Once an extrovert always an extrovert?

Apparently not the case.

Do people become more introverted as they age? According to Susan Cain, author of Quiet, the answer is yes. Psychologists call this phenomenon “intrinsic maturation” which means that our personalities become more balanced as we get older. We become more emotionally stable, agreeable, and conscientious as we leave our youth behind. We also become quieter and more self-contained, needing less socializing and excitement to be happy. That explains quite a lot in how I have gradually become someone who craves silence.

What’s intriguing is looking at this from an evolutionary standpoint, becoming more “introverted” as we age makes sense, and it may not be such a bad thing. “High levels of extroversion probably help with mating, which is why, most of us are at our most sociable during our teenage and young adult years,” writes Cain. The argument goes, once we settle in life and focus on careers and life, it becomes less important to constantly be meeting new people.

It’s important to note, research confirms, that our personalities can only change so much. Our temperaments remain the same, which means that if you’re an introvert, you’ll probably always be an introvert, even when you’re 85 years old.

Deep down, I am comforted to know I will always be in the extrovert category, even if I now have introverted preferances.

This post was inspired by one shared on LinkedIn by Alicia McKay, with tips for introverts to maintain boundaries.

You can also read the full article on this topic if you wish to go further.

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