Monday, January 16, 2012

Turning Inwards: A Harmless Tendency

Sometimes it's helpful to return to the basics. For instance, where does the word "introvert" come from?

The prefix "intro-" means inward or within. The "-vert" portion is the Latin stem of the verb vertō or vertere, both of which essentially mean "to turn." So the word introvert means to turn inwards. That's all; nothing more; nothing bad. It's what we do as introverts: we turn inwards.

Introversion seems like such a simple and harmless thing when it's left alone like that. If only things could be left alone more often.

Extroversion is, of course, the opposite. I know that some people dislike the use of the word "extroversion" as opposed to the more accepted term "extraversion", and I understand that on some level, especially since I've had some training in psychology and English. But the two words mean the same thing in the end.

We either tend to turn outwards, or we tend to turn inwards. Sometimes we switch gears and do what we tend not to do. And some of us switch gears more easily than others.

For the most part, it's as simple as that. I wish it could remain that simple.


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