While it’s pretty easy to spot the extrovert in the room, finding an introvert might be harder that you think. I’ve met many types of introverts from the classic soft spoken girl to the confident goofball whose true character unexpectedly blossoms away from crowds. What Joceline wrote in her post is absolutely true. Being an introvert or extrovert isn’t just about how social you are; it’s about how you process your problems and handle your energy levels too.
Though I’m far from shy and soft spoken, in my heart I’m a true introvert. I have an abundance of cliché characteristics and habits that support this label. Unlike Joceline, I can get from point A to point B quite easily with only my thoughts for company – even if the journey lasts almost 6 hours. I prefer quality one-on-one time with people verses large group gatherings. On weekends, I’ve become the undisputed coffee shop rat of Winston-Salem, North Carolina (ask any local barista). My favorite feeling in the world is probably snuggling with a down comforter and a book while rain gently thuds against my window. If I liked scotch at all, I’d probably grab a glass right now and gaze thoughtfully out the nearest window. You get the idea…
For a few weeks now, Joceline and I have wanted to write twin extrovert/introvert pieces. (Read her post from yesterday here if you haven’t yet.) The labels seemed like obvious choices for us – she being the bubbly social butterfly and me being the lower-key homebody. If we were Disney characters, Joceline would be Mushu and I might be Mulan’s lucky cricket…*
Sometimes there’s an inaccurate loner stigma that comes from being a self-declared introvert. That’s probably why you don’t meet many self-declared introverts. Think about it. During the countless icebreakers of our youth, someone always poses the question “Are you an introvert or an extrovert?” to the group. The extroverts will have no problem owning up to their personality types. They are extroverts, after all. More often than not, the introverts will either remain silent or someone else (like an extrovert…) will call out their introverted ways for them. This awkward situation never ceases to amuse me and I’m sure I’m destined to encounter it at least five more times in my life.
I’m certainly not timid and I’m far from a loner, but if I had to nail down my specific breed of introversion I’d call it “The Wandering Introvert.” For comparison’s sake, I took the same personality test that Joceline linked to in her post (results can be seen below). Many of the questions clearly indicated my introversion, but there were some that surprised me. For instance, though I consider myself a private person and I value alone time to unwind at the end of the day, I still love meeting new people and have no qualms about approaching strangers. These characteristics are probably what pushed me towards the center of the circle below, but I don’t see them as incompatible with my observant, introverted nature. Trust me, my personality has’t stopped me from collecting temporary addresses like postage stamps.** I really love the independence that comes from being a stranger in a random place. Whether it’s through simple people watching or meeting unique characters one-by-one, I’ve really enjoyed the daily novelties I’ve encountered outside my comfort zone during postgraduate life.
“Extroversion results were medium which suggests you are moderately talkative, outgoing, sociable and interacting. (OK, I’ll take it!) Psychoticism results were moderately low which suggests you are, at times, overly kind natured, trusting, and helpful at the expense of your own individual development aka “martyr complex.” (oops…)
Joceline, perhaps if we fused our personalities together we could improve our “personal” development. What say you? Maybe we can learn something from each other…or maybe we can just entertain each other. Either way works for me!
Oh, and in case anyone was wondering, I’m exactly 35% Indie.
*The random Disney reference can be easily explained. As an introvert, I take care to set aside much needed “me time” and the other day that “me time” was spent re-watching Mulan. This was an excellent decision, I’m sure you will agree.
**It’s almost embrassing how many times I’ve moved this year. My only regret is how complicated I made my taxes. Just thinking all those state returns gives me a headache. Oh, the downside of being a wanderer…