Extrovert vs. Introvert – Take II

In the last few weeks, I’ve become the office joke because I had the
audacity to claim that I
am not extroverted
. Anyone who’s met me under most normal
circumstances will quickly realize that I talk. A lot. Really. A lot.
With a few exceptions, I make friends quickly and feel comfortable
chatting up random people. I speak my mind. I tend to talk quickly and a
lot, so people think I talk without thinking. People make judgments
quickly and, unless they spend considerable amount of time with me, they
don’t get to see how I spend all my time. So they tend to “figure me
out” quickly and yet incorrectly.

Here’s what wikipedia says about extraversion and introversion:

Extraversion is “the act, state, or habit of being predominantly
concerned with and obtaining gratification from what is outside the
self”. Extraverts tend to enjoy human interactions and to be
enthusiastic, talkative, assertive, and gregarious. They take
pleasure in activities that involve large social gatherings, such as
parties, community activities, public demonstrations, and business or
political groups. An extraverted person is likely to enjoy time spent
with people and find less reward in time spent alone. They enjoy
risk-taking and often show leadership abilities.

An extravert is energized when around other people. Extraverts tend to
“fade” when alone and can easily become bored without other people
around. Extraverts tend to think as they speak. When given the
chance, an extravert will talk with someone else rather than sit alone
and think.

Introversion is “the state of or tendency toward being wholly or
predominantly concerned with and interested in one’s own mental life”.
Introverts tend to be quiet, low-key, deliberate, and relatively
non-engaged in social situations. They take pleasure in solitary
activities such as reading, writing, drawing, watching movies, listening
to music, inventing, designing, programming and using computers
An introverted person is likely to enjoy time spent
alone and find less reward in time spent with large groups of people
(although they tend to enjoy one-to-one or one-to-few interactions
with close friends
). They prefer to concentrate on a single activity
at a time and like to observe situations before they participate.

Introversion is not the same as shyness, though introverts may also be
shy. Introverts choose solitary over social activities by
, whereas shy people avoid social encounters out of fear.

An introvert is energized when alone. Introverts tend to “fade” when
with people and can easily become overstimulated with too many others
around. Introverts tend to think before speaking. When given the
chance, an introvert will sit alone and think rather than talk with
someone else.

I added the underlines to show what pieces of each are true for me.
While I am chatty and enjoy the company of people, I hate parties. I
don’t like large social gatherings of any kind actually. I prefer the
company of a good book to 98% of people, including my friends. I spent
years writing. Even scrapping is something I prefer to do in the
solitude of my home. I spend hours thinking about my life, my choices,
the people around me, etc. I would say, for the most part, I am not shy
and, depending on who it is, I certainly get energized with people
around me. However, I always prefer solitude. I loved working
from home. So maybe, in the end, I am not an introvert, but an ambivert.
A term wikipedia describes as:
Ambiversion is a term used to describe people who fall more or less
directly in the middle and exhibit tendencies of both groups. An
ambivert is normally comfortable with groups and enjoys social
interaction, but also relishes time alone and away from the crowd.

I don’t know why the distinction matters so much to me. I don’t know why
I try to convince my work mates that they are wrong about me. It
shouldn’t matter much, I suppose. In the end, it’s just a label. And, as
with many others, neither of these labels fit me well. People are
allowed to think however they want. I guess I mostly mind that how I see
myself doesn’t seem to match how others see me. Does that really matter?

1 comment to Extrovert vs. Introvert – Take II

  • I’ve been reading your blog for about a year. It occured to me today that I should email you and let you know that. I suppose the Internet is a free for all, but I’ve been quite the lurker!

    I love when you write about David. I can sense how much you love your son and I think that’s such a beautiful thing.

    And I LOVE your scrapbooking! I’ve tried endless times to do that, but I have ZERO creativity when it comes to art!

    Anyway, I just wanted to say hello and let you know that I love your writing.


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