Introversion and Energy Gain/Loss | INFJ Forum

Introversion and Energy Gain/Loss

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by Rcs6r, Sep 20, 2015.

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  1. Rcs6r

    Rcs6r Must be the feeling~
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    I've always wondered why introverts "lose" energy and extraverts "gain" energy - and what that energy is exactly. This purpose of this thread is to compile any info on the the subject.

    For you, dear reader, what is it about social interaction that makes you feel drained? Energized? When does it happen, or with whom do you notice it happening around?

    This article from Psychology Today sheds a little light on the matter:

    The article then mentions that introverts tend to be draining to others due to our intensity and need for consistently deep conversations. This is something I've certainly noticed about myself as a more introverted individual.

    For me, I have a tendency (sometimes good, sometimes bad) to treat every social interaction as personal - getting to really know someone and connect, adding them to my social sphere, treating them like a friend, to empathize, relate and understand; however, I need to keep that sphere on the smaller side while I try to remember details about each person, so I tend to interact socially with less people over-all.

    Contrasting this with one of my friends who strikes up a conversation with almost every single goddamn person he comes into contact with. It's frustrating to watch, but also amazing, how he just talks about nothing all the time with everyone, provoking reactions that to me would have to be analyzed and picked apart mentally - read deeper than just enjoying the fleeting moment of interaction.

    And I think that's why introverts - especially feeler types - tend to become more exhausted from interactions, because trying to analyze and connect with the emotions of interactions is mentally tiring... which I believe also ties into the release of chemicals in the brain:

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    #1 Rcs6r, Sep 20, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015
  2. Gaze

    Gaze My word . . . hmm
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    the energy investment, give-and-take theory explains it well. When I'm interacting with groups or crowds and I'm responsible for managing them, it requires a lot of social and emotional investment. I do not receive anything back from much of that investment, even if people are responsive and nice. Actually, sometimes that makes it worse because I know it's superficial, forced, or performed. It's energy expended without being returned in the way I need. One-on-one interaction with someone I can be completely myself with is the most rewarding social interaction I've had, but rarely find. Additionally, for me to be refueled after being around groups or crowds, I need to be away from it to recharge.

    One thing I learned a few years ago, was that emotional sensitivity is a big part of it, especially emotional contagion, meaning you not only pick up on people's feelings or vibes, but you unintentionally adopt them as your own, sometimes becoming easily attached or feeling as if you're responsible for those feelings. This can be overwhelming especially if you're engaged in intense social interactions for long periods. Your system feels emotionally overloaded. This is why I don't feel comfortable being "friendly" with everyone irl. It's hard to maintain boundaries because constant interaction without breaks is draining.

    It's especially tough in a profession or career, which requires you to interact with people and deal with their emotions regularly. You don't have the luxury of conserving your energy because your job is to expend it and you don't have the luxury of taking frequent breaks. When you have been in an intense or at least continuous social situation for a long period of time, it can be tough to separate your own emotions and feelings from others. Their feelings bleed into yours. This is why after any prolonged period of social interaction, I am almost completely radio silent. I need go into a forest and chill for a sec or else I'll go cuckoo for coco puffs. :D
     
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    #2 Gaze, Sep 20, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015
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    Rcs6r

    Rcs6r Must be the feeling~
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    Thanks for the response. Yeah I totally relate to this, as I'm very receptive to people emotions and body language where it seems like I can easily read them- both a gift and a curse. And dealing with dozens of people on this level every day can be very overwhelming... thank god we can't read their thoughts either or it'd be constant noise too!

    At work it's especially hard because there are definitely those who have overbearing personalities and can be quite toxic, they have to push their agenda into everything when it's like "look, we have this project with this timeline and we need it to work a certain way, without making this about you."
    (I'm a graphic designer, so this is what dealing with bad clients is like.)
     
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