Introverts vs. Extroverts: Learning

The acquisition of knowledge has a very different meaning to introverts and extroverts.

Extroverts:  Learning is a means to an ends

Introverts: Learning is an end unto itself.

Extroverts learn something so they can get something.  They usually have a very precise goal for pursuing information.  What is their goal?  It is almost always to get some kind of socially recognized title or certificate.  Without some kind of tangible end result that manifests in one’s social relationships, there is no reason at all to learn.  It is a very typical pattern for an extrovert to plow through countless dry textbooks in order to be awarded some crucial social distinction and then be perfectly happy never again reading another book.  After all books are a waste of time once one has ‘punched the ticket.’  Thereafter, from the Loud perspective, it’s the water cooler interactions and the networking that matters.  For an extrovert, learning is something that is done to you by others.  To teach oneself would be unthinkable, and well, even if it could be done, it would be boring.  Most importantly, one would go through endless hours of trouble without even a promised social stamp of approval at the end.

Introverts learn something because it is fun.  There may not be any immediate or tangible goal.  Or rather, there are multiple goals, some of them tangible and others more in the realm of dream.  Learning is the lifeblood and life purpose of the true introvert.  They will acquire whatever knowledge is necessary to make it in society, but will continue to both broaden and augment their knowledge throughout their lives.  Or often, the recreational accumulation of knowledge and skills gives an introvert everything they need to succeed.  It is a very typical pattern for an introvert to get the skills they need and then keep on learning and expanding just as before.  They read books to get where they are, they keep on reading until the grave.  For the true introvert, all learning starts with the personal volition to learn and love of knowledge.  Learning starts with the self and not with society and social institutions.  An introvert gets formal instruction because they too need formal stamps of approval and because they genuinely enjoy social interaction that revolves around the exchange of information.  However, the instruction of others is just a tool that facilitates the process of self-learning.  From the Subtle perspective learning is not done to us.  Rather we do it to ourselves out of love of knowledge and get help from others along the way.  Social stamps of approval are nice, but they never were the source of motivation.  There is no end to learning.  Instead, it is a personal lifelong journey.

Zygmunt blogs at Kingdom of Introversion (and elsewhere).

Introverts vs. Extroverts: Learning appears here by permission.

[image via Flickr/Creative Commons]

on 10/3/11 in featured, Society | 3 Comments | Read More

Comments (3)


  1. Mark Stairwalt says:

    Anyone having trouble relating these observations to autism is encouraged to consider them in the context of “obsessions,” and special or “restricted” interests.

    Also, it reminds me of the words of an author I’ve long forgotten who had been the first in their family to receive a degree, and described that family as believing that a degree was nothing more than “a sort of crowbar useful for prying more money out of corporations” (overall, unfortunately, something of a self-fulfilling prophecy).

  2. Title…

    […]Here is a superb Weblog You might Come across Fascinating that we Encourage You[…]…

  3. click here says:


    […]just beneath, are various completely not connected web pages to ours, even so, they may be surely really worth going over[…]…

Leave a Reply