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If you've met me and I told you I'm an introvert, you'd laugh. In fact, I've met me, and when my therapist told me I'm an introvert, I could have laughed. Me? An introvert? But I love to talk! (Too much, perhaps) I get really lonely if I go too long without seeing other people. I'm not shy at all. I love conversation so much that it bums me out to go anywhere where I'm with others but can't talk, like a club with loud music. By the time I was 4 years old, the other kids called me "Motormouth." And I still find that embarrassing, because it still rings a little too true.

Well, I'm not the most introverty of introverts, but I'm realizing that I am one. And I'm realizing that introversion is largely misunderstood in pop culture - and that accurately understanding myself as an introvert is really, REALLY helpful. Join me below.

What is an introvert? It's not the same as being shy or socially phobic or socially awkward. Introversion or extroversion is a trait you cannot change. It has to do with how your brain works. The major distinction has to do with how you generate and use energy. The extrovert gets energized by being around people. The introvert gets drained of energy when around people and needs some time alone to recharge.

This doesn't mean that an extrovert never enjoys - or even needs - time alone, just as it doesn't mean that the introvert doesn't ever want to be around people. Introversion and extroversion is a spectrum, and you fall somewhere along that spectrum.

Introverts are also more likely to enjoy conversation one on one or with small groups, instead of in large groups. And that describes me perfectly. I love being with people one on one. I like parties too, but within a party, I seek out one on one conversations with the people there.

This year, I decided to have a gathering for my birthday. I invited all of my friends to a particularly beautiful part of a nature reserve and told them to bring a dish as a pot luck. Many came. While there, I talked to them one on one. And after the fact, I thought, "Gee, it was stupid to have a party. I only got to talk to each person for a few minutes. I would have preferred to have lunch or dinner or a nice hike with each of them individually so I could spend more than a few minutes with each person."

Culturally, celebration means "party" - but that's not really the right thing for me.

About 75 percent of people are extroverts, which means introverts are outnumbered. Plus, introverts often take longer to think before they talk or maybe talk quietly or not at all. That means that extroverts are doing most of the talking, and controlling most of the conversation. And guess what? They think it's great to be just like them.

And it is great to be like them. It's also great to be NOT like them. It's great to be whatever you are. But that's not the message that introverts often hear.

As I'm coming to grips with the idea of myself as an introvert, I'm realizing that many of my old stereotypes of myself as "not very much fun" are wrong. OK, I'm mega-boring to an extrovert, but I'm plenty of fun to ME.

Recently, I decided to do a bit of online dating. I put up a profile and before long, I had several guys asking me out. I ended up with plans to go hiking and have dinner with one guy on Thursday, another on Saturday, dinner with someone else on Sunday, and I've got a coffee planned with a fourth guy on Tuesday. Usually, I go hiking nearly every day, aiming for 5-6 days a week, and I go to the farmers' market every Sunday. This Thursday, I'm also taking my ex's daughter out for her 7th birthday.

Needless to say, I'm exhausted.

I normally wouldn't make so many plans to go out, because I'm a good cook and I'm thrilled to have friends over for dinner, but I'm not letting some blind date I'm meeting for the first time into my apartment. So we're going out. And the birthday dinner? Yeah, that's gotta be special. It means going out too.

Mr. Thursday was a nice guy. A real gentleman. I met him at 4pm for a hike on the most high-traffic trail in the city (to be safe) and afterward he treated me to a wonderful dinner. I got the sense that he wasn't that into me.

I got Friday to myself. I went grocery shopping at the organic food co-op.

Mr. Saturday was a nightmare. Let's just say, "No chemistry." After the hike I shook him off as quickly as possible and went home to cook myself a nice dinner.

First thing the next morning, I went to the farmers' market and stuck around for several hours, doing my shopping and catching up with my friends there. Then back home for a few hours respite before Mr. Sunday showed up. Given the timing, I didn't get to go hiking.

Mr. Sunday took me to a nice wine bar for a great meal. He was either a jerk or a contrarian who enjoyed saying stupid things to get me riled up. I don't really care which. I don't plan to see him ever again.

So now it's Monday. Ahhh... a day to myself. Phew. I am WIPED OUT. So here I am, drinking coffee, listening to NPR, dealing with my Obamacare situation (they really need better hold music on their phone hotline), and lining up interviews for the week for a story I'm writing about fish for And I'm in my pajamas!

Today Mr. Tuesday emailed me to ask "How was your weekend?" Well, I'm not going to mention to him that I was dating other guys, but I did say I went out with friends each day. And, I added, my weekend was a bit too eventful for me. I would have preferred fewer things outside of my home, to be honest. By the time Sunday night rolled around, going out for dinner yet again was just too damn much.

By extrovert terms, this probably makes me boring. And my whole life, I would have interpreted my feelings this way. Why am I so boring? Here I had this lovely packed weekend and I'm wishing I didn't. I should have loved it. Well, it would have been better if the guys I'd gone out with were better matches, but still.

Will Mr. Tuesday judge me and find me boring for my desire to spend more time at home? I can't say I care. If he does, then we're not meant to be. Being an introvert does not make you boring or unacceptable. It makes you an introvert. (If that's boring to the 75% of the world that are extroverts, that's fine... none of them are required to live my life or date me.)

This interesting turn in my life makes me wonder how many other introverts are out there, feeling like they are boring or social failures, or pushing themselves to get out and socialize more without respecting their need to build down time into their schedules to recharge. Because that's what I've done my entire life, and so far, it sure hasn't turned me into an extrovert.

UPDATE: Wow, what an unexpected response! I want to respond to a few comments that go something like "I'm an introvert and I hate it when boring extroverts yap nonstop about themselves." I would say that the problem with those people is not their extroversion, but their self-centeredness.

I've got several friends who are wonderful people, yet extroverts. I really struggle with it, since they are people who I highly enjoy talking to ONE ON ONE because we have great conversations and they have lots of interesting things to say. They also listen and care about me, too. But they really feed off of going out and being with large groups, not the one on one get togethers I like. As a result, I end up seeing them at parties, but rarely one on one. And it's highly unfulfilling to me precisely BECAUSE they are such fantastic people when I do get to actually talk to them in a way that is meaningful to me. Being at a party with them, seeing them in the middle of a large group, where I am unable to have a good, one on one conversation with them is torment for me. It's like seeing exactly what I want (my friend) dangled in front of my face and yet being entirely unable to have it. Because for me, there's nothing more unfulfilling than that group banter that goes back and forth and talks, ultimately, about NOTHING.

(My therapist reminds me that that sort of shallow group banter that my extroverted friends enjoy is not "pointless stupid bullshit" - which is my opinion - but it is actually helping to "establish group cohesion" for everyone else in the group except me. Not that my friends wish to exclude me. From their point of view, it would be like, "So? Join in!" Only I can't, and I don't find it fun.)

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  •  Tip Jar (216+ / 0-)
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  •  I'm an introvert and have always known that. (41+ / 0-)

    And, to the best of my knowledge, I don't have a shy bone in my body.

    You know, kid - you're an individual.  Not entirely like anybody else on the planet, but also not all that very different from a lot of them either.

    Hi, Jill.  If you've been around here lately, I've managed to miss you.

    Strength and dignity are her clothing, she rejoices at the days to come; She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue.

    by loggersbrat on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 02:33:18 PM PST

    •  Explanation for the unitiated: INTP is a "type", (30+ / 0-)

      … a Jungian psychological personality type, as defined and determined by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

      In my case, almost exactly on the "cusp" between INTP and INFP.

      The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war. ♥ ♥ ♥ Forget Neo — The One is Minori Urakawa

      by lotlizard on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 03:16:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right there with you n/t (6+ / 0-)

        It will not get easier before it gets harder. But the harder it gets, the easier it will be.

        by Richard Cranium on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 05:59:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm an INTP also (11+ / 0-)

        Had an interesting experience many years ago when a group of company executives went on a retreat and we collectively did the Myers-Briggs Test.  We spent a good portion of a day exploring who was what.  Seems there are types that fit into career segments very nicely.  INTPs are good engineers, I don't remember the others, but manufacturing/operations guys were more likely more rigid in their lives, and marketing types were most likely extroverts.  It was one of the most interesting discussions.  Clearly, Myers-Briggs didn't accidently come up with this test.  But it does seem to hold some merit and most people thought the description of their personality traits were spot on.  A fun exercise for anyone who hasn't done it.  You can do it online and I think the cost is fairly low and maybe free.

        "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength", George Orwell, "1984" -7.63 -5.95

        by dangoch on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 06:33:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Here's an explanation I wrote up once too ... (12+ / 0-)

        ... which may help the uninitiated:


        SENSING (S)...............................INTUITION (N)

        THINKING (T).................................FEELING (F)

        JUDGING (J)...........................PERCEIVING (P)

        Each scale is a continuum, and is often measured as a percentage.  For example, a 50% score on the Extraversion/Introversion scale would indicate a person fairly balanced in those qualities, while an 89% on the N-scale indicates a highly intuitive person.  

        In non-technical terms, each scale can be described as follows:

        Extraversion/Introversion:  Contrary to popular belief, this does not simply refer to whether a person is outgoing or shy.  Extraversion and Introversion refer to a person’s basic orientation to the world.  Is his mental energy mostly focused on things outside himself, or on his own thoughts, feelings, and ideas?

        Sensing/Intuition:  This refers to the way a person picks up information about the world.  Sensing is just what it sounds to be.  A person strong in Sensing is sensitive to colors, sounds, and so on.  After meeting a stranger, a strongly sensing person would be able to describe the encounter in very concrete, vivid terms:  what the person was wearing, what colors, what hairstyle, etc.  

        An intuitive person, on the other hand, might not notice even obvious details.  However, she would be able to describe the overall feeling of the encounter in very subtle terms:  what the mood was, how it changed, and so on.  Intuition tends to be holistic, sensitive to overall patterns and relationships.

        Thinking/Feeling:  After a person has picked up information, what does he do with it?  How are decisions made?  Thinking and Feeling are what are commonly referred to as “head” and “heart.”  A thinking person engages the world in a logical manner based on reason.  Others might describe him as “objective” or “analytical.”

        Feeling does not refer only to emotion, although that plays a large part.  It is very much related to nonrational impulses, “gut feelings” and values.  A feeling person may be able to list a million logical reasons why he should do something, but if his gut feeling says to do the illogical thing, the feeling will win out.  Often the only explanation is, “It feels right.”

        Judging/Perceiving:  I have no idea why these words were chosen, as I don't find they have much of anything to do with the concepts they're supposed to convey.  Go figure.  These words refer to a person’s preference for orderliness and resolution.  A judging person likes things structured and defined, and likes labels and categories.  She is someone who plans out a detailed itinerary for a vacation.  She is fastidious and likes boundaries and rules.  Judging breaks things down and separates.

        A strongly perceiving person gets anxious if things are too structured or defined.  He improvises, and is comfortable with ambiguity and lack of resolution.  He likes exceptions and diffuse boundaries.  Perceiving integrates and looks for relatedness among parts.

        Based on the preferences expressed in a series of  questions, the MBTI assigns a person to one of sixteen possible personality types -- ESTP, ISTP, ENTP, and so on.  These are not meant to slap simplistic labels on people, but rather are meant as a tool for self-exploration.  In marriage counseling, for example, they might help a couple understand areas of conflict, as in the case of a judging husband and a perceiving wife who experience a lot of friction deciding what to do with vacation time.

        It's the way the qualities interact which lead to the subtleties and complexities.  Our society is overwhelmingly ESTJ in its orientation, so anyone who is primarily any of the opposites is going to be something of a misfit.  As I note elsewhere, the polar opposites -- INFP -- are going to be the real space aliens in our society (less than 1% of the population).
        •  I wonder why I always come up an INF*J* (7+ / 0-)

          I couldn't be orderly or structured if I tried. ;P

          God bless our tinfoil hearts.

          by aitchdee on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 10:57:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Maybe you're just BARELY into the J area? (4+ / 0-)

            That's the scale I come out pretty balanced on -- maybe like 51% "P" ... but almost equally a "J".

            Or maybe it comes out in other areas for you? -- like, do you consider yourself a verbal person who likes things expressed precisely and carefully?  Or do you like your ideas and concepts in well-defined categories?

            •  INFJ and INFP are very very different, though (5+ / 0-)
              That's the scale I come out pretty balanced on -- maybe like 51% "P" ... but almost equally a "J".
              IMO this is the problem with tests that use the dichotomies and don't orient more to the cognitive function stacks underlying each code.
              Or maybe it comes out in other areas for you? -- like, do you consider yourself a verbal person who likes things expressed precisely and carefully?  Or do you like your ideas and concepts in well-defined categories?
              The bolded part would map to introverted thinking (Ti) in the INFJ and it's our third function. INFJs tend to have relatively strong Ti, we're often the most "thinky" of the Fs.

              INFPs are very different in the thinking function - their T function is in the fourth, known as the "inferior" position, and it's extroverted thinking (Te) not introverted thinking. Extroverted thinking is more about deductive logic, numbers etc, not so much about precision and accuracy in words and that orientation to categories. As an INFJ, I often find my INFP's thinking function:

              1) Frustratingly illogical because Te is her inferior function and all too often shows up erratically and in frustrating ( to me) support of her dominant function, introverted feeling.

              2) Blocky and linear and often unconcerned with the analytical stuff I find fascinating, like accuracy of words, categories etc (in fact, she has told me many times "I don't think in categories!" when I try to communicate from that space.)


              I'd say that someone who is into precision in word use, and orients toward categories AND who is trying to figure out if they're INFJ or INFP should lean strongly toward INFJ. Of course, they might also be INTP, which has introverted thinking as the dominant function.

              •  INTJ here... (7+ / 0-)

                I have been self employed all my life and have started 4 art/creative/design businesses, all but one solitary endeavors.

                Had i known decades ago that this was a personality type and not a dysfunction, there would have been much less agida about fitting in.

                The horrors of high school explained.

                'How like fish we are: ready, nay, eager, to seize upon whatever new thing.......And how we rue our haste, finding the gilded morsel to contain a hook". ALDO LEOPOLD - A Sand County Almanac

                by flowerfarmer on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 07:31:12 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Another INTJ checking in (6+ / 0-)

                  We make good researchers or lawyers, which is why I've gravitated toward research in the physical sciences all my adult life. I had to work for a couple of years in an open bullpen environment and HATED it. Just HATED it. Of course, it didn't help that there were many non-professionals there, whose idea of a productive Wednesday afternoon was to have a three hour discussion about their social outings from the previous weekend...


                  •  I work alone in my studio (6+ / 0-)

                    and even when i was married, most of my waking hours were spent alone, designing, thinking, or walking in the woods, being there now. I don't even like the chatter from the radio and often do not turn on any audio media until after dark.

                    I did enjoy being married since my husband was almost as introverted as i and i find it fascinating to read of fellow introverts whose spouses are extroverted and how that plays into daily life.

                    Decades ago, for my design business, i went, one weekend, to the garment district in NYC and stayed with a sweet friend who graciously took me to plays, restaurants and museums.
                    By Sunday morning, i denned myself in her bathroom for a couple of hours- took a photo of myself in the mirror to document that i looked 10 years older, just from the stress of being out in a whirlwind social environment.

                    'How like fish we are: ready, nay, eager, to seize upon whatever new thing.......And how we rue our haste, finding the gilded morsel to contain a hook". ALDO LEOPOLD - A Sand County Almanac

                    by flowerfarmer on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 09:38:31 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  I agree! Self-understanding is SO important. (7+ / 0-)

                  I look back at my Myers-Briggs list of traits periodically, so that I can keep in mind what my strengths are my potential Achille's heels.

                  I'm a INFP,- they could put my picture next to the description!- and my gentleman friend is an INFJ. We are good compliments because he helps ground me, but we both share sensitivities and ways of understanding the world. We have traits in common, but we're distinct enough that we can learn from each other's different outlooks. He really helps me grow!!

          •  J/P means first EXTROVERTED function in MBTI (6+ / 0-)

            Looking at the cognitive function stacks for each type is really useful IMO. INFJs (and I am one) are actually perceiving-dominant, while INFPs are actually judging dominant.

            MBTI assigns judging or perceiving (J or P at the end of the 4 letter code) differently for extroverts versus introverts. Extroverts' first (dominant) cognitive function is extroverted, so their dominant is the same as the J or P at the end. Introverts' first (dominant) function is introverted, and J/P refers to the first extroverted function.

            Intuition and sensing are perceiving functions, feeling and thinking are judging functions.

            INFJ cognitive functions:
            1. Introverted iNtuition (Ni)
            2. Extroverted feeling (Fe)
            3. Introverted Thinking (Ti)
            4. Extroverted sensing (Se)

            INFP cognitive functions

            1. Introverted Feeling (Fi)
            2. Extroverted iNtuition(Ne)
            3. Introvertred Sensing (Si)
            4. Extroverted Thinking (Te)

            I myself am INFJ, no question about it. Orderly and structured isn't quite right for me at all. But, for example - I do like to know what my specific role is in a group. But , for example - I like some level of discussion and agreement about things like "when are we going to hang out" or even when my sweetie is planning to be home because it helps me to know when I can sink deep into my own little world and when I can look forward to being with her.

            Both examples above correlate to the INFJ second/aux cognitive function: extroverted feeling (Fe).

            My inner and primary world, introverted intuition, is very open - it's a perceiving function. I take in lots and lots of unfiltered information and am fine with that. I think that for me the above examples represent a sort of balance. My inner world is so flexible and open, if my dealings with the external world were similar, I would have no way to center myself.

            In contrast, my INFP mate's inner world is quite rigid, by my standards. She's judging dominant and she filters information through her primary judging function. But she is much more "go with the flow" than I am in interactions with the external world. She needs something to keep her judging-dominant self from getting too rigid, so she interacts with the external world in a more open way. Basically a mirror image of my situation.


            I really strongly encourage people to look into the cognitive function stack stuff to understand the MBTI 4-letter types. From that angle of vision, there is a world of difference between two 4-letter types that appear to be very similar from the letters (INFJ and INFP in my situation)

            •  Very enlightening (3+ / 0-)

              Hi, Michelle. With this, and your other comment in this thread above, I have a much better understanding of my INFJ self--thank you! I am an INFJ, no doubt about it. In fact, you and I are a lot alike. ;-)

              God bless our tinfoil hearts.

              by aitchdee on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 03:50:36 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Hmm. I feel like my INFJ boyfriend is WAY more (5+ / 0-)

              judgmental than my INFP-self.  INFP's are famously gentle and easygoing until our values are challenged, and then we are virtually intractable. That shows some rigidity, for sure, I guess I find myself getting bullied a lot by folks that see the easygoing, gentle side, and then they are startled when they see that there is a point at which I absolutely won't back down. They are caught by surprised, but that's what they get for being bullying assholes.

              My INFJ boyfriend, on the other hand, is totally unsympathetic, from the get go, to people who don't meet his ethical standards. I am MUCH more tolerant and empathetic,as a general rule. I don't relate to what you're seeing in your partner at all, but these definitions are overarching, obviously, and not rule books.

              •  this may be linked to more specifics re: functions (5+ / 0-)

                Hey samanthab, I think that it could be useful to differentiate between the inner world and external interactions here, and also to keep in mind that (the cognitive processes angle of MBTI at least) is at its core not about personality but about information processing.

                If you're an INFP, your primary function is introverted feeling (Fi) and your second (auxiliary) function is extroverted intuition (Ne). In order for information to get to you, it generally will have to pass through your Fi filter (your individual values). This process of filtering may be invisible to you because it is so normal to how you do things you don't even notice.

                I don't know if you've ever had a discussion with your boyfriend about his inner world, or if he would even be able to describe this to you in a way that makes sense in words (we often have difficulty with that translation), but - INFJs generally have an inner world inside of which we perceive ourselves located within or observing or moving within or some variation thereof (note: when we try to describe it in words, we often use metaphors and visual images and if we can pay attention, we also get gut/visceral senses of things).

                We don't create this world - it exists and we perceive it from our own specific vantage point within it.

                The information inflow is huge, initially unspecific in terms of conscious meaning and often confusing at first, but we're okay with that in a way that a judging-dominant would not be. Depending on how much you and your boyfriend share and attend to the differences in your respective inner information processing systems, you may see hints of this that you haven't named as such in the past.



                In interactions with the outside world - associated with our first extroverted functions which for introverts are not our primary but our aux/second functions  -  the situation is different.

                As an INFP, your second/aux function is extroverted intuition (Ne). As far as I can understand it, Ne is an expansive and broad perception of many possibilities. Ne will never override your dominant function, but it's likely more visible to others and in your external movements in the world. This is part of the "go with the flow" thing that INFPs have.

                In contrast, INFJs first extroverted function is a judging one - extroverted feeling (Fe). This function orients and assigns high legitimacy to the collective values of the group, collective, external world. In our dealings with others in the visible/external world, we're going to tend toward looking to see if there are shared values in any relationship, group, environment we're part of and engaging in judging processes related to that.  

                And the Fi versus Fe difference is relevant too. As an INFP, your value system is individual, yours - you don't have to negotiate shared values with other people, so you can adopt a live and let live, seemingly more tolerant approach to judging values and ethics.

                Your boyfriend's Fe means he seeks accord/harmony related to collective values. Where you are in control of your value system because it is in individual one based on and chosen by you, he is more open to and affected by value influences from outside of himself. You can be tolerant because external values don't affect you the way they affect an INFJ - because for you as an INFP, your values are under your control and others' values don't matter as much because they don't affect you the way the affect an INFJ.


          •  I think it's not that simple (0+ / 0-)

            I was an INFP in my 20's, then the F became a nebulous T in my 30's. Funny how many of us IN** types are on this site.

            I know what you are saying, but I think POV matters in the analysis. I tend to be very systematic at tasks, and need information delivered in a structured way, or I get anxious - precisely, I think, because my own mind tends to be a bit of a mess.

            In college, I would take home notes from a lecture and have to spend time completely re-doing them in a way that made sense to my brain before I could start studying. But if I'm trying to impart information to someone else, I tend to deliver the exact same stream of consciousness that would make me insane if someone aimed it at me. Heh-heh.

        •  A humorous example for a PS ... (6+ / 0-)

          ... to further explain the difference between a "sensing" person vs. an "intuitive" person.  Here is a true story.

          Once at work I was walking through our main office and noticed it had been painted blue (whereas before it was white).

          I said, "Oh, that's a nice change!  When did they do that?"

          The office worker:  "Three weeks ago."

          Clearly I am not a strongly "sensing" person.  It can also be embarrassing when I say things like, "Oh, that's a nice new hairstyle!  When did you do that?"

          "Last month."

          •  Yup., INFJs have sensing as our inferior function (5+ / 0-)

            I've had many moments like what you describe.

            On the up side, in my experience, developing and experiencing extroverted sensing (Se) in service to introverted intuition can be AWESOME. Have you ever felt the deep amazing magic of sensory joy in a nature setting, or lost yourself in the physical sensation of listening to music? Se is also a GREAT source of constant information, and the information may not be conscious but if you pay attention to your gut/visceral responses via introverted intuition, data from your sensing function is part of it.

      •  I/ENFP, depending on the year (4+ / 0-)

        Here's a different take: I enjoy being in large groups, i.e., going to concerts, etc. because I don't have to talk to people.  Small group events sometimes wear me out more because they require more social interaction.

        "You are not even aware of what is possible. The extent of their capabilities is horrifying."Edward Snowden -6.62, -6.92

        by CanyonWren on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 08:46:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  INFJ here. (16+ / 0-)

      Not too many of us.

      curious portal - to a world of paintings, lyric-poems, art writing, and graphic and web design

      by asterkitty on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 03:31:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hmmm, I didn't realize these things (16+ / 0-)

      were subject to much change. When I did this half a lifetime ago, I was INTP. Just did a new one and came out IST- (last was J by 1%). Guess I got a little more judgmental and less intuitive. Not really what I was after.

      "Nothing happens unless first a dream. " ~ Carl Sandburg

      by davewill on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 03:38:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  INFP, although I apparently have a F/T conflict. (14+ / 0-)

      Or perhaps had.  I think I finally got my F the eff together.  No wait; I mean I feel like I got it--FUCK!

      It's time to start letting sleeping dinosaurs lie, lest we join them in extinction by our consumption of them.

      by Leftcandid on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 04:40:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  INFP too (17+ / 0-)

        ... a very unusual type in nursing, which is full of ES types. Twelve hours on the floor with 5-6 patients used to drain my energy to the point of crisis.

        I still have 5-6 patients a day, but it's a series of 1:1 procedure-based interactions and I love it! I also love clocking out, going home, and doing my art in sweet solitude after. The mere thought of having to "go out" after a full day stresses me out. I need my alone time!

        Announcing the grand opening of my Etsy shop, Little Lotte Studio featuring hand-dyed textiles and custom beaded jewelry. Please stop by!

        by SteelerGrrl on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 04:59:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, I'm a counselor who worked at an ... (10+ / 0-)

          ... abuse shelter.

          Being INF makes me a really good counselor:  My number one talent is sensing feeling and inner dynamics in other people, and then shooting them inward into myself to be able to relate to them.  

          The downside is, as you allude to ... it's exhausting!!  The last thing I want to do after a day of doing that -- sort of rooting around through others' minds and souls -- is to go hang out with more people.  The same talent really makes me hate going to crowded restaurants, parties, or bars.  I pick up too much and can't filter out all the chaotic "energies" and "vibes" flying all over the place.

          •  Feeling the vibes (5+ / 0-)

            put out by other people has always been instinctive to me. I am to the point that I can't stand it if I am in a group of people and there are ulterior motives etc... I exit as quickly as I can. I have to think about erecting a barrier because I don't want to feel these things.

            Funny, I am basically a happy-go-lucky person and feel it immediately when there is unhappiness and discord. A good book or painting where I'm flying on the waves of some distant horizon, jazzed about some concept is pure bliss.

            Truth is harmonious, lies are discordant.

            by Babsnc on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 05:46:26 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  This part especially intrigued me: (4+ / 0-)
              I am to the point that I can't stand it if I am in a group of people and there are ulterior motives etc... I exit as quickly as I can.
              I can often sense a phony or a "front" from a mile away -- it's like a flashing neon sign to me -- and I am frequently astonished that anyone falls for those people's obvious shallow BS.  

              When other people respond to the phony's act with, "Oh, he is so charming and funny!" and fall all over themselves, I sometimes think, "What?!  He has 'manipulative sociopath player' written all over him!"

              Or even if it's not conscious ulterior motives, I often pick up on the reality underlying the over-compensation.  One person whom everyone thought was so strong and confident always struck me as an obviously anxiety-filled person with low self-esteem.

              •  Yes, it's nice to think (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ek hornbeck, RiveroftheWest, niemann

                there are people like me that just "know" what's going on in an interaction, even if the other person isn't quite aware of it at the same level. I have come to trust and rely on it and generally help people out if I see them getting duped by someone (or the attempt is made). I'll quietly have a conversation with them and casually toss out a tidbit or fact  that may contradict what the duper was trying to do. Then I'll say, "you should check it out to be sure though." I can't always do this but it's nice when I can help someone out. Generally though,  I avoid situations that put me in that position.

                Truth is harmonious, lies are discordant.

                by Babsnc on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 01:58:35 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  I could see, also, that an INFP's sense of (4+ / 0-)

            idealism could be a good fit for nursing. We are known as the "Healer," after all. We need to feel like we are doing good things in the world. We also have a "warm interest" in people.

            I find myself liking something about everyone that isn't mean- I don't like heartlessness. On the other hand, I always say I hate humanity. I don't like people en masse.

            •  We did a basic M-B type test in one of my ... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ek hornbeck, RiveroftheWest

              ... staff meetings at the shelter.  In a room of about 15 people there ended up being four INFPs almost sitting in a row.

              That percentage is NOT typical of society at large!

              On the other hand, I always say I hate humanity. I don't like people en masse.
              I completely relate to this.
          •  Agreed! (0+ / 0-)

            I'm INFJ and spent several years as a high-school math teacher.  I was extremely sensitive to how much some students were turned off of math by the time they got to me, and my INFJ personality helped me calm their math anxiety quite a lot and recognize math for what much of it at that level really is - a game.  I considered all this indispensable, as necessary as a good foundation to a building.  I did well at teaching math; I really excelled at tutoring it, when I had the opportunity fully to focus the calming influence on individuals.  Definitely strongly empathic.

            But I needed more down time than was available to me, at least on this planet.  Even much of my summer was spent in pure recuperation.  I had no doubt I couldn't maintain it over the long run.  I work well with the public, but vastly prefer sitting alone in a cubicle (but with other people nearby, and that's a need that has increased dramatically over time), ferreting away at problems with a machine, or constructing/analyzing spreadsheets and graphs, or writing technical manuals, etc.  I could probably continue teaching math, if class sizes were smaller, pay was reasonable, most administrators cared about education at least one-third as much as their own careers, and most political leaders were at worst indifferent instead of most being downright hostile to education and educators.  I'm very disappointed in Obama's appointment of Arne Duncan.

            •  I've just found your comment a few days later ... (0+ / 0-)

              ... and just wanted to say THANKS for it.

              I've always thought I'd be a good teacher too, and do well in educational-type counseling groups ... but I think the System would also wear me down very quickly.

        •  Me too (4+ / 0-)

          I am always over in the corner with a couple of other people in business Meyers Briggs seminars. We INFP types don't seem to be a majority there.

      •  I'll stand in the INFP corner too (15+ / 0-)

        ...since we're doing the Myers-Briggs Presidential Caucuses here. :-)  

        I was teased as being "shy" when I was a kid, which I never thought was really accurate, but now I get it, I think. I enjoyed - needed - a certain amount of time for myself every day, and nobody in my family understood or felt comfortable just accepting it as OKAY.

        I love having this topic discussed at Kos, because OMG do I think it's huge in so many political applications, since introverts are not pack animals 24/7, uncomfortable with gladhanding and doing anything resembling GOP authoritarianism.

        "And as far as I can tell, most everything means nothing Except some things that mean everything" - Patty Griffin

        by Chitown Charlie on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 08:33:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I considered working in politics for a few minutes (8+ / 0-)

          until I learned that during campaign season, we'd be expected to put in 80+ hour weeks.  For months.



          I'm a volunteer, & I go home when I say:-)

          It's time to start letting sleeping dinosaurs lie, lest we join them in extinction by our consumption of them.

          by Leftcandid on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 09:11:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I can SO much relate. (11+ / 0-)

          When I was in graduate school to become a therapist, learning about all this stuff and applying it backward to my life, I really became angry for a time at our society.

          I remembered that I had been the quiet little kid who loved playing alone with my dinosaurs and toys and books.  I LOVED it.  

          Then I went to kindergarten ... and just like you, there I was labeled as "shy."

          I was saddled with that word for years.  It wouldn't have been so bad if the next thought that went with it was "... and there's something WRONG with that, and we have to try to FIX it."  

          And people sure tried to fix it.  And it trashed my sense of self-esteem.  So much of my getting any self-esteem back has been to consciously say a big "F--- YOU!" to so much of our society.  Like you, I don't really see myself as shy.  

          I think one problem that may lead to that perception is, INFPs tend not to be very verbal people.  I think we tend to work on the level of subtle subjective feelings.  I know everything I say feels like trying to translate on the spot, so it can make me awkward in conversation.

      •  Ah, yes ... the INFP ... (7+ / 0-)

        ... in our society the introverted freak of all introverted freaks -- the king of the misfits.  I am one too, big-time.

        Something like less than 1% of the population.  We often don't even quite fit in with other introverts!

      •  what does that mean for you - F/T conflict? (3+ / 0-)

        (INFPs have introverted feeling as the dominant and extroverted thinking as the inferior.)

        •  My MB analysis said that I hadn't resolved that (3+ / 0-)

          mode; that I leaned F, but that the T was more dominant than in the avg INFP.  Basically, that I had issues & growth ahead of me.  Now, 10 years later--no longer associating deep feeling so strongly with emotional pain, & successfully re-embracing it--I feel more directed & more emotionally good.

          It's time to start letting sleeping dinosaurs lie, lest we join them in extinction by our consumption of them.

          by Leftcandid on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 12:57:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  interesting analysis (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Leftcandid, RiveroftheWest

            Shows the difference between the cognitive function approach to MBTI and the dichotomy approach to it. From a cognitive function angle, T (specifically Te) would be your inferior function as an INFP. I wonder if the MB analysis was picking up on other layers not related to MBTI type.

            If you haven't looked into the enneagram, you might find that useful as well, it's more about .  I'd guess enneagram 5 from your brief description (possibly 9 but more likely 5).

            Pls feel free to disregard if not useful....

            •  Oh, the Enneagram was even better for me than (3+ / 0-)

              the MBTI, which was itself very useful.  It really helped me understand the nature of my depression.

              I am very certainly a 4, but with a pronounced 5 wing (& in our intro class, when picking the 3 types that most resonated, my choices were 4, 5, 9).  What I was doing was denying my Heart-ness, because it had caused me so much pain.  I did 5 things to not feel, to distract myself from feeling.  I didn't want to feel strongly anymore, or at least, that's what I told myself.  Of course, that choice just forced me to confront those same, more intense feelings more profoundly after a delay of more unhappy years...  and maybe that's what was needed, because via many avenues, I came out of that much better, much more confident & balanced, doing more 3 stuff, & being happy when I make progress in the way 3s do.  Now my dominant feelings are expansive, compassionate, & grateful, instead of withdrawn, doubting, & sorrowful.

              Huh, that's pretty personal, but there ya go.  I've certainly incompletely described the nature of the conflict in MBTI terms, but the Enneagram side of the story makes it pretty clear-- to me, at least.


              It's time to start letting sleeping dinosaurs lie, lest we join them in extinction by our consumption of them.

              by Leftcandid on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 04:04:52 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Another INFP (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Leftcandid, ek hornbeck

        and I really have little to add to the other comments, except that by now (in my sixties) I am quite comfortable with who I am.  I like being my hermit self, thank you very much!

    •  Fascinating...! (13+ / 0-)

      I'd never seen the acronym before, so had to look it up.

      Yikes!  That's me!

      In any other day and age, I'd be the hermit living in a cave and having little or no human contact.  I'm perfectly content to be alone, solitary, and pursue my numerous interests, do research, and read to my heart's content.

      And..., yet... Guess who learned to talk early, never shut up around other people, and was labeled "Motormouth" early on...?

      I was repeatedly cautioned to talk slower.  My quip?  "Listen faster!"  The only time my fast talking - and clearly enunciated words! - were appreciated was as a police dispatcher.

      My early childhood only emphasized my natural tendencies.  From second through sixth grade I was the only child in my grade in a two-room school.  I had no peer group with whom to interact, I was related to several kids in the school, so any studies I had to do required my own initiative to start, work on, and finish.  Later in my younger work life this came out as "works well with little or no supervision."  One of my first jobs was as office manager where they'd never had a secretary-receptionist type of person before, and I was the only female in the building; the boss left in the morning, didn't return until late afternoon just before closing time.  After a while I had my days organized and any interruptions made me nearly incapable of moving to get anything done until the office cleared out.  I felt like a one-person entertainer because these other individuals wanted to talk.

      Many who think they know me (but don't, not really) compliment me for being a witty conversationalist.  One fellow I dated many years ago called me an existentialist after we got on some philosophical topic or other.  Well, I guess that fits, too.  I take responsibility for my own actions, good, bad, or indifferent.  Whiners who make excuses to stay in untenable situations when the solution to get out of them is so clear end up disgusting me no end.

      Hmmmm... I guess I'm going to have to undertake another field of study now that I've read the preliminary info on INTP....

      :-)  Thanks!

      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 05:13:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  INTP. Can fake being extroverted for limited (10+ / 0-)

      periods of time.

      Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
      I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
      —Spike Milligan

      by polecat on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 07:51:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Uh-oh. Check your premise. (16+ / 0-)
    I should have loved it.
    Should?  By what standard? Maybe get rid of that word.  

    Be proud of every bit of who you are.  Real flaws? Be proud that you're aware of them and trying to fix them.

    Good to see you Jill.

    Suggestion for Facebook: 50 free "starter friends" automatically as soon as you sign up.

    by dov12348 on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 02:36:13 PM PST

  •  very enlightening, thanks (11+ / 0-)

    I had not really considered it before but count me as a fellow introvert.

    If Liberals hated America, we'd vote Republican.

    by ord avg guy on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 02:37:21 PM PST

  •  Hi Jill, one more introvert here, and yes, (28+ / 0-)

    I missed you too.

    Your diary to me is very extrovert for an introvert... :)

    I am pretty happy with myself and can't wait to have more time to just be ... in my pajamas and doing nothing much, or lets' say on doing that what I just like to do at any given moment.

    I think you are quite courageous..

  •  I'm definitely an introvert, but it hasn't made me (29+ / 0-)

    a social failure.  Rather, it's made me careful about whom I allow to "exhaust my energy."  Lol.  Introverts tend to be better listeners and are generally considered to be better at conversation since they are willing to talk less and listen more. So again, I don't consider it a failure in any way.

    I love having days on end without any obligations, and enjoy time alone probably more than I enjoy time with others--except in 3 or 4 hour doses.  Those can be nice.    

    Interesting diary.  Dating always exhausted me when I was young, and I shudder to think it would do to me now...
    Good luck as you explore that.

    If the plutocrats begin the program, we will end it. -- Eugene Debs.

    by livjack on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 02:39:13 PM PST

  •  I'm a complete introvert (24+ / 0-)

    hence the reason I have been able to come up with any tiny reason not to go to NYC meetups (I did yesterday) or lawyer bar gatherings or parties of any kind.  I can only go places with someone I already know and if it means with a crowd of unknowns, forget it.

    I made myself go to the NYC meetup yesterday because thankgodforairamerica is so sweet and she drove us in.  I already met some folks there and they are all quite warm and welcoming.

    I've found introverts are very good actors when need be.  I'm not sure I think being an introvert is such a bad thing, however.  Time alone is time that can be productive.  Just look at your volume of work and the fine quality of it.  

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 02:59:44 PM PST

    •  I feel the same way about going places. (14+ / 0-)

      My 14 year-old granddaughter, on the other hand, absolutely loves to go places where she knows no one, and when she comes home she says "I made so many new friends!" She has no fear. A complete extrovert.

      It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. Mark Twain

      by lynneinfla on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 03:53:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've offended people because (18+ / 0-)

        at their party, I said not much and left early, and at XYZ's party two days later, I talked continuously and stayed late.

        It's hard to explain in ways that they'll understand that as an introvert, I'm really into substantive conversations where people get really worked up about issues and dissect things deeply, and can completely lose myself in the event (even if it wears me out), but I want to beat my head against the wall when it's groups of people standing around in circles complimenting each other on totally uncompliment-worthy things and cracking facile jokes. More importantly, I just can't do it. I don't have any insincere compliments (not that they're insincere for extroverts, but they would be for me) and I don't have a lot of light jokes. I just don't. I have some heavy ones, but only introverts like them—extroverts tend to get uncomfortable. "Sheesh, why ruin the mood by making things so real?"

        We just think differently; we like to be inside heads—ours or those of others—not hovering around the center of the room in a chit-chat fest with a dozen people we don't know from Adam.

        -9.63, 0.00
        "Liberty" is deaf, dumb, and useless without life itself.

        by nobody at all on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 04:17:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Two types of managers (9+ / 0-)
          We just think differently; we like to be inside heads—ours or those of others—not hovering around the center of the room in a chit-chat fest with a dozen people we don't know from Adam.
          We are just two types of energy managers. Extroverts are energized by groups. Introverts are drained by them.

          Chit-chat is the social glue that bonds extroverts. It mostly irritates and repels introverts. Introverts are not averse to talking. In fact, they do it incessantly--inside their heads and with close friends when it's topics they love.

          Extroverts often need to think as they talk. Introverts, tend to need to think (and think some more and then some more) before they talk.

          Everybody talking is a measure of engagement and contentment for the extrovert. Everybody quiet is a measure of engagement and contentment for the introvert. They are both right.

          We both work in this world. The problems arise when one approach is deemed superior to the other.

          Back when we were farmers, being laconic was okay. Then the industrial age demanded that we all become salesmen, if for no other reason than to market our distinguishing characericis from the machine operator sitting next to us.

          The tide is turning a little with computer/internet nerd heroes being elevated to legit status, but we're still pretty stuck in believing that extroversion is the ultimate aspiration  and introversion needs to be fixed or overcome.

          After all...

          Nothing happens until somebody sells something!
          That's not the whole story. Somebody has to think through the product that's being sold and then after that, somebody has to sell it.

          The truth is, mothing happens until somebody thinks something through, makes something and then sells something. All types are necessary in that enterprise, not just the talker.

          The fact is that we all need to be quiet sometimes and all need to speak up at other time to get things done. Both are valid and necessary paths to prosper in this life.

          "I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights." (From "You Said a Mouthful" by Bishop Desmond Tutu - South African bishop & activist, b.1931)

          by FiredUpInCA on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 06:24:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Interesting point ... (6+ / 0-)
      I've found introverts are very good actors when need be.
      I'm actually an actor myself -- lots of stage, getting into more film and TV -- and I find it fascinating that so many of the really good actors I know tend to be quite low-key introverts.

      Actors have such a reputation for being big and showy and boisterous -- and many are, but those tend not to be the very good ones, in my opinion.

      When someone once expressed surprise that such a quiet, reserved person as I am should be interested in acting -- and should be so good at it -- I defined it partly this way:  "It's one of the rare fields where the better you are at hiding, the more attention and praise you get."  (But also, I just like the "mastering the skill and craft of it" part too.)

  •  As a kid, Dad told me to be extroverted ... (21+ / 0-)

    ... and like many introverts, I learned how to develop certain skills that are interpreted as being "friendly," "outgoing," "interested in others," etc.

    It's not that I'm unfriendly or disinterested in others -- I care a great deal.  But in our society, and in certain lines of work, it's important to demonstrate those things in specific ways.

    The first time I took a Myers-Briggs test, I answered the way I thought I was supposed to and naturally I was an E (along with three other letters I can't recall).  Fifteen years later I took it again, and I found myself saying, "Now, be honest.  Be real."  And I came out INFJ.

    Ever since I embraced my "I," I have felt so much more comfortable, both with myself and with others.

    It's great to be whatever you are.

    •  "Told you to be extroverted." (9+ / 0-)

      So many parents don't understand that that's pretty much like telling their kids to have dark hair when they're really blondes.  Or to be tall when they're not.

      It can really implant the shaming idea that there's something innately wrong with you -- that you should be other than what you are.

      •  Joni wrote: (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AJayne, niemann, RiveroftheWest

        "We've got to get ourselves back to the garden."

        We are born as who we are, have it beaten out of us by our families and society at a fairly young age, and spend a good deal of the rest of our lives trying to discover what was inside of us all along.

        Thi doesn't apply to everyone, of course.  Some are encouraged to be who they are and others never consider their true selves, let alone proceed along the path of discovery.

        •  I relate it also to the Buddha's "flower sermon". (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JBL55, RiveroftheWest

          If I recall right, there was once a big gathering waiting to hear Buddha give a talk.  He went before them ... and simply held up a flower.  Most people thought, "What th'...?" -- but one person simply nodded his head.  That person became his successor.

          The point:  It's not that tough.  Be like the flower.  The flower is just itself and doesn't try to be an oak tree, or a squirrel, or the boss of the garden.  Trust your own self's inner wisdom and follow it.

          It's when the flower is pressured by others to try to be a tree (because they live longer), or a shrubbery (because the make more money or whatever) ... and when it starts to believe it ... that's when problems start.

          You don't get an oak tree or shrubbery.  You just get a miserable depressed flower with low self-esteem.

  •  chalk me up (9+ / 0-)

    Yup, me too. I love being engaged with others when it goes well, but that's not how I get my bearings.

    Oddly, with video on demand or my DVR, I find that I frequently pause the show whenever there's some inner reaction I want to get a handle on. It's not unusual for me to do it after 3 minutes and then come back a day or two later. I don't sense a break in my interest or what I remember. I just go right back to that inner place I was letting settle, and then I pick right back up with the action, having fun.

    You might guess I keep about a half dozen books going at a time and LOVE reading.

  •  I never really understood that I was an introvert (25+ / 0-)

    until I read that same description you mentioned. My sometimes room mate and college best friend THRIVED on social interaction. Scratch that. She NEEDED it like a junky needs a fix. I came home one particularly bleak (for her) evening and watched her spend the next five hours (till three in the morning) sitting at the kitchen table, chain smoking an desperately calling every single person she knew, trying to find a party.

      On the other hand, although I've always needed intellectual stimulation via good conversation (probably why I spent half my life, or so it seems, in college and grad school), walked confidently into university classes and faced a barrage of students, teaching for a decade, and do not consider myself shy, after getting MY fix, I have to hibernate. I am WORN out by interacting with others...(except on Facebook, where I can control the tempo and the intensity. You and I are "Friends" on there, in fact)

      Luckily, my husband is even more than an introvert than I am. Well, I guess that's lucky most of the time, but when I start craving people and excitement, I can't turn to him to help me round up a crowd, and fill that need. He'd probably be happy, at home with his pets, his books, his stereo, the remote control, and nature outside his door, for the rest of his life, if I didn't drag him out periodically.

      Sometimes, I amuse myself by wondering--once he retires, and isn't expected at work each day--just how long it would be before someone would notice us gone, should we die. There's no longer any milk to spoil on the stoop, no mail to pile up in the slot. We let the phone answer most calls. Hmmm....


  •  I am an introvert and like it. (18+ / 0-)

    I do not get my energy from other people. Just the opposite. Call me a snob but I find most people boring. I love it when I can connect with someone that I enjoy their intellect, sense of humor (most important) , their interest in the more eclectic things in life, etc..

    It isn't often that I meet an interesting person especially where I live now in the middle of redneck country.

    •  I agree with you. (12+ / 0-)

      I find people friendly and mostly kind but not interesting to me. With many of my acquaintances and even my friends I find interactions dutiful and irritating.  I thought I was a meanie but maybe I am just an introvert.

      Everyone! Arms akimbo! 68351

      by tobendaro on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 03:28:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is really hard to be open to dullness. (10+ / 0-)

        The most irritating aspect of extroverts that I find is that it is all about them. Yak, yak about their lives and never any inquiries about me. I don't require attention but do think relationships are a two way street not one.

        •  I don't care about what they are (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AJayne, highacidity

          interested in.  I don't want to know about tv shows, celebrities or what any famous person is doing.  They read novels I would never look at, they shop and the most irritating to me is the waste in their lives while they complain they have no money.  Everyone whines like crazy then does exactly what they were whining about.  I never get it.  I like challenge not pap.  As I read this back I do feel it is snobby but it is what I feel.  I have friends who are petrified to retire because they will have nothing to do.  Huh?  How can your life be that boring?

          Everyone! Arms akimbo! 68351

          by tobendaro on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 04:24:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  You're correct; most people ARE boring! (7+ / 0-)

      ;-)  The next T-shirt I get to go along with my 50+year fascination with genealogy research says:

      I'm a Genealogist
      You'd be more
      if you were dead.
      I'm an extreme introvert, also find the majority of people boring beyond my ability to define, and I'm perfectly happy and content to not speak to a living soul for weeks on end (and often don't!).  I must have at least two dozen major interests, and twice that for minor interests.  I was doing "full immersion learning" long before I found out there was a term for it.

      The internet is a great tool for genealogy research, and where I can find like-minded people who also love to do research (emphasis on doing research, finding documents, analyzing info, reading and deciphering old handwriting, even Gothic penmanship, etc., and discussing same and helping people half a world away, often in foreign countries, NOT copying someone else's info that has repeated an error that's been copied dozens of times by others and is totally wrong; copying is NOT research!) - and share a love of multiple topics of interest that go along with the info, some of which are intertwined and an extension of original topics of interest.  Research into the past is an interesting journey full of detours and odd little paths that lead to what then becomes vital trivia info to know to accomplish certain research.

      I'm well aware of the fact that most people think genealogy research is a dull subject, but since it fulfills my need for acquiring knowledge on multiple subjects that are often intertwined, or analyzing data from several different perspectives and sometimes discussing the results with someone in another country or another state, it's endlessly fascinating to me.  My brother's eyes glaze over.  He likes the end result, but the path to get the info - which is often more interesting than the info itself - is of no interest to him.

      I find kaffe klatches and gossip to be better than a sleeping pill.  I'm most assuredly not a gregarious hausfrau type of woman.


      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 06:01:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  i agree (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NonnyO, SuWho, kalika, shaharazade

        I am probably not as into the process as you but I do see the fun and the value of it. I watched the series with Henry Louis Gates where he traced the lineage of several celebrities. I found it fascinating.

        I think a lot of people are just plain lazy which contributes to them having nothing to offer. My boss is that way. He is as dull as they come. I have known him for ten yrs and have never had a conversation that was particularly interesting. One reason is he believes in religion and I don't. That leads to an impasse most of the time.

        •  :-) I think Gates... (4+ / 0-)

          ... is into the DNA studies, isn't he?  I've never seen his show, but might have seen a preview.  [My TV is now permanently off and I watch maybe six shows per week on Hulu now, at most.  Over the last two summers it's only been one show one hour per week.  I loathe most TV.]

          If Gates show is similar to someone else's, they're doing the yDNA studies with single surnames that come down in the paternal line.  The maternal mtDNA apparently can't be tested much beyond the "Seven Daughters of Eve" and single surname testing can't be done on mtDNA.  Single surname yDNA testing just isn't possible when doing genealogy research in the Scandinavian countries or Iceland or the Faroe Islands where the patronymic naming system is/was used.  Records only go back to the 1600s if one is lucky.  yDNA goes back to Viking times in male testing and those results can be compared; they just can't be labeled by a surname since they didn't exist at that point in history.  Interestingly, Iceland has their country's database online so people can compare their genealogies to find out if they're related, or how far back they might be related.  Their genealogy research started ages ago when they started keeping track of genetically inherited diseases going clear back to Viking times.  They can actually document their ancestors going back to the time of the sagas.  If one knows how to research in records where the Scandinavian patronymic naming system is used, and if records were kept accurately, it's quite interesting - and one never loses women because they keep their own names their entire lives.

          Occasionally in England there are a few birth, marriage, death records that go back to the 1500s (in one of my English lines, back to the 1400s), and if a name connects to a famous family contemporary records can get a person back farther in the records (one of the latter gets one line of one of my English families back to 1149).

          Still, most countries didn't have laws mandating keeping track of births, marriages, and deaths until well into the 1600s or early 1700s, so that is the normal time range of documented genealogies most of the time.

          There were some earlier census and tax rolls, and there are two sets of records in Yorkshire that made that part of me that loves etymology just swoon for joy.

          Transcriptions of the Subsidy Rolls (Poll Tax) for 1379 for the West Riding, the Ainsty and the Howdenshire wapentake.
          A transcription of the Subsidy Rolls for the Ainsty wapentake from the 16th century.
          There is/was a show on TV called Who Do You Think You Are? and I sort of kept up on that one for a while.  They did a lot of extra traveling that is not necessary for most people to do, so the areas of anyone's ancestors they chose to highlight pretty much only went back to the Civil War era.  Not far at all.  The one they went back farther on was Brooke Shields and her genealogy connects to the French royal families waaaaay back when.  That was interesting.

          I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

          by NonnyO on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 08:05:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Aaaaah, yeah.... (5+ / 0-)

          I've encountered the same thing:

          I have known him for ten yrs and have never had a conversation that was particularly interesting. One reason is he believes in religion and I don't. That leads to an impasse most of the time.
          Can't have a meaningful conversation without the topic reverting to faith of some kind..., which limits any interaction to "Hi, how are you?  I'm fine, thank you.  Have a good day."  Two ships passing in the night.  [I don't believe in religion either.]

          I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

          by NonnyO on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 08:09:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I have to recommend an excellent book. (22+ / 0-)

    Quiet:  The Power of Introverts in a World That Just Can't Stop Talking.

    I've always known I was an introvert and yes people laugh when I tell them that, but I think you nailed it with the comment about how we recharge our energy.

    The book is interesting and well written and highlights the ways in which being an introvert is a good thing.  I found it very empowering although it's been a long time since I let people make me feel bad about wanting to just spend time quietly at home.

  •  You could practically be describing me (12+ / 0-)

    I, too, am quite the chatterbox, embarrassingly so. I love talking with people. But I also find being around people utterly exhausting. If I don't get some solitary time every day I start going stir crazy. For years, I've been made to feel that there's something wrong with me because I prefer just staying home alone or with my husband to going out with friends. It's nice to read I'm not alone with this.

    Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

    by moviemeister76 on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 03:24:50 PM PST

  •  I'm the most introverted of the extroverts. (9+ / 0-)

    My wife is the most extroverted of the introverts.  

    THANK GOD!!  ;P

    I work remote, so, I don't go into an office and in many ways it's just pure awesome to work that way, but I get stir crazy.  I gotta get out and just be around people.  But not too many people.  I don't like the Mall, but I like going to a restaurant.  In fact, I could easily eat out twice a day every day of the week.  My fantasy life is to live in a beach town and by daily routine is walking to a coffee shop or a breakfast shop to eat and do work at a table.  I just like having people around me.  I just don't want to talk to any of them.  :P  

    Except my wife, who I am always dragging out.  I get her out about 2 or 3 times a week at the most.  That counts going to a book store where she'll disappear into the poetry section for an hour.  And she always wants to be in the corner in a dark restaurant.  Although, strangely, she likes big crowds.  Big anonymous crowds.  She loves going to a 4th of July celebration in the park to watch fire works.  I couldn't be more miserable there.  She likes going to the Mall.  Although, she doesn't like the small stores and she hates when someone approaches her to try to sell her something.

    Now that I think of it... it's not that I don't want to talk to anyone when I go places.  It's that I don't want to do it on their terms.  I love going to a video store and chatting up an employee.  I am friends with the owner of a local bookstore in town, because he and I love to chat.  Our conversations when I go to his store are almost good enough to be a comedy show.  We are always trying to one up each other.  But, I have to admit that I have avoided going to his store when I wasn't in the mood to be chatty.

    Understanding introversion and extroversion was a huge relief for both my wife and I.  Both in understanding ourselves and each other.  Understanding other aspects of personality were just as helpful.  

    I really like the MBTI personality theory.  According to that I am an ENTP and my wife is an INFJ.

  •  Timely diary. (14+ / 0-)

    Very much an introvert here, mildly social, much prefer one on one conversations unless I already know the people well.

    I've been reading the most wonderful book, which I'm about halfway through; 'Quiet' by Susan Cain. I cannot recommend it enough. It explains so much and so well.

    By the way, introverts are quite interesting. We're deep. Rarely loud.

    curious portal - to a world of paintings, lyric-poems, art writing, and graphic and web design

    by asterkitty on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 03:30:10 PM PST

  •  Categories (7+ / 0-)

    What I find interesting is the way in which we are reassured by the knowledge that we belong to a category, which in your case is that of introvert.  After all, you might have noticed that you prefer one-on-one relationships, or that you cannot socialize as much as others, or that some people bore you, and you in turn bore others, all without any category whatever.  Furthermore, you might have noticed that some people have similar experiences and attitudes, while many others do not, but without formalizing it in terms of a category.

    That is where the expert comes in.  Simply to come to a conclusion about your various traits and dispositions is not enough.  Simply to generalize them and note that others are like you is not enough.  It must be a category that comes from an expert as part of a system of categories.  In your case, it is a therapist.  For others, it might be from a book.

    The category that you belong to is a legitimate psychological one, but that is not essential.  Think of the people who take solace in the fact that they fall under a certain astrological sign.  It seems to explain so much to them.  And that makes me wonder if having an expert tell us that we are this type or the other has reassuring value quite apart from whether it has any explanatory power, or is simply a way of saying, “You are just like people who are just like you.”

    One reason it has to be an expert who labels us is that we resent it when it comes from friends or acquaintances, as in, “You’re an X and X’s always do Y.”  That seems to dismiss our individuality.  And we resent the presumption that this friend thinks he knows so much about us, and who does he think he is?  In such cases, categorization can be insulting.

    So, on the one hand, we like to think of ourselves as unique, and on the other hand, we like to think that many of our peculiarities can be explained as a function of a typology.  Where the truth lies in all this, I am not sure.

    •  Hmmmmm. (4+ / 0-)

      When I read Jung's Psychological Types oh-so-long-ago, what struck me about the extrovert/introvert categories was their value as descriptions of one's orientation toward "The Other." Where one whose preference is extroversion sees The Other as the same as/containing herself, one who prefers introversion sees The Other as completely other.

      My use of the word "preference" is deliberate as that's how Jung described them - i.e., preferred orientation but assuredly not static categories. Here's where the analogy with astrological signs doesn't work, although, to be perfectly honest, I tend to find both Jungian Psychology and Astrology equally unpersuasive.

      Which isn't to say there's nothing interesting in the concept of orientation toward the other.

      Out with the gloomage - in with the plumage!

      by mikidee on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 04:07:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  LOL (12+ / 0-)

    I've always known I was an introvert. But I work with a few extroverts, and I have to say: they are really, really boring. One is so boring she can only talk about herself: My car....

    English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. E. B. White

    by Youffraita on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 03:49:50 PM PST

  •  yup... (10+ / 0-)

    ...we are out there. We are everywhere! (quietly).

    As for accordions, I hope, wherever he is, he has something better to do with his time. - Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison

    by Miss Bianca on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 03:52:38 PM PST

  •  Introvert, married to an extrovert. Except this (17+ / 0-)

    man is a super-extrovert who makes plans.  Lots of plans.  If he is out of town, I use the four or five days to stay home and "catch up".  I'm an artist and photographer and just cannot work in short time frames with other people around, while he can juggle several things at once (not always successfully) and talk all day long, on his job and at home.  Recently I begged him not to make any plans for several weekends because after the holidays I'm so behind on my work, not to mention having my main computer down and a new puppy.  Whew, I feel like I'm barely keeping my head above water.  It's a constant struggle to find the recharge time you wrote about.  Good to know there are others like me out there.  But really?  75% are extroverts?  Geez, we're in trouble because I always say "it's the extroverts who sell us things, but the introverts who invent and design those things."  Besides, I would imagine that most writers, artists, poets and many musicians are also introverts.  So, we are both very important pieces of the human puzzle.  

  •  Present and accounted for (30+ / 0-)

    No one ever pegs me as such. I've spent my life faking it and it's exhausting. Parties wear me out. Work travel with forced dinners, ugh. Room service for one? Oh yes please!

    I renew myself by being alone. It re-energizes me. I don't mind dining, shopping, going to a movie etc. by myself. Completely comfortable being alone in a crowd.

    I love my family and friends and thankfully they know that sometimes the way they show me how much they love me is to leave me alone.

    We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

    by Vita Brevis on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 03:53:22 PM PST

  •  Take these intro/extro labels with (4+ / 0-)

    liberal amount of salt, myself. Situations affect actions, not just internal states, which themselves are subject to change.

    Shall we go? Yes, let's go.

    by whenwego on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 04:06:09 PM PST

  •  Introverted motormouth here, too. (6+ / 0-)

    Sometimes I have to explain that feeling shy can make you act louder.  

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 04:07:49 PM PST

    •  Introvert who needs family (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      miracle11, polecat, kalika, shaharazade, lgmcp

      While I need to be alone a lot, I also need to know that hubby is just a room or two away.

      He likes it that way too.  A match made in heaven?

      "If you are cast on a desert island with only a screwdriver, a hatchet, and a chisel to make a boat...go make the best one you can. It would be better if you had a saw, but you haven't." T.Roosevelt on politics.

      by NCJan on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 05:02:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am too, and I work in a field that draws (16+ / 0-)

    introverts.  The result being when I go to a convention or I'm around a lot of court reporters, since most of us are introverts, we 'get' each other right off the bat.

    I'm a real for deal stenographer.  One of the ones who writes on that funny machine in depositions and hearings, not a lazy journalist who parrots press releases verbatim.  

    My job is perfect for me:  I get there early, set up, barely have to talk to the attorneys if they don't want to talk to me. I'm out of the way, but I'm doing really important work.  Life-changing work, for some people.  I'm the most important person in the room aside from the witness.  Without my transcript, the case can't go forward.  Heady stuff.  But I barely have to talk to anyone in order to do my job.  When I'm not in depositions or hearings, I edit the transcripts in my office at home.

    Now, interact with me online when I have time to form thoughts and express them uninterrupted, and people who only know me from online interaction are surprised when I warn them how quiet I am in person.  I'm more than content to listen to everyone talk.  Smile and nod...

    I have recently started going out more with a group of women and one of them is extroverted to the nth degree.  The group ends up being a nice balance.  Two of us are very introverted, there's a third who's very middle of the road and manages to split time evenly between home body and social butterfly, then there's the super extroverted lady who is usually the one to say, "Hey guys, lets...."  Since I'm trying to say yes more, I make myself go out with them.  So far it's been a pretty nice time -- and the super extroverted lady really cracks me up sometimes.

    But it was after attending the National Court Reporters Convention in August that it really sunk in just how introverted I am.  I enjoyed meeting people and talking and learning, but after getting home I really couldn't form coherent thoughts for at least two days.  I was exhausted, not just from the travel but from expending the energy to interact with everyone.  

    I figure it's all good, as long as I'm understanding of the extroverts' needs, and they're understanding of my needs.

    •  Thing is (8+ / 0-)

      extroverts don't really understand introverts.  From the old, but very good article Caring for Your Introvert:

      Extroverts are easy for introverts to understand, because extroverts spend so much of their time working out who they are in voluble, and frequently inescapable, interaction with other people. They are as inscrutable as puppy dogs. But the street does not run both ways. Extroverts have little or no grasp of introversion. They assume that company, especially their own, is always welcome. They cannot imagine why someone would need to be alone; indeed, they often take umbrage at the suggestion. As often as I have tried to explain the matter to extroverts, I have never sensed that any of them really understood. They listen for a moment and then go back to barking and yipping.
      •  I had a friend like that in grad school who was (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FiredUpInCA, RiveroftheWest

        just aghast and very concerned that I happily lived alone.  He was always asking me, "how do you stand it"?  I've never had much trouble carving out an introverted life-style for myself because I know how deeply I need that recharge, but getting the extroverts to see that can be challenging.  

        Thanks for the link to the article.

  •  Wish I could convince some extroverts in (20+ / 0-)

    my life that this distinction is a useful one.

    They refuse to believe that it exists—you're either like them or you're anti-social.

    They don't believe me when I say that I'm an introvert. I get:

    "Stop making mental health excuses, you seem fine to me."
    "You're not an introvert. You're totally not shy."
    "That's nonsensical. There's shy and not shy. You can't be both."
    "So you're trying to make anti-social behavior okay?"
    "Why can't you just admit that you don't like people if that's how you feel?"

    One of the side effects of the dominance of extroverts in a largely extrovert-centric culture (go to more meetings! do some groupwork! sell yourself! get out there and network!) is that anything that is not like them is seen either as mythological or as pathological.

    There's no willingness to accept that:

    - I like people
    - I am not shy
    - I also like time alone
    - I work through problems in my own head
    - I like to talk, but not about the weather and Miley
    - Not every party is fun for every mentally healthy person
    - Slow to respond is not anti-social, just deliberate
    - Me being fun and talky is NOT me being an extrovert

    And, in relation to my poor sister, she also has trouble explaining, as an extrovert, that:

    - She is very shy
    - But is energized by social interaction
    - And seeks it out
    - Even if she gets red in the face and silly and wilts a bit

    The ways in which we presume that some things are social and others are anti-social, and the stigma that we attach to the latter, as well as the way in which we presume that shyness is the overriding factor in someone's social life, are both very damaging.

    If this diary is yet another call for the acceptance of introversion as normal and worthy of celebration in its own right, I'd like to put a strong word in for:

    - The totally outgoing introverts
    - The very shy extroverts

    Because these two groups have to cope with all kinds of BS just to interact in life.

    -9.63, 0.00
    "Liberty" is deaf, dumb, and useless without life itself.

    by nobody at all on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 04:12:33 PM PST

    •  An outgoing introvert is usually a (11+ / 0-)

      curious and not especially fearful person, that's all. My favorite kind of person, although they can come on rather strong at times if you don't get them.

      Out with the gloomage - in with the plumage!

      by mikidee on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 04:38:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's what my wife tells me. n/t (6+ / 0-)

        -9.63, 0.00
        "Liberty" is deaf, dumb, and useless without life itself.

        by nobody at all on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 04:58:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, for true. (9+ / 0-)

        People think I'm strange because I can be very brash - talking to total strangers bothers me not in the slightest.  

        I can stand up cold in the middle of 400 people and talk for 20 minutes if I know what I'm talking about.  I know this, because I have done it.

        And when I'm at home, I am silent.  At work, I can go all day and not say anything unless I have to answer the phone.  And at parties, I am much inclined to sit and listen and watch the interactions.

        Strength and dignity are her clothing, she rejoices at the days to come; She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue.

        by loggersbrat on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 06:18:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So true. I'm a college professor and (10+ / 0-)

          an industry consultant in a related industry the other half of the time. I speak to and with large crowds in auditoriums half the day and lead meetings and oversee a team the other half of the day.

          I invariably get fabulous marks in those roles. People find my lecture, discussion, and management styles to be fun, engaging, respectful, and discursive. I can get student participation going in a room of 200 with theater seating. And I love it, because I love what we're working on and talking about.

          They're always shocked when they get me after hours and I'm no fun anymore. Thing is, I'm an introvert. I love what I teach and I love what I do in the industry—so I love to talk about it, work on it, collaborate through it.

          At the end of the day, I'm in recharge territory. If I go out, not only do I tend to be bored and irritated by the conversation, which is no longer about anything I care to think much about, but I'm also quiet and reflective and tend to end up staring off into space and thinking over my beer, rather than chipping in my $0.02 about stuff that I can't get to stick in my brain anyway. And I usually excuse myself early, because the couple of hours of solitude, reading, and note-taking before bed must happen if I am to be functional the next day.

          Without the solitary couple of hours, I am in a fog, a total mess come morning, doomed to a severe "off day."

          -9.63, 0.00
          "Liberty" is deaf, dumb, and useless without life itself.

          by nobody at all on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 08:34:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I have posted this in several places in these (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SuWho, RiveroftheWest, kalika

      comments but here it is again.  You would really like this article:

      Caring for Your Introvert

      One thing that really stuck with me from that article years ago is that extroverts just don't get introverts.  They don't have the capacity.  I think it's one reason why introverts often struggle to see their introversion as acceptable.

    •  hand them the book (0+ / 0-)

      Quiet, referenced above, the next time they go on.

      Shy is not the same as introverted, as you well know.

      And being energized from being alone is not the same as being anti-social (well, OTOH, maybe it is...)

      Inconceivable! You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

      by hopeful on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 03:54:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  75% of people are extroverts? (5+ / 0-)

    Where have I been all my life?  I don't believe this "statistic."

  •  I am an introvert as well (7+ / 0-)

    Not a shy bone in my body.....but I know who I am and my husband is an extrovert.  

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 04:26:17 PM PST

  •  Jill, IMO you are not an introvert (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jill Richardson, miracle11, kalika

    You are a smart and sensitive woman.

    But who am I to say.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 04:26:48 PM PST

  •  I can see it. (19+ / 0-)

    but I'm also an introvert.

    I have a suspicion that the vast majority of kossacks are introverts. The internet is good for that sort of thing; the type of interaction here is perfect.

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility

    by terrypinder on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 04:26:58 PM PST

  •  I definitely am. (9+ / 0-)

    I think it's tied to the spectrum issues; it is measureable work for me to "be social" in terms of behaving within expected norms. Not as much as when I was younger, but it's still there. It is exhausting to socialize.

    I don't ever get purely "alone" time, except in the bathroom. I am my husband's security blanket.

    When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

    by Alexandra Lynch on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 04:32:57 PM PST

  •  Nice piece, Jill. (8+ / 0-)

    I've always been introverted.  Used to be called a stick-in-the-mud by my more party-oriented friends.  

    I do have the extrovert trait of being energized by working on certain things with others, but for most of my life I've worked alone and like it that way.

    I desperately need down time away from people, and I make sure I get plenty of it, but I love hanging with a small group of friends, too.  Enough to be called a party, and I'm done.  I avoid them completely if I possibly can.  Total sensory overload.

    One of the oldest human needs is having someone to wonder where you are when you don't come home at night. -Margaret Mead, anthropologist (1901-1978)

    by Yasuragi on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 04:33:24 PM PST

  •  CURSE YOU, BANTER! It's my bane. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    high uintas, Catte Nappe, kalika, hopeful

    GAWD I suck at banter.  Been single a looong time, too.  Correlation, folks.  I have not gotten better at initiating banter, but I can at least return serve reliably.  

    The spectrum thingy is certainly true, AND you can change your place on the spectrum with practice.  Or at least, while one may always be an introvert, one can overcome shyness, which is the social-obstacle aspect of introversion.


    It's time to start letting sleeping dinosaurs lie, lest we join them in extinction by our consumption of them.

    by Leftcandid on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 04:44:29 PM PST

    •  We need to start a dating site- introverts only. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      That would be hilarious and useful.

      'How like fish we are: ready, nay, eager, to seize upon whatever new thing.......And how we rue our haste, finding the gilded morsel to contain a hook". ALDO LEOPOLD - A Sand County Almanac

      by flowerfarmer on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 08:17:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nice diary Jill (6+ / 0-)

    You explained it very well. I'm a very outgoing introvert. I do get along with people great, I love to talk to strangers and I do public speaking all the time while performing wedding ceremonies or conducting funerals. I have no fear of it, never get nervous.

    But, I really need my down time. It's funny, I have one full sister, two step sisters, three step brothers and two half brothers (one has passed on) and yet I was raised as an only child. I think that is where my desire for alone time comes from.

    And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away. John Prine

    by high uintas on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 04:45:04 PM PST

  •  Wow does this nail it (10+ / 0-)
    The extrovert gets energized by being around people. The introvert gets drained of energy when around people and needs some time alone to recharge.
    I'd never heard that before! But that fits me perfectly! I'm going to have to think more on this. Thanks!

    "In text, use only a single word space after all sentence punctuation." - Oxford Style Manual, Oxford University Press, 2003.

    by shaggies2009 on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 05:04:09 PM PST

  •  Great diary. I'm like you. Perfect desription. (6+ / 0-)

    And my wife of 28 years is an extrovert. I think we secretly envy each others' ability to relate to other people in ways we can't ourselves. It works for us. For whatever reason.

    Good luck with the online thing. :)

    I'm not paranoid or anything. Everyone just thinks I am.

    by Jim Riggs on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 05:19:44 PM PST

  •  Introversion and public speaking (7+ / 0-)

    Another introvert checking in here. Have known and understood it for years, even before seeing recent explanations about groups being energizing or draining. Shorthand around my house for decades has been "I'm all peopled out" - that means this is not the weekend for socializing.

    Now, having seen several comments from folks mentioning their comfort/discomfort with public speaking. This is not a factor in introversion/extroversion. It may be simple shyness. It may be that commonly noted fear of public speaking that crosses both types equally.

    I know lots  of extroverts who can bounce around the room, meeting, greeting, schmoozing - but who freeze and go pale at the thought of getting up in front of a group and "giving a speech". On the other hand I have been doing public speaking since my teens. I'm good at it. Very good at it. And I love it. It's exhilarating. I look forward to opportunities to do it. In fact, it's way easier  than mingling and small talking. BUT. Afterwards I'm drained, like you might be after a long hike or heavy work out. I want to kick back, preferably alone or maybe with a few friends, and relish the experience. My extrovert friends who are good public speakers want to prolong the afterr event mingling, then they want to go out with a crowd to celebrate. That's the difference.

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 05:33:31 PM PST

    •  So true. I am a crack public speaker and do (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, kalika, Catte Nappe

      invited appearances often and have appeared at some big name places that look great on my CV, to glowing reviews afterward.

      But it is bizarrely irritating to me when people rush the lectern and want to chat with me afterward. I'm just plain on my way out. Some (I suspect those with more extroverted tendencies) find my very short responses afterward, as I walk toward the door, to be rude and off-putting. Others (I suspect those with more introverted tendencies) wait and email me afterward to ask for a one-on-one or a phone call to chat later in the week.

      Honestly, though, I go from loving my crowd when there are hundreds of them in the audience interacting with me to wanting to strangle the 5 or 10 that are hanging around afterward because it feels like they're intruding in a very big way.

      But that's how it goes.

      -9.63, 0.00
      "Liberty" is deaf, dumb, and useless without life itself.

      by nobody at all on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 08:40:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I know exactly this feeling... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NonnyO, RiveroftheWest, kalika

    I describe myself as an outgoing introvert, or a shy extrovert. Then leave it to people to decide which fits me better.

    "But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die." - - Cherokee saying

    by brillig on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 05:54:44 PM PST

  •  Me Too! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NonnyO, kalika

    I only realized it a few months ago and it has been like a light going on in the dark.  I now understand why I have a problem dealing with so many people.

    Republican tax policies have led to financial conditions which have caused Republicans to demand cuts to programs they have always opposed.

    by AppleP on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 06:02:59 PM PST

  •  I'm an introvert, and I'm married to one. Early (8+ / 0-)

    on, I told him that spending time with him was almost as good as being alone, and he took that as a compliment.  He understood it completely.  We enjoy sitting home, quietly near one another ... maybe watching Star Trek or a science show.  

    During the workday, I'm a very animated, even silly/ goofy middle school science teacher.  My co-workers and my students would probably perceive me as being a very outgoing person.

    You have described introversion to a tee.  I need time alone to recharge in order to do what I do all day.

    Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

    by bkamr on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 06:04:36 PM PST

  •  Introvert here and I struggle a great deal with it (8+ / 0-)

    If it was up to me I'd be alone 90% of the time. I am most comfortable when I'm alone. This makes relationships very challenging; I am often withdrawn and lost in my own thoughts yet still need alone time.

    GF and I worked out a deal where I can go spend a weekend alone somewhere once a month, and I sometimes have to ask her if she can go visit friends or family who live out of town.

    It's really hard because I want to be emotionally available. I know that she needs that from me. But I have a demanding and somewhat high-profile position at work that requires constant communication and a lot of talking, a lot of empathy, a lot of negotiating. When I come home I just want to crawl into my shell and be alone.

    It's hard. Honestly, it's a daily struggle. Being verbally communicative drains the life out of me but it's hard to avoid that day to day, so I'm always just uncomfortable and wanting to be alone.

    Of course, not liking something doesn't determine one's ability to do something. I'm viewed as outspoken and sociable by everyone who doesn't know me very well. I am generally quiet and avoid small talk, but I speak as though I'm a confident extrovert most of the time. I do it well, it just drains me and I hate it.

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 06:14:57 PM PST

  •  I am a card carrying introvert. (8+ / 0-)

    I actually met you at the netroots nation in Pittsburgh.  We had dessert with another person.  I can't recall her name.  It was a very pleasant time, and saved me from several days of solitude.  I have been to three nn conventions but find it very difficult to meet folks.  My introvert status and nn exploits, or lack thereof,  actually gave rise to a diary which got a fair amount of attention, eventually landing on the rec list.  Thanks for your post.

    I'm not always political, but when I am I vote Democratic. Stay Democratic, my friends. -The Most Interesting Man in the World

    by boran2 on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 06:19:08 PM PST

    •  Sigh (7+ / 0-)

      I went to NN in Austin. At some considerable expense - not so much finanical, but also personal, and time taken (stolen) from professional commitments, etc. Then I ended up spending an inordinate amount of time alone in my hotel room because I just couldn't manage to get out there and "make friends" or get into any "groups". Confirmed something I knew about myself, that goes with being introverted. I do better when I have a "task". I can approach people and interact if I have a job to do - sign people up, or give directions, or collect survey forms, or what have you.

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 07:10:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another introvert here. (7+ / 0-)

    However, I'm not terribly talkative in a group.  In any social gathering, unless I'm talking one-on-one with a good friend, I generally just keep my mouth shut.  I don't think I make much of an impression on people at parties or social gatherings.  And for the most part, that's not so important to me.

    There are plenty of introverts out there.  You just have to find one, or perhaps an extrovert who can be made to understand your needs.  There are multiple ways for things to work out.

    -5.13,-5.64; GOP thinking: A 13 year path to citizenship is too easy, and a 5 minute background check is too burdensome. -- 1audreyrenee

    by gizmo59 on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 06:19:20 PM PST

  •  I'm introverted AND shy (7+ / 0-)

    but I've always known they were two different things.

    I need alone time like I need air.

  •  INTP (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest, kalika

    I don't know how accurate the online test I took is, but when I read the description of the personality type,

    Seek to develop logical explanations for everything that interests them. Theoretical and abstract, interested more in ideas than in social interaction. Quiet, contained, flexible, and adaptable. Have unusual ability to focus in depth to solve problems in their area of interest. Skeptical, sometimes critical, always analytical.
    I was like, damn, that is me. That like others have mentioned above, if someone has similar interests to mine, I can talk and talk one on one. However, even then, I reach the point where I've had all the interaction I can stand and need my alone time. Is it any wonder I'm an engineer?

    Regulated capital serves the people, unregulated capital serves itself.

    by Alumbrados on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 06:57:18 PM PST

    •  Same here (4+ / 0-)

      I must have a hobby that employs thinking and presents analytical solutions...

      I build RC planes.

      I have designs I have been developing and evolving for 40 years. Sooooo driven to make it better every time.

      The other foible is in how I take in or consume new material. I often have 5 or 6 tabs open in the browser and read bits of stuff at a time, move away, digest the concepts, and return for more, take a another small bite, and so on.

      People... relationships... are difficult for me.
      I limit exposure and interactions. It's not a particular stress to interact, but it is a chance at personal dis-harmony.

      A great example is my schedule, and camping.
      I work alone, overnights. It makes my off days, Saturday night and Sunday night... not returning until late Monday night.
      I go camping often... the best part of the weekend is Sunday afternoon as people leave. Sunday night is a joy, and waking Monday to my own park is salve for a ripped psyche.

      Only within the past few years do I realize what being an introvert is. I thought it was a huge personality defect.

      Finally, I accept it's just a PITA.

      Enagaged activism wins elections. 100 million words on liberal/progressive websites gets beat by one new GOP voter casting their vote.

      by Nebraska68847Dem on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 08:07:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  INTP also. Began life as a computer scientist, (4+ / 0-)

      have now moved into the social sciences and work to make the two mesh, in a variety of ways.

      My recollection is that in cross-tabs that compare Myers-Briggs types against occupation, INTPs are disproportionately represented in science and research.

      We're just good at that stuff. We don't run out of patience for a sticky problem, we get more and more excited the longer we work on it and the more data we find. Meantime, we're not particularly susceptible to the critics (we don't rely on social approval for our energy or confidence) and at the same time are our own worst critics (not because we're particularly self-critical but because we want to know how things work and understand what's really happening and anything less just isn't any freaking fun).

      My wife is an ENFJ. Boy do the sparks fly sometimes, particularly in emergency or trouble situations. In such situations, she finds me to be unempathetic, bizarrely (and she tells me frighteningly) detached, and hopelessly immune to input from others. I find her in such situations to be frivolous (all about tending to peoples' feelings, rather than resolving whatever the crisis is), vulnerable to being overcome by the emotional tenor of the situation, and dangerously hasty and affected by external (and often misdirected) pressures just when it's most critical to be careful and right before acting.

      -9.63, 0.00
      "Liberty" is deaf, dumb, and useless without life itself.

      by nobody at all on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 08:49:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm a shy extrovert (6+ / 0-)

    I have no problem standing in front of huge crowds- love meeting new people and 'happenings'- anywhere there is a large crowd- I'm there.

    But I am quiet in intimate one on one conversations.  I'll answer questions and provide input into a conversation about a shared passion- but I' really not comfortable and I tend to 'move on' rather quickly.

    Which means I have a lot of 'friendly acquaintances and a small number of close friends.

    A lot of people know me but very few know me.

    Growing old is inevitable...Growing up is purely optional

    by grannycarol on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 07:19:21 PM PST

  •  I'm an introvert (4+ / 0-)

    Never thought I was anything but, nor would anyone who ever met me.  I'm quiet, thoughtful, and perfectly content to be alone for long stretches of time.  Ironically, my most commented diary is about my introversion.

    But even the most introverted person needs some companionship.  Fortunately, I met the perfect person for me.  And without the horror of 'dating' let alone online dating, the mere thought of which makes me want to pull the covers over my head.

    Even more fortunate for me, he doesn't want or expect me to be anything other than who I am.  I can't tell you how nice that is after a lifetime of being told there was something wrong with me because I enjoy being alone.

    There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast.

    by puzzled on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 07:29:49 PM PST

  •  "shallow group banter" (8+ / 0-)

    I know EXACTLY what you mean. I call it "blather" or "chatter."

    Remarks about the weather, lame jokes, animated GIFs, LOLs, OMGs, cat stories, "have a great Friday!!" "have a wonderful Tuesday!" - grabbing whatever topic comes up and whirling with it for a few minutes, then going onto the next streaming meme.

    They LOVE it!! A delightful bonding experience. A verbal potluck party.

    To me, just a tiresome waste of time.

    I feel like an anthroplogist observing the natives' obscure customs and rituals. Except an anthroplogist would take great interest in studying and documenting that.

    I'm an artist, not an anthropologist. I can discuss creative interests and ideas with a like-minded person for ages...preferably one-on-one.

    I'm a proud introvert, not a perverse, cheerless curmudgeon. I've embraced it!

    THANKS for this topic!

  •  Introvert, Me (6+ / 0-)

    Years ago I went to an unnamed seminar which included taking the long version of the Meyers-Briggs personality profile and the presenter was fantastic. She was an extrovert who explained the difference between....

    "When I'm feeling down, I call 10 of my closest friends and we go to the movies and then to a bar!" The extroverts cheered and the introverts groaned.
    "But I have an introvert friend who, when she is feeling drained and needs to re-charge, goes home to a glass of wine and a book." Introverts cheered and opposite.

    That's really the way it works. Nobody's "right" but that scenario cleared up so much for me. Before, I felt 'damaged' but then I knew there were more of me.
    Introverts can pass for the societal norm of ex-, but it's a real drain.

    My worst scenario is a party/gathering where I know not a soul. I've been a dining room manager and sommelier and it's like putting on a costume and playing a part. I did it brilliantly, fully engaged, charming, witty and on top of hundreds of interactions. But, put me in a room of strangers and I develop an exit strategy muy pronto.

    Human rights, democracy and peace are a single entity. When one disintegrates, they all disintegrate... Daisaku Ikeda

    by Take a Hard Left on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 07:43:01 PM PST

  •  Hey, me too. So, I say, join the club of people (5+ / 0-)

    that don't like joining clubs!

    Ted Talk by Susan Cain: The power of introverts

    "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis Brandies

    by Pescadero Bill on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 08:09:27 PM PST

  •  I'm introverted, shy, socially awkward, etc. (5+ / 0-)

    and I have a tendency to isolate myself. But, too much of that causes me problems, as well. So, I have to force myself to engage in social activity even though I have anxiety about it, and often don't enjoy it. Some amount of balance seems to be necessary, even for someone as introverted as me.

    Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

    by AaronInSanDiego on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 08:39:24 PM PST

  •  that's why we are online at the Daily Kos! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA, RiveroftheWest, kalika

    (me too)
    I am socially shy but can give public lectures.

  •  Urk. Not sure I like the headline. (5+ / 0-)

    Makes it sound like introversion is abnormal or burdensome somehow. You don't “come to terms” with something unless it's holding you back.

    Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
    Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
    Code Monkey like you!

    Formerly known as Jyrinx.

    by Code Monkey on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 09:17:43 PM PST

    •  I understand your point ... (5+ / 0-)

      ... and felt the same "irk" at reading it.  

      At the same time, I feel the title in a way accurately describes the process -- which I also went through -- of realizing you're an introvert ... and realizing that that means you will always be sort of a misunderstood "freak" in our culture.  No one wants to be a misfit.

      I guess maybe it's more a sense of coming to terms with the reality that you're never really going to fit in.  In our society, you'll never be "normal."  

      (After that, though, comes the being okay with it -- and then even taking pride in it.)

  •  Quite surprised no-one's mentioned (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest, kalika, FiredUpInCA

    that Barack Obama is a pretty obvious introvert. (No, it's not crazy that the President is introverted. So was Reagan. Many introverts are terrific speechifiers.)

    Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
    Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
    Code Monkey like you!

    Formerly known as Jyrinx.

    by Code Monkey on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 09:22:21 PM PST

  •  Fab diary, thanks for writing it! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kalika, flowerfarmer, RiveroftheWest

    My own mild introversion so provoked an extroverted neighbor friend of mine when we first met that she became hellbent on my joining Toastmasters or something--anything to get me over what she called my shyness. But, like you, diarist, I'm not really shy. Almost five years later this woman is still puzzled about me, still thinks her 24/7 go-go-go lifestyle is the only--and clearly the best--way to be. She can't believe two or three outings a week is JUST PLENTY for me, and even with that little going on socially, I still need time--days--to hide out and decompress. ;)

    Enjoyed the diary! Thanks

    God bless our tinfoil hearts.

    by aitchdee on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 10:37:29 PM PST

  •  This is a great diary & discussion ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kalika, FiredUpInCA, RiveroftheWest

    I always have felt weird for not wanting to go to parties - well, when I was in college, I enjoyed them but  I think that was because I knew everyone. As I've gotten older, parties appeal to me less and less - I had to really talk myself into going to my job's Christmas party, and I probably wouldn't have if I hadn't invited a friend to go along.

    I'm an introvert, but also a teacher - I think if it wasn't for the passion that I have for my subject, it would be a hard thing to do... It's really helpful to read about all you other introverts!

    "The universe is made of stories, not atoms." -Muriel Rukeyser

    by tubacat on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 10:45:06 PM PST

  •  Hmmmm...I'm a very extroverted introvert except (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kalika, RiveroftheWest

    on Thursdays, when I am very introvertedly extrovert...

    Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man-made and can be removed by the actions of human beings. —Nelson Mandela

    by kaliope on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 10:56:19 PM PST

  •  gregarious introvert, here (5+ / 0-)

    Thanks for excellent diary and for so many insightful and informative comments.  

    I felt very relieved when a friend described herself as a gregarious introvert!  Both of us had always been told that we couldn't possibly be introverts because of how much we loved to participate in intense conversations.  We're both very good listeners as well as passionate talkers.  (I learned listening from Co-counseling (Re-evaluation Counseling) and have studied and practice listening skills in other contexts as well.)

    Two new insights for me:
    The connection between being an introvert and having "a dozen major interests and half-a-dozen minor interests".  It takes a lot of energy to 'contain' several of my interests while I'm pursuing others.  I need time to dabble in the ones I'm not pursuing or I get cranky, distracted, tired, etc.

    The connection between being an introvert and being a P on the Meyer's Briggs scale.  As someone (Jill, I think), said - and I paraphrase -  I don't like to make plans in case I don't have enough energy on the day to do whatever it is - then I have to either exhaust myself or let people down by cancelling.

    Also I realize how great Daily Kos is for me as an introvert.  I'm not usually shy in life, but I've been very shy about commenting here.  But I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to listen in on so many interesting conversations among people whose thinking I respect and enjoy.  I plan to become less shy about commenting.  Much gratitude to all of you!

    •  Thanks for the term "gregarious introvert". (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kalika, manyamile, RiveroftheWest

      I'm so stealing that!  Whenever I tell people I'm an introvert they literally laugh at me!  I think many people confuse shyness and introversion.  But unless I feel they're really interested in understanding, I'm happy to just leave them confused!

    •  That is a perfect way to describe how I feel (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I hate going to parties. I feel like I should talk to a bunch of people and I don't like the pressure.

      On the other hand, I love going to the wine bar. I take my iPad and read, happy as a clam.  If someone interests me, I will chatter all evening but I am happy just being there alone too.

      On the other hand, I am also shy about posting online which people who know me find very amusing.

  •  Has anyone but me switched from "E" to "I"? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kalika, RiveroftheWest

    I used to be an ENTP (that's how I tested in my 20's), but now that I'm in my 40's, I'm definitely an INTP.  I used to get charged-up in groups and I enjoyed idle chit chat well enough, but now groups drain me, and idle chit chat annoys me to no end.  What excites me now are well though-out ideas about the world we live in.

    Anyone else had this experience?

  •  I have always been an (6+ / 0-)

    introvert-born to a mother who, in spite of being a psych major in college, had no clue what that meant. Never had an empathetic bone in her body and an extrovert to boot. She "labeled" me shy, always thought and treated me as though something was wrong with me. I lost any self-confidence I was born with.

    Took me years of being away from her and therapy to finally figure out that I wasn't shy-I am introverted. An INTP like many others on this diary. AND THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH ME!

    I, too, am good at public speaking, giving presentations. But, oy, it is exhausting.

    I applaud these recent attempts to "shed light" on what it means to be an introvert. Whether the number is 25% or 50% (and, I suspect, a lot of people force themselves to be extroverted because being labeled introverted/shy makes you unpopular, so the percentages are almost certainly wrong), there are a lot of us out there.

    Thank you for this great diary!

    Inconceivable! You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    by hopeful on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 04:05:20 AM PST

    •  I'm glad you (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hopeful, FiredUpInCA, RiveroftheWest

      finally found yourself, outside of what someone else perceived you to be (and lacking. ugh!).

      My mom was a super extrovert and always admonished me to be more like my brother (also a super extrovert). Although, even when I was young I started to build myself up outside of those labels. Why? Because I loved to contemplate why I was like I was, verses what was expected of me. Deep thinking, and an eventual understanding that I was just born that way and wan not going to change. Did a bunch of reading.

      Truth is harmonious, lies are discordant.

      by Babsnc on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 08:59:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Getting beyond self-judging is great! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kalika, flowerfarmer, RiveroftheWest

    I, too, am an introvert.  And, yes, I did sometimes wonder why I needed so much time alone.  Not anymore!  I treasure my time alone!

  •  Introvert here (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kalika, shaharazade, RiveroftheWest

    I remember I attended a house party one weekend. Not even that MANY people. Even though I mostly had a good time, I came home feeling overstimulated.

    But, I'm probably not recognizable to most as an introvert - I can do chatty, in small groups. But I need my down time, after.

  •  Interesting. I had no idea that (4+ / 0-)

    my strong preference for one-on-one socializing was related to the introvert/extrovert spectrum.

    There's nothing worse than loud, large-group socializing. "Let's all get drinks after class/work" always struck me as the biggest waste of human time and energy I could imagine, so I made lasting, meaningful friendships with the precious few folks in any given school/work cohort who felt the same way. I always thought that made me boring or selfish or something.  

    You won't believe what this gay dolphin said to a homeless child. First you'll be angry, but then at the 1:34 mark your nose will bleed tears of joy.

    by cardinal on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 07:23:18 AM PST

  •  I am a confirmed introvert, and I'm ok with it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA, RiveroftheWest

    I have been told all my life that I needed to change, needed to be more "outgoing", but it's just not me.   Then there are the people who don't believe I'm an introvert because I talk a lot and joke around incessantly; well that's because we have something in common for me to laugh and joke about!  

    I really do need my alone time.  It does get me back on track to get some quality time by myself.  My husband has his car club meeting tonight and as much as I enjoy being with him, I am so looking forward to being alone except for the dog (pets don't count against my alone time, LOL, just make it better).

    Thanks for writing this.  I very much enjoy the social parts of my life, crafted around things I enjoy and including people I have particular activities in common with.  But I need some down time without people to re-energize.

    Manufacturing outrage; the only manufacturing jobs Republicans won't outsource.

    by get the red out on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 07:30:04 AM PST

  •  My two favorite "people" -- (0+ / 0-)

    Doc Martin


    Temperance Brennan

  •  some of this recent wave of 'introversion' (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    declaration elicits mixed reactions from me. On one hand, fine, it is a way of speaking up by people who  find it difficult to speak up...evidently. In most cases, a plea for understanding.

    Yet i've been seeing and receiving  the exact same laundry lists , which range from ,'i'm an introvert' to 'I'm an introvert and this is how you should treat me' , from friends and acquaintances, and ,frankly ,  the second type gets my goat.. why? because, i think some bearers of this manifesto may not understand where introversion ends and manipulative,  controlling or  passive aggressive behavior begins. (note: am not referring to the diarist here)
    introverts, if we are going to talk about the boorishness of loud and extroverted people in pseudo psychological terms then we might  also step back and be honest about aspects of the 'introvert ' mantle.
    i say 'we', as i am not an extrovert, in fact i identify with introvert characteristics, yet i certainly do not identify with the current cookie cutter definition or classification that seems to be popular.  most of the time i seek time on my own and would rather visit with one friend .Even then I  prefer solitude. Yet,  sometimes i like to yak and talk loud and guffaw and dance in large groups. so what?  and so what if i need to recharge outside a group, or in a quiet space? if i am having a rare whoop up session at a pub or party , if i am laughing uproariously with a dear friend in a restaurant, if i actually manage to speak up and ask a direct question, if i have overcome my social fears,   mostly, and found some ways to actually  thrive in company as well as alone,  how  does that insult an introvert?
    i understand if one finds situations uncomfortable or distasteful,if one finds oneself too sensitive for the  boorishness of others,  it is fine to own that, but on the other hand , watch out for the shadow side of it all. perfectionism, passive agressive  handling of situations, controlling behavior. i am no psychologist and apologize for using words imprecisely ,BTW, just trying to communicate this  honest reaction i am having.

    i must be somewhere in the middle, because i find both beauty and malady in people at BOTH ends of the spectrum. oh WOW , time for a middle manifesto!
    cheers and peace to all

  •  Just took the quiz (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    manyamile, RiveroftheWest

    And today, at least, I am ISFJ. Tomorrow may be different.

    Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry. F. Scott Fitzgerald, the Great Gatsby

    by riverlover on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 09:13:28 AM PST

  •  mulling this over a bit more (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA, RiveroftheWest

    i don't like to put people in 'boxes', but  for the sake of this I will:
    My dad was as true of an extrovert as I have seen. when we went hiking into a wilderness area he would  gregariously go search out every other camper and begin talking to them. when we drove cross country he bought one of those horns that plays 50 horrible theme songs and honked at everyone: hitchhikers, other drivers, pedestrians. needless to say , in the company of my father i cringed... a lot.
    I played the guitar and sung and he always wanted me to sing for people, which mortified me.
    he did not understand introverts or quiet people. he misunderstood their behavior to be 'stuck -up' .

    On the other hand my father was involved in the dance of life, and i am thankful he dragged me down rivers, up mountains, taught me gymnastics, and exposed me to new places and experiences i never would have had.  and don't worry, i got in plenty of time reading books in my treehouse or cloistering myself in my bedroom or taking solitary walks or bike rides.
     for all the times he thought people like me were 'stuck up', i thought people like him were 'block headed' or 'show offs'. the truth is, we both needed to see the value and beauty of each other as individuals as well as 'types' if you want to call it that, even if it meant we might not be the best travel companions!

    •  This is always odd to me (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      He did not understand introverts or quiet people. he misunderstood their behavior to be 'stuck -up'.
      Introverts do not demand that the world be quiet like them yet introverts are constantly being demanded to be more outgoing, to comply with the wishes of the loudest and most insistent; that they talk to everyone, everywhere, just because.

      How dare you be quiet? I want to talk. You need to talk. Talk.

      Somehow needing to be quiet gets the stuck up stigma rather than opposite behavior getting that mantle.

      Letting people be, and wanting to be quiet to think, reflect, savor and feel: that's somehow arrogant behavior; somehow stuck up.

      "I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights." (From "You Said a Mouthful" by Bishop Desmond Tutu - South African bishop & activist, b.1931)

      by FiredUpInCA on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 10:39:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  few of us are perfect people (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and don't always understand the other.
        i do not agree with you that the " introverts are constantly being demanded to be more outgoing, to comply with the wishes of the loudest and most insistent"
        are you saying that people actually come up to you and demand that you talk more? really?
        I think, from experience, it can be a matter of projecting one's own unease.
        in my dad's case , he never ,ever insisted that other people talked..he never would have said 'how dare you be quiet'.
        he never 'needed' anyone to do anything, but  if he wanted it, i learned it was entirely OK for me to say, 'no, i don't feel like doing that', without blaming him. i could choose how and when to participate, but why should i slam his own enjoyment of group  activities? his own puzzlement is his issue, not mine.

        he was being himself, just as you are being yourself, so it seems to me that we must allow for that as well.  my point is  we can  misunderstand those who are not like us ,and that goes for everyone. an introvert cannot assume they know what the extrovert is feeling anymore than vice versa.
        Others have their  road to wisdom, and it may be a different road.

        i think it much better to simply state how you feel,rather than keep the other person guessing. It is so much better to simply say "I do not feel like being around people tonight", or "i prefer quiet time ", or " i like to visit when it is just us", or rather than internalizing  perceived insults. People are different, and that is how it is. the fact is, it can be a noisy world. you can move to the quietest place at the end of the road ,and sure enough, the farm down the road will have incessantly barking dogs and people who ride ATVs and shoot guns. that is the world, so  you do have to figure out a way to navigate it that doesn't leave you either frightened or secretly pissed off all the time.

        maybe i see it this way because i do not see introverts as victims. in every situation i know, introverts are quite capable, manage their lives pretty well and are able to 'reflect ,savor and feel' just fine, though they must often adapt in situations that have a lot of noise ,boister ,etc.
        We each seek what befits us. fine.
        there are different kinds of power, which can be wielded quite differently and i find introverts are quite as adept at navigating this world as anyone, with great gifts to offer, but not the only gifts to offer.


  •  I have many similarities but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I have been thinking more and more than some of my tendencies also have to do with having a great deal of difficulty with divided or alternating attention tasks.  I have always recognized that I do not multi-task well.  At the same time, I can easily hyperfocus.  It actually served me very well in school from K through grad school and I scored very high on tests, got excellent grades, scholarships, the whole nine yards.  

    But in real life I have always noted some difficulty with attending to more than one thing at a time. And I definitely strongly prefer one-on-one interactions to group.  I was raised by my mother with limited ideas of women's roles and was told I "had to go into teaching".  I knew I didn't want to deal with a classroom, and chose speech-language therapy when I saw it was listed as a "teaching field" but read that you worked individually with people.  More and more I see that I just don't do well if I have to alternate or divide attention among people.  It is really challenging for my brain!

    I too was extremely talkative as a child, but less so as I got older.  In fact my two closest friends are people who very much carry the conversation and are seen as almost excessively talkative.  

    While I sought social interaction strongly as a child and teen, it was always for one-on-one interactions, other than wanting to be in plays (and I got lead roles in high school a couple of times and relished it).  But after high school that changed and I had no desire to put myself on display.  Social interaction was more directed to the opposite sex, and once I got married, I totally lost interest in doing anything like going to a party.  

    As I have gotten older (I will turn 60 this year), I see that I definitely need time alone to recharge, and I could be very content to just stay home on our little farm and garden and cook with only occasional outside interaction.   I don't mind doing therapy--one-on-one--and enjoy particularly the adult clients, with whom I am very good at establishing rapport.  

    But I won't be sad to retire at all and I'm looking forward to more solitary time.  

    So I am wondering if the diarist also has some sense of preferring one-on-one interactions because of the challenges of dividing or alternating attention among people in a group.

  •  Great Post, Jill (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvaire, RiveroftheWest

    I have come to terms with my introversion as well. I love it. My coworkers, my family and my closest friends all understand why I am who I am, so life is grand. I'm a musician who often plays in front of lots of people, and others find that extraordinary given my introversion. I give speeches, present at conferences and participate in lively discussions. Afterward, I could care less about going out for a beer; I just want to go home and have a beer or maybe work in the yard or go fishing with my daughter or watcha movie with my wife or whatever to recharge. Life is grand.

    Introverts of the world UNITE!  Well, maybe not ;o)


  •  Off the charts extrovert (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew S, RiveroftheWest

    By age 10 I came to terms with my introversion even though I constantly got into trouble for talking too much in school; it was partly boredom with class regimentation and partly seeking to find common topics of conversation that interested me, i.e., looking for evidence that I was at least somewhat like everyone else - a lost cause it became evident. After that I stopped bothering. I turned to reading and immersed myself in the solitary creative pursuits that satisfied my nature. I didn't then, and don't now, have any problem talking to individuals who seek to converse; I have no reticence about public speaking or lecturing on topics within my expertise, but I am bored senseless with general conversation; parties or large group functions are to be avoided at all costs.

    Before my wife retired she traveled for days, weeks, even a month at a time; I missed her company but never once was lonely or bored as I took care of pets and home chores, after all I had mountains of books and endless projects that kept me busy. Never less alone when alone.

    I had made a career as successful professional artist and designer who made an excellent living, but I retired early so I could escape the corporate rat race and bullshit and spend the rest of the years I have ahead of me doing things with my hands and doing things for others. I have had a great time, am never bored for a moment and am quite content with the fact that I have very little in common with my friends who I appreciate and enjoy immensely in small doses. That they have little idea what interests me or makes me tick is not a concern. It's just the way it is. Why would I want to bore them?

  •  A good line I'll remember (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA, RiveroftheWest

    "He was either a jerk or a contrarian who enjoyed saying stupid things to get me riled up."

    I like this line. I think I'll remember it.

    Also, it is good to see how someone could be an introvert and still very talkative--I always had trouble understanding these labels and got hit either way for not fitting in to either one, or being too introverted.

    I've got tons of stuff to do--and I like to encourage others to. I've been told to be grateful I'm in a job where the gossip and banter is a lot smarter than most places. But I'm glad not to have it at all. And I'm glad not to have to feel I need to be exciting or talk to everyone.

  •  You Sound INFJ (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I've studied the MBTI for 30 years and I've been on an INFJ mailing list since 1995 (it's one of the oldest communities on the internet at this point).  What you wrote sounds like many posts I've seen over the years on INFJ-L.

    There are many misconceptions about type.  You say in your blog that introverts are only 25% of the population,   That comes from Keirsey and it's very out of date.  It's a rounding off of data from a 1958 study of Pennsylvania high school students.  Most recent studies of adults have found the I/E split is closer to 50/50, but the United States is a very Extrovert oriented country.

    Type is also about preference and doesn't have percentages.  If a type test score is close to 50/50 it's not a measure of balance, it's saying the test had trouble determining the preference for that letter pair.  

    It's common for introverts to score muddy on J/P because of the way J/P is defined.  It's also common for male Fs and female Ts to score muddy because society has always discouraged their preference in T/F (though I have known a few people who scored muddy on T/F who later determined after more study that they were the type society accepted there was some other reason they scored muddy).

    Anyway, just a few tidbits about type.

  •  Oh wow (0+ / 0-)

    Meeeee tooooooo!

    I am definitely an introvert, and need a LOT of recharge time, to the extent that I've been accused of being a drug addict, by a woman I worked with and rented a room from.  She took her accusations to work, where she was laughed at.  That could have turned out much worse.

    To my friends and acquaintances, I seem to go from 0 to 60 in a microsecond.  When I care about a topic, I'm also a motormouth.  When I don't care, it is excruciating to converse.  It's freaking hard work.

    I love speaking in front of a group, of any size.  Public speaking is structured and goal-driven and generally has a clear topic.  I do prepare quite a bit, but I can ad lib and have no problem with Q&A time.

    I am fine in a static medium-sized group (3 to 6-ish).  Hanging out at a table in a cafe, etc.  I can sit back and enjoy the flow of conversation without feeling pressure to attend to it and participate.  In this situation my extrovert friends do tend to ask me if I'm ok or unhappy, I often reassure them with noises like "just getting my second wind", and I can tell that acquaintances mildly wonder the same thing but don't feel comfortable asking.  But let the conversation veer onto a topic I care about and it's off to the races.

    Large, unstructured groups?  A typical party, as well as countless other social venues, including my own wedding reception?  Not good.  I'm okay if I have an extrovert with me to run interference and STAY WITH ME, effectively turning all one-on-one's into medium-sized.  Otherwise I hide in the bathroom.  Or the kitchen, or play with the pets or the kids or explore the garden.  I feel like such a wallflower.  The only exceptions are either closest family, or really close friends when I was in a grad program and we students practically all lived together, and worked/matriculated 10-14 hours a day together, 6 days a week.  (That was also the only time in my life I ever felt like I might belong with a group of people.)

    One on one?  PAINFUL.  I HATE PHONES.  It's gotten worse over time.  I often don't answer; instead I call back when I think the other person will have time but not much of it.  My son (only child), my boyfriend, and one aunt are generally the only social contacts whose calls I always take any more.  The aunt doesn't talk long plus the conversation usually has a non-trivial topic, and I occasionally don't even want to take the boyfriend's calls.  I also take my grandmother's calls, out of consideration and profound love.  It's a sacrifice I'm happy to make, but it is a sacrifice.

    I do need human contact; I do need conversation and interaction.  I simply need 1 part social time to 4-8 parts alone time.  I'm not shy.  I like people, very much, and I like to be around them.  I'm known for having good people skills.  Most people who know me would be, or are, astonished to learn I'm an introvert.  I'm friendly and warm and have no problem with direct eye contact, etc. (although I need a lot of time behind sunglasses, or at least reading glasses).  The only exception is when I'm genuinely interested in someone romantically whom I've just met, or have seen but haven't met.  I tend to leave the impression that I don't even see the person, much less notice them.  Talk to a member of the opposite (in my case) sex that I'm not attracted to?  No problem, but attracted -> furiously shy, convincingly disguised as disinterest.  Probably because I loathe the impending doom of a private conversation that really matters to me with someone I don't know/can't think of an easy topic for, which I don't want to end prematurely.  It's utter misery, slow-motion torture from start to finish.  Probably part of why I'm perpetually single.  It usually takes an extrovert to break through, but extroverts don't tend to understand the need for all that down time.  I think they tend to view it as boring, abnormal and unhealthy.  Or they confuse it with extreme independence, which causes issues of its own.

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