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.
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”.
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.