I understand your frustration and, as someone closely connected with this work, feel that the Time authors are somewhat to blame for not adequately illuminating subtleties in the research. I am referring to the differences between two competing neural-behavioral systems: neuroticism and extroversion. Whereas extraversion involves the desire to engage with others, neuroticism concerns an individual's tendency to experience negative emotion, including emotion surrounding social situations. The two interact with one another to produce overt "shyness", although it is difficult to disentangle the relative impact of the two systems.I'm still not entirely happy. I can see, and quite accept, that a combination of Introversion and Neuroticism may be one that needs "curing" or "treatment". But I know that the combination of Extraversion and Neuroticism does too. (I won't name you, but you know who you are!)
You are right that it is unfair to expect everyone to be an extravert. Whereas some folks need to ring in the new year surrounded by thousands in Times Square, other would prefer a quiet evening with a select few.
The judgmental tone of the article, though, is presumably aimed toward shyness that is more strongly based in neuroticism. Although some folks may embrace solitude, several others are isolated not because they wish to be, but because their physiological responses prevent them from engaging more fully in the social arena.
It is these individuals, who crave interaction but shrink from it, who may benefit from treatments for what, TO THEM, truly is a problem.
It is these individuals, who crave interaction but shrink from it, who may benefit from treatments for what, TO THEM, truly is a problem.I entirely agree, to the extent that someone desires interaction but shrinks from it they have a problem, and deserve advice and assistance. But let the person choose for them selves. Too often brash extroverts decide for us, and I still want to be alone!
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