Read this tonight and found myself nodding and smiling at what it says.
For a long time I thought I was an extrovert. As a kid I talked nonstop and often got into trouble because of that. Noon naman basta madaldal, extrovert na.
A few years ago I took the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and got INFJ (Introversion, Intuition, Feeling and Judging). This is how the different types are described, in a nutshell:
Extraversion -- preference to focus on the outer world of people and things
Introversion -- preference to focus on the inner world of ideas and impressions
Sensing -- tendency to focus on the present and on concrete information gained from your senses
Intuition -- tendency to focus on the future, with a view towards patterns and possibilities
Thinking -- tendency to base your decisions primarily on logic and on objective analysis of cause and effect
Feeling -- tendency to base your decisions primarily on values and on subjective evaluation of person-centered concerns
Judging -- you like a planned and organized approach to life and prefer to have things settled
Perceiving -- you like a flexible and spontaneous approach to life and prefer to keep your options open
On Facebook, I took the test again and got INFP. A close college friend commented that she never thought of me as introverted. And I said maybe because I have a "game or work face". It was just my little theory and the essay on introversion confirms it.
I've made presentations to big groups, I love selling my stuff in bazaars, I post like crazy on Facebook and comment like there's no tomorrow too. But one-on-one conversations with people (close friends and family included) are something I dread. In fact, when I'm going to a party or family gathering, C knows that I have to be given time to prepare. To psych myself up, to imagine who will be there and to practice in my mind what I'm going to say to people I'll meet.
Long ago, C had to get me iced latte before each visit to his family. Hahaha.
In Facebook, sometimes I feel I've overdosed and I'd be quiet for weeks.
Now I understand why, at parties, I start out cheery, chatty and really hyper sometimes. But give me an hour or two of that and I suddenly turn into a zombie, just staring at people (or more often, wall hangings!), and carefully making sure I nod and laugh at appropriate times.
I live in a compound of townhouses and I need to walk past some neighbors' homes to get to the car. Believe me, if I could make sure the street was clear before I ventured out, I would. My body tenses up each time someone even says good morning!
I'm such an introvert that I don't have a public listing of this blog (except on my twitter account which no one knows about anyway). I posted the blog address on Facebook and took it out a few days after.
Why even blog, right? Well, I love writing and I'd like to keep a record of things for when I'm old and gray and I can't even remember who I am. Haha. It's a safe place to be myself. And I like interacting with the very few (two? three? haha) people who read this blog. It's easy and yet still meaningful.
A lot of times I feel bad because people might mistake the silence and the preference to being alone as a sign of aloofness or uncaring.
It's not that. Sometimes it's just difficult to put across what I want to say. There's no time to edit, unlike when I'm writing.
I think I speak for most introverts when I say that it's not that we don't like being with people. Because we do. It's just that our socializing battery empties out fast and needs recharging more frequently than others.
I feel liberated having read Jonathan Rauch's essay. He hit it right on the nail.