Friday, 7 March 2014
Bubbly Introvert/Shy Extrovert
I have always been fascinated by personalities. I want to know what makes people do what they do. I generally give some thought to why I behave the way I do and I enthusiastically explore all types of personality tests and categorizing systems I come across. This doesn't mean I agree with them all or think that people can be very neatly slotted into labelled compartments. I simply enjoy mulling over various theories about personality and behaviour. Some of it I can connect with personally and some of it I can't. Over the past few years I have been very interested in the research and writings around introverts and extroverts. The terms might be old but I have always felt introverts were misunderstood. In reading more about both introverts and extroverts I realised that both are misunderstood.
I identify as an introvert and yet that would probably surprise some people who know me, or think they know me. The reason is that I am generally known to be perky, cheerful, bubbly, chatty and not shy. When I came across the explanation for this, the so called bubbly introvert I had one of those "Aha moments" which are so cliche I'm almost embarrassed to use the term. Almost, but not quite because this blog is essentially first draft writing, also known as stuff that bubbles out my head and through my fingers. I am a bubbly introvert. With me, stuff bubbles, especially if I am comfortable, which I probably am if I am socialising with one or two close friends.
Despite enjoying some socializing and having quite proficient social skills, I generally prefer to be alone or in one on one situations. Groups larger than five including myself make me uncomfortable. I become a completely different person unless I feel called upon to perform in some way. I am quite able to perform. I should have been an actor. But the toll this will take on me is significant and in order to rest and recharge I need to be alone. So yes, you can ask me to MC your wedding and I will say yes and I will do it well but it will nearly kill me. I'm just letting you know. You don't really want to kill me, do you?
Although they seem to be rare, I have known people who are shy extroverts. Shyness is often confused with introversion but it is not the same thing. These people love a party, love to be where the action is, love to go out, though they will be the quiet ones in the group. They do not want to be the centre of attention and will blush or stammer or speak very quietly if you call attention to them. But they want to be where the action is. They get itchy to go out and be with people. They actually like parties. For extroverts, even if they may be shy, too much time alone does not recharge them at all. Being around people is what recharges them.
Introverts can act in ways that look extroverted and extroverts can act in ways that look introverted. Some people are have such an equal distribution of traits the term ambivert was coined to describe them. We have to be careful not to stick negative labels on any of these ways of being and to see the positive attributes of both. Introverts and extroverts together can make an amazing team.
Common Misconceptions about Extroverts
All noise and no substance
Afraid of being alone
Less creative or thoughtful than introverts
Common Misconceptions about Introverts
Socially awkward-need help
Don't like people
Don't have fun
Not team players
Disclaimer: I did not invent those terms I used in my title. I read them in an article at some point in the past and they stuck with me. I cannot give proper credit but if anyone can point me in the right direction I would be happy to do so.
This site is meant for educators but there is some great information here. You will probably see how you aren't entirely one or the other, but are predominantly either an introvert or an extravert. If you see yourself in both equally you are an ambivert.