Monday, November 2, 2015

Question of the Month: Introvert or Extravert?


Yes, another blog hop, this one sponsored by Michael D’Agostino from A Life Examined, whose blog I read regularly, and you should, too. You can sign up over at his place, grab the badge (see above), and join in the fun.

This month’s question:

Are you an introvert or an extravert?

A number of years ago, I took a whole battery of tests, including the real official Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) (not just one of those online thingies), and learned that my personality type was INFP, the “I” standing for “introvert.” This came as a shock to me; I was a trainer and an especially chatty one, often going off in multiple directions with my answers, and every time I took one of those online tests, I came out as an ENFP. So, figuring that the rest of the tests I took would yield similar BS answers, I tucked the booklet with all my test results into my bookcase and promptly forgot about it.

A few years after my stroke, I took another online test, and was surprised to discover that my personality type came out as INFP. I figured that the stroke had somehow changed me from an extravert to an introvert. Anyway, Mary and I were talking about it, and she pointed out that the test of whether you’re an introvert or extravert doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with whether you’re quiet and reserved or happy and gregarious when people are around. It’s whether you’re re-energized by being around people or by being alone.

I thought about it, and I realized that, when I was leading a training class, while I was loud and friendly, I had to get away from the trainees on a regular basis. Exercises were a great time: they could be working on their computers, and I could be working on mine in the front of the room. Our classrooms were equipped with Robotel units, allowing me to “drop in” on people doing exercises without actually having to get up and walk around the room. I found I was irritable if, at break time, I had a student who wanted to ask me detailed questions or involve me in conversation. I just wanted to leave the room and barricade myself where the students couldn’t find me. At the end of the day, I could hardly wait for the car trip home, which gave me almost an hour in the car by myself if I was at home; if I was traveling, I knew that, after a short ride to the hotel, I had a room with a bathroom, a TV, and all my stuff, and I could sit in my underwear watching the news on TV. I’ll be damned… I was an introvert.

I recently found the booklet I had eschewed when I was going through my bookcase, and I sat down and read it. Turns out they had me pretty well pegged, and I was just too stubborn to accept it. I could have saved myself a lot of aggravation and stress if I had just followed their recommendations, which were to find work as a researcher or a writer…

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

1 comment:

  1. I have known I was an Introvert since I was 4. I would be the perfect candidate for living on a deserted island alone!