Jungian Extroversion vs Introversion

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The one psychological concept that almost everyone is familiar with: Extroversion and Introversion. However, many people and new metrics (including the Big 5) misattribute Sociability to Extroversion.

It’s true that ExFx (Extroverted + Feeling) Jungian types tend to be sociable no matter what, but for especially ExTx types (Extroverted + Thinking), the degree of sociability can highly vary, leading to mistyping them as introverts.

Whenever there is a debate on whether someone is Type X or Z, the question should always come back to the essentials.

The first question in this context must always be:
Are we really talking of Extroversion or Introversion?

The House of your Mind

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The window analogy illustrates the difference between Introverts and Extroverts. This person represents the Introvert, who is looking outside from the inside.

Imagine you stand at a window.

There are two ways you can stand at it. Either you are inside the house looking outside, or you are outside looking inside the house. This is equivalent to introversion vs extroversion.

The introvert looks outside from the inside, the extrovert looks inside from the outside.

The introvert starts from a subjective perspective tied to their individual experience/understanding, the extrovert starts from a more objective perspective removed from themselves.

There is no way for someone to both look or be outside or inside at the same time OR to both be more subjective or objective.

That is why pure ”ambiversion“ (50-50) is impossible. Extroversion and Introversion cannot exist in the same time and space.

However, we are all able to go inside the house and look outside or vice versa. In that sense, we can move from extroverted to introverted thought processes and experiences, and vice versa.

We do all have an introverted and extroverted cognitive function as our first and second function, making us all partially “ambiverted”.

But again, we can never use extroversion and introversion at the same time. And we all have one starting point. We either start from the internal or the external, and from there move to the other area.

So as a whole, everyone is technically ”ambiverted“ – no one is a complete introvert or extrovert. However, we all have a starting point. Introverts always start from the inside looking out, and extroverts always start from the outside looking in.

The extrovert can move to the introverted side by entering the house of his mind, and the introvert can step outside of the house in her mind. But again, the starting point is different, and that distinguishes the introvert from the extrovert.

The same principle applies to the functions or information elements. Now that you understand this core principle, we can add the Jungian dichotomies of Sensing, Feeling, Intuition, and Thinking.


Last update: 05-11-2020

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