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Discussion Starter #1
Do you think it's possible to become too introverted, to the point where it becomes unhealthy?
Is there any way to change this (not necessarily become extroverted, just lesson the introverted-ness)

I think I might be. I don't know if it's something to do with shyness as well (even though they're not the same thing), but I've gotten to the stage where I can only speak freely in front of my 2 closest friends. I've realised that I'm becoming more and more withdrawn. It's like I physically can't get the words out, and by the time I've got past this the conversation has moved on. In front of big groups/certain people I'm a bit wary of, I totally withdraw and close off. I don't do it intentionally, and I know that people must think I'm being unfriendly and stuck up. I'm not, I genuinely care about people and want to make connections with them, but something's stopping me :( it's like I've built up these walls around myself, and I can't seem to break through them and be myself.
Sorry if this sounds stupid, and thank you if you took the time to read this.
 

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Do you think it's possible to become too introverted, to the point where it becomes unhealthy?

If you are so introverted that you regard it as a serious problem, keeping you from happiness, then you may well call it too introverted.
If you like being this way, then no, you're not too introverted.

Is there any way to change this?

Small steps. Slowly open up to others. Speak up more frequently. Make yourself vulnerable.
Also: smile.
Not many people will think you're stuck up if you're smiling at them.



I'm in the Pottermore bèta group and I was sorted into Hufflepuff, had always thought I was either a Gryffindor or a Ravenclaw.
Just sayin'.
:)
 

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Is it possible to become TOO introverted?
Do you mean introvert in terms of needing lots of time to recover from interaction or that you don't enjoy being around people? Sometimes I need lots of time after socialising but shyness is not really an issue for me. Try joining interest groups or volunteer your time for something you care about.

Do you think it's possible to become too introverted, to the point where it becomes unhealthy?
Maybe if you stop doing things you care about.

Is there any way to change this (not necessarily become extroverted, just lesson the introverted-ness)
Volunteer for a cause you feel passionate about! Socialising will then be an after effect of just getting involved since you all have a task to complete!
 

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I generally agree with the above; if YOU think you're too introverted, and YOU feel it's a problem, then it is a problem. But if someone were to leave society for solitude in the mountains, and live there as a lone mountain man or something, as long as that's what he wants and as long as his own existence is positive for him and not negative for anyone or anything else, then in my opinion that's absolutely normal, fine and good.

But in this case, it seems you do believe that your shyness is inhibiting. It seems like you're suffering from severe social anxiety or something similar. I know what it's like to be socially anxious, and to sometimes clam up in speaking. A lot of times in class, I used to feel I might have something to add, but I'd be just too nervous to add it, for whatever reason. I've forced myself these past two semesters to participate in every class, almost every day or at least anytime I feel I have something to add, but it's not at all easy. My heart starts pounding even when a thought of something to say enters my mind. By the time I raise my hand, I feel like I'm having a panic attack most of the time. But I still make myself do it, because when I say nothing, not only does participation grade suffer, but I suffer too, because sometimes I really have something to say, and I regret not having said it.

Social anxiety is difficult because it seems there is not really anything to help it (drug-wise, I mean). My ex suffers from severe anxiety and depression too, and especially social anxiety, and he is on, and has been on, meds for years, different brands and different strengths, and still his social anxiety has not waned. I'm a strong believer in behavioral therapy and its likes, especially in this circumstance; I think it's more about actively facing the social anxiety, realizing why it's there and how it's negatively affecting you, and then trying to change it. I know it's not nearly as easily done as said, but since it concerns you to stay quiet, then just try to talk sometimes, even though it literally scares the shit out of you. Just force it out. It will eventually become easier (at least, it has for me in my two semesters of classroom participation). Perhaps you should take a look back and assess WHY you feel this way. Are you worried people are thinking you sound weird? Look weird? What are you worried about? Once you figure out what it is that is inhibiting you, by addressing that thing (or things), it should become easier for you to disallow it to effect you, and then communication should become easier.

And if it doesn't become easier, then perhaps it's more healthy for you to stay quiet and only discuss freely and deeply with the select few you mention. There's really nothing wrong with that at all, either, if that's what feels better and more natural to you.
 

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Do you think it's possible to become too introverted, to the point where it becomes unhealthy?
Is there any way to change this (not necessarily become extroverted, just lesson the introverted-ness)

I think I might be. I don't know if it's something to do with shyness as well (even though they're not the same thing), but I've gotten to the stage where I can only speak freely in front of my 2 closest friends. I've realised that I'm becoming more and more withdrawn. It's like I physically can't get the words out, and by the time I've got past this the conversation has moved on. In front of big groups/certain people I'm a bit wary of, I totally withdraw and close off. I don't do it intentionally, and I know that people must think I'm being unfriendly and stuck up. I'm not, I genuinely care about people and want to make connections with them, but something's stopping me :( it's like I've built up these walls around myself, and I can't seem to break through them and be myself.
Sorry if this sounds stupid, and thank you if you took the time to read this.
It depends what you mean by introverted. Because I know some extremely shy extroverts. Introversion to me is about focus. Do you focus internally or externally. Social or non-social means do you enjoy being with people or not.

I'm a social introvert. I focus inwardly. I think about what everything I do and everything that happens and how it relates to my value and belief system. This is constant in my head.

I'm also social. I like hanging out with my friends and having people over...in moderation. I have pretty decent social skills. Those I learned. It took about 5 years from ages 21-26 to learn most of my social skills. Most of that was just overcoming fear of embarrassment.

There's nothing wrong with being solitary instead social where you choose to be alone because you want to and not because you lack social skills. The issue is only when you want more connection in your life and you don't have the social skills to make the initial connection. If that's the case, then it just about learning social skills. The only reason why extroverts are good is because they've been practicing since social skills since birth. Introverts don't seem start learning until high school or after.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all so much for your replies :) I definitely feel that my introversion is stopping me from doing things I should, so I suppose it is a problem.

Infpblog- Yeah, I totally identify with your description of being socially introverted, it's nice to know I'm not the only one; it can feel like it, being surrounded by extroverts! And you're right, I guess my social skills could do with some improvement (I can be a bit awkward :p)

gemofgreen- Thank you so much for the detailed reply!
I’ve not heard much about social anxiety, but what you described about talking in class is exactly what I go through daily at school! My teachers know from my written work that I understand what’s going on, and one has made it their little mission to get me “out of my shell” by picking on me for answers every lesson (I literally spend every lesson shaking, waiting for him to do it and getting worked up). Annoyingly, in most classes (except maths!) I can always think of something to add, but I can’t bring myself to do it. After reading this, I’ll definitely force myself to start facing it and try to talk more (eeek!). As for why I’m like this, I think it’s just being scared of being wrong or people thinking badly of me. Hmmm, definitely something to think about!
Alaska- Yeah, I completely agree that as long as you’re happy with it, being quiet/really introverted doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
Mishkin- Volunteering is a really good idea, thank you! I’ll look into doing volunteer work with a local disadvantaged kids music group (since playing music is the only time I can forget myself and relax). I’m really keen to start helping people and making a difference, and like you said, I’ll have to be social by doing it J
Adriana- Thanks for the advice. Smiling seems like such an obvious thing, but I’m usually so busy thinking that I forget to do it. I’ve recently got my braces off, so I don’t have an excuse anymore! J And yay for hufflepuffs!

Thank you!
 

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I don't think you can be too introverted in general, but like some other people have said, it depends on you as an individual and whether your level of seclusion is stiffling you or causing you to flourish. I'm sure there are some people who can live fullfilled, happy, beautiful lives with almost no contact with other people, though many introverts still need relatively frequent interaction with others.

It can be hard to separate the feeling that others expect you to be more social or think you are unhealthy from your own feelings of concern or contentment with yourself. So try to focus on thinking from your own perspective and ignore the guilt or pressure you may feel from other's expectations. Think about why you are closing off or drifting away from others and try to think of the positive and negative ways that may be affecting you.

Do you feel fullfilled emotionally by the two people you talk to, or do you feel that there is a real lack in emotional support? Do you feel lonely much, or do you feel content with your relationships? Do you feel a desire to speak up and talk with other people, or is it more like a guilty feeling that you should be talking to them, even though you don't really have a desire to? What holds you back from connecting - is it more fear or more disinterest? What do you do with all your alone time, and do you find it fullfilling?


Some reasons for an INFP withdrawing may be
- just getting out of the habit of talking with people. Not making that little extra effort to engage over and over can make it even harder each time. When you haven't talked to someone in a long time, it's harder to know what to say and get a conversation going, and friendships can easiy fade away this way, with no hard feelings, just a lot of awkward silence. Getting out of the habit of engaging others can also happen pretty easily when someone you're close to oveshaddows you socially, always speaking up first so you're always on the sidelines.

- being out of tune with yourself, if you don't really know what you think and feel, if you don't really have a direction you're going, if you don't have a clear sense of what you're all about, it may be hard to actually connect with people because you don't know what to say or how to present yourself. If all you can give is vague answers, or if you keep coming up short on how to respond it's natural to avoid conversations. In that case, I think it shows that you need quality alone time - not just retreating from people, but some serious introspection to get to know yourself better, so you do have something to offer or say. Also, if you're floundering inside, it's hard to find motivation to go out there in any direction, so you won't place yourself in the path of meeting others. We tend to like meaningfull long term relationships, but if you don't know where you want to be, you can't really predict who you're going to be able to (or need) to develop important relationships with.

- a big reason for distancing oneself for many people is the idea that you're not going to be sticking around for very long, so why bother getting involved. If you have a sense of unrest with where you are now in life, your reluctance to make connections could be trying to prevent yourself from creating roots in a place you don't desire to stay for a long time.

- feeling that other people and the outer world are too out of tune with your inner ideals. You may feel repulsed or depressed by engaging with a society that you don't inwardly support. Or you may simply feel overwhelmed and lost in it.

- being a fish out of water. You may just know the wrong people and be in the wrong places. By this I mean that you may find yourself naturally opening up more if you could find things to be involved in which are in tune with your ideals, or if you found more people who shared more of your interests and oppinions. INFPs tend to just keep quiet in order to avoid 'conflict' even as trivial as just disagreeing with someone on something, so if you're surrounded by people you mainly don't agree with, it's very likely that you'd simply clam up and stay self-contained. I think we tend to blossom when we know there's someone who will appreciate us - if there doesn't appear to be then we just hold ourselves in untill we can find the right situation to express ourselves.

- too much criticism and insecurity. This is the standard assumption, but I don't think it's the conclusion we should always jump to. Still, it is common for INFPs to feel criticized by others probably a lot more than other people realise, and this emotional discomfort makes us very wary about interacting with other people who may, even inadvertantly, wound us. In addition because we tend to be the opposite of the social ideal, a lot of us grow up with a sense of being inferior, helpless, children, etc. which makes us more timid around other people. I think most of us are much more open and willing to engage others when we have a strong base of love coming from the few people important to us. With that inner circle support, the outer world seems less scary, but without it we may be easily overwelmed. - So how is the quality of your relationship with the two people you do talk to?
 

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If you dont want to become introverted, and you do, it can be stressful.

Some stress is good for us in life though, because it forces us to grow.

You put up walls out of caution, which is a good defense, and the skill set that can safely navigate the world outside of the castle, would be considered the offense I suppose, whether it be to slaughter others, or to help and defend those that can't defend themselves, is up to you.

Good luck on your journey
 

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Do you think it's possible to become too introverted, to the point where it becomes unhealthy?
Is there any way to change this (not necessarily become extroverted, just lesson the introverted-ness)

I think I might be. I don't know if it's something to do with shyness as well (even though they're not the same thing), but I've gotten to the stage where I can only speak freely in front of my 2 closest friends. I've realized that I'm becoming more and more withdrawn. It's like I physically can't get the words out, and by the time I've got past this the conversation has moved on. In front of big groups/certain people I'm a bit wary of, I totally withdraw and close off. I don't do it intentionally, and I know that people must think I'm being unfriendly and stuck up. I'm not, I genuinely care about people and want to make connections with them, but somethings stopping me :( it's like I've built up these walls around myself, and I can't seem to break through them and be myself.
Sorry if this sounds stupid, and thank you if you took the time to read this.
I'm sorry it must be difficult.... I don't think it is stupid and I'm glad you are sharing your thoughts. I love the fact that you are a deeper person and take a bit more time to take in the world and experience it. But yea, a lot of people seem to expect instant answers or expressions to often very complicated things.
 

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Sounds to me that you are either suffering from social anxiety or depression, because if you are lately behaving like this and this is not how you were before then there is something you are going through that is making you feel uncomfortable when you are with people.

Introverted people also need to socialize, they cannot be secluded for too long or they are going to turn unhealthy.

You need to accept yourself as you are and be happy. You need to gain self-confidence so that you don't feel anxious being with the people you care about.
 

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I'm not, I genuinely care about people and want to make connections with them, but something's stopping me :(
I know this feeling; it's like you want to say something,
then you think on all sides,
whether it will be taken the wrong way,
and you're sure it's bound to affect someone emotionally,
whether make them laugh, feel weird, sad, or think something.
I do.
That's when I stop myself.
I think 'why should I be influencing anyone,
unless I know it's going to help them?
And if they're already fully happy and satisfied,
I don't want to affect them in any way'
 
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