Laurie Anne Helgoe (born December 10, 1960) is an American psychologist with a special interest in the relationship between personality development and culture. In 2008, her writing revealed that scholarly and popular accounts regarding humans who display the personality traits of introversion and extraversion were flawed, and that, instead of representing a 25-30% of the population, introverts make up 57% of the population. The identified flaw was a dated reliance on the early work of Isabel Briggs Myers, and the failure to note results of the latest nationally representative surveys using the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a questionnaire used by psychologists to classify human personality traits. Helgoe discussed these findings in the book Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life is Your Hidden Strength (Sourcebooks, 2008, 2013).
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An introvert may feel asocial when pressured to go to a party that doesn't interest her. But for her, the event does not promise meaningful interaction. In fact, she knows that the party will leave her feeling more alone and alienated. Her social preference may be to stay home and reflect on a conversation with a friend, call that friend, and come to an understanding that is meaningful to her. Or she might indulge in the words of a favorite author, feeling a deep connection with a person she has never met. From the perspective of a partygoer, this introvert may appear to be asocial, when, in fact, the introvert is interacting in a much different way.
Extroverts want us to have fun, because they assume we want what they want. And sometimes we do. But "fun" itself is a "bright" word, the kind of word that comes with flashing lights and an exclamation point! One of Merriam-Webster's definitions of "fun" is "violent or excited activity or argument." The very word makes me want to sit in a dimly lit room with lots of pillows — by myself.
Life is full of so much that you refuse to let yourself experience. The blanketing comfort of love, the fulfillment of contagious laughter, the peace of finding true joy, the butterflies of uncontainable excitement…these are all things that make up life. They should never be taken for granted.