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Introvert vs. Shy, Extrovert vs. Outgoing


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   Rant time!

   Well, not really, but I keep seeing people use 'introvert' and 'shy' interchangeably, or simply using 'introvert' when they mean 'shy' (i.e. "I never initiate conversation with people, because I'm an introvert" - which is basically as reasonable as saying "I never drive a car, because I'm scared of boats"). I know that English isn't everyone's primary language (it isn't mine, either!), but this is important; after all, much if not most of the communication in SL is textual, and thus void of vocal and visual queues for emphasis - so using the wrong words may entirely change the meaning of a massage. See what I did there?

   So, here's a simple glossary of what the aforementioned words actually entail:

  • Introvert: Being introvert means that you do not have a lot of social energy, that is, you only feel comfortable being exposed to other people so much, and that exposure drains that mental energy, which then needs to be recharged with alone time. 
  • Extrovert: Is the complete opposite; you need social interaction to charge your social energy, and not getting enough will drain you mentally. 
  • Shy: Is to be timid, socially intimidated by strangers. Usually feels awkward in social situations outside of their comfort zone.
  • Outgoing: Is the opposite of shy, you feel comfortable interacting with people, friends and strangers alike.

   Even though it's obvious, I'll go ahead and point out the fact that none of the aforementioned are binary; you can be a little bit shy but still an extrovert person, or you can be outgoing and still somewhat introvert. It's not a one-dimensional graph of introvert -> shy -> outgoing -> extrovert, but rather a two-dimensional graph where shy vs. outgoing is on one axis, and extrovert vs. introvert on the other axis, where people can be placed anywhere on the grid - shy vs. outgoing also are not a constant; how shy or outgoing you are can change with mood, energy, mentality, etc. Some people are more constant than others, whilst some people can be all over the place.

   ... And since it rather is a topic of communication and language, you did not 'loose your wallet', unless you mean to say that you've become less frugal. You also didn't 'loose your mind', unless you became more open-minded, or had anesthesia, or imbibed something funny. 

   Bottom line (or 'TL:DR' as the kids say these days): shy and introvert do not mean the same things, and whether you're extrovert rarely matters when looking for friends, they'll usually be more interested to know whether you're outgoing (alt. open, approachable, communicative, cordial, easy, expansive, friendly, gregarious, sociable, genial, sympathetic, unconstrained, unrestrained or unreserved). 

   Here's another bearded man to explain a little more:

 

   And yes, on the end he talks about how it's useful when matchmaking, but I suppose that's what a lot of people come to these boards for anyway. Well, that or because they want a sugar daddy.

   Anyway. /rant

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Yep. I'm an INFP personality type which means I'm an introvert and definitely get my energy from spending time alone. However I am very comfortable in social situations and can happily/easily interact with most people. 

I'd be very interested to hear from anyone who considers themselves a shy extrovert. I can't even imagine what that would be like? 🤔

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1 hour ago, PixieGirrrrl said:

a shy extrovert. I can't even imagine what that would be like?

Since shy people are intimidated by strangers, and extroverts need social interaction, I am guessing they would be very annoying to their friends, putting a lot of pressure on the people they know to fill their social interaction needs, so they can avoid having to go out to meet new people. Come to think of it I have met some people like this, both in SL and RL.

 

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Well.. I actually do say I don't initiate with people because I'm an introvert but what I actually mean is, I don't initiate with people because I "do not have a lot of social energy ... only feel comfortable being exposed to other people so much, and that exposure drains that mental energy". I think many people assume it's because I'm shy.

What gets my eye rolling is when people assume introverts lack confidence, saying stuff like "go to the gym and you'll get more confidence and maybe you can be more extroverted". Lol lol lol. I already do go to the gym and I'm fine with my confidence, still won't want to talk to you though.

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I feel like it's worth saying as someone who is introverted that we do enjoy seeing you and being around you, we want to hear about your life and how you are, but maybe more like one or two people at a time than a big group. 

I think just you know, take it down a peg or two, we're a little more easily over stimulated and more used to thinking inside the world inside our head, it's what makes being in a group so daunting as by the time you've decided on what you want to say the conversation has changed to a different topic whereas others are just sort of talking as they think, I think that is where the energy drain comes from more than anything

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14 minutes ago, Extrude Ragu said:

I think just you know, take it down a peg or two, we're a little more easily over stimulated and more used to thinking inside the world inside our head, it's what makes being in a group so daunting as by the time you've decided on what you want to say the conversation has changed to a different topic whereas others are just sort of talking as they think, I think that is where the energy drain comes from more than anything

   Yes, this is something that happens to me a lot as well, especially in vocal communication. I'm a fast typist, so I can usually out-type people and stay on top of a conversation in chat (unless of course there's a whole lot of people all typing at once, and 90% of the 'conversation' is people going 'lol yeah' or 'omg lol'). I've also noticed that in one-on-one encounters with new acquaintances, me being silent can freak people out because I'm not showering them with attention (especially when courting someone) - it's another thing with the whole 'communicating in text alone' thing; you don't know what they're doing on the other side of the screen, or if they're busy IMing other people, I get that, but it's not like demanding I say something is going to make me conversational, and asking what's on my mind is something I just get offended by - my head, my thoughts, leave 'em the Hell alone, they're private. 

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22 minutes ago, Orwar said:

asking what's on my mind is something I just get offended by - my head, my thoughts, leave 'em the Hell alone, they're private. 

Not to mention really really scary!!!!  After all, it's where you keep the clowns!!!!

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8 minutes ago, Jordan Whitt said:

Not to mention really really scary!!!!  After all, it's where you keep the clowns!!!!

   . . . Except when I let them out. 

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I wonder what I am. Sometimes I joke that I am the extrovertest Introvert and vice versa, heh. I might be a shy extrovert. I might be a more outgoing introvert. Point is, I cannot tell, because what I am depends at large on many factors, like my mood, my general well being, my surroundings. I'm a shy introvert when I feel unwelcome, prefering only one person around me. I can be an outgoing extrovert when I'm with a group of friends and entertain them.

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I'm definitly an introvert. After spending a couple of days of shared vacation with friends, the thing I long for is being back home infront of the PC not dealing with people. Even if I absolutly loved our vacation. But I'm also shy, which I think comes from my tendency to avoid risks.

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Thank you for this. I'm also rather tired of people thinking that introverts are somehow morally superior to extroverts. That extroverts are all shallow, attention seeking party animals while introverts are the deep thinkers who understand the beauty of nature. God it's annoying.

I've no idea which one I am. I think I'm pretty centred between them. I suspect many people are. Ambiverts? I think it's a spectrum. And one's position on it can change. Much of it depends on the people and the situation. 

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It seems I'm quite unique among my introverted brothers and sisters in that I enjoy being part of big groups and am often at my happiest when I'm surrounded by all my friends in one place, with everyone joining in the conversation and having fun. That definitely appeals to my Type 9 personality! When people splinter off etc, thats when I start getting fatigued.

Its funny, I used to think that SL would hold most appeal for introverts, but now that I think about it more, I can see how it could potentially suit all personality types, as after all, it allows you to be social from the comfort of your own home. 

@Amina Sopwith and @Sukubia Scarmon you can stop wondering what you are or at least have a better idea by taking this test if you like: https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test  

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4 minutes ago, PixieGirrrrl said:

Its funny, I used to think that SL would hold most appeal for introverts, but now that I think about it more, I can see how it could potentially suit all personality types, as after all, it allows you to be social from the comfort of your own home. 

Very much! There are plenty of people who love socialising and clubbing but can't or struggle to in RL for any number of reasons. Also people who very much crave communication and interaction but find it easier to type than talk. 

 

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1 hour ago, PixieGirrrrl said:

Its funny, I used to think that SL would hold most appeal for introverts,

It mostly has introverts. not many extroverts exist in SL , if you are extrovert you can understand that from the moment you look at a persons profile and even more when you start talking with them.

Here are some examples..

"Check my  RL photo in 1st life profile that i took when i was at the blah blah blah blah blah BLAH" = extrovert 100% guaranteed

"Here's my photo now show me yours" = extrovert

"Age: Blah blah, Height: Blah blah, Weight: Blah blah, etc." =  extrovert

"My personality is who i am. My attitude depends on who you are!!!!" = introvert and zzzZZZzzzZZZzzz

"In SL you can be anything you want. Isn't it strange that some people choose to be stupid!?" = introvert (and passive aggressive)

"I joined SL mainly out of curiosity for the creativity, but I've met several kind, brilliant, and hilarious people here. = introvert

"I am here in this SL world to have fun and spend a nice time with friends.  Respectful and kind. " = introvert 100% guaranteed

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I can spend hours alone, and find it invigorating and refreshing.

I enjoy the company of small groups of like minded people.

Large groups with relentless chat exhaust me quickly. This is a situation I try to avoid.

I'm not shy, but I do fit the introvert description. Just the same in RL. Why would it be any different.

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2 hours ago, BelindaN said:

I can spend hours alone, and find it invigorating and refreshing.

I enjoy the company of small groups of like minded people.

Large groups with relentless chat exhaust me quickly. This is a situation I try to avoid.

I'm not shy, but I do fit the introvert description. Just the same in RL. Why would it be any different.

I spend hours arguing with my alt inworld, at least I know that I can't possibly lose, or could I? hrm, something to debate with meself I guess.

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I'm an extrovert (because being around groups of people energises me and being alone for too long drains me) but at the same time I am not outgoing in the sense of "life and soul of the party". I'm often mistaken for being shy because I'm not loud and outgoing but that's not down to social anxiety or awkwardness or anything like that either. I'm just quiet and reserved because I'm not really that interested in the sort of typical conversations that most people want to have (small-talk, celebrity gossip, discussion of TV shows or movies, sports, cars, whatever. Yawn). 

Some of my hobbies are solitary ones, like reading and writing, but even then, I'd rather do that in a social setting than at home. I like to take my laptop to a pub, settle down with a decent pint and crack on with the next chapter. I write more words-per-hour in a pub or cafe than I do at home, even counting breaks to stop and chat when people ask me what I'm writing about. That's just another reflection of the energy thing. I'm more energised when I'm with other people so I'm more creative and more productive than I am when I'm alone.

Watching sport on TV is another one. At home, it bores me to death, but watching it on a screen in a pub, or even better, watching it live in a stadium of 40,000 people, I love that.

I think this is also part of what drew me to SL; the ability to meet and chat with other people, and it's why I enjoy running a club as my primary activity as opposed to making stuff and running a store.  That's the nice thing about SL; it suits both introverts and extroverts in different ways.

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   I'm an introvert, INFP. I used to be very shy, a complete wallflower, and proactively avoided contact in-world. SL helped me to be a lot more outgoing, both in-world, and out in real space. I can engage in lengthy social interactions. It even feels very rewarding to do so, but I need a commensurate amount of time by myself afterward.

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I am truly both shy and introverted.  I have no social confidence at all and until I really get to know folks, will definitely feel awkward and timid around others.  Once I know folks, I can open up and chat along with the rest of the group fairly easily.  When the inworld Forum Cartel group first created their hangout, I would pop by daily, but pretty much never chatted at first.  My initial visits were less than 15 minutes at a time, but as I got to know people, I slowly increased my time there and the size of the group that I felt comfortable around expanded.  After a few months, all the regulars knew me and I felt comfortable around them.   

As to the social energy, spending even an hour with people outside of my immediate family will definitely wear me out.  Big parties are horrid - I avoid going to any as much as I can, often letting my husband attend events alone.  My husband and I throw a huge party each year -- it is totally because he really wants to.  During the afternoon / evening hours, we will often have 75-100 people coming and spending some time there.  I plaster on the smile and play hostess.  I am so energy wiped the next day (and sometime the day after that even) that I don't usually even chit-chat with my husband much.

Even at the Forum Cartel hangout inworld, I finally got comfortable enough with the group that I did do some of the hosting for parties, but even then, I was never the chatterbox with new people.  If I didn't know them, best I typically managed was the polite greeting.  And even those virtual parties left me emotionally exhausted the next day.

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5 minutes ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

I am so energy wiped the next day

   The term some friends of mine in therapy came up with was 'socially hungover', I think that's a brilliant expression for that feeling.

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23 minutes ago, Orwar said:

   The term some friends of mine in therapy came up with was 'socially hungover', I think that's a brilliant expression for that feeling.

I like that phrase - going to start using it.

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Interesting topic !!

Random Info: I’m in a profession where I’ve been randomly subjected to “Meyers-Briggs” personality-typing for longer than I would rather admit (related to leadership and organizational development training).

FOREVER I was constantly typed over-and-over as a strong Extrovert with “crusading idealist” tendencies (ENFJ - A).

Then I had a left-brain stroke because too little sleep, half-marathons and a steady diet of stress can do that.....

My Extraversion has morphed into something more introverted and thoughtful. These days I graph more on the “Intraversion” scale and when I need to call on my old Extroverted skills, I catch myself doing it *as* a skill and not really because I’m feeling it.

Oddly, I feel like I gained something.

So this stuff *can* change. Mine was “brain changes” plus some social embarrassment early on before speech therapy really had time to work; but there are many reasons why people’s social milieu can shift.

I’m happier as a thoughtful Introvert Than a workaholic Extovert.

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