Extroversion and introversion: systemic understanding

Extroversion and introversion: systemic understanding

People often explain somebody’s actions by classifying him as an extrovert or introvert. These terms were introduced by a Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung. Since their inception, they have become quite popular. Jung gives the following definition of the term:

Introversion is literally “directed inside”. The person is wholly concerned with his mental life. Introverts tend to be sensitive, and inclined to self-analysis and self-criticism. They don't act spontaneously. They are not outgoing and don't express their emotions easily. An introvert is usually deep in his thoughts and fantasies and often prefers contemplation to contacts with other people.

Extroversion is literally “directed outside”. An extroverted person is one whose main interests lie in the outside. The objective world has the highest value for him. An extroverted person prefers social and practical aspects of life in contrast to introverted withdrawal into the world of one’s own imagination and introspection.

These terms were criticized even during Jung’s lifetime. The main argument was that Jung’s definition was too extensive and comprehensive.


Often, it is quite difficult to determine if the person is an extrovert or introvert. Let’s take the following example:

Here is a handsome, well-built man with sparkling, clever eyes. He is friendly and sincere. He is kind to children. He speaks the same language to women. At the same time, he can sit somewhere in solitude reading a book or listening to music. His favourite activity is to spend some time by himself looking at the night sky. So, can he be both an introvert and an extrovert? How can it be?

System-Vector Psychology provides the most accurate way of understanding the nature of such a person. In the above-mentioned case, the guy bears the anal, dermal, and muscular lower vectors and the audial and visual upper vectors. In his living matter capsule (person), there are both introverted and extroverted vectors. Outgoing, joyful, seeking external and internal beauty, always observing and perceiving the outside world, empathetic, and loving other people: This is the extroverted visual vector. Submerged into himself and in the mental processes deep inside, indifferent to all external worlds and trying to find the meaning of life: This is the introverted audial vector. One person can have both these vectors and they don't contradict each other.

We can observe a pure extrovert or a pure introvert when a living matter capsule (a person) possesses only extroverted or introverted vectors.

For example: Consider the person who has only the anal and audial vectors. In an unrealized state, he would sit at home reading science fiction all his life. In case he is realized (like Grigori Perelman, for example) he would be completely focused on science. He wouldn't have the slightest interest in his surroundings. However, in this case, unlike the ever-reading, unrealized, audial person, Perelman is able to make great discoveries which serve all humanity.

The dermal-visual woman (as well as the dermal-visual man) is an example of a pure extrovert. She has a light step. She is always in motion. Her big expressive eyes are sometimes filled with boundless love and sometimes with sadness and empathy. Having the largest amplitude of emotions, she is genuinely interested in life and very sociable.


System-Vector Psychology distinguishes four extroverted vectors and four introverted vectors. All together, they form four complete quartiles which have their outer and inner parts (like everything in the world).

The time quartile: The outer part is the urethral vector (extroverted). The inner part is the anal vector (introverted).

The space quartile: The outer part is the dermal vector (extroverted). The inner part is the muscular vector (introverted).

The information quartile: The outer part is the visual vector (extroverted). The inner part is the audial vector (introverted).

The energy quartile: The outer part is the oral vector (extroverted). The inner part is the olfactory vector (introverted).

Jung was partly right about extroversion and introversion being opposites. If we think of external manifestation of different vectors, for example, if a person is outgoing or not, if he or she prefers companies or solitude and so on, these features indeed contrast. However, if we look at it from the point of view of System-Vector Psychology and understand the role of each vector, it becomes clear that these features create wholeness and complement each other in every quartile.  

The training on the System-Vector Psychology will provide you with deeper understanding of extroversion and introversion and their manifestation in one person.

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The article is based on Yuri Burlan's System-Vector Psychology training
Article was read by 5020 people.
Posted on: May 28, 2013
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