Saturday, September 7, 2013

I'm not shy, I'm not socially awkward ... I'm introverted, there's a difference...

Source
Have any of you guys done the Myers Briggs test?  You know, the one that asks you a bunch of ominously vague questions, then proceeds to give you a four part answer to what your personality type is?

If you were working in an office in the 90's you probably know exactly what I'm talking about.  I think just about every workplace made their employees take that test back then.  They were all obsessed with figuring out just how you ticked so they knew exactly which buttons to push and how to squeeze every last skerrick of work out of you.

Cynical I know, but true.

Like everyone else I did the test, and the results came back exactly as I'd expect them to.  I'm an introvert.  That's not really a shocking revelation.  I've always been one to focus internally rather than externally, and I definitely need my "alone time" or I go a bit crazy. 

But when exactly did introvert become synonymous with socially awkward [link]?

Yes, I'm an introvert.  Yes, I "emotionally recharge" by being on my own.  I like my own company, always have.  But that does not mean I'm incapable of being social!

I spend nine plus hours a day working with a team of 11 other people.  I socialise with friends.  I'm not some caricature of a person who doesn't want to talk to other people and is incapable of maintaining meaningful relationships with others, any more than an extrovert is a loud, opinionated know-it-all who can't help themselves from taking over every social situation they find themselves in!

To be quite frank, the second description sounds a lot more like me than the first, and I'm definitely, 100% an introvert.

But I'd suspect most of us here on the interwebs are introverts, so I'm sure you all share my frustration with how we're willfully misunderstood.

So to all my fellow introverts out there, stand tall, stand proud ... liking your own company is not a psychological disorder.

70 comments:

  1. The Myers Briggs test is so weirdly accurate! I have to have time to myself or I go crazy x

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  2. Hi Kellie! This post was spot on! Thank you for standing up for all of us introverts! The cartoon at the top had me cheering! Our church had a special study group years ago that was amazingly well attended. Everyone took the Myers Brigg test, and we all learned about what the results meant. Maybe our Episcopal priest was looking for people prone to volunteering or giving money or teaching Sunday school? LOL Not really ~ he was one of the best priests/ministers I ever came across in my life, and he sincerely wanted his congregation to understand themselves and others better. Both my husband and I were pegged as Introverts, but I was more centered on the continuum. We were complete opposites on everything else. The experience was actually really insightful, as well as funny. Funny because it was the best-attended study group at our church during the years I was there! Just call me Proud INFJ! LOL Have a good one!

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    1. I suppose it's good to know why we are the way we are :D

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  3. I'm actually an ambivert, which suggests I get along equally well with introverts and extroverts.

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  4. Exactly!! My job requires me to work with people and be 'on' every day and I do it well. I'm not awkward. But, because I am 'on' all day at work, I can't wait to get home to recharge, and don't particularly feel like chatting with my neighbors or whatnot. It's not that I can't chat with neighbors or never do, but I just want to get in my house and be alone. I do have friends, I do go out, all that you would expect from a functioning member of society. I just also really like to be alone :)

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  5. We did this in my Grad program for Psychology and they're uncanningly accurate. I am an introvert as well :)

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  6. My wife just calls me a miserable old git. I suppose I should be happy just to be in a class of my own.

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    1. LOL! I'm sure there are others that would classify for your class ;D

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  7. Nowt wrong with being an introvert!
    But there does seem to be a stigma attached to it at times.. like hey... what's wrong with you?!? lol
    I'm an introvert too.. but I really enjoy company, am very opinionated, and definitely have my OTT moments :)

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    1. I never could work out why it's good to be an extrovert but bad to be an introvert.

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  8. I enjoy being with interesting people & I'm the MOST interesting person I know--what does that make me?

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  9. Where does one take this test? It would be nice to have it confirmed that I am a hermit.

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    1. If you google Meyers Briggs you'll get a whole heap of tests you can do.

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  10. Don't let them stick you in a convenient box.

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    1. Or one of my favourites, labels are for pickle bottles.

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  11. I'm an introvert, but I like to be with other people and have people around me. I can't bear being alone. Not sure what that makes me.

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  12. I think it's good to know your limits and how to treat yourself properly. I'm a major extrovert, but being an only child, I need my alone time too or I go crazier than normal.

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    1. I guess it's never as simple as saying I'm an introvert or extrovert.

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  13. Thanks for that link. It's about goddamn time we introverts took over the world -- or at least the internet. I've been waiting all my life for this development.

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  14. I've never taken this test, but I think I'm a combination. Sometimes I'm the life of the party and other times I like to sit back and watch the world go by.

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    1. I would expect most people are somewhere in the middle, just maybe a bit further towards one end or the other.

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  15. I too am an introvert and always hated it whenever my college classes graded on "participation".

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    1. Ugh, I hate that too. Nothing makes me happier than knowing I won't be graded on whether I speak up in a tutorial.

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  16. Yep! Took it at the office i worked at. I'm an INTP, and definitely NOT socially awkward. Lol.

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  17. Interesting! I am an extrovert, but I HAVE to have alone time or it's not pretty!

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    1. I'd imagine most people need at least a little alone time.

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  18. I swing between acute shyness and being the life and soul of the party (and sometimes I'm even sober!) so I'm not even sure whether I would quite fit in.

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    1. LOL! I'm a bit like that too. It all depends on my mood, the other people there, and the phases of the moon.

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  19. Kelly, I have to make it more of a point to read you every post. I miss you. I think most introverts thrive on the internet. I have a niece that is painfully shy, in person. But on Facebook and Pinterest she is vocal as can be. Isn't that interesting? I am very outgoing. I have to curtail my tone on the internet so I am not in EVERYONE'S FACE!!!! hahahahaha

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    1. LOL! I know a few extreme extroverts and they're always fun to have around.

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  20. I used to work for a training company that used the DISC personality profile test. I test out with a 4 way split. I am equal amounts of the major personality traits. I like being social but I like being alone as well. If you spend all day with other people, of course you need some alone time.

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  21. It is not a disorder to want to have no company than bad company.

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  22. I'm 110% introvert as well and was recently accused of being uppity or stuck up because I tend to keep to myself until I know people. Thanks for this post!

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    1. I suppose it could be seen that way if you didn't come across as shy. I'd imagine I probably come across like that too sometimes.

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  23. So, why is it that society tries to make us feel badly about ourselves if we're not the bubbly, outgoing, life of the party?

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  24. I'm a huge introvert, too. Hey, maybe all of us introverts should all get together and. . . oh, no wait. Never mind.

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  25. I always feel awkward, but I guess I'm such a good actor that no one notices. The interesting thing about the test is that we all have different degrees of proficiency in each of the quadrants. We can utilize those skills in the areas that we are not the most comfortable. I think it's really a test of our preferences. I'd rather keep to myself, but I'm certainly able to mingle.

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  26. Oh me too introverted I love me!! and being with me and doing things by myself SOMETMES!!
    But, to have a choice is the thing....bestest
    daisy j x

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  27. I love people, but I really have to have quiet time too! A lot of people don't understand it, but man sometimes it's like I need some time to myself. Hope you have a great day.

    Heidi’s Wanderings

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    1. I've been known to go AWOL for a few days, just check myself into a hotel and disappear off the radar, when I haven't been able to get enough alone time.

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  28. We had to take the test in high school. ENFP right here. And my husband is ISTJ. I don't know how we even live in the same house.

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    1. LOL! You're completely opposite! I guess they're right, opposites do attract!

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  29. I'm not sure when 'introvert' got such negative connotations attached to it either, but I agree with you, everything has varying levels and 'introverted' does not mean 'socially awkward.' Good post. :)

    Thank you for linking to Super Sunday Sync!

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  30. I'm an INFP - introvert, intuition, feelings, perception. When I took the test a few years ago, I was part of a group of people that was mainly comprised of extroverts. They found my way of thinking and interacting to be weird. At the time, I felt out of place, but I eventually came to accept my personality type. It's nice to see that I'm not the only one.

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  31. I think I was an INFJ which made being a therapist a weird occupation. I like helping people and teaching people stuff but after work hours and on the weekends I kinda like to be a hermit and hang out at my house.

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    1. It sounds like a good personality mix for a therapist to me!

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  32. Have you heard of the word 'ambivert?' I'm a bit obsessed with the word to be honest! Like you, I need along time, but I'd also like to think I'm capable in social situations - perhaps we're ambiverts!

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  33. *slow golf clap* because irks me to no end to be told just because I'm introspective, and pensive, that I need to be outgoing! gregarious! Be normal and out loud like the rest of us!! No. Thank God for those who stop, think, recharge, we need more of that from the boisterous bunch who shouts over everyone because they are funner!!! More interesting!! more entertaining!!!

    xo

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    1. I don't get it either. I don't want to be outgoing! I want to stay home, damn it!

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  34. It's been so long since I've taken that I've forgotten what I was. I was an extremely introverted child and I'm very introverted now, but from my late teens to early 30s I was extremely social. We all did it at a consulting firm I worked at...

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    1. But you reverted back? I guess you can't escape your core personality ;D

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