Carl Jung is so trendy.
Years ago, he really made introversion and extroversion a thing. People ran with it. And suddenly it’s 2013 and everybody is misusing the word introvert.
Especially you. You are not an introvert. No. No you’re not.
Jung describes an introvert as someone who orients herself to life through inner activity such as reflection and psychic distance. An extrovert looks externally to understand her world through larger experiences.
Most of us? We are in the middle. We flex. We change. We can fake it. And our personalities and preferences are not written in stone.
But something is happening in popular culture where — if you want five minutes alone to think about stuff — you are an introvert. If you are shy or socially awkward, you are an introvert. If you need some space, you are an introvert. If you want to feel better about yourself and seem smarter, you’re an introvert.
Ok. Maybe you are an introvert. But maybe you just need to pipe down for six minutes and take a break. Maybe get off that smartphone. Maybe you should shut up for two seconds.
Introversion and extroversion are a continuum. And the fact that you need a break from the constant drumbeat of life — media, kids, work, traffic, mobile devices, pop culture, your parents — doesn’t make you an introvert.
It makes you normal.
Labels are helpful if they bring us to a greater understanding of ourselves; however, labels can also minimize the experiences we have in life. You are a blank slate. You have potential. If you tell the world you are an introvert — or fat, depressed, stupid, ugly or lazy for that matter — you influence the way people interact with you.
So stop calling yourself an introvert.
If anything, you need a vacation.