Many people wonder if it’s possible for an introvert to become an extrovert, or if introversion is a personality trait that cannot be changed. There’s also a popular belief that introversion is a normal trait, so most introverts believe that they shouldn’t try to change themselves.
In this article, I will explain introversion from a psychological point of view and and explain why it’s possible for an introvert to become an extrovert. To understand it better let me first explain why introverts don’t like to socialize.
Reasons Why Introverts Don’t like Socializing
Human beings are so complex, assuming that people develop a certain personality trait for the same reasons is be a very big mistake. 10 people can become introverts for 10 completely different reasons. That’s why assuming that all introverts are born that way is totally false. So what makes a person become an introvert?
All humans are born with a completely blank mind. As we grow up, we subconsciously develop personality traits that will help us survive in our environment, achieve our goals and thrive. Even a seemingly useless behaviour such as lying is usually developed by a person to help them achieve a certain psychological goal.
While there are many reasons why a person may become an introvert, below are 4 main reasons why introverts don’t like to socialize.
- Poor social skills: while some introverts claim that they like spending time alone, in reality they don’t know how to socialize with others. This makes them feel uneasy in the company of others because they don’t know what to do. This makes them come to a conclusion that they are meant to be alone. But this is just a self deception strategy that their mind uses to prevent them from feeling bad. I hurts less to believe that you like being alone that to admit that you lack social skills.
- Low self-esteem: a person who has low self-esteem usually believes that they are somehow less worthy than others. If this feeling is intense, a person feels inferior and uncomfortable when they are around others and this makes them want to avoid social interactions.
- Bad childhood experience: if a person was raised in an environment that didn’t allow them to develop social skills, or if they were raised in a way that made them hate social connections, they may grow up introverted.
- Self-defeating beliefs: when a person grows up with false beliefs such as “people don’t like me”, “I’m boring”, they may grow up inhibited and socially awkward.
- They are healthy introverts: if a person didn’t have any problem that didn’t prevent them from interacting with others and still liked to be alone, then we can say that they are healthy introverts. This means that they usually socialize when necessary without feeling uncomfortable and without getting their energy drained. This type of introversion is actually rare even though many introverts claim to be this way.
Can an Introvert Become an Extrovert?
As you can see, most introverts become introverts because of psychological problems that can be dealt with. This means that if they managed to overcome those problems, they can definitely have a good social life and become extroverts. So, it’s totally possible for an introvert to become an extrovert.
Considering that introverts don’t actually hate social interactions but hate how they feel around people, they can get rid of this problem by dealing with the root cause of such feelings. For example, an introvert who lacks social skills, if they developed those skills they will slowly realize that they don’t feel awkward around people, therefore, they will start enjoying the company of others.
Some introverts turn into extroverts by chance when they find themselves in an environment that encourages them to become extroverts. For example, an introvert who believes that they are boring and unlikable may do something that makes them popular and automatically turn into an extrovert when they realize that they are interesting and likable.
Why Is it so Hard for Introverts to Become Extroverts
One of the main reasons why introverts don’t become extroverts is that they strongly believe that there’s nothing wrong with them. This prevents them from seeking change. A person cannot change unless they believe that they need to change.
Another reason is that, most introverts don’t understand themselves well, even if they wanted to change, they don’t know the right steps they should take. Some of them try to act extroverted but unless the root cause of their introversion is dealt with, the more they try to act extroverted the more they feel uncomfortable and retreat.
I know some introverts may become defensive reading this article because they may mistakenly assume that being an introvert is a bad thing. Actually, most introverts have many good personality traits such as empathy, they are good listeners, and they are usually nice people. I’m not saying that Introverts need to change their personality entirely, instead they should only try to overcome any psychological problem that prevents them from feeling comfortable around people and having a normal social life. (See: is introversion a disorder).