If we think about these labels of those who become drained through social situations because they are more contemplative and sensitive to stimuli as opposed to extroverts and those that feel enlivened from social situations because the demand the attention and energy of others, then we have created a clear division between two ‘personality types’.
I think it is important to consider how these two traits are not just a natural disposition or based on cultural influence, but how we relate to the collective and how it is fed back to us.
The introvert in me is pensive first and foremost, but can be overwhelmed by the noise of the extrovert, because I am being considerate of them. I am pensive, inside my head, calculating how my input will be received rather than actually putting myself out there. Following this is an internal analysis of how it went. The extrovert in me wants to share my truth and is encouraged when it is accepted. Yet when it is not accepted I have the resilience to persevere with it externally until it has landed. These two must work in unison in order to navigate how we communicate.
The Narcissist & The Empath
When we think of narcissists we tend to think of those who pursue gratification from their already self-idealised attributes. We think of empaths as the opposing force of those with a sensitivity to those around us. The narcissist self-validates, while the empath validates others.
There may be many correlations between these personality types and introverts / extrovert types. The narcissist has a propensity for extroversion in which they can pursue this gratification, whereas the empath becomes overwhelmed by not only the conscious experiences but also the unconscious.
There is much these two types can learn from each other. While many see a politician who is narcissistic in an extreme way, they can also be viewed as someone who is achieving their desires at the top of the food chain in a world where oversensitivity has caused many others to become domesticated, apologetic and somewhat sensitive beings to their own detriment. This politician is a shining beacon of hope and they don’t even know it. Conversely, the social justice warrior who got offended at the slightest misconceived glance can educate the narcissist within us to think a little more before pursuing our desires without conscientious consideration.
One of these forces is a proponent for free speech and one polices it. Much like Freuds ID and superego. To hone the middle way in our own actions through observing our reactions to others will bring a sense of peace.
While these examples may appear extreme, our society elevates them (usually in disgust) as examples of what not to do. Yet they evoke an emotional reaction from us. Why? Perhaps they exhibit something we are lacking and we are envious, or perhaps they are examples of what not to do.
These are masculine and feminine traits that live within all of us and reflected in the world around us. So next time you feel like self-sacrificing at the expense of your own desires or pursuing your desires without consideration of others, stop and think about how much you may regret it afterwards.