By Lisa Caplan

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of someone as an introvert? Typically we wrongly think of an introvert as someone who doesn’t like people. Actually, that is not always true. Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert has a lot more to do with how you process things, rather than how outgoing you are.

Traits of an Introvert

  1. They are more reflective.
  2. They recharge and energize alone.
  3. They love to think and deal with the world based on thoughts, memories and ideas in their own heads.
  4. They like their personal space, and don’t like it to be invaded.
  5. They do not see acquaintances as good friends. They form long lasting relationships and have small groups of good friends.
  6. They are very self aware.
  7. They notice details that others miss.
  8. They prefer small groups to large gatherings.
  9. They speak up only after thinking through their answer.
  10. They are creative and imaginative.

Traits of an Extrovert

  1. They recharge and energize with other people.
  2. They work problems out by talking through ideas with other individuals.
  3. They speak before they think.
  4. They speak their mind.
  5. They are seen as approachable and friendly.
  6. They are comfortable sharing about themselves.
  7. They have lots of “friends.”
  8. They like large gatherings.
  9. They love to talk.
  10. They love feedback and are motivated by rewards.

Fun Facts

  1. Roughly half of the population are introverts and half are extroverts.
  2. Introverts have more blood flow to their frontal lobes; the part of the brain that deals with remembering, problem solving, and planning.
  3. Extroverts have more blood flow to areas of the brain involved in driving, listening, and watching.

Carl Jung, the psychiatrist who developed the concepts of introvert and extrovert believed that everyone has one true type, but that it might take time for each person to determine what their type is. Typically, you will not swing from one extreme to another but might find, depending on your stage of life or when you take a personality test, that you fall in different places on the scale.

Knowing if you are an introvert or an extrovert can help you make healthier life choices and be happier overall. Making life choices that fit your personality helps you tap into your energy, and not feel like you are always forcing yourself to do things that you are uncomfortable doing. We will always have to do things out of our comfort zone, but forcing yourself, for example, to have a crazy social schedule if you are an introvert will not allow you to recharge the way you need to. You will always be fighting against your natural tendencies.

For assistance, please contact the Lawyer Assistance Program for free, confidential counseling. We have a network of counselors throughout Maryland. Jim Quinn, Lawyer Assistance Director, (443) 703-3041, jim@msba.org; Lisa Caplan, LCSW-C, Associate Director of the Lawyer Assistance Program, (443) 703-3042, lisa@msba.org. 24/7 Toll Free 1 (888) 388-5459.

Lisa Caplan, LCSW-C has over 20 years experience in her field, and extensive experience working with lawyers and judges in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and trauma.