Friday, 7 March 2014

Bubbly Introvert/Shy Extrovert



                                source


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
Poor listeners

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.
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 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. 


12 comments:

  1. i have always considered myself an extrovert. but the more i read into it and think about it, i really like to recharge and be alone, or at least with just my family. however, i love being out in groups and the center of attention (hopefully not in an annoying way). so i guess i'm a good mix of both, as well!

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    1. Apparently most people fall somewhere in the ambivert range, but if you see it as a scale with introvert on one end, extrovert on the other and ambivert in the middle, you might be an ambivert leaning a bit more in either the introvert or extrovert direction. Thank goodness we are all complex and unique!

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  2. This was a cool post! I am %100 an introvert, and that surprises people. I am pretty loud around my friends, I can handle being in a group of people, up to 15 or so, if I know them all very well. At my wedding? I was a mess. My friend's mom kept asking if I was okay, because I hate attention on myself. I do like karaoke, but only when my friends are there, and I have been drinking. I do not like talking to new people, unless they do all of the talking, and even then I get anxious. But mostly, I need the alone time. I need to recharge, or I am cranky/will start to panic.

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    1. My reading on the subject tells me the bottom line in deciding if someone is an extrovert or introvert is the way they recharge. Beyond that come all our individual nuances. I am similar to you. The way I understand it is that I am able to literally perform. It's the real me but it's also a performance, as though I am acting out "extroverted Shawna". I hated being a bride, and my wedding was quite small and low key and only had people I knew really well. I too didn't like being the centre of attention and I was exhausted by having to perform. It's interesting what you say about the drinking loosening you up a bit to socialise. My ex was very much like that. I, on the other hand, don't like to be drunk because I get super chatty and later I am so embarrassed by it.
      I hope you never feel you must aplogise for taking the time to recharge. It's easy to fall into that trap.

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  3. Interesting post Shawna. I think many people can identify with being an ambivert.

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    1. Yes, the majority of people are essentially ambiverts. I think the most important part is understanding how you personally recharge so you can take care of yourself and not feel you have to apologise for it. :-)

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  4. I would definitely say I am an ambivert, my social confidence is quite dependant on the situation and company, but I like parties and groups if I know lots of people. Most friends would describe me as extrovert, I think, and quite fearless, but I recognise an element of performance in there too. I do like time alone as well, although I am not sure I would describe it as necessary for recharging, I just like it. I am certainly happy to be alone and not at all bored by or frightened of solitude.
    Very interesting and thought-provoking, Shawna, thanks! xxx

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    1. It strikes me that your liking a bit of alone times sometimes is similar to my liking a party once in awhile. Some parties, sometimes are great and for you being alone sometimes is great. I would guess that it is the company of others that recharges you and allows you to be fulfilled enough to happily have some alone time.

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  5. Shawna, I love reading your posts. They are always so varied and interesting. xx

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    1. Thanks Northern Mum! I'm so glad you visit and comment.

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  6. Good stuff. I am both, and I can have periods (sometimes long ones) when I am more introverted (as I am now), and periods when I am more extraverted (as I was for a few years not long ago). I do not like parties at all, unless I know people very well and actually like to talk with them. Dancing/drinking parties don't interest me a bit. I love time alone, but only by choice. I don't like to be where the action is, but I create the action (if it is important to me), and people will gather around me. I can be shy and can be very outgoing. I am pretty much 50/50 mix.

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    1. I think that makes you an ambivert. I definitely don't create any action. LOL My friends know that I will probably not call to arrange something so they had better do it. I don't like making phone calls. I give one party a year and my friends anticipate it. I think I actually like hosting best because then I can be busy and I just sit back and let my friends all chat with each other. I just like to feed them.

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