Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Q&A with Amy!

Dear Amy,
I have a hard time in social situations. I never really want to go to parties or clubs, and it seems like when I’m there, everyone is having a better time than me. I’m always trying to find ways to leave or not go at all. Is there something wrong with me?

Dear Dragon,

Which is more correct: left handed or right handed?  It makes no sense, right?  Introversion or extraversion are “biologically based traits,” just like right/left handedness.  Our social tendencies are quite stable throughout our entire lives, though not necessarily our destiny.  Like the right/left handedness, a person can practice and get better with their non-dominant hand – but there will always be a natural tendency to revert to one’s basic nature.  I like to think of it as a continuum with a high degree of introversion on one end, and a high degree of extraversion on the other end.  At one extreme, you have people who cannot be alone and need constant connection with others (“the more the merrier”).  At the other end of the spectrum, you have people who desire little to no social interaction, are drained when around people, love solitude, etc.  In general, most of society fall somewhere between those two extremes, with about 75% more towards extraversion.  In other words, 3 out of 4 people are energized by social interaction, while 1 of the 4 is drained.  It’s wonderful you are aware of this about yourself!  With knowing this, can you learn to accept this as a natural quality of your personality and not a flaw?  Can you plan your social life around your preferences for small get togethers or one-on-one interactions?  Give yourself props for making the effort and going outside your comfort zone to parties or clubs!  Most importantly, remember that there is nothing wrong with you for preferring your social life to be simple.  It’s the quality, not quantity, that matters in relationships.                       

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