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Is life harder for introverted people?

People who are more turned in on themselves, who are quieter, stand in the background and don’t elbow others out of the way to get through are generally referred to as introverted.

But is life harder for these calm people? Do they achieve less? Do they always have to give ground? Karl Leibetseder describes it as follows: “The brain activity and therefore the internal experience of external worlds of experience are more pronounced in these people – they don’t seek stimuli from outside in quite so intensive a way. It is a tendency they are born with. To a certain extent, they experience their environment as more easily overstrained, so they try to counteract the excess stimulation with quieter behaviours.”

These people display task-oriented and relationship-oriented introverted behaviour. Task-oriented people often look for rules and complete things very intentionally and precisely. They do this so they can better structure the external and get it under control. Conversely, introverted, relationship-oriented people focus a great deal on approval and recognition in the interpersonal experience and seek stability here. “In response to the initial question, we can therefore say that task-oriented, introverted people find constantly dealing with new tasks difficult because they want to do them properly. If you come up against an extroverted, dominant boss, this can lead to an overload and associated helplessness,” explains the expert.

Introverted, relationship-oriented people, meanwhile, will constantly strive and struggle to achieve good relationships.

This means everyone needs to find their place in life. Technical and manual professions are more suitable for task-oriented, introverted people while the caring professions are more suitable for relationship-oriented, introverted people. Jobs that require both tasks to be completed and relationships to be built could be suitable for mixed personalities. Examples of this are organisation management or consultants who are in contact with clients.

Leibetseder says “awareness of your own type can play a role when choosing a partner, too. If task-oriented, introverted people live together, this will result in a clinically clean home, but they may paralyse one another with a lack of activity.” If you consider your inner values and reflect on them, you can also try to practise those parts you did not previously develop so well. Public speaking on a regular basis, for example, would be good practice for introverts.

If you would like to talk to an expert about this topic, you are very welcome to come to one of the Austrian family counseling centers. More details and extensive examples go beyond the scope of this brief article. Arrange a free appointment in one of the family counseling centers.

Our interview partner

Dr Karl Leibetseder is a clinical and health psychologist and a trained psychotherapist. Among other things, he advises the “gep-Gesellschaft für Persönlichkeits- und Berufsbildung”.  

gep-Gesellschaft für Persönlichkeits- und Berufsbildung
Am Kirchberg
8111 Gratwein-Straßengel
Website gep

The interview was conducted in January 2022.

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