This question sounds very much like: “are you male or female”? Quite a polarity, is it not? And you seem to have to stick with one or the other; at least many people say so.
Are we born introverts? As we are born girls or boys? And are we condemned to remain as such?
OK, girls and boys become women and men – and during their life they hopefully grow up the many levels of possible human development. The more we proceed in personal growth, the more women can integrate masculine aspects of being and men can explore and integrate feminine qualities. During the last 50 years or so we have done some progress in that. Women have adopted masculine qualities – and often forgotten the feminine ones. And we now begin to claim them back. Men, slowly slowly begin to realize that they would be more complete beings if they could open up to feminine energies without fearing to loose their masculinity. There is still to be done a lot of experimentation and getting comfortable with new identities.
Introverts are born this way? Or did they learn it from conception on? Difficult to decide, I guess. But one thing is clear: at a certain age we behave in one way or other and then we get the respective labels. There are many reasons why we learn to hold back, not to step up, not to put us in the first row, which really were essential in young age for social survival. But later? In adult age we continue in similar ways – and there is nothing wrong with it, unless we step into our own ways. This is the moment to severely consider, if introversion is our fate or if there can be done something.
Often we try to imitate extraverts – like women often imitate men. And the results are, at the long run, not really desirable, as we have the tendency to exaggerate things in the fields we push ourselves into without really knowing the rules and movements there. In time we get better, we learn the skills, get out in more extrovert ways – but still we might feel uncomfortable doing this.
In my opinion this is not a proof of introversion being unchangeable, but only a confirmation of the well known fact, that everything we have experienced and learnt in early childhood seems to us the most natural way of being, and every learning into more adult and appropriate behavior is pushing our edges. All development out of the “already known” towards the fulfillment of our potentials is taking us out of our comfort zones, from childhood on until old age – if we don’t chose to stop the growth process somewhere along the way.
Now it is only a question of terminology if we call ourselves “grown up” or “developed” introverts. What is important alone is the fact that we don’t get stopped any more by limits which an exaggerated introverted behavior puts on us. AND that we don’t adopt the negative features of extraverts.
So we need to integrate the best aspects of our own “old” structure of feeling and behaving with the very best and most useful aspects which people of the other side of the polarity have developed. And vice versa. So we will come to an equilibrated way of being and working together in full respect for each others preferences of being, and always be able to “change roles” when necessary.