Every single person is unique and stands out as a distinct shade in the broad spectrum of colours. But wouldn’t it be intriguing to sieve through the intricacies of the human anatomy to analyze certain aspects of a person’s nature?
College days have an immense impact on one’s life, as this is usually the time of mental maturity, self-discovery and when one usually experiences the pinnacle of joy. This phase is not a cake walk because of the eagles of depression, identity crisis and insecurities that swirl around, ever ready to swoop in and change one’s life for worse. This is also the time one observes the people around, trying to understand the wide spectrum of people- the talkative, bubbly ones and the shy, reserved ones; the partying types and the reclusive readers; the introverts and the extroverts.
Generally perceived to be shy, reticent people, introverts represent the aloof end of the personality spectrum. The common belief is that introverts don’t mingle much, don’t talk much and prefer having a lot of alone time. Extroverts on the other hand are the ones bursting with energy, drawing attention to themselves and brimming with enthusiasm for any kind of adventure. A quick mental scan will easily categorize most of your peers into these two groups.
It is fair to wonder why people behave the way they do; why they are the way they are – it could be their ingrained personality, the incidents in their life, their parenting or eating habits that shaped them. But it would be quite shocking to some, that the reason for someone being introverted or extroverted is actually how their brains are wired!
Yes, the reason for introversion or extroversion is actually attributed to how the person’s brain “recharges”. Let us consider two groups of people, A and B. People belonging to A usually feel energized when they interact and communicate with others while solitude pulls them down slightly. The group B folks however prefer to keep to themselves while human interaction requires extra effort from their side. People belonging to A are generally extroverts while those in B are usually introverts.
The reason for this difference in the recharging mechanism is due to the fact that these people perceive their stimuli differently – the path taken by the neuron transmitters are different in introverts and extroverts. The pathway is shorter for extroverts and passes through the areas where the sensory processing take place, and it is much longer in the introverts where they run through a complex pathway touching areas associated with remembering, planning and analytical thinking. The dopamine system which is responsible for the reward-seeking nature is different in the two kinds of people – for extroverts, it encourages novelty, risks and adventures while for introverts, it seeks stability and security. This is why extroverts are extremely adventure seeking and why introverts give well-thought-out replies.
This basic difference in the wiring of the brain is the reason for the extreme difference in personalities of the people. Research shows that most of the people are actually ambiverts lying somewhere in the middle of the spectrum; but there may exist some who defy the limits of sanity that belong to the extremes!
Now, it is natural to ponder whether it is possible for an extrovert to become an introvert or vice versa, and the answer is, maybe. Despite all these slightly mind-boggling scientific explanations, humans are still largely defined by their experiences. So, if an incident has a drastic effect on their way of life, their personality might just change. But whether an introvert, an extrovert or a perfectly average ambivert, we are all humans first, so believe in humanity, not the personality.
– An article by Abhinaya & Prathiv Suresh.