All About Introversion

If a crowded cocktail party feels like a holding cell to you, even as you gamely keep up your end of the chatter, chances are you're an introvert. Introverts are drained by social encounters and energized by solitary, often creative pursuits. Their disposition is frequently misconstrued as shyness, social phobia or even avoidant personality disorder, but many introverts socialize easily; they just strongly prefer not to. In fact, the self-styled introvert can be more empathic and interpersonally connected than his or her outgoing counterparts. The line between introversion and lonely loners gets blurry, however, as some introverts do wish they could break out of their shell.

Recent Posts on Introversion

The case FOR social media, TV, phoning, and video games

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on February 22, 2015 in How To Do Life
Why parents shouldn't worry so much about their kids' electronic recreation.

Why Even Introverts Need Community

By Sophia Dembling on February 18, 2015 in The Introvert's Corner
Friends and family are not enough; we all need to belong to a wider community, according to author Emily White.

There Is a New Paradigm for Psychiatry

The hope for a molecular-biochemical explanation for psychiatry is false. It is believed we are on the verge of proving that psychiatry is a brain disease, no different from cancer or diabetes. But there is a paradigm that fully illuminates psychiatry - the ‘Play of consciousness, which is consonant with biology, neuroscience, and evolutution.

Personality Traits of BDSM Practitioners: Another Look

A recent study provides some new insights into the personality traits of dominant and submissive BDSM practitioners. Dominant practitioners seem to be more calm and have a greater desire for control, while submissive ones may be more emotional and introverted. Some questions remain about how these findings compare to previous studies into this fascinating world.

Mass Shootings in America: Crisis and Opportunity

By Joe Pierre M.D. on February 12, 2015 in Psych Unseen
Why do some people commit mass murder? Is it violent entertainment, guns, mental illness... or something else that lurks inside all of us and is reflected in American culture?

Friendships Between Couples on Valentine's Day

By Geoffrey Greif Ph.D. on February 10, 2015 in Buddy System
Couples should consider spending Valentine's Day with another couple they both admire and respect. Seeing a spouse/partner happy in a couple's friendship can make that spouse/partner even more attractive.

Understanding PTSD, TBI, Suicide and Student Veteran Success

Research shows that the transition from the intensity of military life to a more independent civilian life can be overwhelming. Recognizing and understanding special symptoms supports the important objective of increasing the success of many veteran students on campus. It is important to share this information about the needs of student veterans.

Why Everyone Should Try Being Invisible

In The New York Times, Akiko Busch heralds the virtues of invisibility, contrasting with trends of increasing narcissism. I add my own personal perspective, drawing on Taoism as well as some of my favorite superheroes and comics.

Is Electronic Recreation So Bad?

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on February 06, 2015 in How To Do Life
The case FOR TV, videogames, Facebook, etc.

Student Evaluations: Fudging the "Happy Sheets"

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on January 31, 2015 in A Sideways View
One way to see how good, or popular, a training or lecture course is, is to look at the evaluations of those who have been on the course. It is a form of customer satisfaction. These are becoming more important for the way courses are financed and therefore those who deliver them are eager to find ways to increase their positive ratings. What do the cynics suggest?

3 Things Being A Cat Person or Dog Person Reveals About You

By Peg Streep on January 19, 2015 in Tech Support
Does knowing whether someone prefers cats to dogs or dogs to cats give you insight into who they are? Should you be asking about pets when you choose a doctor or lawyer, or hire a realtor or a nanny? Here's what science knows.... and you should too.

Who Uses Their Head and Who Listens to Their Heart?

Whether a person identifies with their head or their heart can say a lot about their personality. Are people in their heads really smarter than those in their hearts? The head/heart distinction might reveal something about how personality and intelligence are related. Shifting a person's attention between the head or the heart might change the way they think and behave.

What Would Your Professors Say About You?

Dear students: Here are some questions you can ask yourselves about your behavior, along with possible thoughts instructors may have about them.

How Reading Can Change You in a Major Way

The myth that personality becomes set in stone early in life persists despite growing evidence that change is possible, and occurs throughout life. New research suggests a simple, and surprising way to jump start the process.

6 Things Introverts Bring to Any Relationship

By Sophia Dembling on January 06, 2015 in The Introvert's Corner
It's easy for introverts to image they're invisible amidst the razzle-dazzle of extroverts. But we're not; we put out our own warm glow.

Let’s Redefine the Word “Introvert”

What does the word “introvert” mean to you? You can find various stripes of definitions, many of which are anchored by the work of Carl Jung, in the introvert literature that has become increasingly popular over the past 10+ years. Despite that, you can also find dictionary definitions with entirely different meanings—some of which further the stigma around introversion.

Why Our Negative First Impressions Are So Powerful

Introverts view extroverts as arrogant, overconfident, brash, and pushy, while extroverts see introverts as quiet, nerdy, insecure, and socially inept.

Keeping Your Balance: Surviving the Hectic Holiday Season

By Stephen A Diamond Ph.D. on December 23, 2014 in Evil Deeds
Now that the holiday season is here, it's important to try to keep things in balance psychologically. Sure, this festive time of year is an extravert's dream: constant socializing, parties, travel, etc. On the other hand, it can be an introverted type's nightmare for exactly the same reasons.

5 Reasons You Don't Need to Be in the In Crowd

By Jen Kim on December 22, 2014 in Valley Girl With a Brain
As our mothers used to say – being popular and in the in crowd isn’t everything. In fact, science says that being cool isn’t actually cool either.

Why Breaking Up is So Hard to Do

By Frances Cohen Praver Ph.D. on December 21, 2014 in Love Doc
T’s the season to be jolly. Yet many of us are not exactly jolly; rather, many of us are feeling sad. Indeed, this may be the season for separating from an unsatisfactory relationship. The end of the year could well signal the end of a hurtful union.

The Four “Dark Personality” Traits

Psychopaths, narcissists, and sadists, oh my! Personality psychologist Del Paulhus has bucked the positive psychology trend, with a series of rigorous studies delving into the "Dark Side" of human personality. He has shown that four dark traits have distinct but often unexpected consequences in the workplace and in relationships.

What's a Healthier Option Than Mainstream News?

By Alice Boyes Ph.D. on December 16, 2014 in In Practice
No one needs a research study to know that mainstream news generally consists of negative news. For example, the nightly news or morning paper will tell you about a train that derailed but not the thousands of trains that didn't. Especially if you're prone to anxiety, watching or reading mainstream news can be fear and anxiety inducing. Why does this matter?

Gifts For Introverts...To Give Themselves

By Sophia Dembling on December 15, 2014 in The Introvert's Corner
The greatest gifts introverts can give themselves don't come in a box. In fact, they might involve stepping out of one.

Why Does Having a Positive Attitude Keep You Healthier?

By Christopher Bergland on December 13, 2014 in The Athlete's Way
For the first time, a December 2014 study has found that laughing gas (nitrous oxide) shows promise for helping symptoms of treatment-resistant depression.

12 Books for the Psychologically Attuned

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on December 13, 2014 in How To Do Life
A dozen holiday gifts for the reader on your list.

The Secrets of Eye Contact, Revealed

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on December 10, 2014 in A Sideways View
We have been studying eye-gaze for 50 years. What determines when and where we look at other people? How does a knowledge of the psychology of eye gaze make us both more insightful and better communicators?

But What Will They Think of Me?

By Jennifer O. Grimes on December 08, 2014 in The Inner Voice
Are you worried about what other people will think of you? How to make sure you don't overgeneralize the relevance of others' opinions.

Distant Partner? Don’t Try to Make a Cat into a Dog

You may have paired up with someone who is a private person—who doesn’t want to debrief after every dinner party or talk in detail about the symptoms of his stomach flu

The Sensory and the Psychical: A Link Worth Exploring

By Michael Jawer on December 06, 2014 in Feeling Too Much
Genuine differences in sensory processing – and, consequently, a different sense of self – may relate to who reports anomalous perceptions and who generates psychical anomalies.

When the Enneagram Saved a Life

By Elizabeth Wagele on December 02, 2014 in The Career Within You
Ben was tired of feeling like two people—the one he kept inside and the inauthentic one he showed to others. He was so miserable he had even come close to suicide. The Enneagram helped him to feel he belonged.