What are introversion and extroversion?
Several definitions of “introvert” and “extrovert” exist, so for the sake of this post we will keep things simple. Introverts gain more energy from being alone and they think to talk. Extroverts gain more energy from being with other people and they talk to think.
These are more psychological terms (it’s the first letter in a Myers Briggs personality profile) but many of us have identified with these labels and they have provided a helpful way of explaining our preferences to others. They’ve provided us with a term useful for helping our minds understand the preferences of ourselves and others so we can work better together.
I am reading the book “Quiet” and it talks about how our society is conditioned to think the path of extroversion and boldness is the way to be successful. Society also tends to lead us to believe that introversion is a problem and that it is synonymous with shyness. I am an introvert and this idea has caused me a lot of pain in my life.
While reading, I had a few ideas about how this relates to Human Design and wanted to share.
There is a difference between introversion and shyness.
It’s important to get this one thing straight before we begin. Shyness (shutting yourself down for some reason) is often a byproduct of conditioning, while introversion is more of an inherent trait. The same goes for oversharing or being “too bold” vs. extroversion. Also, people can express both traits in different ways/situations. There’s an authentic version and a “conditioned version” of each trait and both can have pain/trauma around them. This may sound a bit confusing, but your chart gives you a roadmap to what is authentic in you and what is not.
Look at your Sacral first.
An undefined Sacral Center will not be able to maintain continuous levels of energy to socialize. If you have an open Sacral and you are trying to engage in social activities for too long, you will likely burn yourself out. At that point, you may be perceived by others as shy or anti-social, when in reality you are just exhausted. It’s crucial for those of you with an open Sacral center to find the appropriate balance between output and rest. If your Sacral is defined and the situation you’re in is exciting for you, you’ll be able to socialize all day and night and may be perceived as bold or extroverted. However, if you have a defined Sacral and you are doing things you think you “should” and you don’t actually want to be doing them, you may burn out, similar to open Sacrals.
Our Throat Center activations show us the flavors of our communication tendencies.
Silence is actually a natural state for open Throats, and it’s healthier for you to be invited into conversation. However, our conditioned not-self mental dialogue tells us how we “should” talk or be, and we often believe being more talkative is more valuable. When invited into conversation, spontaneously speaking and enjoying the various forms of expression that come through is important. If this is you, embrace the fact that sometimes you might be totally silent and sometimes you might be talkative. There will be a wide spectrum of how you experience communicative energy. Inconsistency is correct for you! It’s all about being true to your strategy and authority, and finding the right people who will honor what you have to offer.
If you have a defined Throat and you are trying to force yourself to be very adaptable or to take on the voice of others, you will likely come off as inauthentic. Talking just because you’ve been conditioned to believe that silence is awkward and uncomfortable is not correct for anyone, whether our throats are defined or not. Our voice comes from our specific gate and channel activations in our throat centers and attempting to take on the voice of others can come off as unnatural and offputting to others.
If you’ve experienced a negative reaction because you’ve expressed yourself inauthentically (this could’ve been as a child before you knew any better— don’t be hard on yourself for this!), you could have a bit of trauma in communicating. This trauma of being shunned or not listened to could lead to shyness in social situations due to a fear of not being accepted for the way you express yourself. In some cases, this shyness could be debilitating and lead to a loss of self-confidence.
Sensitivity in our charts can lead to shyness.
If you have a connection between your G-Center and your Throat Center, you might have a bit more sensitivity than others when it comes to expressing yourself. Your identity, love and sense of direction in life are directly tied to the way you speak. If the things you say are repeatedly not accepted when you are a child, you can feel very wounded in your identity and may become very shy about the way that you express yourself as a result.
Shyness can also have a lot to do with emotional nervousness. The Emotional Solar Plexus is all about the way that we socialize and relate to others. This is true whether your Solar Plexus is defined or undefined, that distinction just determines whether you will experience emotional energy consistently or inconsistently.
If you have been unaware of how you relate to others you might have a history of emotional uncertainty which distorts the way that you view situations. You might feel a lingering, looming sense of nervousness anytime uncertainty arises in your life. Although it can be very difficult, it’s a fear that needs to be overcome.
Look at the spectrum of high and low expressions of the defined energy in your chart for more clarity.
Gate 12 (Standstill, the Gate of Caution)
This gate brings the energy of caution and standstill. There is an attunement to the range of shyness to boldness. If you have gate 12, you may have found yourself being very shy about what you share in the world because you feel very cautious about how it will be received. However, when the timing is right (and you can know the right timing by following your strategy and authority) you can become a deeply passionate, creative, and rich communicator.
Gate 40 (Deliverance, the Gate of Aloneness)
This energy wants to be left alone a lot of the time but simultaneously struggles with intense feelings of loneliness. This can be very confusing, but it’s all about finding a balance between going out into the world to make bonds with friends and family, and retreating back into solitude to process and create. Not everyone is going to understand this, and you may have often felt like the black sheep of the family. Own these needs in yourself and the right people will show up to accept you just as you are.
Gate 6 (Emotional Balance, the Gate of Friction)
This emotional energy carries nervousness about revealing who you really are to people, making you appear very shy. Shyness arises here when trying to avoid “rubbing people the wrong way” which is often necessary for the truth of a situation to come out. Remember, conflict is intimacy. People-pleasing is not.
Gate 22 (Grace, the Gate of Openness)
Uncertain that anyone will listen to you?
If you’ve spoken “out of turn” too often as a child and were made to feel bad about that, you may fear that you’re going to push people away if you express your emotions. You may have even decided that you prefer animals to humans and avoid humans as much as possible. It’s important to learn how to trust the right people and live in positive expectation, or your emotional nervousness can turn you away from all of the beautiful grace and charm that is possible for you to express.
What other gates in the chart do you think say something about your introversion, extroversion, shyness or boldness? This is your experiment, so your own insights about yourself matter most. Let me know what you think in the comments below!
Last but not least, your Human Design Profile says a lot about the way you show up in the world.
In particular, 2 lines (and 6 lines post-Saturn-return) need a lot of alone time in order to thrive. If you have either of these lines in your chart and you have resisted that alone time for fear of missing out on things or for fear of being labeled “shy” or “introverted,” it’s time to begin embracing and loving a bit of solitude. And remember, just because society tends to over-value boldness, introversion is not a negative quality.
To wrap things up…
In the end, the labeling of ourselves as introverted or extroverted might be our minds holding us back a little. We may be trying to answer everyone’s questions about how we exist in the world. But, it’s not always so black and white. There’s always a lot more room for exploration when we drop the labels and tune into our authorities while deciding moment to moment what’s right for us. What does your authority tell you about the best way for you to live? This is exactly what the Human Design experiment is all about. Start there.
>>Want to dig deeper into Human Design? Check out my Gift Library.
>>Want to know which gates you’ve defined? Get your free human design chart.