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’.
- What’s Alpha and Beta… For A Woman? I’ve been asked a couple times what women can do...