Why Embracing Your Inner Introvert Will Limit Your Life

Kelsey Clark

The once-ignored introvert has experienced a renaissance as of late. After years of culturally prioritizing the gregarious, outgoing extrovert—both socially and professionally—being introverted is finally having its moment. From coffee mugs reading "Sorry, I'm not good at people-ing" to the cult clothing brand Anti Social Social Club worn by the likes of Kimye and Travis Scott, embracing your inner hermit crab has never been more in vogue.

And while we're all about self-acceptance, there are some noted dangers that come with pigeonholing yourself into one limited personality type—introverted or otherwise. Just ask New York Magazine's Drake Baer, who recently explored this phenomena in a recent piece for the Science of Us column.

"While recognizing the many awesome aspects of introversion is indeed awesome, making 'I’m an introvert!' the mantra by which you live your life can narrow the way you see and understand yourself," writes Baer. He then went on to quote Cambridge University personality psychologist Brian Little, who believes that "some introverts are seeing themselves as nothing but introverts. And doing so is to ignore the other four dimensions of the Big Five personality schema."

Reminder: The Big Five includes agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience in addition to extraversion/introversion. Psychologists contend that people are made up of bits and pieces of each. Latching on to just one of the five tentpoles can be a deterrent, as doing so "decreases our degrees of freedom to enact our lives… in a way that will go down to our values, to the thing that really matter to us," says Little.

What do you think of Little and Baer's ideas? Share your thoughts below and shop this book to learn more about Big Five personality psychology

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