Are Introverts Too Beta?

Cautiously Pessimistic:  A question occurs to me. Is being an introvert inherently beta? I ask, because I’m on the extreme end of the intro/extroversion scale, and what energizes me generally involves being alone to do my own thing (reading, researching, playing, etc). Being around other people just drains me, unless powerful pharmaceuticals are involved.

Athol:  The short answer is “Yes to some extent.”

I think extroverts get a great advantage in making early ground in becoming socially dominant. While the introverts all sit on the edges of the group and gaze into space thinking deep thoughts, the extroverts take over and make things happen. On balance I think people in leadership positions are going to be more extroverted than introverted. That leadership is Alpha and will have a pull on women’s attention.

However, once in individual relationships, introverts can prove to be amazingly stubborn individuals who insist on getting what they want from the relationship. For an introvert, relationships are valued for their usefulness, so a crappy relationship is poorly tolerated. It’s no issue to a strong introvert to simply jettison a bad love relationship to be by themselves. Introverts have a natural dread game thing happening in the background all the time.

On the other hand…

Lots of extroverts are people pleasing weaklings who fold on their personal standards just to maintain their relationships. They spend so much time in the social universe that one day they awaken to find that being Mr. Party isn’t so great when the bills need to be paid and the party is over.

Likewise an introvert can narrow their entire connection with the outside world down to a single person in the most needy of oneitis.

There’s also the thing where introverts end up developing a skill in private so valuable, that the rest of the social group have to acknowledge it. There’s probably more introvert doctors than extrovert ones for example. Hence complains about bedside manners and treating patients as “the diabetic case in room 201″, which is exactly how a heavily introverted person would see a problem. 90% of all art and entertainment is created by introverts, maybe produced and distributed by extroverts, but the creative types inventing it are introverted. Pretty much any time you see someone with some crazy high skill level at anything, odds on it’s an introvert. The right skill gets you a ticket to Alphaville.

That all being said, neither extraversion or introversion are destiny. You can learn to cover your weaknesses and balance your strengths as you get older and wiser. For those playing the home game, I’m a Myers-Briggs INTP. I used to come out at the extreme end of the introversion, thinking and perceiving scales when I was younger. These days I’m mostly introvert, almost borderline on the thinking vs feeling scale, and have moved much closer to balance on the perceiving vs judging scale as well.  (As an aside… I personally like the Enneagram better than Myers-Briggs. I’m a 5 with a 4 wing if anyone is into it.)

Because I’m going to hear some sort of shocked comment that there’s no way I could be an introvert with splashing my sex life on the Internet… most of my day I’m alone, writing happens alone, part of what energizes my marriage is that both Jennifer and I are introverts and having each other as a primary and deep relationship works for the both of us. I relax playing computer games or reading, and not by going to a party. Yes I’ve dealt with several thousand pieces of reader email, but I tend to focus on the diagnosis / advice / follow up angle…. “the affair case in room 201″…. there’s very few who I end up being chatty with.

So it’s really a case of taking the good bits from your natural state and balancing it as best you can with the opposite. Which is how I ended up being an introvert who really likes people. If you’re an introvert, it’s simply not enough to have a skill. You have to get good with people too. At the end of the day, people are the only things that really matter.

Oh and introverted women can get overwhelmed by extroverted men in relationships, so consider the audience you’re seeking out. Introversion may be less of a bug and more of a feature. Also introverted women tend not to be infected with multiple strains of herpes. Just sayin’.

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Comments

  1. Joe_Commenter says:

    I don’t see introversion/extroversion as being inherently alpha or beta. I know lots of introverts who are alpha to the core. They make their own way into the world. They can be tough as nails, are smart and they know how to use it. But I also know beta introverts who are followers and are not self determined. They are pushovers. Extroverts can also behave both ways.

    In terms of attracting a mate, it is much better for a man to be an extrovert. I have been introverted in the past and now lean towards extroverted. Attraction is much easier as an extrovert. Females want interaction and leadership from their men. Extroverts demonstrate this more readily.

  2. Wendy says:

    “At the end of the day, people are the only things that really matter.”

    Love this. So true.

  3. There are dominant versions of both. Dominant extrovert = Alpha, dominant introvert = Sigma.

  4. Random Angeleno says:

    What I’m really interested in is what are the best ways for introvert men like myself to find like-minded women? Seems like I mostly run into extroverted women socially. Or maybe that’s because the introverted women who happen to be there aren’t as present as the extroverts. Or maybe they stayed home rather than make themselves available to socialize with.

  5. Vicomte says:

    Due to the inherently social nature of women, there are far less female introverts than male. Add to that that attractive women have even more incentive to indulge their extroverted tendencies, and the numbers dwindle even further.

    Maybe you could ask Athol for tips on picking up girls on WOW. Probably get major cool points if he wings for you, with his guild connections.

  6. Anacaona says:

    I’m actually extroverted woman and I’m attracted to introverts. Extroverts don’t impress me or intrigue me but if I see a person in a corner I immediately assume he/she most be more interesting and I gravitate towards them. So for what is worth many extrovert chicks might like the “loner” type if you play it well, YMMV.

  7. Solomon says:

    The whole introvert/extrovert paradigm is false.

    Truth is there are people with inner world, people with soul and there are stupid biomechanical impulsive input/output machines. Naturally animals are initially more successful in dealing with the animal world then people who have to manage their inner world at the same time and have more things to process because of that, especially in secular society where they do not recieve any guidence from wise old men, because today’s old men are not wise and have surrendered to the feminine.

    The so called “introverts” can study the animalistic world of extroverts and learn to emulate it appearing to be “extroverts” to outside people. Learning Game is an example of this. Especially learning inner Game that allows the introvert to bring order in his inner world so that he can turn to spread this order out to the outside world. Introverts who learn to harmonize inner world with outside world are the true leaders, innovators, revolutionaries and real men.

    No extrovert can learn introversy. Inner world is empty sound for them.

    In our egilitarian society we are raised to believe that no group is better than the other, so both introverts and extroverts must have both pluses and minuses that equal each other, right? Wrong! Introverts are human animals with a soul. They are true humans Extroverts are mere animals – sometimes cute, sometimes dangerous, but mere animals still.

    Extroverts may appear active, but in truth are passive recievers of impulses and executioners if impulsive action. Introverts may appear passive, but in truth are active in constant evaluating of incoming impulses and resisting those who are not compatible with the humans faint vision of divine that we call soul. Introverts see that the outer animalistic world is in disorder relative to the harmony of inner human world and the constant effort to harmonize both is what slows them down in achieving in animalistic world.

    They need wise old men to recognize their inner world and show them how to use it in outer world. Similary how animal babies can walk and find food a few hours or days after birth, but human babies need years of parental care. The same is true in spirituality. Animals are ready to go. Humans need learning.

  8. Ahah. I thought you might be an INTP.

    Spock has good introvert game. Just sayin’.

  9. Zorro says:

    Shark, jumped.

  10. sconzey says:

    Check out Vox Day and his game blog ‘Alpha Game’. He’s an INTJ but very socially and sexually successful (although the latter stopped when he became a Christian). He’s added another category to the socio-sexual heirachy giving Alpha, Beta and Sigma. He reserves the word ‘Alpha’ for extroverted high soc-sex men and Sigma for introverted high soc-sex men. If you’re INT anything you’ll value the theoretical framework he’s developed.

  11. Liz says:

    @Random Angeleno:

    Don’t knock marrying extroverts. As long as you understand each other, and are willing to work with each other, extrovert-introvert marriages can be very successful.

    Or, internet dating.

  12. Athol Kay says:

    I’m somewhat familar with Vox’s system. My primary disagreement with it is that it doesn’t tie things to biology as a explanation of behavior. My Alpha, Beta and Physical line up with Dr Helen Fishers three love systems concept so well that I think I have the correct explanation.

    Plus the whole thing is so complicated new people are going to be turned off and away from it when they need immediate help and explantion of where they went wrong and what to do about it.

  13. Liz says:

    @Solomon:

    I speak as an extrovert. Your comment is very insulting – go copulate vigorously with yourself.

    It’s curious, that I keep hearing introverts complaining about how extroverts don’t understand them, and they’re not appreciated for their talents. But the only insults I actually hear and see come from introverts talking about how great they are, and how we are, as Solomon says, merely animals.

    Most people, no matter their personality, don’t care. But there always seems to be a minority of introverts who are just nasty.

  14. RedPillWifey says:

    Being a female introvert married to a male extrovert works really well for the C/FO system. I hate taking charge and dealing with other people, particularly in social situations, so the Captain can take over and get it done, and I adore him even more for it.

  15. Pegala says:

    It’s counter-intuitive, but shy people are usually extroverts, in that they take their view of themselves from their interactions with other people. If you’re an introvert then you’re less likely to be shy because you’re not so bothered what people think of you. Shyness is definitely not alpha. I speak from experience.

  16. alphaguy says:

    Speaking as someone that was painfully shy and introverted as a child and early adult. I am here to tell you that you can overcome these hurdles. While I don’t relish getting out there in the public eye, I’ve pushed myself to be at ease in front of people. I worked at a sales job for a while so that I could really learn the gift of gab. I taught a class at the local college for two years so I could really nail down public speaking without getting nervous. Even though I am married, pretty women always made me nervous. Not anymore! I have finally figured how to talk with them without curling up in a ball and hiding. I wish I had learned all this when I was single!

    For the most part, I agree that Alpha = Extrovert and Beta = Introvert. There are exceptions to that I suppose. Someone who is a “lone wolf” that walks this world to the beat of their own drummer.

    As Dr. Glover says, “Get out of the house, expand your daily route, linger in public” I think because most Nice Guys are introverted betas.

  17. Cautiously Pessimistic says:

    Yikes. Kill that spotlight! ;)

    Thanks for the detailed response. I’m new to game and the manosphere, so I’m still getting my bearings. For those keeping score, I’m an INTJ in a fairly good marriage looking to fix minor problems before they become major.

    I grew up in a feminist household, so most of what I was taught about social dynamics is hogwash. About the only thing I feel like I’ve got going for me is I locked on to the ‘Pay attention to what they do, not what they say’ part of game very early in life; primarily because so much of what I was taught was demonstrably false.

    Anyway, I’m on the case now, thirty years late but moving fast. Thanks for the insights.

  18. SW-AL says:

    Had you figured for an INTP. Things would be a lot better if people would just recognize our superior intellect and let us run the world.
    Don’t understand the shark jumping comment. (Oh I understand what it means, don’t understand why someone felt the need to post it here.)

  19. CL says:

    The challenge with having two introverts is not becoming isolated and neglecting other friendships. I can see how having one extrovert could help with that, but of course that comes with challenges too. For my part, extroverts tend to be too draining and I can’t really imagine being married to one.

    @Liz
    A lot of extroverts seem to think introversion is some kind of mental disorder. On the whole they are less introspective. Whenever I point something out to an extrovert that to me is plain as day obvious, they are amazed like, “whoa! I never thought of it that way!” Don’t think I’d go so far as to say they are soulless though.

  20. Solomon says:

    @Liz

    I am pleased that people do read my post that turned out too long. they say you have to keep things short for people to keep attention.

    Sure, Liz you are right – every bipedal mammal is a special snowflake, we have heard that. Especially you!

  21. Orange says:

    Umm no! Ever met an INTJ? I’m married to one. Mine is dominant as anything….I wound up realizing what was missing was a bit of beta. That said, it took a direct, precisely worded request for him to really step up and be positively dominant at home/in bed :-) . How very INTJ of him. (Athol even kindly made a post about this. Thanks!) We’re talking about someone with an amazingly powerful inner structure, a strong selfish streak, but a strong and steady heart. He is practically the inventor of frame control and defends his territory with unstoppable persistence.

    I, on the other hand, am ENFP. Yes, I suppose that I am much more of an animal than him. i revel in being human, in sharing my life and love with other humans. I pursue pleasure for the sake of pleasure and I feel good about it. My introvert would almost rather that he didn’t have to deal with the hassle of being human; the complications just get in the way of all the important work there is to be done.

    Certainly not all extroverts are the same…those other three letters do mean something! My dominant function is extroverted intuition. I certainly do introspect, and extrospect! I am also very creative for what its worth. ENFP’s are pretty far from mindless animals.

    My INTJ and I make a really good team, and well, I just love him.

  22. Orange says:

    Solomon, perhaps you could explain further? If I read your post correctly, your thesis is that the introvert/extrovert paradigm (dichotomy if you will) is false. You then describe, in detail, the differences between extroverts and introverts using that false paradigm as your model.

    The real dichotomy is between those with a soul/inner world, and those who are stupid bio-mechanical input/output machines, you stated earlier. Would you care to expound? Since extrovert/introvert is a false paradigm, what is the true paradigm, and what drives it?

    I think perhaps this is an apples to oranges issue; i.e. extroversion/introversion is a different personality dimension than what you are discussing. I absolutely agree that there are many stupid bio-mechanical people out there who seem to be mere impulsive input/output machines. In my experience that group is made up of both extroverts and introverts. What is it that distinguishes them? Perhaps only Solomon could answer this question.

  23. Cautiously Pessimistic says:

    I think there’s a distinction between dominance/submission and intro/extraversion. That’s part of why I wondered if there was a link between that and alpha/beta.

  24. sconzey says:

    @Athol. I think part of the problem is an inconsistent use of terminology across the Manosphere: what you mean by ‘alpha’ is subtly different from what Vox means by ‘alpha’ which is subtly different from what Roissy/CH/CR mean when they say ‘alpha’.

    Yeah but I published. First to plant the flag gets to call it what they want.

  25. RedPillNewb says:

    I am an un-shy introvert. People who meet me in work or social contexts think I am a gregarious extroverted Alpha. Only my wife knows the introverted, deeply Beta side of me.

    She is also an introvert, but a lot of my public attitude has rubbed off on her to where men are sometimes shocked by the, uh, “non-girly” things she says.

  26. Danceny says:

    Solomon’s distinction is false. I’m fairly introverted, and I’m also a stupid biomechanical impulsive input/output machine.

  27. Katherine Kelly says:

    Myers Briggs identifies me as INFJ and for me being an introvert is not about being fearful in social situations but about being overstimulated so what others find pleasurable is painful to me.
    I would much rather walk alone on a beach than dive into a mosh pit. All my girlfriends are the same way
    and we usually do things in small groups away from large gatherings of people.
    We all work in fields that do not require constant contact with the public and offer creative outlets.
    My own attraction would be toward a man who is similar to me because I become overwhelmed by the life extroverts usually live with the greater socialization such as concerts ,sporting events, parties and everyone is your friend attitude, it strips away my sense of privacy leaving me exhausted.
    In general I find most woman to be extroverted and I’m the exception making my friendships very precious because they are difficult to find.
    Elaine Arons book on Highly Sensitive People also helped me to understand myself.
    I look for common interests in my relationships because this for me is an indicator of similar temperament.
    If beta is an indication of being introverted than I’m naturally predisposed to be with a beta.

  28. Ponboy says:

    Athol gave a pretty good answer.

    But as an introvert who is married to an extrovert, there was one aspect of Athol’s answer that I wanted to drive home.

    The whole dread thing that Athol speaks of has always been a natural reaction of mine. I have never done it to be an ass, or to be manipulative but it just came naturally. As an introvert, I have always been fine being alone, so if a relationship was not to my liking I would move on – Alpha.

    There are many other things that I could list that have come naturally from being an introvert that I would consider Alpha, but I think it’s clear, whether you are extroverted or introverted; neither are inherently Alpha or Beta. At least not in my opinion.

  29. Chuck says:

    The reason why all the “alpha” definitions don’t seem to line up exactly is because what it means to be Alpha changes slightly as your life goes through different stages.

    Alpha as a child, probably just means that you are popular and that your peers look up to you for something, whether it be your toys, sports ability, artistic ability, etc.

    Alpha as a single young adult means that you are able to convert having your male and female peers looking up to you into succussfully obtaining sexual or romatic relationships with those you desire, and if it doesn’t work out easily being able to move on to someone else without fretting over it. It probably initially requires a fair amount to extroversion to obtain new relationship partners with relative ease, at least until you get them alone on a regular basis.

    Alpha as a married man means being able to maintain your wife’s sexual attraction for you, and guiding your household on a path to success. It involves good financial management, parenting skills, self-discipline, etc. A good rule of thumb that you are achieving success as a married alpha is that other women that are at least as attractive as your wife are still giving you indicators of interest, even though you are not acting on them. Once you are married, you can probably get away with being fairly introverted, and still maintain an alpha frame with your wife since most the time you spend together will be at home, alone with just your own family.

    I’ll add one final, more controversial category, Alpha in a Presidential Debate is not spending the whole thing stammering around, pursing your lips, and hanging your head down while your opponent points out all the failures of your logic and policies.

  30. Cautiously Pessimistic says:

    @Ponboy – Yeah, I thought the dread game observation was interesting. I’ve always had it going on, but I’ve traditionally struggled to counter it, going out of my way to be reassuring, etc. If I need to up my Alpha (I do), that’d be an easy way to do it.

  31. flirtyintrovert says:

    Introvert = beta? No way! The most obvious Alpha Introvert type is the Aloof Genius – the writer/artist/scientist whose introversion comes off as aloof, arrogant independence. The very definition of an introvert is someone who does not get his energy from people, someone who needs to get away from people to recharge. As one of the most hackneyed Gamer ploys is pulling away from a woman to stimulate her interest, is it any wonder that a good number of women will respond to the aloof, brooding type by trying even harder to please?

    Now, if you’re pudgy and unambitious in addition to being introverted, you will probably not attract a throng of groupies wanting to break you out of your shell. But it’s not true that being an introvert kills your chances with women.

  32. Solomon says:

    @ Orange

    The extrovert/introvert paradigm is born in times when the paradigm of equility was already dominant. Thus when psychologists observed that there are differences between people they automatically classified them into two groups listing plusses and minuses for both that are supposed to “equal” them out.

    Now as everyone who has swallowed red pill must know there is no equility. Persons that we usually label as introverts just have something that persons labeled as extroverts just do not have. A tool to step a little above mere animalistic impulse, an inner standart that does not permit instant following to the dominant outer stimulus. I find that “soul” is a fitting name but you may use it not if don’t like it. But this is actually the reason why humanity cannot come to agreement over the topic whether there is a soul or there isn’t. Because under equality paradigm we beleieve that we must be all equally having or not having the soul. This is just not true. Some people have and some people have not, and some have more than others.

    The egoistical animal world looking on people as sources of profit de facto recognizes extroverts as supperior because they are more active and productive and need less investment for a sooner profit. This is despite polite psychologists claiming that everything has its advantages and disatvantages and equals out in the end.

    A cultural society not based on advertising itself to the masses recognizes introverts as supperiors to extroverts. But we don’t live in a cultural society therefore you may not understand that. Cultural society needs aristocracity. Since it is destrouyed there is no analogy and example in the present world to provide.

    @ Dancency

    We are all biological input/output machines. But the so called introverts have a tool for analyzing and controlling their impulses to the degree of their introversy. They may misuse this tool or not use it at all, because society actually doesnt recognize its existance, and they dont know what to do with this thing that they have but havent recieved any instructions about, this tool then becomes a dead weight slowing them down, that is the most common scenario.
    But introverts can learn to use that if they find the right mentor and then they can surpass any extrovert. The most common example is how often introverts, who have learned Game,become better in Game than naturals once naturals get older and beocome domesticated by society and their wifes. Normally a cultural society would have wise old men educating young introverts, but since we have no aristocraty of neither spirot or blood, we have no wise old men and we must learn from semi-wise men who score girls in clubs.

    In prehistoric times introverts were called shamans. Shamans sought the most introverted child in their tribe as their sucessor.

  33. Richard Cook says:
  34. Shanna says:

    I tested years ago as an ESFJ and my husband was INTP. We are total opposites and each other’s favorite people on the planet. Married 20 years.
    I’m one of those women who is turned off by extroverted men. I always felt like I was being sold something.
    I’m an extrovert because I enjoy people, and not necessarily attention. In fact, I’ve always been told I’m a good listener as I usually let the other person do most of the talking.
    He is an introvert who has overcome his shyness to be an excellent public speaker. As Athol suggested, he has also developed mad skills in an unusual field and has people pursuing him for jobs on a regular basis. I admire him for this (among other things) and that, to me, is VERY alpha.

  35. Dave says:

    I think being alpha is all about your state and how comfortable you feel in situations, I think an extrovert does tend to appear as being more alpha socially because he finds comfort around other people, Where as an introvert usually finds comfort within his own personal space. I think it also depends on your level of self esteem. I do find alpha people do have a fearless or limited fear approach to life. They rarely hold back or restrain themselves from things they want from life. For me being alpha is not just about your behaviour or your actions, its also about taking the lead, assuming responsibly, and naturally leadership does promote that

  36. ExtroEngagedtoIntro says:

    “90% of all art and entertainment is created by introverts, maybe produced and distributed by extroverts, but the creative types inventing it are introverted.”

    I guess I fall into the rare 10% then. I create music for films and trailers, and I am ESFJ on Myers-Briggs.

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