Lucia has something to say

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Introvert!

I am an introvert. I think introverts are often misunderstood. I’m not shy. I’m not afraid to speak my mind, to do a presentation or socialize. But I am most definitely an introvert.

Back in August, Meno wrote about being an introvert. That post has hovered around my head in tendrils ever since. (Click here to read her post.)

I suspect introverts are a minority, but couldn’t find any good data. Maybe it’s 25% of the population, maybe a third, maybe just under half. I’ve wondered if there’s a higher percentage of introverts in blogland than in the general population.

When I read Meno’s post, I felt comforted. Someone else who doesn’t like to talk about the movie on the way out. Someone else who understands that it takes energy to interact with people. Someone who understands the need for down time.

I have to be convinced to go to parties. They exhaust me. After being “on,” I need time to recharge. By myself. With myself.

There are articles on how to go from being an introvert to an extrovert. It’s not a pathology. Some studies even show that our brains may be hard-wired for being an introvert or extrovert.

So what do you think? Are there many introverts hanging around in blogland?

Add: That li'l collage is new from last night.

18 Comments:

Blogger Heather said...

I've done the Meyers Briggs test several times, and I always used to come out as an extrovert. But lately (since I've had kids, I think), I've shifted over the line and come out more often as an introvert. I'm very close to the line, though. I like parties, but I NEED time alone to replenish in between. I think it has something to do with the fact that, as a mom, more of my time is in demand and I crave the opportunity to be alone now and then.

10:18 PM  
Blogger Thailand Gal said...

I also did the MB test... and scored INTJ. Introversion is as natural to me as breathing. It's not a dislike for others but just an expenditure of energy. We seriously do need more quiet time. And that's not a bad thing. Cute, perky and extroverted.. the Katie Courics are definitely more sought after ~ but who needs to be sought after? :)

Peace,

~Chani

10:58 PM  
Blogger meno said...

You know i am going to agree with you. What better way for introverts to interact on their own terms than through a blog.

I have heard that introverts are 25%. But there does seem to be a preponderance of us in bloggieland.

12:18 AM  
Blogger gr said...

I am an INTJ too, and for the last 10 years, except for walking the dogs, I leave the house only about once a week ( I work at home too). I am not afraid of people and places, but I am pretty happy in my world here. A pretty big and happy window opened with the net and blogging.

5:43 AM  
Blogger Sanjay said...

I am the quiet introverted types.. I guess? I cannotn be the life of a party and take time to open up. I guess that makes me an introvert?
Might as well accept it, I don't agonize over it too much. It also depends who I am around with.

6:04 AM  
Blogger QT said...

I have done the test too, several times, and I am ALWAYS an ESTJ, even tho I don't feel like an extrovert, really. I think being an oldest child forced me into that role, the role of "do-er, decision maker" so I have a lot of practice.

Social events drain me and after a party or gathering I need to retreat to my den - more of an ISTJ trait.

When it comes to social interaction, I definitely go for quality over quantity.

6:59 AM  
Blogger QT said...

I forgot to add -if you made that collage, I love it!

7:02 AM  
Blogger Lucia said...

qt: Yep, I made it last night. Thanks.

8:04 AM  
Anonymous jen said...

J is an introvert - we spent a good part of our relationship figuring out that things that energize me completely exhaust him (social situations) and it took me a while to understand.

Like QT, I always score an ESTJ - having taken it several times, but lately I feel like that that's changing as well...definitely since having M - it's changed.

good post, lucia. and what a great piece of art.

8:39 AM  
Blogger amusing said...

in back of classroom raising hand:

"introvert!"

(With circumstances that require me to pretend I'm not)

8:54 AM  
Blogger Citymouse said...

I hate lables, I know as humans they help us understnd things, but intorvert/extrovert/gay/stright/bold/shy....
Why cant we just say Hi Im Lucia
Hi Lucia Im Mouse
Cool?
Cool!

11:14 AM  
Blogger Mona Buonanotte said...

Every time I take that test, I score something different, depending on my mood.

I'm introverted, and shy. Sometimes. Which I'm sure is taken as snooty and stuck-up by folks who don't know me very well.

Meno's right...blogging is perfect for me!

12:12 PM  
Blogger Maggie said...

Yup. I wasn't sure, but after some reading, I realized I am an introvert also. Perhaps the blogworld is like a magnet that pulls us all together because as we all know, its so much easier to communicate here. To tell how we feel even though we couldn't express that to someone sitting right next to us easily.

12:46 PM  
Blogger gr said...

Never would have guessed that, Maggie. Well, as we are all passing around beers at your blog, maybe that fuels extrovertism?

5:15 PM  
Blogger Bobealia... said...

Love the collage.
I did the Myers Briggs deal in University and I was in the 1% of the most introverted introverts. They said I should be a writer or an artist. However, I am like you... nobody would ever call me an introvert. I've discovered that I tell people everything about myself in order to hide. It's a strange tactic, but it's pretty successful. Anywho, being with people really exhausts me, but I still need them. According to my report, that is the definition of an introvert. The answer to "where do you get your energy from?" can pretty much sum it up. My mother-in-law so obviously gets energy from being with others. She literally comes alive. Introverts are a minority, but I forget the stats. It's probably in the Myers Briggs information somewhere. I think 25% sounds right though.

5:25 PM  
Blogger kat said...

Well... according to both myself and Meyers Briggs I am an Introvert (an Introverted Sensing Feeling Juding Introvert to be precise). And I'm ok with that.

And I hope you are ok with you being one too. I think it's part of what makes you fabulous!

7:23 PM  
Blogger KC said...

Boy Lucia, did this spark some interest.

I'm technically (via MBI)an introvert. Mostly. Sometimes I have the capability of being extroverted, and derive great joy and energy from my interactions with others. It depends. The I/E vector was a weak one.

Now, you got me on this Myers-Briggs kick...may need to post about this.

8:02 PM  
Blogger SilkDragon said...

Introverts in Western Society are probably so misunderstood because it values what many perceive as extrovert qualities. There was an educational program where they commented that "alcohol" is an accepted drug in the USA because side effects of intoxication are consistent with extroversion, while drugs like pot are not accepted because side effects are more consistent with introversion.

The current 'statistic' about the number of introverts is 25%, but that number is based on Western Cultural studies and I don't believe it is accurate worldwide.

What bothers me the most is not being misunderstood - I'm used to that (as a female INTJ, I am supposedly in less than 1% of the population - per M/B, only 25% of females are Thinking). What bothers me is that much of the mental health system still categorize 'introversion' as a pathology (ie - an abnormality that should be treated). They just don't use the word introvert - they call it something else (which I won't even say what it is because it has so many negative, damaging overtones).

Introvert/Extrovert is likely to be a 'hardwired' tendency that is either reinforced positively or negatively by a person's environment. Personally, I think that is why more people 'test' as extroverts. It is also more likely to be a trait that is on a continuum or "more" or "less". It is likely that those who are 'naturally' more in the middle of the continuum are pushed culturally to the more accepted extroversion.

My opinion is that those who test as introverts are likely to be VERY introverted and thus not as influenced by 'cultural norms' to conform.

I have taken M-B across some 20 years and the INT part has never wavered. However, whether I test out as a P or a J is very dependent on my current situation. I'm sure the same is true for others regarding I/E.

Introvert is not what most people think it is. Many people think that Introvert means passive-aggressive - it doesn't. I have been told hundreds of times that I couldn't possibly be an introvert by people who should know better (one was a friend with a degree in psychology - if she didn't get it, how can we expect the general public to understand?).

As someone already stated, it is a matter of energy, but also a matter of brain activity.

I can become energized in 1-on-1 interaction, but in groups more than 4 I start to 'tune-out' and I become critically exhausted in crowds.

Scientific studies have shown that introverts have more brain activity, (than extroverts) specifically in the frontal lobes. It has been hypothesized that Extroverts need the external stimulation because they have "less internally generated brain activity." While introverts have so much brain activity that excess outward stimulation creates 'overload'.

Whenever I start getting discouraged about being an introvert I think about some other introverts: Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Walt Disney, Sir Isaac Newton, and Marie Curie.

So being an introvert cannot be the personality 'defect' that so many people seem to think it is.

2:42 AM  

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