Differing personality types define the formation of relationships


Julia Roseborough

Student at Carlmont High School takes a break, and a moment to themselves, as they sit on the bleachers overlooking the field.

The world is made up of billions of people, each different from the next, built up of two alternative personality types: the introvert and the extrovert. While people with introverted personalities tend to gain energy from within, those with extroverted personalities gain their energy from others. With different tendencies and contrasting views on the world, the relationships between these two alternate versions of people differ to a great extent.

Society has set the standards for these personality types by creating a view of precisely what each personality is without evaluating what it really means to be an extrovert or introvert, in turn, creating a stereotype. In reality, these personality types differ significantly with each person.

 The chair of the psychology department at Northwestern University, Dan McAdams, noted such nuances in psychology. 

“There are no pure types in psychology,” McAdams said. “Extroversion and introversion are on a continuous range, like height and weight. Some people score at the extremes, who are very heavy, very tall, or very extroverted — but most people fall in the middle of these bell-shaped curves.”

Within the human brain, many neurons are set off by stimuli in the environment. In an introvert, every stimulus travels in a complex path of neurons, passing through points of emotional memory, analysis, and planning in the brain.

According to Exploring Your Mind, an online magazine focusing on psychology, personal development, and well-being, introverts are unhurried and have a different rhythm; they have different needs. More specifically, to them, the world goes too fast at times and doesn’t give them time to analyze every detail as they’d prefer.

The introverted mindset will, therefore, tend to have a lower threshold for social interactions. Many still enjoy to socialize and form deep, lasting relationships with others; however, they have specific needs for the relationships they build, according to Exploring Your Mind.

The teacher and supervisor of the Associated Student Body (ASB), Jim Kelly, spends most of his days with the students at Carlmont. In this role, he is in constant contact with various personalities at the school and has noticed common patterns among the two types of personalities.

“From my observations, an introverted person will most likely not have a large group of friends, but the friendships they do have will be deep and meaningful relationships,” Kelly said.

Extroverts have a lower sensitivity to stimuli which causes them to be much quicker to act and respond. They tend not to like being on their own for very long, but instead, feel better when they are around others spending time with friends, family, and acquaintances, according to Exploring Your Mind.

“The extroverted person will have more friend groups, and as the relationships won’t necessarily be as intimate, they will be very satisfying nonetheless,” Kelly said.

At Carlmont, around 2,400 kids fill the halls, everyone with differing personalities and manners in which they go about their lives. Fittingly, each has a way that they define being introverted or extroverted.

“If you are an introvert, then you would know more about yourself and are probably able to connect with people better. If someone is extroverted, it’s more like let’s go out and have fun with other people, not mattering who they know or how well they know them,” sophomore Hayden Pendleton said.

Others look more into how students’ personalities affect the bonds they can form with others in high school.

“I would say that introverts still have friends in high school, but their groups tend to be smaller while extroverts seem to talk to a bunch of different people,” sophomore Jack Peacock said.

While all personality types tend to have pros and cons, most people choose to find the benefits of their own, as living as one or the other has a significant effect on skewing one’s personal views on the world.

“I’m an extrovert, and it typically benefits my relationships because I am so eager to connect with everyone and take the first step into a new relationship. It helps especially if the other person is more introverted and not as comfortable being as open to meeting new people,” sophomore Paige Wellman said.

Although the extroverted students of Carlmont believe their personalities have to lead them to create considerable amounts of friendships, the introverted students tend to find a different way to connect with others.

“I would say I’m mostly an introvert, but I have small bursts of being an extrovert with specific people. As an introvert, I don’t go out or hang out with people very often, and I also don’t make new friends very easily, and if I do, it is slowly. Once I’m bonded with someone, I’m with them for as long as possible. For me, being an introvert mostly has to do with going out and making friends,” said Sarah Jolls, a senior.

Kelly  believes these personalities have affected the overall environment built at the school.

“I’m impressed by our students in that they are so accepting of all kinds of types, whether it be personality styles, gender styles, learning styles, etc. We seem to have a well-adjusted student body in that way,” Kelly said.

Although there is diversity within personalities at Carlmont, the students all share the same classes and education, connecting both introverts and extroverts throughout the day, in and outside of school. This similarity has helped these differing personalities to be able to create and build relationships throughout high school.