Are You an Extroverted-Introvert? Take This Quiz to Find Out!

Note: This is just the title. There is no quiz.

A while ago, four years I think, I was browsing YouTube for something to watch when I came across this video with the title “7 Signs You’re an Extroverted-Introvert!” When I saw this video, I snorted. There is no such thing as an extroverted-introvert, extroversion and introversion are traits on opposite ends of a spectrum. Saying that someone is an extroverted-introvert or an introverted-extrovert is like saying an object can be both hot and cold, or that a number can both be rational and irrational. It just can’t happen. But despite this, the video had VIEWS! Upwards in the hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions! Even though it was complete nonsense, people were listening to the video, perhaps even taking it to be true! Another, less ridiculously incorrect example of this is the introvert-extrovert media, more specifically, the memes. You know, the introvert: submissive, quiet, shy, extrovert: bold, assertive, happy-go-lucky stereotype? Well, as funny as those memes and other media like that can be, it’s describing a relationship dynamic, not actual introversion-extroversion.

So what is an introvert and what is an extrovert exactly?

To sum up the video, an introvert is a person who is most productive, or recharges, when alone, whereas an extrovert is someone who is most productive, or recharges, in the company of other people. There is nothing about shyness, assertiveness, or submissiveness in either definition. Introverts are not necessarily shy or submissive. In fact, I’m extremely introverted, but not shy and my strong personality combined with my direct way of speaking causes many people to confuse me for an “extrovert” (the one the media has popularized). I’m fine with socializing, it just so happens that talking is draining to me (I don’t realize this until after the social event, then I collapse from social exhaustion). Extroverts aren’t always carefree or even remotely sociable, I’ve also met quite a few grumpy extroverts–people who recharge by spending time with people–but who push others away as much as possible!

These concepts in psychology being warped into one-dimensional stereotypes is an example of pop psychology: popularized beliefs about the human mind circulated around the internet. These ideas aren’t always true, in fact, they often oversimplify or promote misconceptions (like that Extroverted-Introverted thing) about the mind. What’s worse, even after people get exposed to actual psychology, they still prefer its pop variant. Why? It’s in the name, pop psychology is called pop psychology because people like it, because people naturally tend to create rather meaningless or false categories in order to find their identity, or identify others more easily.

The human brain is wired to streamline a few simple concepts on what is and what isn’t (sun bright, don’t look at it, bright and colorful frog, probably poisonous, makes loud noise, probably dangerous). You may have noticed that the examples I put in my parentheses (which I use with reckless abandon) are all survival related. This is because humans first evolved this tendency as a survival strategy. When trying to find things to eat and avoid being eaten, hunter-gatherers had to make a few assumptions on the go. Staying too long to analyze every niche nuance resulted in starving or becoming food. Evolution thus, favored this approach, and our rapid ascension to almost fantasy-sounding technology has not given us enough time to remove said approach. That’s why we prefer simplistic “this is this and that is that” type media. It’s easier to say “Oh, people of type A are always A” instead of “People of type A can be A, but also B, C, and D”, and it appeals more to our psychology as well. That is why nonsense like “Are You an Extroverted-Introvert?” can exist, and why so many people believe in it rather than clinical, science-backed research.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Touched by what you read? Join the conversation!

  • Are You an Extroverted-Introvert? Take This Quiz to Find Out!

    Note: This is just the title. There is no quiz. A while ago, four years I think, I was browsing YouTube for something to watch when I came across this video with the title “7 Signs You’re an Extroverted-Introvert!” When I saw this video, I snorted. There is no such thing as an extroverted-introvert, extroversion…

    Read more >>

  • Understanding Emotional Dysregulation in Looked-After Children: A Caregiver’s Perspective
    Understanding Emotional Dysregulation in Looked-After Children: A Caregiver’s Perspective

    What started as a fun karaoke night turned into one of the saddest tales I’ve ever experienced. The lyrics felt so sad and hopeless, and for the first time, I saw them without the masks they often wore. They let their guard down, and I felt the pain they had been trying to cover for…

    Read more >>

  • My Experience as an International Student
    My Experience as an International Student

    Embarking on my journey as an international student studying abroad in the USA has been a whirlwind of excitement and growth. Each morning brings the thrill of immersing myself in a new culture and connecting with a diverse array of people. However, there are days when I yearn for the familiar comfort of home and…

    Read more >>