It’s Time To Get Rid Of Introverted And Extroverted Labels

I said what I said.

We as a society love to label everything, but lately I’ve just not been feeling the introverted and extroverted ones. For a while, they were a binary. You were either one or the other, and it was literally on some job applications, so it was something you had to know about yourself and really be. And then, at some point, we went a step further and started saying “oh, I’m an introverted extrovert” or vice versa, which is just kind of dumb in my opinion. I’d rather ambivert, but honestly, just say that you’re a normal human capable of more than one emotion and have different comfort levels in different settings. It’s normal.

it's really common gif.

I’ve been to parties or events where people are constantly asking if I’m okay because I’ll be sitting very quiet and out of the main group. I don’t think these people would believe that at home my parents often tell me I’m too loud or that I have other friends who think of me as a talkative leader. I’m just not comfortable or secure in some of those parties, so I’m quieter. Maybe we like to see others as one-dimensional and understandable, so we tend to lean into these binaries when considering others.

Don’t get me wrong, I do it too. There was this one kid in my elementary school who would literally not talk. He’d say maybe 100 quiet words the whole year. He’d just sit quietly and read whenever he could and not really engage with anyone who tried to talk to him. We all just accepted it. But then one time my friend said he saw this kid playing road hockey with a neighbour on a Saturday. He was laughing and talking and participating. I didn’t believe it, but my friend insisted. To us at school, he was very introverted, but I guess classmates were never who he connected with, and he was more comfortable with this neighbour.

Ok Shrug GIF.

The thing about introversion and extroversion is that it’s only slightly about personality and more about mental and physical preferences. A lot of people think that ‘shy’ and ‘outgoing’ are synonyms for introverted and extroverted, respectively (and because of this, introversion was seen as less than), but this is not entirely true. It’s more about if you feed off others in groups and if you need alone time either to reset or as a preference.

And I can respect that some people really value alone time more and that some people need that mental break, but I feel like the need for solo time to oneself is true for basically everyone. We all need moments alone and we all need time to calm down, whether you enjoy wild parties or not. So why bother with these labels then? Why make it so we feel like we have to pick one when we do personality quizzes or, as I mentioned, job applications?

why do we keep doing this to ourselves? gif.

I feel like even the ideas of being ‘shy’ or ‘outgoing’ aren’t understood to be as encompassing or full-time, but as soon as we slap a psychology term on it, it’s an unwavering life sentence.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this? Do you feel like the terms introvert or extrovert perfectly capture your essence? Do you value alone time more than others? Do you think we should stop using these terms?


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Collecting: We All Do It, But To What End?

When my grandfather died a few years ago, my father and aunts and uncles had to clean out his house and sell his and my grandmother’s belongings. Most of the stuff was fairly easy to toss or sell or donate, but my father was left with something a little harder to deal with: a coin and stamp collection that my great-grandfather had apparently started. Now, don’t get all excited, most of it is pretty worthless. Dad spent many hours sorting through the coins and examining them all with magnifying glasses and listing them all out so he can figure out what there is and if anything is worth more than face value. My brother and mother and I were recruited to help a few times. What made this process extra difficult was that the coins were kept in envelopes and bags, and some of the envelopes had rotted away, so these rusty as heck pennies were all mixed together. So, as a lesson to all, if you collect anything, make sure it’s stored neatly for when you die.

Here are some (blurry, sorry!) pictures I took during the family coin sorting sessions.

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I think collections are cool. As a kid, I went through phases where I had this deep desire to collect. I collected many things, usually with my brother. Rocks, Pokémon cards, Mighty Beans, coins, marbles, pencil leads, stickers… I think maybe I felt like collecting something brought me closer to feeling complete and satisfied with something. Or maybe just unique; I was always trying to be unique as a kid. I still have the coins, the rocks, and the Pokémon cards, though I don’t really do anything with them nowadays. I figure the Pokémon cards will be cool for when my brother or I have kids, and the rocks are too pretty to just toss away. The coins are just Olympic or province/state ones, so they’re not worth more than what they are, so unless I’m super broke, I don’t mind keeping them in my tiny safe.

i'm not ready meme.
Me when my mom asks if I want to get rid of my old junk collections

But it’s weird to think about why we collect things, though. Like sure, some coins can be worth a lot. And yeah, there are rare Pokémon cards or comics or whatever, but otherwise, we’re just hoarding things for no reason. We’ll die before we sell anything for big bucks. I doubt my grandfather often pulled out his coins and looked through them fondly. I haven’t looked at my rocks in years. My mom collects little frog figurines because she likes frogs. My best friend’s mom collects snowmen. My brother collects baseball and hockey cards. But is liking something enough of a reason to want to collect them? At least you could play with the Pokémon cards as you collected them.

I know I kind of explained there that I think I did it because I was trying to feel satisfied and/or unique, but is that everyone’s reason? A quick Google search pulls up lots of scientific/psychological explanations for a human’s need to collect. We like the chase, we like the organization, we like the nostalgia. Whatever the reason, our monkey brains are into it. I guess we’ll have to chalk it up to evolution and psychology and filling some void in our lives.

Simpsons fill the void gif.

I think everybody at some point in their lives collected something, so tell me what it is. What did you do with said collection? Why did you start the collection what propelled you to keep it up?

Anyway, I’ve decided to start collecting Likes and Shares on my blog, so please donate to my collection, I want to really build it up. Thaaaanks!


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