Introversion vs Isolation: The Big Difference
By: Shubhankar Roy
Introversion vs Isolation: Understanding the difference –
“Have the courage to seek the silence within you, and you shall discover a new world within yourself.”A strong-willed introvert
“I don’t open up not because I don’t want to, but simply because I know that no one outside really cares.”An isolated soul
Introversion and isolation might appear to be similar at first glance, but in actuality, they couldn’t be further apart from each other. Introverts are individuals with a penchant to re-discover their true selves through introspection and observation. On the other hand, individuals who prefer to stay isolated are running away or escaping a problem they can’t deal with. Most people misunderstand the two concepts and mischaracterize the introvert archetypes to be someone who “avoids” social interaction; and isolators are perceived to be in the “introvert” phase of life, which may lead to detachment and emotional neglect by loved ones.
To clear out the fog once and for all, Youth Aspiring interviewed Dr Shyamolima Datta, a mental health expert and corporate consultant, who explains the difference between Introversion and Isolation.
Introversion vs Isolation: How to distinguish the two –
Introverts habitually like spending time with themselves; spending time alone and getting to know themselves better boosts their productivity levels. Moreover, introverts prefer interacting with people close to them on a deeper level; generally avoiding small talk and superficial conversations. They are comfortable in their own skin and are accepting of their personality.
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On the other hand, a person isolating themselves due to a mental health issue will always feel uncomfortable with being isolated and alone and not being able to share their true feelings with anyone else. Isolators might experience crying bouts and experience envy if they see someone in a better mental frame than themselves. They start comparing themselves with others and are generally not happy with spending time with themselves. They experience loneliness and avoid human interaction to escape certain situations.
There is a difference between solitude and loneliness: Some people enjoy solitude and having a chance to re-discover themselves; on the other hand, loneliness is the feeling of being alone in the world.
A person leaning towards self-isolation due to a mental uneasiness will display the following symptoms: Crying bouts, experiencing negative thoughts regularly, feeling hopeless and helpless. Staying alone can be difficult for such people but they do so out of compulsion and to avoid obscure conversations.
Introversion vs Isolation: How to Identify Symptoms of Self-Isolation?
It is easier to identify an extrovert going into isolation, as extroverts normally seek social interaction and social stimulus. If an extrovert refuses to participate in any social interactions that they previously enjoyed without any reason and cut off from their social circle, and experiences mood swings: feeling sad, drained and depressed, then they may be experiencing loneliness and choose to shut themselves off from the outside world. Conversely, if an introvert exhibits signs of distress, low self-esteem, binging, emotional eating, excessive sleeping, and not following their usual routine, and detaching from their loved ones – then, that that point, they may be experiencing depression or anxiety.
Are isolation and seclusion forms of escapism?
Taking time off from one’s social gatherings and trying to rejuvenate is a healthy process that a few people adopt. However, isolation becomes a form of escapism if one tries avoiding some form of responsibility or problems in life that they are finding difficult to deal with. Escaping-running away from challenges or problems without healthy confrontation leads to a destitute mental frame. Healthily coping with problems is paramount to form a strong mental frame. In this situation the change is subtle and if a person tries to escape from the reality that surrounds them then they will find themselves in a loop of negative thoughts emotions till they finally take action and break out of it.
How can someone break free from the toxic cycle of self-isolation, or prevent it?
Recognition and acceptance of a mental health issue or a toxic pattern is the first step to break free from them! One must pay cognisance to one’s compulsions, stumbling blocks, and setbacks, and start working on them step-by-step. The next step is to open up to a like-minded person, an expert, or a loved one regarding the loneliness that one is having to undergo. Socialization and knowing you are not alone in your battle against your fears is imperative to feel secure and grounded; belief and willpower also play a crucial role to strengthen one’s mental frame.
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Introversion vs Isolation: The Conclusion –
Introvert or extrovert: no one deserves to feel unhappy, unappreciated, and uncared for in the world. Never let your pain and suffering drive you to isolation. Share your wounds openly with the people that love and appreciate you. Shadows always linger in the darkness, hiding them away never makes them disappear, it only makes them stronger. The best way to destroy a shadow is to shine some light on them; similarly, the best way to destroy your fears and loneliness is to give love to yourself and accept yourself for who you are.
We all have dynamic personalities that make us unique and separate us from the rest of the world. Individually, we should all do what we feel is best for our growth and well-being. Introverts and extroverts – both require comfort, love, and acceptance from their surroundings; love and light can be drawn from interacting with a few close ones, or a plethora of friends and social connections.
Anyone experiencing a roller coaster of negative emotions, self-doubt, worthlessness, anxiety, or some other form of mental health drawback can always reach out to a professional therapist for consultation. No one is ever alone in their journey to find their true self in life, all they need to do is seek out help and support from the people who understand and support them.
We all encounter ups and downs in our life, but strengthening our personal bonds and creating a robust set of connections always helps one in his/her path in life. Be the bookworm or the social butterfly of your circle, but always remember to be yourself, and experience life to the fullest. Stand out as a prideful member of the society striving for inner-fulfilment and bliss.
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