This guy has recently been reading The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney. I first alluded to it back in March on this post called Introversion. I had seen a short feature on the news, and it interested me. I mean to say, I don't have that much longer to figure out who I am and why I am that way.
Laney calls us Innies, and we're that way because our brains are wired differently. Our neural pathways are different than those of Outies. They are longer, take a different route and involve different neurotransmitters.
You can see it on the following diagram from Olsen's book (no you probably can't, but if you click on it to see an enlarged view it in a new window, you can). The introvert's response pathway to a stimulus takes a longer route, has 7 stops, and ends up in a different place compared to the extrovert's shorter, 5-stop pathway.
Basically, if understand it at all (and I'm weak on technical stuff), outies require dopamine for stimulation and get this by being active. Innies, however, tend to feel good when acetylcholine is in play: "It affects attention and learning (especially perceptual learning), influences the ability to sustain a calm, alert feeling and stimulates a good feeling when thinking and feeling." You see? Outies tend to require social activity to feel good while innies require a calmer, more reflective environment to feel good. Isn't that interesting?
So, you see, we innies are simply wired differently. It is my understanding that introversion has nothing to do with nurture or being shy; it has to do with internal wiring. Introversion and shyness, apparently, have little or nothing to do with each other. Shyness has more to do with fear than with basic personality, and it is quite possible for extroverts to be shy. I was somewhat surprised to learn that.
What does it mean or matter? Well, the ever-perspicacious they say that knowledge is power. Sometimes we wonder why we are the way we are and we may think ourselves either odd or lacking or both if we are different than the majority. When we understand that we are not flawed but just different, we may learn to relax and breathe easier when we are placed in a typical outie situation: like one of the damnable social events that outies love so much. And we will certainly find ourselves, in outie-favored situations because they rule by majority. You see, seventy-five percent of people are extroverts.
It is by default and not by flaws in the nurturing process that we are different. If we're innies, we may have been programmed by society to think of our differences as fundamental flaws, but they are not. We innies are simply made differently, and we have their own set of strengths ... and weaknesses. As do outies.
Well, that's enough for one post. I think a major rule of blogging should be an adaptation of the KISS principle: Keep it Simple and Short, and I guess I have already violated that principle to some degree. Perhaps I'll follow this up at some point. I'm not sure.