Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Introspection

Are you an introvert or extrovert?

This is one of those questions I dislike when they crop up on surveys, questionnaires, and quizzes. I remember once writing down that I am an ambivert, in an essay assignment way back in high school. Needless to say, my teacher circled the word. Apparently, she thought I was making it up. I was flummoxed. I wouldn't just put a word down in an English essay just because I decided I wanted to invent my own words - I distinctly remember having read this word in a dictionary.

This was the same teacher who, three years later, ended up calling me the "super-editor" and gave me bonus marks for correcting her errors.

But, very recently, the issue of what makes a person an introvert and an extrovert again came to mind. I have read many difference interpretations of how these terms are measured and applied to individuals, and yet, we always want to compare these specifically to oneself and to the people around us.

I would say that I am an introvert - I dwell in my own head and in my own personal space more often than I dwell in the external space. I think, alot. I prefer peace and quiet rather than crowds and noise. I've always had a dream to live, relatively isolated, on my own dream island, replete with small cabin, forests, beach, mountains and...silence.

But then again, I love people. I am a pretty friendly and sociable person, and I have no qualms about speaking to strangers and dealing with crowds. I love performing in front of audiences, and giving presentations (as long as I am comfortable with the subject matter, of course).

And I'm confident with myself, to the extent that I don't feel that I need to hide myself, my thoughts, my feelings - to an extent. Take for example, my openness discussing all of this on my blog.

Which brings me to the idea of what demarcates the boundary between introversion or extroversion - if these indeed are the terminology that can be attributed to the differences in a person's ability to express themselves outwardly.

In my position of being open on my blog: it comes down to the fact that I don't give a damn what other people think about what I think. So, is it a matter of introversion - that I don't care what others think and hence isolate myself from feedback. Or extroversion - that I don't care, because I am so secure with myself that I remain open in thought, for all to see.

And yet, in the fact that I entertain comments and feel happy when someone comments to whatever it is I choose to share, I do care, don't I?

You can tell that I am a confused soul on this matter of introversion and extroversion, can't you? Subsequently, I've done some more browsing on the matter and I came across this: 10 Myths About Introverts. (written by Carl King, author of "Sos You're A Creative Genius, Now What?")

Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

This is totally and entirely true for me, beginning to end.

Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.

Again true. I am not a shy person and definitely not afraid of people. I am, however, quiet (see Myth #1), and because of my inclination to spend more time in my own head, and remain quiet, people may misconstrue my lack of interaction as shyness.  I can be at the other end and totally garrulous and sociable.

Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.

I am not rude. I am probably the most pleasant person ever. But, erm, yes I can be rude. I don't resort to useless profanity in trying to put down someone or make them feel stupid; I utilize my ice-cold and blade-sharp tongue (figuratively speaking) to cut down people with reason and facts. Fits right in with wanting to be real and honest. 

Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.

True, true, true!

Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.

I'm all for recharging, yo, but, yeeeah, I am an outside person. 

Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.

This. Is. SO. Me. (:

Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

YES I am weirdddd, and everything this thingy just said.

Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.

Me!

Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.

"Home or nature" - right on. I do like thrills though ...just not all the time. Too much talking and noise - I definitely shut down. 

Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
A world without Introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers. That being said, there are still plenty of techniques an Extrovert can learn in order to interact with Introverts. (Yes, I reversed these two terms on purpose to show you how biased our society is.) Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.

With me. Enough said. :B



15 comments:

  1. Same here...... all the way and more.. so much so that it gets me in trouble way too many times..

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    1. REAAAAAAAAAALLY? I wouldn't have guessed :hmm. :P

      It's alrite... you be you, and I'll be me, and we shall rub off on each other :D

      (Ok wait, did that sound wrong?) :/

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    2. Don't make me give you the FF woman :P
      and yes now it does sound wrong after you asked LOL....

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    3. :)

      lol isnt FF permanent according to you

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  2. LOL smoke :laugh

    i can imagine :D

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    1. LOLLL you and your imaginashun :P

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    2. You cannot imagine Nerdyy Lol but IQ certainly can cause shes one of the many people that gets ticked off cause of my social skills...maybe skills isn't the appropriate word to use since I lack everything that requires a person to be sociable.

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    3. I get frustrated because you don't believe you do (have social skills) (just as you've said) and anyone who knows you will know you DO. You just underestimate yourself. PSH

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    4. Who said I feel being a snob is underestimating myself ^^ I love being the way I am :D

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    5. Noone said that, don't assume anyone did :P I'm saying you underestimate yourself in ways you don't know :P

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  3. Exactlyyyyyyyy!

    I've always thought that I was a bit of an introvert, but these pathetic myths push me away from titling myself as an introvert!

    Actually, I don't know if I'm an introvert or an extrovert, I think I fall somewhere in between the two. ☺

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    1. Lol I know! The "general ideas" out there seem to label introverts as such loners and..so incommunicado, you stop and think twice before you can figure out what exactly you are...

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