Introversion and extraversion are two opposing personality characteristics that are often used to explain the way people interact with the world around them.

Extraverts are people who prefer to focus their attention on the outer world and feel energised by being around other people. Introverts, on the other hand, tend to focus their attention toward their inner world – their thoughts, emotions and ideas. They are energised internally, and therefore may feel more mentally depleted after being around a large group for an extended period.

Introversion and extraversion can be viewed as being on a scale – everybody has characteristics of both, but we generally lean more towards one as compared to the other. Both have their own pros and cons, and therefore one is not any better than the other.

If you feel as though you may be excessively on one side of the scale, there is nothing wrong with this and many people identify as being solely extraverted or introverted. However, if it is beginning to take a negative toll on relationships, work or any aspect of daily life, then it may be beneficial to seek help from a psychologist.

Ways that being an extreme introvert or extravert can begin to impair your functioning include:

  • If it is starting to affect your personal and work relationships
  • If you are unable to do regular activities that don’t coincide with your inner qualities (e.g. introverts avoiding social events, extraverts being unable to concentrate on a task at work without talking to others)
  • If it is affecting your emotions and self-esteem
  • If you’re finding it difficult to accept these qualities within yourself and don’t know how to change them

If you are finding that you can relate to any of these and cannot manage the concerns they are causing on your own any longer, our psychologists are experienced in assisting in a number of ways. Some of these include:

  • Helping you to identify your introverted and extraverted qualities
  • Learning to accept your personality traits
  • Finding ways to highlight the positives and reduce the negatives of each
  • Help to build more skills in the opposite trait
  • Help you to identify any thoughts patterns which are exacerbating introversion/extraversion qualities and transform these in order to have a positive outlook
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