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Why do some people change from extroverts to introverts?

Both researched objective answers from professionals and anecdotal subjective answers from those who feel they have undergone this change welcome.
Quora UserQuora User, I Love Sunsets
12 upvotes by Quora User, David Urquhart, Ayush Jaiswal, (more)
Since I just read David Stewart's answer to What is the best question no-one has ever asked you before? and Quora User's comment to David about the coincidence that resulted in Christine asking this question, I find it interesting that I happen to be in the middle of a book about behavior AND I'm at a point where the author is discussing this exact topic.  

Interesting book. Recommended. The Emotional Life of Your Brain: How Its Unique Patterns Affect the Way You Think, Feel, and Live-and How You Can Change Them: Richard J. Davidson, Sharon Begley: 9781594630897.

Dr. Davidson used fMRIs as part of a study to test a previously held belief that turned out to be totally false — that children who start out as introverts or extroverts never change.

As it turns out, young extroverts turn into introverts (and vice versa) all the time.

According to the author, extroverts who turn into introverts often experience traumatic events that dramatically impact on their personalities (and the correlating brain activity). One example he used was a child who started out (I believe he was 3 years old) as the most outgoing and biggest extrovert in the study and later returned as a sedate introvert. The reason given was that, when the boy was eight years old, he witnessed his father's slow demise from cancer. Though not mentioned, my guess is that the trauma was exacerbated by the emotional and financial ramifications on the mother that often accompany medical crises. 

BTW, I don't think trauma is the only factor that can turn an extrovert into an introvert. But it makes sense that traumatic experiences can knock the confidence and lack of concern out of impressionable and vulnerable children.

Just found the following:

Susan Cain - The Power of Introverts by Ayush Jaiswal on Introvert support group

It includes an excellent TedTalk presentation — The Power of Introverts. Highly recommended.
David StewartDavid Stewart, not even the right wrong David... (more)
5 upvotes by Quora User, Quora User, Julie Prentice, (more)
I have no idea, I really don't. I've thought about this and often wondered. My own change was gradual and occurred after I left school. I used to want to be the life of any party but now I don't like parties much at all.

If I had to put a theory forward I'd suggest that I was always an introvert at heart but I didn't have the self-confidence I have now and I lacked the outlets that I now possess to give my life some kind of validity and worth. Back then I needed people to look at me to give my life meaning but today I can spend a long time on my own without worrying that I'm worthless because I'm not attracting any attention.

This is a great question by the way and thanks to Christine for asking it. I would have answered sooner but I was away on a school camp. Back when I was a student I loved camps and was always the last to bed. Now I'm a teacher I find them really tiring and have long showers because it's the only place I can get any space and solitude.
Quora UserQuora User, mind-reader.
13 upvotes by Quora User, Quora User, Quora User, (more)
Carl Jung, the first psychologist to name and explore the concept, actually believed that over a person's life span, extroversion and introversion tend to balance with healthy development.

Contemporary personality psychologists view extroversion and introversion as a fixed part of someone's brain physiology, which, like all biological variables, follows a 'normal distribution.' That is, most people are near the average between introversion and extroversion, and extremities are rare. Just like height and weight. That means that people who are close to the average will often cross over to the other side based on context and mood.
David UrquhartDavid Urquhart, Garden labourer
4 upvotes by Quora User, Quora User, Jesse Lashley, (more)
I think I used to perform for approval, using comedy to feel ok, but when I really started to connect with my emotions and vulnerability, then I became far less willing to "be on stage". I just watched a documentary about comedian Conan O'Brien and I sense a similar disconnect between mind and spirit. (The film is on Netflix.)

There must be true extroverts, who are integrated and not covering a deficit. I just can't think of one.
Scott JamesScott James, Myers Briggs Profiler / Blogge... (more)
6 upvotes by Quora User, Caroline Zelonka, Ayush Jaiswal, (more)
They don't. Everyone has introverted and extraverted functions that make up our personality, so from a certain point of view we're both introverts and extraverts. What actually makes us one or the other, however, is which function is our primary. This function uses more of our brain than any other and it doesn't appear that this can be changed.

As we get older we'll naturally develop our non-dominant functions and become more well-rounded. Technically this doesn't change whether we're introverted or extraverted though.

Functions work together such that when our dominant function is say a an extraverted perceiving function, such as Extraverted Intuition, our secondary function must be an introverted judging function (either Introverted Thinking or Introverted Feeling). This is an extravert couldn't just exercise their introverted functions and become an introvert. It would essentially require a complete re-organization of the functions which would likely be extremely difficult and stressful.

Here's some more info that's geared towards beginners if any of that is unclear: Are You an Introvert or an Extravert? Are You Sure?
Susan PielstickerSusan Pielsticker, MBTI Practitioner certified by... (more)
The don't change. They are inherently one style. However at times an introvert may be required to behave or shift to what seems like a more extroverted style for work or other. For example: such as a teacher who must stand in front of class and lecture. They must work to be  entertaining  & interact with the whole class. So they may seem very extroverted but when than moment is over retreat back to the "preferred" Introverted style of processing & expression.
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