Posted by: Amy | September 4, 2012

Innie or Outie?

I stumbled upon a TED Talk the other night, “Susan Cain: The Power of Introverts.”

She talks about growing up feeling like she didn’t quite fit in because she preferred the quiet of reading books. She outlines how our school systems and workplaces favor group work over individual endeavor. She calls for a better balance.

This is especially important when it comes to creativity and to productivity,because when psychologists look at the lives of the most creative people, what they find are people who are very good at exchanging ideas and advancing ideas, but who also have a serious streak of introversion in them.

While I was listening to her presentation, I began to wonder if I am an introvert or an extrovert.

I’m an ambivert, according to Ms. Cain. I’m both types.

Great. I have a split personality.

But it’s true. If introverts like being alone, internalize and feel awkward in social situations … that’s me. If extroverts are outgoing and like being with people … that’s me.

The introvert in me is happy to do crossword puzzles today. The extrovert in me laments the fact that she wasn’t invited to a Labor Day cookout. (Or maybe that’s just the part of me that’s always looking for food.)

The introvert in me is slow to act and contemplates everything. The extrovert in me goes for it.

The introvert in me struggles with having this blog and an online presence. I don’t like being “out there.” The extrovert in me is having fun blogging and meeting all these wonderful writers.

I’m a walking set of contradictions. I suppose it’s all a balancing act. My Innie and Outie halves complementing each other, one taking control when the situation calls for it. I’m like Bruce Wayne and Batman. Without the costume and cool gadgets. And the endless cash flow.

 

Which best describes you? Introvert, Extrovert or Ambivert? Do you wish you were something different?

 

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Responses

  1. I’m probably a very good introvert. Good as in, I can pretend to be an extrovert, but no matter how social I am, nothing beats me time with music and books.

    In that aspect, I know exactly what you mean by: The introvert in me struggles with having this blog and an online presence. I don’t like being ‘out there.’ The extrovert in me is having fun blogging and meeting all these wonderful writers.

    I think it’s very awesome that we met via an online challenge, because that’s pretty out there for us introverts. And through our combined introvert qualities we’re building a community for people like us, just writers and bloggers who connect on different levels of life.

    • I’m relieved to hear I am not the only one who find it uncomfortable being “out there.” But it was a risk worth taken because I met so many talented and supportive people. That includes you, Sopphey. Thank you!

  2. I feel very awkward socially. I was getting better with practice before I had kids, but now I’m so busy shuttling them around, I don’t get out much. I’m okay socializing with other parents. but when I go to a party, I hang out by the food table and people watch. I guess the internet is awesome for us introverts. 😀

    • I would have never thought you feel awkward, Linda! But a lot of people go into acting to overcome their shyness, right? Is that what happened to you?

      • Not specifically. It helped me with self-confidence in a way. I guess my quiet nature is why my dad nicknamed me, “Mouse.” 🙂

      • Oh! Hence the name Mouse Tales Press. How cool is that?!

  3. When I was first Myers-Briggs’d, I scored undeniably in the introverted column. Although I retain my INTJ-ness all these decades later, I have noted a steady shift toward the middle of the I-E continuum. I was bold in non-social circumstances, always. I could speak in front of crowds, no problem. I wasn’t shy, but people exhaust me. So I recharge with alone time. Some people are fed by being around others. I enjoy people but they deplete my batteries.

  4. I can be introvert and extrovert, it depends on what task is at hand — one observation that I’ve notice over the years is that most people view me from my exterior and that is a strong, confident woman with no insecurities when in actuality; I am emotionally vunerable and fragile most of the time . . . Guess I’m still learning how to live with that; recently I’ve decided to just be ME ALL THE TIME; what people see and think of me is okay, it’s their opinion and that’s human and so am I LOL. Best, Rebecca

    • Hi, Rebecca!
      I suppose we all have that “outside” persona to protect our true “inside” selves. Human nature.
      Thanks for commenting. It’s been a while since I’ve written it and it’s nice to revisit it.


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