The Introverted Brain

Introverts brains do not operate like the brain of an Extrovert.

I learned a lot about introversion from a book called The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World by Psyd, Marti Olsen Laney. In this book, she explains the physiology behind how the brain of an Introvert works versus how the brain of an Extrovert works.

Extroverts wake up full of this stuff called energy and they are so ready to seize the day. On the other hand, Introverts have this slow moving hamster on a wheel that we use to wake up. Let me tell you, those little Russian Teddy Bear Hamsters bite… So, we have to get that hamster going and get our brains going. I like to think of the first home computer my mom bought. It was a Tandy, it had windows 3.1 and if you wanted it to do something, you’d better bring a book or your knitting.

The book explains that there are different operating systems in brain. The Introverts use the Limbic System.

This operating system, or OS, takes a while to get booted up and running. Now, once it’s up and running that does not mean that it’s got the processing power of the operating system the Extroverts use. No, no, no, no, no, no…. and Nope. We still have the original intel processor chip over here. We are dialing up to the internet and we are going to need a moment to think.

When I say think, I mean like Pooh Bear… “Think, think, think, think, think….”

So, when you ask us a question. Please be aware we gotta think about it. You may encounter some silence while you wait, but I promise the answer we come back with will be more than you could ever ask for. Why? Because Introverts have the innate ability to consume and retain knowledge. I will admit that some of it may be quite useless, but we have it.

Extroverts, however, use the Sympathetic System. This means that the all important go-go juice (Dopamine) has a short route to travel and they fire up faster and go, go, go, go… The Parasympathetic System is the e-brake that stops the…. go, go, go, go…..

Here’s the Dopamine route for an Extrovert:

Here’s the Dopamine route for an Introvert:

So… yikes. That’s why it takes us so darn long to think and get going. But we introverts don’t need a whole lot of Dopamine. Extroverts are like Top Fuel Race Cars that need a constant influx to keep it going… and going…. and going…

Too much to an introvert makes us want to cry and run away. OH, and hide. In dark places, in music… away from you me the world… BYE.

Extroverts and Introverts have different brains!

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