The Internet abounds with articles on "how to survive as an introvert in an extroverted world". Since I always felt myself like an outcast, for the longest time I assumed I must be an introvert. I don't like it when people go around with fake smiles and ask "Hi, how are you?" when they don't actually care! People also frequently stereotype cultures as being "introverted" and "extraverted", and... Basically every culture besides Anglo-American and perhaps Latin/South European gets labelled "introverted". After learning a bit about socionics, it occured to me that there really aren't strong preferences for introversion and extraversion in any culture, just a preference for people to be healthy human beings who aren't afraid either to be around people or by themselves (which has nothing to do with where you get your energy). What there is a preference for in various cultures is this: Quadras!
I can state confidently that Anglo-American culture is a Delta culture. You can be an extremely extraverted person but as long as you're don't a Delta you're not going to quite fit (or fit really badly and painfully). On the other hand, what I always want to call Teutonic culture (attempting to encompass Germany/Austria/Switzerland, I can't think of a less ridiculous term) is a Beta culture, not "more introverted" than Anglo-American. I'm more familiar with these two cultures so here is a list of stereotypes (that are by no means true of anything near every individual) so you can judge for yourself:
- Does not tend to have different levels of formality
- No distinction between work/play, "a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down"
- Dark/"depressing" themes are shunned
- Extremely casual dress in general
- Slob/lazy stereotype
- Light jokes
- Favorite hobbies are playing video games, watching movies, etc.
- "Never discuss religion/politics"
- People tend to be afraid to be opinionated
- Not serious
- Cool and in
- Sharp formality distinctions
- Work first/play later
- "All these German art songs/opera/poems are about death!"
- Dress more formal generally
- Wörk wörk/ORDNUNG MUSS SEIN!
- Dark and "weird" humor
- Favorite hobbies are things like gardening that a lot of people consider work
- Run into cafés and argue about politics for fun
- Lots of stating random opinions and arguing without much hurt feelings
- Overly serious
As a side note, I think Southeast Asian cultures are gamma but I don't know as much about them. I don't know who is alpha.
As I said, obviously not everyone born in America is an Alpha or in Germany is a Beta. These cultural/personality mismatches (especially extreme ones) tend to lead to these things:
- Joining a subculture
- Become an Xophile ("Xaboo") for a culture with the same personality as you
- Being a shut-in
- Excessive Internet communication usage
- Pretending to be someone you're not and becoming depressed (not necessarily in the clinical sense since it goes away when the stimulus also does)
And guess what? People from other countries who move to America tend to be strongly Delta. Ditto for Germany/Austria/Switzerland and Beta. I'm fairly confident about Japan/China/Korea and Gamma as well. I think extraverts actually feel this alienation much stronger and this leads a lot of them to mistype as introverts out of not matching their culture's quadra rather than actually being introverts (especially if they're healthy human beings who also like their alone time like healthy introverts also like talking to other people). If you're an introvert you'll find a few other people like you and possibly decently happy shunning social norms together, but if you're an extravert you want to interact with the wider world generally (whether through sub-culture or culture).
So, what do you all think? You can say anything on the thread topic you want, not just what I said.