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Sunday, 16 June 2013

About Introversion

About what? Introversion

Wasn't this supposed to be a blog about marketing?!

I keep saying it: marketing is about understanding the market. And that means: people.

An estimated 30 to 50% of all humans are Introverts. Do you want to loose out on such a large chunk of your audience? 

Let's immediately turn this into a straight out love letter to the person who turns inwards. 

(Extraverts won't read this article anyway, for them I am working on a shiny website). 

The focus of the Introvert is on internal thoughts, feelings and moods. 

This as opposed to the Extravert, who completely lives on the outside: he or she seeks external stimulation. 

None of us is 100% one or the other. The Ambivert, who sits precisely in the middle, is rare though: in general we tend to lean more towards one temperament or the other. 

I have chosen to write about the Introvert, because, well: there are enough spotlights on the Extravert. 

Basically every TV show or the main stream cinema is an Extravert Pride Parade. The Extravert is funny, lively, sociable, loves to be with people, as many as possible, loves to be the center of attention, etc. And secondly, well, the pure Extravert will not read this anyway. He is not one to like a solitary action such as reading, nor to easily let words or thoughts sip through the barrier around him. 

Tell an Extravert he is crazy, and he will laugh. Your opinion doesn't easily get through his shield. The word will not get further than the skin. Everything bounces back to the outside. It's the fault of the others, it's the other who is wrong, or the word is just a ball that needs to be thrown back - everything needs to be put outside. 

Tell a pure Introvert the same thing, and it will go, woosh, inside the skin, through the veins, directly to the most sensitive spot. 
 
He might start an internal investigation: am I crazy? Why was that said? What in me has provoked this, where did it come from and what do I have to do to correct his? 

His internal landscape is a rich one. Many emotions and thoughts can perfectly exist right next to each other. 

On a TV show, he will not be the one aiming for laughs. He is the one on whose face you will see the thoughts pass by as clouds. Who will try to deliver an answer that is well considered, taking all things into consideration (and the Introvert knows that can mean: many things). 

At the risk of complete overload.

Thinking and feeling can soak up very, very much energy. Hence why he often needs solitude: there are just too many triggers and impulses around, and he needs the space and time to calm the inner ocean. 

The solution, any solution, is searched for within him- or herself. 

The Extravert might complain that the street is dirty, or accuse the government of bad management... the Introvert will ask himself how the street can be made clean, or investigate how we can get to better government. 

Also their agression turns inwards. They will blame elements in the inside, rather than someone or something on the outside. Instead of agressions, he has got depressions. Instead of killing someone else, he will commit suicide. 

Whereas: where on earth would we be without Introverts? 

They are the thinkers, who are at the basis of most inventions, if not society as a whole. 

Extraverts are our leaders, politicians, comedians and singers. Introverts are our diplomats, scientists, inventors, writers, great listeners - smithing society together. Without Introverts, a tribe will not survive; it will fall apart in forever smaller tribes, since each person will blame someone else. 

Remember this, the next time an Extravert does not understand you, or tells you you 'need to loosen up a little'. You can understand Extraversion, for you think about it... that understanding does not work in the other direction. Remember that: 

- It is his loss
- And you, Introverted person, are the glue. 

And now I go loosen myself up a little. 
 
I'm an Ambivert. 

Ben





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