Contrary to popular belief, introverts need people just as much as extraverts do –just in different ways. Introverts don’t necessarily get their energy from being around people the way that extraverts do, but we still need people for emotional/psychological reasons.
Why Everyone needs people:
#1 We need to know we’re not alone
At some point in life, everyone wants to know they’re not alone –even if they don’t want to admit it. When you’re isolated for too long, you can’t help feeling that isolation –either that or you just start to feel empty inside.
When you have people you can talk to and relate to when you need them, you get the reassurance that you are not stuck alone as a pointless consciousness inside your head.
Introverts and extraverts are equally prone to feelings of isolation, and each person can handle different amounts of it. I for instance, can handle far too much of it for my own good –whereas my ENFP sibling ends up feeling lonely after only a week of separation from social interaction.
#2 We need an ethical rebounding point
This goes more so for Fe-types than for Fi-types, but to a certain extent, it affects both (just in different ways). Mary Crawley, from Downton Abbey is a perfect example of this. She’s very detached from her feelings, and as a result, she isn’t always sure whether she’s doing the right thing –so she asks people for advice (mainly Carson and Anna).
In general, I think when we start to feel alone, we start to question whether we’re a good person. Even if you’re an Fi-user, when you get really damaged by the pains of life, you start to think you might actually be a bad person.
Nearing his regeneration, the Tenth Doctor (Fi user) also starts to question his morality. “I’ve gone too far.” “I’ve lived too long.”
And sometimes, he just needs someone to stop him. Even after he’s lost all of his companions, he still goes back and talks to Donna’s grandpa because he needs someone to talk through ethics with.
The Tenth Doctor died for that man –but think, if the Tenth Doctor truly only had himself, what kind of person would he be?
The Twelfth Doctor (Fi user), though he never talks about it, is surely lonely. (Irrefutable evidence: in the series finale for season 8, Missy gets his hopes up of finding Galifrey, and when he goes to the coordinates and finds that nothing is there –he cries). He too questions his morality, going to Clara, asking, “Am I a good man?”
The difference between Fi and Fe users is that Fe users are more likely to adopt the advice they hear, but not necessarily accept views of themselves. Whereas the Fi user will sit on the advice for a while and eventually settle for something in-between their original view and the other person’s.
Example: Mary Crawley accepts Carson and Anna’s advice, whereas the Twelfth Doctor has to figure it out for himself (he knew exactly what Clara meant when she said “I don’t know,” but he still came to conclusions for himself in the end).
Either way, morality always involves more than just yourself, so even Fi users have to consider other people in their moral views.
#3 We need emotional fulfilment
Ever heard of the five love languages? Everyone gets their emotional fulfilment differently.
Some people need physical interaction (hugs, touching) to get emotional fulfilment. Other people need to do things for others and have things done for them. Still, others need verbal acknowledgment of love, words of encouragement etc.
I absolutely hate hugs –but I hug my Dad (INTP) because I know that he needs me to do that for him to feel better when he’s down. My mom (ESTJ) wants you to express love for her by doing things for her.
If we don’t fulfil those needs, we end up feeling as though no one understands or cares about us –and most of the time, that’s a false belief.
My advice is to figure out what type of relationships that you need to have with people and make sure that you are fulfilling your needs.
#4 We need meaning
Trust me, when it comes down to it, people and relationships are what will make your life meaningful –and that’s coming from a cold, hardened INTJ, so you better listen.
Even if you think your first love is whatever else you love (besides people) there would be little point to that hobby without people. If you’re a writer, chances are, your stories are about people, and intended to be read by people.
If you’re a scientist, what would be the point of science without any other people in the world. Honestly, how boring would that be?
Everything you do affects other people, and everything other people do affects you. There is no escaping it. You are not solely the product of your own making. Part of you was formed by the society and/or family and culture you grew up in.
Your experiences with other people radically alter the person you might be if you were alone in the world. For instance, I’m an INTJ, but my sarcastic, dark sense of humour has rubbed off on my ENFP sibling. Meanwhile, their sensitivity has rubbed off on me to make me less of a robot.
The Doctor’s companions humanise him –and he Timelords them back. George from Of Mice and Men, makes plenty of choices he wouldn’t have made had he not had Lenny with him. John Watson humanises Sherlock, and in return, some of Sherlock rubs off on John.
Ender Wiggin, when in a rut of despair, goes to his sister Valentine –and that’s the only thing that can make him move forward. Bruce Wayne changes his entire outlook on life because of something Rachel said to him, and Alfred is there to encourage him in his darkest moments.
Trust me, even if you feel unworthy of other people, even if you feel you are a danger to them, even if you don’t like them, even if you don’t trust, fear, get along with or understand them –you need them.
I think…many of us at some point decide that we would be better off alone –but it’s the truly strong people that are able to get past that point and realise that even with all our shortcomings WE NEED PEOPLE.
The Tenth Doctor is notoriously known for his loneliness. He hates to be alone, but believes that it’s better that way because so many people are hurt by being with him –but in the end, he accepts the fact that he needs people.
That even though it’s morally wrong to hurt people, it’s just as morally wrong to hurt yourself. His final words say it all, “I don’t want to go!”
One thought on “Introverts Need People Too”
This is really good. I’m an INFJ, and incredibly introverted, and at times I decide that the more isolation I subject myself to, the better. I also tend to develop significant emotional dissociation when I don’t make an effort to have some social interaction with people I like and respect and share some common ground with. Do you think there are many upper Fe users who struggle with emotional dissociation? I consistently experience it in varying degrees (even at my most social). I understand things intellectually, but can’t engage them emotionally, so I find myself pretending to engage emotionally while really only functioning intellectually. That is clearly the Fe way to deal with emotional dissociation – try to make the other person feel comfortable and understood and cared for, but it’s not something I’ve heard much about from other people.
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