For a long time people that know me have been telling me they think I may suffer from depression and/or anxiety.  So much so that I began to believe it.  I am still somewhat open to the possibility, but my position on the matter is: so what?  I'm not hurting anyone.  I'm certainly not going to alter my body chemistry just because it doesn't match what is "normal".  Where would evolution have gone if all species could change themselves back to "normal"?

 

Last night I read this article about shyness, introversion, and social anxiety.  It confirmed many of my thoughts on the matter, and got me to research introversion more.  Before, I had been aware of the general idea of introversion/extroversion (never studied psychology that much), but I did not know that it could be such a specific and pervasive behavioral trait.  After much reading I found that on the introvert/extrovert scale, I'm about as introverted as you could possibly get.

 

Anyway, in the article the author references Winifred Gallagher: “The glory of the disposition that stops to consider stimuli rather than rushing to engage with them is its long association with intellectual and artistic achievement."  It got me thinking about religion.  Are introverts more likely to analyze the inconsistencies and problems with religion before (or even after) committing to one?  How many atheists are introverts?

 

So, do you consider yourself more introverted than extroverted?  A poll would be awesome, but I don't see an option to add one.

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INFP over here.
INTJ here

I don't think that anyone can be any more introverted than I am, Erik, but I do not think that is the only reason that I am an atheist.  Most of the atheists that I know are talkative.  Our society seems to reward extroverted behavior.  I was disturbed by the sign in the school that said “You can’t ask a teacher for help unless everyone in your group has the same question.”  Teamwork is wonderful, but so is individuality.  This article reminded me that my introversion can be a good thing.  Shyness can be paralyzing, but as the article says “sensitivity, if it is not excessive and is properly nurtured, can be a catalyst for empathy and even leadership”.

Hmmm, is introspection a common component of introversion?  Yes, I think so.  Perhaps not absolutely but it certainly makes sense to me.

And introspection is a good thing.  It's hard to think of when thinking isn't good.  Most people on the planet are inculcated into some religion or other through childhood indoctrination.  This is really rape of innocent young minds.  Trusting children absord, without question, what their authority figures (especially Mommy and Daddy) tell them.  Accepted without the benefit of critical examination, these ideas might never enjoy rational analysis without introspection.  In fact, I'd have to say that my own introspection is at the heart of my passage to deconversion.

So, I think you're onto something there, Erik.  However, I think there's a lot more to it than just one personality trait.
Oh, I agree completely.  I didn't mean to imply I thought introversion was the ONLY thing that led me (or others) to be Atheists - only that it may be a contributing factor.
I have been extremely introverted my whole life. I was the one weird kid everyone picked on (though, to be fair, if who I am now knew who I was then, I would bully me, too). I don't just avoid social situations, they are actually a phobia of mine. Yes, I can be comfortable in a social situation, but only if there are at least two people who know me well enough to know what I can talk about for hours (mostly music [especially Led Zeppelin, guitar solos and playing and such, and also The Blues], religion, science and politics) and are willing to engage me in a discussion on one of those topics.

I'm working on it, of course. Part of why I started going to atheist meet-ups was for this very reason... and... slowly... it's getting easier.

Recently, I've been doing a lot of reading, and I'm becoming rather convinced that I have Asperger Syndrome. The only two things about me that it fails to explain are my over-active imagination and my musical creativity (although, admittedly, I don't think I'm that creative... others seem to think I am, though, for whatever reason), and it only fails two explain those two things because I don't know enough about it yet to know whether or not the lack of imagination is an actual trait or if that's just a stereotype.

But anyways...
They do. Greatest band ever.... :D
It depends on the underlying cause of why you are scared of going out in public. I doubt it's anything genetic and more psychological. If you can ween yourself into a social life then it's probably just a part of your mind you need to overcome - not nature - which should be mended by a professional psychologist. Be mindful of advise on internet forum.

See my reply to NotSarahP below...

 

And yes, I'm quite mindful of internet advice. It's why I'm looking for a professional in Florida who can make a legitimate diagnosis.

I went to FIT for my masters and there are a lot of psychologist there if you live in the area. I've always had an affinity of going to phd students because you get two for one. ;)
I live in Boca Raton. A family friend gave me the card of a psychiatrist who specializes in Autism and related disorders who works at Florida Atlantic University. where I just applied to major in Anthropology and minor in Music Business.
Wouldn't immediately go for a psychiatrist (medicinal doctor) before having checked if a psychologist (therapeutic doctor) can help. I know Florida cured my SADness. ;)

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