IN Psychological Types (1921) Jung put forward a view of personality styles, namely introversion and extroversion which were, he said, natural psychological types and each one of us had such a genetic inheritance imposed and determined at birth.
Frieda Fordham in An Introduction to Jung’s Psychology (1953) said: “… Jung distinguishes two differing attitudes to life, two modes of reacting to circumstances which he finds sufficiently marked and widespread to describe as typical. […]
“The extraverted attitude, characterized by an outward flowing of libido, an interest in events, in people and things, a relationship with them, and a dependence on them; when this attitude is habitual to anyone, Jung describes him or her as an extraverted type. This type is motivated by outside factors and greatly influenced by the environment. The extraverted type is sociable and confident in unfamiliar surroundings. He or she is generally on good terms with the world, and even when disagreeing with it can still be described as related to it, for instead of withdrawing (as the opposite type tends to do) they prefer to argue and quarrel, or try to reshape it according to their own pattern.”
As such an introverted soul gains internal nourishment from being alone whereas the extrovert seeks out others to replenish their stocks of social fuel. Are our genetic social preferences determined by nature? According to Jung the answer is yes: and that is fine.
“The introverted attitude, in contrast, is one of withdrawal the libido flows inward and is concentrated upon subjective factors, and the predominating influence is ‘inner necessity’. When this attitude is habitual Jung speaks of an ‘introverted type’. This type lacks confidence in relation to people and things, tends to be unsociable, and prefers reflection to activity. Each type undervalues the other, seeing the negative rather than the positive qualities of the opposite attitude, a fact which has led to endless misunderstanding and, even in the course of time, to the formulation of antagonistic philosophies, conflicting psychologies, and different values and ways of life.”
But did Mother Nature have a part to play in determining our place in the typology of our psychological inheritance? Did our ancestors evolve into introverted cave trolls in the northern hemisphere? And are are tropical playmates more determined to have a jolly disposition? If so this predetermination could explain ‘seasonal affective disorder’ and our inherited tendency to ‘hibernate’ as winter rolls in.
Aletheia Luna (2015) in Quiet Strength: Embracing, Empowering and Honoring Yourself as an Introvert explored the idea that there are 11 deeply introverted countries. As you will notice they are mainly in colder regions where the culture has a the mood of a silent disco: a melancholic inbuilt desire to sit by a fire and knit.
These inbuilt inheritances, socially and culturally, have transformed the human nature of the inhabitants of particular regions. And as such the onset of autumn will trigger a response in the collective psyche. This isn’t about necessarily running to the doctor to demand antidepressants. But it may require certain types of people to acknowledge their predispositions and allow for a natural tendency to retreat into their homes and put on the PJs.
So what countries house serial introverts?
Photo by: Peperoni
Population: 8,414,638 (2011 Census).
Cool Attractions: Melk Abbey, Vienna State Opera, Hohensalzburg Castle, Hofburg Imperial Palace, Innsbruck Altstadt, Schönbrunn Palace.
What people say: “I’ve been to Austria a few times, beautiful country, introverted yes, friendly, not so much.” (city-data.com)
Photo by: Antonio Ponte
Population: 11,035,948 (2012 Census).
Official Language: Dutch, French, German.
Cool Attractions: Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent, Liege, Spa, Namur, Mechelen, Hasselt, Dinant.
What people say: “Of the nineteen or so countries I visited, perhaps the most profound experience was in the Flanders region of Belgium. It was here I embraced the knowledge of how special it was to live as an introvert.”(nancyfenn.wordpress.com)
Photo by: Sina
Population: 10,436,560 (2011 Census).
Official Language: Czech.
Cool Attractions: Prague Castle, Terezin, Concentration Camp, Cesky Krumlor, Konopiste Chateau, Karlovyvary.
What people say: “In the USA I can get along, though too much “people time” makes me tired and edgy. Here in Prague, though, my introvert nature can breathe an expand, as this is an introvert nation”. (praguepies.blogspot.com.au)
Photo by: Nelson L.
Population: 5,602,536 (2013 Estimate).
Cool Attractions: Tivoli Gardens, Legoland Billund, Tycho Brake Planetarium, Rosenborg Castle, The Little Mermaid.
What people say: “(The Danish) are just not easy to know on a closer level. I would say they are more private and keep to those they know well.” (portal.foreignersindenmark.dk)
Photo by: Neil Howard
Population: 1,294,455 (2011 Census).
Cool Attractions: Tallinn Zoo, Lahemaa National Park, Tartu, Parnu, Rouge, St. Mary’s Cathedral.
What people say: “On average, Estonians are introverted and they do not show much emotion”. (www.photologix.nl)
Photo by: Antii Merivirta
Population: 5,421,827 (2012 Estimate).
Cool Attractions: Fortress of Suomenlinna, Power Park, Lapland, Rauma, Helsinki Cathedral, Mekaanisen Musiik in Museo.
What people say: “Put two Finns in an elevator. Neither of them says a word and they don’t feel uneasy at all. There is mutual understanding between them that they didn’t have to start small talk”. (www.wrongplanet.net)
Photo by: Moyan Brenn
Population: 321,857 (2013 Estimate).
Cool Attractions: Gullfloss Waterfall, The Blue Lagoon, Geysir Hot Springs, Vatnajokull National Park, Lake Myvatn.
What people say: Iceland has a whole section of a social networking site dedicated to Icelandic introverts and shy singles. Enough said.
Photo by: Alejandro
Population: 128,056,026 (2010 Census).
Cool Attractions: Mount Fuji, Great Buddha of Kamakura, Golden Pavilion, Disneyland, Imperial Palace, Hiroshima, Universal Studios.
What people say: “But at some point it hit me: I’m an introvert and Japan is a country that rewards introverted behaviour. Suddenly I knew why I never felt very comfortable in the US, where extroverted behaviour is praised … I have often said that if I were going to design my own country, it would resemble Japan”. (bungotaketa.wordpress.com)
Photo by: Graham
Population: 2,970,371 (2011 Census).
Official Language: Latvian
Cool Attractions: Siguida Castle, Venta Waterfall, Pedvale Open-Air Museum, Aglona Basilica, Rundale Palace and Museum.
What people say: “… people here are introvert(ed) and communicate inside their close circle of friends”.
Photo by: Claudio.Ar
Population: 9,555,893 (2012 Census).
Official Language: Swedish.
Cool Attractions: Liseberg Funpark, Slottet Castle, Carl Larsson-Garden, Foteville Viking Reserve, Domkyrkan Cathedral, ABBA:The Museum.
What people say: “... social relationships are particularly problematic among Swedes. This may manifest itself as communication apprehension, reservedness, desire for social autonomy, positive attitudes towards loneliness, and strict boundaries between private and public life“. (www.nordicway.com)
Photo by: Francisco Antunes
Population: 7,954,700 (2011 Census).
Official Language: German, French, Italian, Romansh.
Cool Attractions: Lake Geneva, Swiss Alps, Maison Cailler Chocolate Factory, Zurich, Interlaken, Lucerne.
What people say: “Switzerland’s type is much more introverted, inward, private. Few Swiss, for example, entertain others in their homes. Where an introvert in America is the “odd man out”, in Switzerland the introvert is the norm“. (jungiancenter.org)
Okay so we have found some countries where introverts can live. The point Jung makes is he or she can only adapt to his inner world and achieve harmony with himself when he is adapted to the environmental conditions. In Psychological Types (1921) he states:
“There is a whole class of men [he says] who at the moment of reaction to a given situation at first draw back a little as if with an unvoiced ‘No’, and only after that are able to react; and there is another class who, in the same situation, come forward with an immediate reaction, apparently confident that their behavior is obviously right. The former class would therefore be characterized by a certain negative relation to the object, and the latter by a positive one … the former class corresponds to the introverted and the second to the extraverted attitude.“