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Science Unlocks The Secret To Why Introverts Prefer Alone Time To Socializing

Science Unlocks The Secret To Why Introverts Prefer Alone Time To Socializing

The world is full of all kinds of people, but most of them can be put into one of two categories: extroverts and introverts. Some people are a little more half and half, but most are one or the other.

For years people have thought the causes of introversion or extroversion stemmed from personality types, but a new study has shown that one of the main causes of introversion is actually in the brain. Personality still has something to do with it, but maybe being an introvert or an extrovert is more hard-wired than we think it is!

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How the Study Worked

Since the hypothesis was that introversion and extroversion have more to do with the brain than personality, researchers had to look at the brain’s response to certain things. They studied a group of different people, varying in ages and recorded the electrical activity in their brains through an EEG. The study subjects were shown pictures of objects and people. The difference in the brain activity between the introverts and extroverts was interesting.

Reaction to Inanimate Objects is One of the Causes of Introversion

As the study found, extroverts are more stimulated by seeing people, whereas introverts paid more attention to inanimate objects. This finding was discovered by evaluating the brain’s P300 activity. This activity happens when you experience a sudden change in your environment, and the P300 activity happens within 300 milliseconds. Researchers found that when the group was shown pictures of flowers and faces, the extroverts achieved the P300 response from viewing the pictures of faces, while the introverts only achieved the P300 response from photos of flowers.

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These responses show that extroverts see people as more significant, while introverts give more emphasis to objects. This doesn’t meant introverts hate people; introverts can like socializing, but they certainly don’t place spending time with others on the same level as an extrovert would. In fact, according to this study’s findings, some introverts may even be indifferent to people.

What Does This Mean For You?

If you are an introvert, you probably don’t feel very understood by those around you. The extroverts in your life always push you to do things you really don’t want to do, like going out and socializing. They just don’t understand why you can’t be “on” all the time like they can. This study opens up a way for you to point out to them that it’s not just about a preference or a personality conflict; your brain is hard-wired to need alone time.

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If you talk to your friends one on one and explain your differences, they will most likely understand a little better why you don’t always want to go out or spend a lot of time with others. They won’t be able to completely understand you, just like you can’t completely understand how they can be around people so much and not explode. But they will at least understand why you are different from them. People find it hard to argue against science, and when a new discovery gives you more facts about the causes of introversion, you should definitely use it to your advantage!

What This Study is NOT Saying

This study does not prove that introverts don’t care about people, or that they never want to meet anyone. Introverts care deeply about their loved ones, and can enjoy social gatherings, even the small talk! With the right group of people, an introvert can even walk away from a social activity feeling energized, similar to an extrovert. However, in most cases, an introvert will need time alone for a while after being social, to recharge and feel at peace again.

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Last Updated on December 10, 2019

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.

Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?

But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.

Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.

But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:

Journal writing.

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Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.

Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.

Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:

1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals

By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.

Consider this:

Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?

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But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.

The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.

2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus

If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.

How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.

You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.

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3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding

As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.

Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?

All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.

4. Journals Track Your Overall Development

Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.

Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.

The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.

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5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth

The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”

It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

Kickstart Journaling

How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?

Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.

Here’s what you can do to start journaling:

Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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