Eric Evans

Registered Psychotherapist

Toronto Psychotherapist working with depression, anxiety, serious illness, creativity, gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer issues.

Introversion is cool.

Introversion is getting more attention these days and it's about time. It's something that has come up in my practice for years and I find myself doing some basic psychoeducation about the topic. This comes about because so many seem to feel that there is something wrong with them since many in this culture are not introverted and, in fact, are in the majority. 

What is an introvert you ask? It's a surprisingly complex answer. There are some good books on the subject from Caversham Booksellers. What I find interesting is how introversion seems to relate quite closely to what we might call "loners" or at least people who don't have very extensive social networks. Also the idea that introverts are also quite sensitive people and this is one reason they keep more to themselves. 

These things seem to all be linked. Sensitive people tend to keep to themselves, keep quiet because they get overwhelmed so easily and thus become introverted - both emotionally and socially. I'm sure it's more complex than that, but realizing that it isn't wrong or weird to enjoy one's own company or to only have a few really close friends is an immense relief to people who describe themselves this way. 

Culturally, we need to do a better job of not privileging either position, or saying that someone is weird for not wanting to be around people all the time, or having several dozen friends instead of a few. Both ways of being are wonderful and rich and it would be great if we could accept that more easily.