Honestly, it’s rather odd that I haven’t talked about this topic. This has been something I’ve truly loved to talk about since I found out what it even was. I don’t remember the exact moment, but the Myer-Briggs Personality Test was my first exposure. I love learning about this topic from TED talks with Susan Cain to taking the 16 personality test (which I highly recommend you take). I myself am an introvert more than an extrovert, but both of these traits are amazing.

So what is introversion and extraversion?

Marti Olsen Laney, who wrote The introvert advantage: How to thrive in an extrovert world, said that “Introverts draw energy from their internal world of ideas, emotions, and impressions.” So I like to live in my inner world and get energy from it. Extraverts on the other hand, get their energy from the external world of things and people and that’s where they focus their attention. Something I’d like to add is that introversion and extraversion is a spectrum, not two polar opposites.

There are “pros” and “cons” for both of these traits, but overall they are both great traits to have; they simply have their own strengths. For example, as an introvert I am able generate my best ideas alone rather than working in a group. For an extravert, it’s easier to be… an extravert. We live in an extravert world and it sometimes feels odd for simply being an introvert. When my friends want to go to an extravagant event, such as the Hmong soccer tournament in July that’s hosted in St. Paul, I would much rather stay at home.

There are a lot of resources out there to learn more about this topic (TED talks, books, blogs, tests, etc.) and I believe it’s beneficial to know if you’re an introvert or an extravert (or maybe an ambivert). I’ve learned more about myself since discovering that I am an introvert and I take pride in it. Introverts are usually stereotyped as being quiet and shy, but they’re just focusing on their inner world according to Laney.

“Counter to our stereotypes of introverts, they are not necessarily quiet…. but their focus is inside their heads,”

Of course everyone is different so you will have different types of introverts and extraverts. I do have to say that I am an introvert AND I am quiet. Most of the time I don’t talk in discussions. And here’s why. 1) I’m insecure and think that what I have to say doesn’t matter or sound “smart” 2) I don’t like interrupting others and making them feel like they can’t share their thoughts. 3) I’ve been ingrained with this mindset that as a Hmong woman I have to let others speak and stay in the shadows so this became my norm that I am still trying to change.

Overall I like being an introvert. I love my inner world of thoughts, but I definitely need time to socialize (yes, introverts socialize too). I also love being around extraverts.

Here’s something to leave you with: search up extrovert vs extravert. This was something I had to search up myself.

– I.S.


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