Sunday, February 26, 2012

Introvert - Extravert

I'm really rather perplexed right at the moment. My personality identity has just been challenged. (That's terrible phrasing, but I couldn't think how else to say it.)

I always thought I was an introvert. It made sense. I don't like huge parties. I'm very slow paced. I'm terrible at social cues. 2 + 2, right?

Apparently not. According to this article, there's a big difference between being introverted, and being shy.
"On the surface, introversion looks a lot like shyness. Both limit social interaction, but for differing reasons. The shy want desperately to connect but find socializing difficult. Introverts seek time alone because they want time alone. An introvert and a shy person might be standing against the wall at a party, but the introvert prefers to be there, while the shy individual feels she has no choice."
I don't prefer to be there. I don't like being in the middle of the action either, but I hate being awkwardly all by myself against the wall.

Most of the article made it sound like I was really just a closet extrovert. Someone who wanted to be out and connected, but just had a really hard time doing it. Debilitating shyness, as it were.

And really, I think that's true. Except for a few parts. The ones I mentioned earlier. Because I do like slow paced interaction better. But I still need interaction. And I do like one on one much better than huge groups of people. But I still get super board if I'm not a part of what's going on.

Things weren't matching up. I was one. Then the other. Then back to the first again.

So I've come to the conclusion that I'm just a weird type of mix. Everyone's a mix of some kind, but I think I'm a really strange combination.

I've been sitting here for ages trying to find a really good way to explain in words what I understand in my head. And I just have no idea how to do it. I even thought of drawing a diagram, but while it would make sense to me, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't illuminate anything for anyone else.

I'm just a weird mix. All the wrong parts of both.

In case anyone cares (which I don't suppose you do), here is a short list of things that the article talked about, and where I stand on them.

After making this chart, I counted it all up. Out of 19 listed things, 8 were introverted, and 11 were extroverted. Obviously this isn't a very comprehensive exploration of the topic. Neither is it very technical or reliable, since I made the chart up myself. But it definitely has caused me to explore things about myself that I never thought of before.

I am so weird. A person who thrives on interaction, but still hates big parties. That's probably the debilitating shyness kicking in, though. Because small parties where I know everyone... I like them. They don't drain me at all. I hate it when people leave. Which is definitely an extroverted trait.

I think that's probably the case with at least half of my introvert traits. That they are how they are because of many long years of being too shy to act otherwise.

I guess that's why I like to write. It covers my desperate need for communication and interaction, but also allows me to do it at my own slow and steady pace. It covers the fly by the seat of my pants part of me (racing through a rough draft) and the polishing part of me (the editing that comes afterward.) That's pretty awesome.

This is still really throwing off my groove. I am so surprised by learning this about myself. And yet other people I talk to don't seem to be at all. *shrug*

Alright, this is the part where I started rambling away, and stopped myself just in time to save you from a long and boring epistle. Thank you and good night.

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