intro- + -version (as in diversion)
- 1: : to turn inward or in upon itself: as
- a : to concentrate or direct upon oneself
- 2: the state of or tendency toward being wholly or predominantly concerned with and interested in one's own mental life
Introversion is "the state of or tendency toward being wholly or predominantly concerned with and interested in one's own mental life". Some popular writers have characterized introverts as people whose energy tends to expand through reflection and dwindle during interaction. This is similar to Jung's view, although he focused on psychic energy rather than physical energy. Few modern conceptions make this distinction.
The common modern perception is that introverts tend to be more reserved and less outspoken in groups. They often take pleasure in solitary activities such as reading, writing, using computers, hiking and fishing. The archetypal artist, writer, sculptor, engineer, composer and inventor are all highly introverted. An introvert is likely to enjoy time spent alone and find less reward in time spent with large groups of people, though he or she may enjoy interactions with close friends. Trust is usually an issue of significance: a virtue of utmost importance to an introvert is choosing a worthy companion. They prefer to concentrate on a single activity at a time and like to observe situations before they participate, especially observed in developing children and adolescents. They are more analytical before speaking. Introverts are easily overwhelmed by too much stimulation from social gatherings and engagement, introversion having even been defined by some in terms of a preference for a quiet, more minimally stimulating environment.
Introversion is not seen as being identical to shy or to being a social outcast. Introverts prefer solitary activities over social ones, whereas shy people (who may be extroverts at heart) avoid social encounters out of fear.