Have you ever wondered why some people are introverted and others are extroverted? Is it purely psychological, based on one’s life experiences and therefore a choice, or could there be something more spiritual behind it? Of course, there is always a chance that it’s a combination of two or more factors.
I have always accepted that there are extroverts and introverts, for whatever reason, and that it’s okay to be one or the other and no one should force you to change. If you are meant to make a change, then you need to come to it in your own time and way.
The dictionary defines extroversion as: The turning of one’s interest toward objects and actions outside the self rather than toward one’s own thoughts or feelings. An extrovert is someone who is loosely described as being gregarious and exuberant. Introversion is, of course, the exact opposite: The turning of one’s interest inward upon the self rather than toward external objects and actions. An introvert is loosely described as someone who is serious and reserved.
I’m an introvert. Even my astrology chart bears witness to it with most of my planets, asteroids, and other points in the bottom half of my natal chart. Recently though, I’ve had to take another look at my introversion and see what the motivating factors are behind it and if there is a possibility that it is holding me back in some way from where my Path was intended to take me. That has taken my thoughts down some interesting pathways to ask some interesting questions of myself in hopes of gaining some insight and understanding into myself and, hopefully, others.
The first thing I started to do was to look at my childhood for reasons I might have pulled back from the external world. From a psychological perspective, when we have experiences in the outside world that cause us to feel unsafe or fearful, we hesitate to re-experience those same types of events and/or people. This could be true for me, after all, I did attend four different schools in the first grade and had moved three times prior to beginning school. With my landscape constantly changing, it could have created fear and uncertainty within me, causing me to be introverted, even though I do remember always being shy.
Elementary school was no picnic for me. Besides the many moves in first grade, I experienced many childhood diseases – chicken pox, whooping cough, measles, German measles, etc. I missed a lot of school and had to study through my illnesses at home in order to keep up. This, too, could have created uncertainty, insecurity…introversion.
Into this mixture, you can also add taunting by some of my peers. Besides the fact I had buck teeth, my mother dressed me in plaid dresses and “bowl-cut” my bangs, there was my birth name (no, I’m not going to tell you what that was) that caused a great deal of “humor” for my classmates. Another reason to pull away from the outside world.
Don’t get me wrong, there were just as many kids who liked me and I never wanted for playmates, so could all I have just spoken of really have been the cause of my introversion? It does cause one to wonder.
Everyone of us goes through something similar in our childhood and adolescence. I could continue to list events that caused emotional pain, but my gut says that, at the most, these only caused to reinforce a trait that was already there. So why are some people extroverts and others introverts?
If I take this out of the mundane experience of life on Planet Earth and look at it from the perspective of the work I intended to do in this incarnation, would the answer make more sense? If your intention (your plan for this incarnation) involved deeply delving into yourself without the distractions of the outside world, could you have made the decision to help yourself with this by being introverted? Or how about you planned to share the gifts and talents you’ve developed over many lifetimes with others to heal them or just bring them joy and pleasure? That would definitely require some extroversion on your part.
Of course, there can be those who have chosen to be a little bit of both depending on what the plan was and when it calls for being extroverted or introverted. Although I know I truly am introverted, there have been times when I knew, like it or not, I need to be out there amongst others. When I’ve felt deep within me that this is what was required, I never hesitated. (Although I did take a deep breath before stepping into the public eye.)
I know there are those who really, truly enjoy the company of many friends and love being in crowds. I applaud them, knowing they are having fun. For me, being one-on-one with a friend brings me the most joy. Perhaps it’s the desire to get the most out of understanding and being with that person…you know, quality time. I do know that it has aided me throughout the years in my desire to counsel other people and be there to aid in their healing and the re-empowering of themselves. I guess you could say it allows me to focus on that person without distraction because it is a situation with which I am most comfortable. Crowds? Well, I do find them distracting.
One of the first things I learned as I began my travel on the path of Wicca was that there is no purely black or purely white magick…only varying shades of gray. I believe this to be true of the introvert/extrovert question. I don’t believe anyone is purely extroverted or introverted. I think we are varying degrees of both. The one question we each need to ask ourselves is why we are the way we are. Is it to aid us in what we had planned to accomplish in this lifetime? Or is it inhibiting us from achieving that goal? There is no need for justification of whichever one you are, just some honesty with yourself if this helps or hinders you. Even then, the choice is yours and yours alone, what, if anything, you do about it.
For me, I think I pretty much have my answer. I’ve chosen to be introverted and have had experiences that have reinforced it, but when my Spirit calls me to do otherwise, I am totally able to do that as well. So, I will continue to enjoy my solitude until such time as Spirit beckons me out into the public once more.
May you feel peace and joy with who you are – introvert or extrovert – and may it aid you on your journey through this lifetime!