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Comments

marnie

I can't think of anything that had described me so aptly and I feel more justified than ever in my insistence on having plenty of "me" time.

marianne

Nothing wrong with being an introvert. I just retook the MBTI and my type has changed - from INFP to ISFP. My F and my P are strong (yikes), but I'm borderline with I/E and N/S. That wedding dude sounds like a PITA - I think I would have been tempted to retort with 'And how old are you, frat boy?'.

minty

I certainly don't need no Myers-Briggs to tell me I'm an extreme introvert. Jerry, if you and I were locked in a room, the force of the combined introversion would probably create a vacuum, and kill us both.

pinky

my circle of friends definitely includes a lot of extroverted introverts, a club in which I'm a charter member. That's why it's always such a relief when I spend time with people who can talk - I relax and then I babble on. The silence (unless you are specifically being quiet on purpose) absolutely kills me.

Phil

But how easy it is for all of us to have dinner together -- go figure!

One thing to mention: non-strong-introverts (like me) appreciate it and feel honored when you spend social time with us. Recognizing that you're having to "work" when you're being social, and that you have limited social energy to share, it's touching when you spend some of that time with "us".

As for me, I have equal parts of strong introversion and strong extroversion. Comes out to an even balance, but it's nothing like ambivalence. People sometimes ask me "but you seem so energize when you're around people -- how can that be equated with introversion?" Sweetie, that's energy flowing *out* that's making the waterwheel spin spin spin.

Fortunately, I am not usually a PITA. (Marianne, will you fully develop that inventory for us to use in evaluating others?)

Dawn

I've always been perceived as an extrovert, and until recently (the last few years) I would have agreed. My pattern seems to be lots of extroversion all at once, and then desperately needed great swaths of introversion. I disappear socially for weeks at a time. My job requires extroversion, and there are times I'm just not in that space, so I "perform" Dawn and damn, that is exhausting. I'm really trying for a better balance, but it's a struggle. It's important enough for me to keep trying, though.

Jerry's right, though. I am rewarded culturally for my extrovert behavior -- I think that's part of why its so hard to give it up.

Amanda

As Garrison Keillor once said, "Shy rights: why not pretty soon?"

Marianne

I have been working on a very solitary task at work, and I'm finding it's sending me over the edge into non-verbal seclusion. Help me!

Jerry

Amanda: I considered that as the headline for this post. (Although the article makes clear that shyness and introversion are not the same thing.) But I've stolen enough stuff from other writers for this blog.

Dawn: Rewarding people for extroversion is a very American idea. Something I read on the topic (I don't think it was in the original article) said that America is just a big ol' friendly country. In other countries -- Scandanavian countries, for example -- extroversion seems to be more looked askance upon. Can anybody confirm that?

Marianne: What can we, or I, do to help? As long as it doesn't involve small talk with strangers, I'm here for you.

lisa

There's a beautiful moment in 'sex, lies, and videotape' when the andie macdowell character is describing her sister, and she says, "I think she an *extrovert*." She says "extrovert" like it's the dirtiest, most awful thing in the world. It's like code for "slutty ho".

lastewie

I think I must fall into a similar category as Phil. Either that or I am just an extrovert who spends a lot of time alone. All's I know is that sometimes I hover on the E/I scale, and other times I am hugely skewed towards extroversion.

So I am offended on that E side of me. "Slutty Ho," being part of "The Man," which I try to avoid doing...Indeed!

Y'all might know me better than I do myself. Am I an extrovert?

Nick

Jerry,

From my brain to your blog. I'm totally with you on this. I think there's also a tendency for introverts to become actors - it was my first dream (to be crushed). I've had two seminal moments in my life about dealing with introversion, and I'll share the second since it's like yours. I was in my sister's wedding (including some speaking) and decided to approach it as an acting job. I had a part, I developed my script, and I was totally somebody else for the entire day. At the end of the day, I got a slew complements from other family members on how natural and moving I was. Pshaw!

Regarding Scandanavians, refer to Garrison Keillor's joke show circa 2000(?): How do you tell if a Norwegian is an extrovert? They stare at _your_ shoes when they talk to you.

We are definitiely discriminated against. No ones going to promote an introvert: we wouldn't interact with our new underlings - in a culturally acceptable way.

I'm sure the person who put the pen in your dryer was an extrovert.

Jerry

Actually, it's not so much that I didn't want to rip of Garrison Keillor -- it's that I wanted to rip off James Brown even more.

Lisa: And now my niece is friends with Andie McDowell's daughter! Which has nothing to do with anything, really.

Stwpnts: I always thought you were extroverted, but I only ever see you when you're around other people, myself included. And being an extrovert, of course, doesn't make one a slutty ho. Although it certainly might help.

Nick: I think the pen guy may have just been an asshole.

lastewie

Andie McDowell apparently thinks extroverts are slutty hos (see lisa's comment). Andie McDowell probably told her daughter that I am a slutty ho, and then she told your niece. Did your niece tell you I am a slutty ho, or did you just decide that on your own? Huh? Huh? Do I have to challenge you to another dance off? :-) (emoticon so you know I am being silly...)

I guess I must be an extrovert, but then that opens me up to a bunch of my introverted friends (are all my friends introverts? possibly) blaming me for putting pens in dryers JUST to mess up introverts'laundry.

I made the extrovert call just now on one piece of information: I blog when I want to run my mouth off but there's nobody around to listen.

Rupert

"Don't touch me! Don't question me! Don't speak to me! Stay with me!"

-Act II, Waiting for Godot.

Jerry

Well done, Rupert. I must have just searched the first act before.

Marianne

I would pay good money to see a dance-off with introverts.

Jerry

It would probably look something like this.

Okay, not really, but... any excuse to post that.

Rupert

Why the switch from Nietzsche to Einstein?

Jerry

Why not?

Rupert

Evil genius or cuddly genius?

Tough call. We could go either way.

Gina

So, speaking from the "far-extroverted camp" (of which I would say I was the leader, but I probably just talk the most), I <3 introverts. I date them exclusively (geekly ones, at that). Most of my closest friends are introverts (mostly INTPs, to match my ENFJness), and they teach me many valuable things. About thinking. And stuff.

The flip side of the coin is that an-extrovert-surrounded-by-introverts, I always felt extremely shallow. I have no need for mornings spent in contemplation. Depressing "films" merely depress me. I don't wonder (all that much) about my role in the universe (which, as far as I can see is pretty simple: increase net good).

And, finally, 'lo these many years later, I've realized that when introverts don't call, it really doesn't mean they hate you. They are probably just watching old black-and-white movies at home alone on a Friday night and are **happy to be doing that**!!! (You can probably tell by my tone that realizing it is *not* the same thing as grokking it.)

Lee

Funny how this post keeps coming up in my Bloglines.

I was complaining to my mother a couple of years ago about a particularly family-filled weekend and how exhausting it was going to be. My mom said, "but I'm your mother! I'm not work!" Um. Yeah. I didn't have the heart to tell her that she can be a lot of work: she doesn't want to all of the talking, she expects *me* to talk a lot, too. It's painful.

I have to go put my head down now.

Elaine@bloginmyeye

Kinda makes you want to move to Asia and just bow a lot.

Josephine@prattlingon

Jerry, I had cause to re-read your blog yesterday afternoon. Very insightful.

#1 - I'm not sure why you test out all over the place when you take the MBTI. There are many bad versions of the test out there. You are clearly an INTP per our earlier discussions. You also seem to me to be very strongly I and very strongly N.

#2 - Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let me say that INxxs are very rare indeed... and I think they're very special people. You and the other INxxs I've known have an ability to come up with the most brilliant insights. I often feel my best around INxxs, because they balance out my EN tendencies to look outside of myself for patterns and connections. For example, when I'm around you I can be self-reflective in a way I don't seem to be able to achieve even in solitude. It's like I'm so attuned to your introversion that I non-consciously try to give you space... which gives me much needed mental space to reflect.

#3 - I also really appreciate the comment (see above) by Gina @ how it is to be an extravert surrounded by introverts. One of the most frustrating things about E/I interactions for me is that I feel like I have to constantly draw things out of the I's in my life. This Introvert opacity both attracts me and frustrates me. And it has led me to draw incorrect conclusions about the I's in my life b/c I don't have all the information I need.

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