Let's hack introversion...
I've always been on the quiet side. To me, there are few greater pleasures (or comforts) than finding a secluded spot and curling up with a good book. (Extra points if that secluded spot includes a comfy chair and a cup of good coffee, or the shade of a tree and the smell of fresh air and greenery.)
I'm a textbook introvert. Prefer working alone, have always maintained only a few (but very close and dear) friends, and going out for long periods of time in large groups absolutely exhausts me. I don't "dislike" human interaction. but I require (and I do mean require a lot of time alone to recharge).
I posted in another thread that my current job is incongruous with my personality in every way possible. (So you can imagine how drained I am by the end of the day, with having to "fake it" all day long.) I sit in a high-traffic area and am an administrative go-to person, so I'm having to help people with all kinds of random things, not to mention my office is right outside the conference room, so whenever people are waiting for meetings to start or after they've just ended, there are crowds of people who somehow tacitly decide that they should hover around and have endless conversations. Plus, I don't know why this is, but very, VERY few people seem physically capable of standing STILL for more than eight seconds. People fidget like crazy...jingling their keys, clicking the button on retractable pens, fiddling with the change in their pockets. Egads! It's nonstop noise, movement, and just "buzz," know what I mean?
This other thread made me feel like I'm not crazy. Seems like there are plenty of introverts out there. (Hard to realize, since we keep to ourselves, hehheh.) A few things some people said really resonated with. And the "10 myths about introverts" here is spot-on for me. (I was reading the list and thinking, YES! YES! That's EXACTLY it!)
Soooo...my question is, in the grand scheme of ancestral living and more specifically our biological ancestors, do you think there were introverts and extroverts, or is this a modern "creation?" I've been thinking about it in this sense: when we talk about a more "Paleo" lifestyle, it usually involves community. Being part of a group. And of course I identify myself as belonging to several different groups (PH for one, my family, my workplace, etc). BUT...what would it mean in an ancestral sense for someone to NOT WANT to spend a lot of time with the group? To be like, "No, you guys go ahead and roast the pig. I'd rather just stay in the cave by myself tonight..." Or after a long trek/hunt, would there have been some members of the tribe who (after eating) would want to sort of separate themselves from everyone for a while?
Like I said, I've always been quiet and introverted. But I have become much, much more so during the past few years, and my own theory is that it's my way of rejecting all this craziness around me -- lots of people, lots of noise, hubbub, and "buzz." I generally adopt new technology (especially social media) kicking and screaming. I am not the type to be updating Facebook every 3 seconds and I can't STAND the zillions of flashy lights and news tickers on the screen when all I want is a simple news broadcast, y'know? I don't know about any other introverts out there, but for me, it's not just about needing time away from people. It's needing time away from the PACE and the endless supply of DATA coming from all angles. I go out of my way to avoid events that I know will drive me nuts. I even try to do my grocery shopping on a weeknight to avoid the crowds on a Sat or Sun afternoon, and the last place you'll find me is "opening night" of some new "trendy" restaurant.
Does this make any sense? I think it does, as a reaction to the onslaught of the modern world, but how would introversion have played out a few thousand years ago? I don't know that there would have been any advantage to it. All I can think is that during that time, there would have been less to rebel against, so maybe intro/extroversion wasn't as pronounced a personality trait as it is now.