Showing all posts tagged: personality

Loneliness is an affliction of epidemic proportions, a visual essay by Alvin Chang

28 September 2023

Twenty-four hours in an invisible epidemic is an especially poignant edition of visual essay magazine, The Pudding, produced by New York City based journalist Alvin Chang.

The epidemic in question is not Covid-19, though the lockdowns triggered by the pandemic have aggravated another malady: loneliness.

The pandemic exacerbated social isolation, and we’re still not back to pre-pandemic levels. Being alone isn’t necessarily the same as being lonely. But according to a meta-analysis of studies, more people have reported feeling lonely every year since 1976. In short, there really is a loneliness epidemic.

This is case study, Chang looks at the profiles of seventy-two fictitious persons, one of whom is probably similar to you. But look at the profiles of the people who differ from you. Some people are truly living in isolation, and their only interactions — for want of a better word — with others in the course of a day may only be a visit to the supermarket.

I know a number of these people will be introverts, and possibly not so bothered by social isolation, but think of those who are not. This cannot be easy on them.

For another perspective see The Loneliness Project, and also Why You Are Lonely and How to Make Friends, which offers some solutions, by Kurzgesagt.


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The introvert brain is not the same as an extravert brain

13 February 2023

Neuroscientist and author Friederike Fabritius, writing for CNBC:

One Harvard study found that introverts’ brains work differently, and have thicker gray matter compared to extroverts. In people who are strongly extroverted, gray matter was consistently thinner. Introverts also showed more activity in the frontal lobes, where analysis and rational thought take place. Another study that scanned brains of both introverts and extroverts found that, even in a relaxed state, the introverted brain was more active, with increased blood flow.

I never thought of looking at it this way. The thicker their grey matter, the less a person generally talks. The thinner a person’s grey matter, the more they talk, possibly nonstop. Now there’s a topic of dinner table conversation for you.


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A guide to your spooky season Michael Myers-Briggs Type

17 October 2022

Arms wrapped around trees trunks, spooky, photo by Simon Wijers

Image courtesy of Simon Wijers.

Hot off the desk of writer, actor, and comedian Simon Henriques. Understanding your Michael Myers-Briggs Type is never more important than during spooky season:

It’s important to keep in mind that no Michael Myers-Briggs Type is the “correct” one — every style of silent, masked stabbing spree is equally valid. Instead, use your type as a jumping-off point to honestly reflect on your strengths and weaknesses, as well as just your personal preferences for how you enjoy to ruthlessly murder.


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Ideas to help introverts and extroverts work together

14 September 2022

Philip Coggan, writing for the Economist’s Bartleby column, with workplace strategies helping introverts and extraverts to more effectively work together, despite their personality differences.

Then there’s this:

The study also found that the children of professionals were more likely to be extrovert. It could simply be that children who grow up in more prosperous homes are less likely to face the kind of stressful events that undermine self-confidence. People with higher self-confidence may apply for more prestigious jobs and may be more likely to believe that their efforts will be rewarded; those with a negative self-image may feel it is not worth trying too hard.

Maybe I’m reading this paragraph in the wrong context, but the suggestion seems to be introverts see themselves negatively, and aren’t so confident. That’s not my understanding of introversion.


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Introverts prefer foods that are not so spicy says Kurzgesagt

9 September 2022

Regardless of the subject matter the Kurzgesagt videos are never dull. Their latest takes on the question of why people are lonely, and offers some constructive solutions. One initiative are the newly launched Kurzgesagt Meetups… where likeminded Kurzgesagt followers across the world, who are aged eighteen or over, can arrange gatherings locally.

Extraversion and introversion also features in the discussion, where I learnt introverts are generally not fans of spicy food. I’d not thought about that before. You learn something new everyday.


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Lockdown, an introvert’s paradise, now sadly missed

28 March 2022

Almost two-thirds of readers surveyed by London based magazine The Face reported missing pandemic imposed lockdowns, with many reporting “significant improvements in day-to-day-life.”

You might be surprised to learn that an overwhelming majority of respondents reported that, yeah, actually, they did miss lockdown life – 66.9 per cent of them, to be exact. For all the sadness and boredom born out of the pandemic, many of you experienced significant improvements in day-to-day-life.

As an introvert who enjoyed lockdowns, I couldn’t go passed this thought:

“[Lockdown] was an introvert’s paradise. I miss it immensely,” says 23-year-old Sarah, who also described the most challenging thing about the pandemic was “it ending”.


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The difference between introversion and social anxiety

17 December 2021

Kylie Maddox Pidgeon is a Sydney based psychologist, who is also an introvert. The world needs more psychologists who are introverts, because there are some psychologists who are extraverts but appear to have little real-world understanding of introverts. To put it mildly. One once told me I needed to be more outgoing, because I seemed to be too reserved. Thanks for that.

Kylie is a psychologist, academic and introvert. I met Kylie playing netball in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales and I wouldn’t have guessed she was an introvert. She loves socialising and sparks with energy during conversation, but she says if she overdoes it, she feels drained and can experience headaches.

My favourite analogy when explaining introversion is to suggest introverts have a constantly playing media device in their minds. There’s times we’re able to turn down the volume, say for the first hour or two of a social gathering, but as time passes the volume from our in-built media device begin increasing, as the ceaseless thoughts cascading through our minds begin competing for attention. At some point we need to get away, to somewhere quiet, to make sense of this almost subconscious brainstorming.

But instead of being recognised as an introvert, our sometimes reserved demeanour can be mistaken for social anxiety. Although something else entirely, there is a link between introversion and social anxiety, but as Maddox Pidgeon points out, there is a key difference. Social anxiety occurs when a person is worried about what others will think of them. That’s generally not the case for introverts. If they’ve had enough of being at a party and want to leave, they won’t be concerned at what anyone thinks.


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