22.8.09

Hi, I'm L__ And I'm An Introvert

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.

4 comments:

GINA said...

If this were a facebook post or note, I would have clicked on the "Like" option!

Insightful essay there by Rauch. And because you and I never had the chance to really interact in the workplace, I found it sooo interesting to read about your 'socializing' habits. Hehe.

I still don't get the Myers-Briggs test. I used to be an INFP back in college. Took the test recently during a team building event, and I was 'diagnosed' as an ENFP. And interestingly enough, Gwen of HR said I was the only one in the office (at that point in time) who was an ENFP.

Anyway. I've always considered myself as an introvert, so feeling ko I only exhibit ENFP characteristics in the workplace. But mostly, i need a lot of 'alone' time esp in the weekends, and I feel really happy doing things by myself. (maybe this is why I'm blissfully single!)

I like how you said that introverts' "socializing battery empties out fast and needs recharging more frequently than others." That's so true!

Thanks for helping clear things up, MCN. Introverts rule! =)

makescoffeenervous said...

It was good to have found that essay and have things explained that way. Odd things now feel normal. :)

I so understand the "crossover" to extraversion when at work. Maybe because interactions come in bursts?

I'm beginning to think that Starbucks is a place for introverts. There's a feeling of community and yet you're alone.

Here, here for the introverts!

Libertine said...

Brilliant post fellow introvert. It's amazing how uniform the introverted experience is, yet how divided we introverts are. I hope that introverts like yourself will continue to reach out to others, and discuss aspects of their personality with each other. Super!

@makescoffeenervous, I believe it's the case that extraverts form many relationships whilst introverts form fewer but monopolise them much more. I very much enjoy the intense interaction that results when getting together with another introvert who is in the mood for discussion.

To all introverts I recommend the writings of Carl Jung, for me his work regarding personality types helped me understand myself much better.

I wouldn't usually promote myself so shamelessly but I've just written a short post on the topic of introversion if you care for it. Introverts unite!

makescoffeenervous said...

Hi, Libertine!

Thank you for visiting my blog and for the insightful feedback. Will definitely check out your blog too!

Warm regards.