Personalities are so nifty. They really are. Each and every one comes in a one-of-a-kind expression. There are a lot of elements to what composes personality psychology; one of these elements being commonly known but possibly misunderstood. Many of us think that being an extrovert means being an outgoing person and alternatively that introverts are the shy guys. Although there is some merit to the generalization, it doesn’t paint a completely accurate picture of how this element of personality is owned and operated.
Extroversion and introversion are not two exclusive categories but exist rather on a continuum of how you, as the unique individual that you are, allocate your mental resources. If you spend more of your energy processing what’s happening in your inside world rather than interacting and focusing on your outside world you likely tip more towards the introvert side of things. As more of an introvert you will also likely charge the battery of your being in solo, in other words, alone time may be one of your closest companions. If you are more of an extrovert you likely have a tendency to charge your battery in the company of others. Extroverts refuel by the exchanging of thoughts, ideas and emotional connections with others.
Research shows that personality remains fairly stable after the age of 24; however, it also notes that there is wiggle room. Nature and nurture can both tango with your tendencies throughout different stages in your life so be mindful of shifts in yourself and those around you. We can get confused and angry quite frankly when people change; change can be disorienting. Sometimes it takes time for people to understand why they are changing themselves too so patience is always virtue with yourself and with others.
I personally experienced a personality shift and took a slide across the introversion-extroversion scale when I went through a painful loss in my life. I used to be living on the edge of extroversion (I’m talking 99th percentile, assessment verified!). I was out and about every chance I got. Then my puppy Phoenix, before she even turned three, was diagnosed with aggressive bone cancer. I felt as if every bit of joy in my soul shut down, went out of business and left town for good. Although she was not a human child, it was still like she was an extension of me. I loved this 120lb tiger-striped, drool-face English Mastiff more than words can say. I had to make the excruciating decision to put her down in the matter of a week, and on impact, my life changed. My personality followed suit.