knew that.

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  10. Very, very interesting, Bonnie! I can remember being called 'anti'social' a few times in my life, and resenting it. Like you and many other commenters here, I am an introvert/pseudo. My social skills are well-developed but it takes a lot out of me to be in a group of people. Others have the usual difficulty believing that I 'used to be' shy.

    I really like being alone although I now recognize that if I don't seek out the company of others on a regular basis, I start to feel a bit low. We all need the stimulation of other people, but some can handle more than others.

    One of my ridiculous pleasures is (oh man, I don't know if I can admit this here...) is being in a small, enclosed space, like a toilet cubicle on a plane or in a public building! I don't want to stay there, but it gives me a momentary thrill to be so by myself, unseen and private!

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  11. Oh and by the way, most of your sidebar links are working but I still can't get to the intriguing "Are you living in shoes too small?'.

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  12. I think it's a good article. I am convinced there is a physiological component to introversion. I find some conversations more interesting than others and am impatient with small talk. That said, I have been at parties where I stayed for hours and hours, completely relaxed - this was mostly about the people attending being of good will and having intellectual curiosity, as opposed to scoring points or having an agenda.

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  13. Interesting post, Bonnie - I think most people fall somewhere in the middle. Also I think some societies are more tolerant of introverts than others. Havin been to the US quite a lot over the years I feel that extrovert is almost admired over there, whereas the introvert is perhaps viewed with a little suspicion. I think it is also the same here in the UK, but I do wonder about other countries, particularly those in the Far East. What do you think?

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  14. Brian: That's what flexibility, adaptability and ego strength are all about!

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  15. Expat: It is great if we are comfortable enough with who we are to 'sing about it'!

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  16. linda: You are welcome - glad you enjoyed it. I have met many compassionate extroverts btw. :)

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  17. remistuff: Yes, both you and Brian illustrate that a healthy personality is a flexible one and can adapt oneself to whatever circumstance they are in.

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  18. Linda Sue: I have wondered if introverts have more 'exposed nerve endings or sensitivities' as you say, and that is why they need to pull back. When they are alone their nervous system isn't overwhelmed by picking up so much from the environment....?? Just wondering..... Thanks for sharing your experience.

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  19. Sandra: It is good to know who you are and what you need - and clearly you do. I, too, require a lot of time alone but am not shy to speak up in public situations.

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  20. Kris: Most introverts are in relationships - they do not all live alone - they just find ways to carve out alone time for themselves within the relationship.

    Yes, I find I have low affiliation and inclusion needs. I think some of that is due to nurture rather than nature. Raise as a Jehovah's Witness I was always having to exclude myself from common activities that were forbidden by the JWs. Slowly the need to be included drops away.

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  21. liZZie: Sounds like your ex was imposing his values and way of relating in the world on you. Too bad he didn't figure out that your style was not wrong, it was just different from his. Thanks for sharing your experience here!

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  22. Hi Jeff: I have had much the same experience in life as you describe. I have therapist friends who dispute my claim of introversion - until they see my Myers-Briggs test. Mind you, my results on that test have changed over the years and I have closed the introverstion/extroversion gap.

    We do adapt and I think a certain ease, as you describe, develops as we mature so that we can make ourselves and those around us comfortable in any situation.

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  23. Hi Deborah: Yes, as you say, connection is vital. If one is so introverted that they always actively avoid connection - there is something wrong. To be human is to connect. "Only connect" as E.M. Forster says.

    I would venture a guess that your love of small confined places might indicate that you had a blissful experience in the womb. Too Freudian? Okay...just a fanciful guess.

    I have fixed the link to the article "Are You Walking In Shoes Too Small" that you mentionned - it had inadvertently been removed to the draft bin. Sorry. If you can't access it, you could scroll back to August/09 and find it there.

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  24. ArtSparker: Yes, I would guess that according to your description, if you were to take a Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory test you would have ticks on both sides of the continuum. Nice to have that balance!

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  25. Weaver: That is so true - that extroversion and introversion can be culturally driven - and not addressed in my post at all. So yes we are all a bit of both and the whole continuum is produced by both nature and nurture. Great point.

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  26. I am an introvert, especially since I was diagnosed with a condition that keeps me limited to my house most of the time. People that do not know me well think I am or was an extrovert because I can be a Camelian. Before I was sick I always worked in Management, but have always been a loner as much as I can be...Now it can tend to be excessive, or it is living within my limitations, or finally being true to me. Love your blog. take care.

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  27. While I was reading your post I thought that this sounded so psychological, so I went to your profile -aahh, there you are! I thought Amanda Guyer had an interesting view, and also the MRI studies.
    Many introverts are found among professionals, but when they need to communicate with others, they're okay with it. Now my caseload is almost done and I move more and more into art, I seem to meet many more introverts than I ever have.
    It's my believe that to "move" on the intra/extravert continuum can be "learned behavior"

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  28. It was once explained to me that introvert or extrovert is less about your ability to be in a crowd than it is where you recharge yourself. I have learned to be very good in crowds but when it is time for relaxing, I tend to do it alone. I have also learned to relax inside my own brain while my body and mouth babble on happily.

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  29. If I had a nickel for every time my closest relatives called me "too sensitive," I'd be a millionaire. I tried very very hard to steel myself into appreciation of crowds of people and I could make a case for that effort against my nature having pushed me into alcoholism. Loaded, I was as boisterous and dull-witted as the rest of those people seemed to be.

    I can never remember if I'm an ISTP or an ISFP or something else, but I recall, for sure, I'm not an "E" or a "J".

    If I were to make any sweeping generalization it would be that extroverts seem less able to incorporate Life Lessons than introverts, and the article appears to support that idea. Sometimes it seems the most extroverted people I know hardly "interact" at all. They just talk and talk and don't remember what they've told me and what I've told them.

    I'm pretty good at the "pseudo-extrovert" role, too. I can be the life of the party, and, in fact, must be, to bear it, but it exhausts me.

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  30. This is so interesting! Growing up as an only child, I found myself on both sides!

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  31. I loved this post about introverts. The paragraph about "taking a break" at a party by wandering off hit me right between the eyes. Great post!

    Cheers!
    Julie
    Julie Magers Soulen Photography
    Blog of Note

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  32. I was an introvert through my awkward teens, a mix of introvert and extrovert through my 20s-30s and an extrovert looking for introversial opportunities thereafter.

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  33. I have seen your name popping up commenting on blogs that I read and admire (Friko, Weaver) so thought I would come over and see what yours was like. Very interesting to find this.
    I agree that culture influences what is acceptable/desirable and that the US and to a lesser extent the Uk really value the extrovert above the introvert. Also that you can move about in the spectrum as you grow older.
    I am very comfortable with time on my own, loads more now that we live out in the country than most people would tolerate, yet I always come out as an extrovert in Myers Briggs type tests. I have come to the conclusion that I just need both: if I am forced to be social all the time I feel overwhelmed and need to retreat in order to regroup; if I don't have enough interaction I lose some of my energy and begin to close down. I love people and I love solitude. I suppose if I couldn't have a balance and had to have one or the other I might have to choose company but then I might just go nuts!
    Fascinating stuff.

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  34. It's unfortunate that we have a tendency to polarise these two terms, extroversion and introversion, as we tend to polarise so many attributes. As far as I can see there are degrees and overlaps between these elements in most of us.

    I tend towards the extrovert side of tihngs and always feel bothered when people proclaim that writers are introverts, because I'm not, as if I should be. I love the company of people and I enjoy social gatherings but I prefer smaller events to large ones. I thrill at the thought of meeting new and interesting people but I too need time alone, time to recoup, time to write.

    Writing is a solitary activity but in my mind it always involves others in my audience and in my fantasies, in the things I write about.

    Sometimes I think these distinctions can be a bit arbitrary in that there might be a person who's good at being gregarious, as I think you suggest, who underneath it would much prefer to be alone and vice versa.

    Thanks for this interesting post. It's true that so-called loners get a bad press and it's most unfair and unfortunate.

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  35. Hi cinner: Yes sometimes our style of relating in the world is forced upon us by circumstances and is not indicative of how we would relate if we were not so hindered. Thanks for commenting here - hope you come back again.

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  36. Hi Jeannette: A lot of it is learned behaviour...Too bad it is easier to learn often, than to unlearn!

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  37. Bagman & Butler: Your suggestion that it is more about where we recharge ourselves than our ability to tolerate crowds casts a helpful light on the whole discussion. I know that is largely true for me.

    If only more of us could develop the skill to manage our needs, impulses, thoughts, fears, stress levels in our brain as we go about our daily activities. What freedom and empowerment!

    Thanks for the great feedback!

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  38. June: It seems to be a common experience among the commentors here that to try to force oneself to conform to an extroverted style is exhausting for the introvert.

    I do know, from my own experience and testing, that we can develop our extroversion skills and be comfortable in the process.

    I think we all have a place and a role to fill on the planet and that no one style of interacting, learning or processing life's events is necessarily better than another. I know some extroverts who are very sensitive, compassionate, intuitive and wise. I think it is very human that we all think our style of interacting is the best. :)

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  39. Missy: Lucky you! You can extract the best from both styles and use those skills for the benefit of yourself, your family and your community.

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  40. Hi Barry: I think your recent post about your attendance at the baby shower makes your point! You tried to be the life of the party, so to speak, yet were very relieved when it was over.
    :)

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  41. Hi elizabethm: Welcome. So glad you took the time to visit here. I'm glad we are finally hearing from an extrovert on this topic! Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all own and exhibit these qualities and manifest them appropriately for the circumstance! Thanks for sharing your experience here.

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  42. Hi Elizabeth: I do agree that it is too bad when we get caught polarizing qualities - people are so much more complex than any either/or attribution can capture. That being said, we are limited by language and do use terms as shortcuts to explain a constellation of behaviours because it saves time and space explaining every nuance of what we mean. So when you say the word 'extrovert', I can at least know generally a pattern of behaviours you are referring to and you don't have to write paragraphs to describe what you mean.

    I don't like to label anyone either - and that is why I tried to accentuate that there is a continuum and we move back and forth on it.

    You are more than any term or label someone uses and there are always delightful exceptions to every rule. I'm sure there are thousands of 'extrovert' writers. Isn't it exciting how complex, diverse and interesting humans are. I so appreciate your contribution to the discussion here.

    TO ELISABETH'S POINT - PLEASE DON'T GET CAUGHT OR STUCK IN ANY RIGID LABELLING OF YOURSELF OR OTHERS. HUMANS LEARN, GROW, ADAPT AND CHANGE ALL THE TIME. IT'S WONDERFUL TO LEARN ABOUT OURSELVES AND OTHERS, AND TO APPRECIATE BOTH OUR SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES.

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  43. Oh, I'm definitely a loner, an introvert. Any excuse at all will do to keep me from socializing. Once out I do enjoy my time with friends though I don't enjoy big parties where I only know a few people.

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  44. I am very much an introvert. I believe that I may have been molded that way because I was always a shy, scared and insecure child. I prefer to be alone and rather enjoy being with myself. I would probably be a hermit if it weren't for my daughter who craves human interaction...

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  45. Hi Ellen: I am not a fan of big social gatherings either - not because they make me uncomfortable, but because I can always think of so many other interesting things I could be doing.

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  46. luksky: It is true that we have to step up and interact for the sake of our children - they need that in so many ways. I find that getting out and interacting does stir the creative juices and open us up to new ideas and ways of looking at things.

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  47. Bonnie I would consider myself a friendly introvert.

    I adore introverts. My husband is an introvert too.

    Love Renee xoxo

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  48. In trying to understand my son who was a colicky baby, and then a "spirited" child to put it mildly, I read a parenting book that had you assess yourself on an introvert/extrovert scale and then do the same for your child. After looking at a multitude of scales it painted an accurate picture of both of us and then helped me understand him from that perspective.

    But the intro/extro scale was by far the most illuminating. As "active" as he can be I realized he is still an introvert and needs help in finding that solitude so he can recharge... much like myself! Fascinating stuff Bonnie!

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  49. Hi there Vicky: Isn't it great to be able to use info like this to better understand your own child and what they need?!! For me it is not a question of labelling but rather of understanding how we and our loved ones learn, process information, interact, and as you and Bagman & Butler say, recharge. Thanks so much for this input.

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  50. Fantastic post, Bonnie! Thank you.

    I am definitely an introvert, and so are my husband and daughter. My son is mostly an extrovert, but needs some alone time, too.

    It's a shame that the word "loner" is always associated with social deviants in our society. Personally, I need a great deal of alone time, and I think most creative people do. If we are always out there doing, instead of simply being, we would have a hard time creating anything. The well would be dry.

    I learned to be an extrovert under certain situations, when I was in corporate advertising and PR. Your description of the person at the party sounded very familiar. To me, being extroverted all the time would be exhausting, and probably impossible.

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  51. By nature introvert, happy to be alone, in fact, preferring to be alone (never lonely), married to an introvert. We both think other people can be such a pain and often deliberately avoid them. He is a musician, performing for large audiences.

    On the other hand, and that goes for me alone, I am considered to sparkle at parties, assisting the hostess with entertaining other guests, an excellent mixer and matcher.

    I have a party face, which I put on while standing at the door, ringing the doorbell and that face is taken off again when I leave the party house.

    I love my own company, absolutely insist on my own space. Yet, I am also a leader of people; running groups of people of all nationalities during conferences, organising, manipulating and living purely on adrenaline.

    God, I don't sound like a nice person at all. Where is the genuine creature under all this? On top of it all, I am also a depressive.

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  52. Bonnie, would you like to become a 'miscellany' blogger?

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  53. I found this post fascinating. Many may think I'm not an introvert, but truly I am. I so often go off by myself - even to sit on the toilet and take a breath. I've become used to being alone and I crave it, often to the surprise of those around me. Often to myself.

    Thanks for offering this.

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  54. Renee: Well you certainly exhibit extrovert qualities of being very outgoing and wecoming on your blog!

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  55. Angela: We can have a certain preferred way of 'being', but as you illustrate, we can learn the other skills and this goes for extroverts as well. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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  56. Hi Friko: I'm not sure I would agree that someone who has more introvert preferences, but can function (be helpful, welcoming, friendly, able, managerial) on an extrovert level is someone who is not genuine. I would say you are versatile - and adaptable enough to survive and thrive in whatever environment you find yourself.

    All of what you describe makes you the unique, complex, intriguing, attractive individual that you are. Seems to me that many of the great thinkers the world has known were depressives.

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  57. Dear Bonnie, I have seen your profile and comments on our fellow bloggers' posts, so I am happy to be here today :) This is such a brilliant post, I do love the article - and as I just wrote to a friend to cancel a weekend plan I have been thinking precisely the thoughts that you have voiced :)
    I have Lupus which does make me more of a loner than perhaps I would have been, but my temperament is a writer's. Happiest with ideas, and the internal landscape.

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  58. Fascinating post and article! It was encouraging to hear about the clinical and creative advantages of introversion. Loner and writer usually go together, unless I can count imaginary characters and blog visits. I’m good at chatting with strangers and friends at parties, but I find large groups tiring. I should try the look at art break.

    I once heard that the difference between an extrovert and an introvert is that the first is energized and the second is depleted by large social interactions. I prefer the intensity and sincerity of one-on-one conversation. I find joy in solitude, but I love being around my family and friends too. My husband is an extrovert. We balance each other.

    In the comments I noticed: an extrovert was the first to comment (fitting!) followed by so many introverts. Blogging must be a haven for introverts. This could be a clinical study, but the title leads to selection on the dependent variable. I’d love to read more posts like this one.

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  59. Friko: What would be involved for me to become a miscellany blogger?

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  60. Shiasta: It is good to understand who we are and what we prefer and need. The key is for those of us who love 'ideas and the internal landscape' to not disconnect. Relationships are vital for a healthy, happy, long life.

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  61. Hi Sarah: I agree that the title of the post could have been more appropriate for a more objective attraction of comments. However, the comments come from a lot of my regular readers, and as you suggest, it has made me wonder what proportion of bloggers lean more to introversion that extroversion. It would make a good study!
    Unfortunately, I feel I have done enough formal study - so anyone out there who is interested in dissertation material .... eh voila!

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  62. I am a mindful person who enjoys her alone time and her time with others. For me it is about the energy of the group. Sometimes I like being in a group and sometimes not. If not I leave. I meditate every day and so I have silent time. I honor my meditation time.
    I have been married for 37 years to my Soulmate. We share the house chores and enjoy each others company. We both read and I write some. My blogs are my way of staying in touch with family and friends. The kids can come by and see the birds and bugs that come to the backyard.
    I am a naturalist so I spend lots of time outdoors with my camera. Very interesting post. I have never thought about if I was an introvert or extrovert.
    Namaste,
    Sherry

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  63. Oh darn, I was away the day you first posted this, and missed out on the liveliest part of the comment discussion. That being said, I know exactly what it feels like to be exhausted by the effort of being "on" for social occasions. Meyer's Briggs says I am an extreme, but I have to function as a semi-extrovert on a day to day basis (dealing with customers on phone and in person). No wonder I'm so tired when I get home from work! No wonder I see my home as my sanctuary!
    I do love being an introvert - I'm comfortable in my own skin, and really enjoy my peaceful quiet times of reflection and contemplation. I am in awe of people who look forward to parties, who are energized by people, who love the buzz. how do they do it? What I get now is that while the quiet times energise me, and the social interactions drain me, other people are just the opposite. How interesting! I've seen people who can't stand to be alone, or quiet, for more than a few minutes. I feel sorry for them! It would be funny to gather up a room of introverts only, and see what happens. (Just because I'm an introvert doesn't mean I don't have a wicked sense of humour...)

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  64. Q: Sounds like you have found a way of being in the world where it matters not to your where or if you fall on this continuum. You have found your comfort level, balance, equilibrium and have no need to name or define. That's great too!!!

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  65. Kathryn: You bring up a good point as you share your experience. I think many have a very one-dimensional view of what an 'introvert' is.....
    Their personalities and relational dynamics are as varied as those in the extrovert spectrum. I would guess we all have many friends who need and value their time alone but who engage, inform, entertain and amuse us when we are together. (I love people with a wicked sense of humour! I'm told mine can be wicked too...wonder if that is part of an introvert profile?)

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  66. Loners're just a bunch of normal everyday people who obviously dont hate people, the difference is that we're not necessarily expecting others acceptance or approval to be happy. We just like being ourselves.
    Im a loner and i dont hate the society... Loner and anti-social arent the same thing.

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  67. heya

    stumbled on your blog whilst looking to see who else in this wide world enjoys jann arden's music like i do. what can i say, you have good taste.

    this post caught my eye because awhile back there was an interesting article on the guardian about solitude. you might find it interesting.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/feb/02/joys-of-solitude-lonely

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