By: Erin Rose Hennessy
A year ago, I wrote this piece on the Myers-Briggs Personality Test. I re-took the test a few weeks ago, curious to see if my type would change at all. Not only did it not, I’m more so an INFJ now. I got over 75% on each letter. Uber INFJ, anyone?
The first letter means Introvert.
And oh, my god am I.
One of the biggest misconceptions surrounding introversion vs extraversion is that extroverts like people and introverts don’t. Some people in my life thought that because I like to hang out with people and I like children, that must mean I am an extrovert, right?
Not exactly. That’s not what introvert and extrovert mean.
Quite simply put, an introvert gets energy from being alone. An introvert can thrive with others and enjoy a day at the beach or a birthday party or playing at the playground with children. But at the end of the day, the introvert needs to go home and recharge. An extrovert can go to a party after work. I literally need to have time to myself at the end of the day or I get very cranky.
I know I’m an introvert because I enjoy one-on-one, deep, intellectual conversations. I don’t like small talk, it makes me physically uncomfortable. I love silence. Seriously, never feel like you have to fill a silence around me. I enjoy it. My best friend and I will often just lapse into silence and we love it.
I know I’m an introvert because I’m very quiet and introspective. Sure, I can be loud if the situation warrants it. I just prefer to sit back and observe a situation before I dive right in.
I love being bored. It’s the best thing to be able to just sit and enjoy the moment with a good cup of tea. I love doing puzzles and writing. I love long nature walks and just drinking in the fresh air and sunshine. I’ve never been afraid of being alone. I’m good at being alone. I don’t get lonely quickly. Not to say that I don’t get lonely, because I certainly do! Even Introverts need to get out and spend time with others.
Some people mistake an introvert’s quietness for shyness, insecurity, or even rudeness. I am definitely not shy (anyone who knows me can attest to that!) I’m sure I have fooled passing acquantainces that I must be an extrovert. And I never mean to be rude. Sometimes, introverts are just so lost in their constant stream of thoughts that we don’t realize someone is speaking. Introverts spend a lot of time thinking inward, whereas extroverts seem to spend more time thinking out loud. At least, most of the ones I know!
Are you more introverted or extroverted? What challenges or joys come of it?