I sometimes hear people discuss whether they are extroverts or introverts, but according to motivation research by Ph.D. Steven Reiss, most of us have some extroversion and some introversion, but to a different extent. Reiss calls introversion-extroversion Social Contact, which is one of our 16 motives.
A colleague with a low need for Social Contact usually prefers to work alone most of the time. He/she might not come to After Work either, the person might just need to have some time alone. There is sometimes a misconception, that introverts don’t want to interact with other people. An example of a totally introvert would be a person who chooses to live on his/her own in Alaskan wilderness and make a living by hunting and hating to travel to town for supplies.
Reiss means that we need to consider this in a continuum of motivation from wanting to be alone all of the time to wanting to socialise for all of one’s waking hours. Each person has an optimal level of happiness for experiencing social contact. This does not though include companionship with parents or children (these are other motives).
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