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Supplemental Essay: Extraversion Versus Introversion

This supplemental essay contains quotes and expanded explanations as background for the material in the main essay. You can skip this supplemental essay if you're not interested in the details.

In the main essay I said that Storr:

  • defined extraverts as "compliant" with the society around them and attentive to the needs and priorities of the outer world; and

  • defined introverts as "withdrawn" from society and focusing instead on their inner world and their inner compass.

In his book Solitude: A Return to the Self Anthony Storr wrote:


Concerning the extraverted-compliant mentality:

Children who feel that they have to be compliant to the extent of partially denying or repressing their true natures are bound to remain dependent on external sources for the maintenance of self-esteem. Such a child will develop into an adult who will continue to feel that he has to be successful, or good, or approved of by everyone, if he is to retain any sense of his own value. [...] The person who cannot stand up to other people, or assert himself when this is appropriate, represses his hostility. When he becomes depressed, his hostility toward others is displaced and becomes directed against himself in the form of self-reproach. [...P]eople of this temperament are predominantly extraverted...[1]


Concerning the introverted-withdrawn mentality:

The second variety of person [...] is introverted, and, when disturbed or clearly pathological, is labelled schizoid. It was suggested earlier that there may be a link between the development of this kind of personality and the type of infantile behavior which attachment theorists call avoidance.[2]


By the way, it's my understanding that depression and schizoid mentality can be so close in how they manifest externally and how they are treated that many treatment professionals tend to throw them in the same bucket under the general "depressive" heading.

Link: Return to Intuition (N)

~Posted January 10, 2024


[1] Anthony Storr, Solitude: A Return to the Self (Free Press, 1988), pp. 96-98.

[2] Ibid., p. 98.

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