I hate participating in flash mobs… Help! Extraversion versus introversion

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My friends keep trying to get me to dance in a flash mob, but whenever I do, I don’t really enjoy it and get really tired. What’s wrong with me??

In a nutshell, nothing is wrong with you. First and foremost, flash mobs are passé. But more importantly, not getting energized by being around people is actually quite typical for about 40 per cent of the population.

The words “extravert” and “introvert” get thrown around quite a bit and often they have positive/negative connotations associated with them. For example, if you tell your friends you’d rather catch up on your novel than go to the flash mob after party, they may snort derisively and say, “jeepers, stop being such an introvert!” However, this gives the very false impression that being introverted is a bad thing and that being extraverted is where it’s at – which unfortunately leads to many people trying to change core parts of themselves in order to “fit” with others’ expectations.

Extraversion vs. introversion is simply a way to describe where you get your energy. People with high extraversion tend to come out of parties and crowds of people feeling energized and ready to continue on. People with low extraversion (i.e. high introversion) are those who feel the need to recharge their batteries before heading out for an evening. That’s it. That’s all there is to it. Having high introversion does not mean that you don’t like people, rather that you tend to gain energy in settings where you’re alone or one-on-one. In no way, shape, or form is being extraverted better than being introverted, or vice versa.

So you may actually enjoy the flash mob scene, but would prefer to have some break time to collect your thoughts and energy before continuing to the after party. Or maybe you hate the crowd, but get pumped by watching 50 people wag their hands in the middle of the quad. Either way, know that you’re not a freak for feeling that way.

As per usual, feel free to talk with a counsellor about any issues you may have! If you have a question for a counsellor, you can also e-mail it to sjcounsellor@unb.ca, and see it featured here!