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Arlin Cuncic

Bookworms Can Be Social Butterflies — In Their Own Way

By January 18, 2008

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The terms "introversion" and "extroversion" sometimes get mixed up with shyness and social anxiety. Whether you are introverted or extroverted has little to do with whether you are anxious or shy. Simply put, people who are introverted recharge their batteries best by being alone, while people who are extroverted gather energy from being around other people.

People who are introverted are not necessarily shy or socially anxious Ė many celebrities count themselves among the introverted but have no difficulty performing. On the other hand, people who are extroverted (meaning that they get energy from being around others) may be shy or suffer from social anxiety disorder (SAD). Imagine wanting desperately to go to a party on a Friday night, but being so afraid of being judged or ridiculed that you canít muster the courage to go. That is the life of the extrovert with SAD.

Most people can place themselves in one of the following four categories.

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