The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Question: Sir, can an introvert become more communicative?
Acharya Prashant (AP): Why does an introvert need to be more communicative?
Listener (L): He has some fears and doubts when he talks to someone.
AP: Who is an introvert?
L: The one who is afraid of asking doubts.
AP: That is not introversion, that is fear.
L: An introvert is someone who keeps everything to himself. The one who is afraid of expressing himself.
AP: There may be a fellow who speaks too much because of fear. ‘Introvert’ and ‘extrovert’ are not solid classifications. The more closely you look at them, you will find that they are just layers of smoke. Who is an introvert?
L: The one who is shy.
L: The one who is quiet.
AP: Shyness and quietness do not have anything in common.
L: The one who wants to be isolated.
L: The one who fears rejection from society.
AP: The one who has fears rejection from society? See, whatever is coming from you all as the meaning of ‘introvert’ is very different from each other.
Introversion is just a vague, hazy image. A person is a person. It is usually assumed that an introvert is a person who does not talk much. And if you are an extrovert, you like to talk a lot.
But as I said that you can keep so much to yourself because you are afraid, and you can even speak too much because you are afraid. The quantity of your verbiage does not matter. Just reduce the question to asking how do I get rid of fear. That is sufficient. Introvert, extrovert do not matter.
You are afraid of speaking in front of others because you think your image will be spoiled. Did you ask that question when there were a hundred students sitting here? But now that there are only ten left, you are comfortable in asking this question, because the chances of spoiling your image are far less than the situation when there were a hundred people.