Earlier this year, a report touted that extroverts are happier than introverts.
Really? As an introvert, I protest!
In June, The Journal of Research in Personality published an article, “Why Extroverts are Happier: A Day Reconstruction Study” written by Wido G.M. Oerlemans and Arnold B. Bakker. The article was based on research asking introverts and extroverts how they remembered feeling during different activities. Overall, extroversion equals more happiness, the researchers said.
This backs up another study published in 2012 by The Journal of Personality which reported that introverts are happier when they act more like extroverts.
I disagree! How can forcing ourselves to be the social butterflies we are not make us happy?
Susan Cain, author of the New York Times bestseller, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, makes a good point. She says the latest report might be less about who’s happier and more about how we define happiness.
She is quoted in an interesting article by Gwen Moranas saying, ““I hear from thousands and thousands of introverts. When they talk about the things that they most love to do, it’s very often activities like reading, hiking, cycling, being with their spouses, being with their children. It’s a quieter type of contentment that often fuels introverts and that we don’t pay proper attention to,” she says.
Extroverts get energy from other people and recharge by being social. So it makes sense that extroverts define happiness as feeling energized and excited. For example, going to parties or meeting new people makes those with extroverted tendencies feel happy.
On the other hand, introverts like myself, tend to recharge by spending time alone. Constantly being with people, especially large crowds, saps our energy. We introverts find happiness in a different way. We define happiness as serenity, peacefulness, satisfaction, and contentment.
Nothing wrong with that.
Of course, I think that introverts have to fight the tendency to totally isolate ourselves. No one is happy living the life of a hermit.
On the other hand, we do have to pay attention to our need for time alone, our need to recharge our batteries after a social event, and our need to indulge in quiet activities like reading a book.
So if you have a tendency to be an introvert, can you be happy? Heck, yeah!
You can also be successful as I pointed out in my guest post for Wise Introvert. Check out the article for tips.
If you’re an introvert like me, feel free to share your thoughts and ideas on what brings you happiness in the comments below.
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