The Way I See It......


I'd like to start off by stating that I am not an introvert.

At least not entirely.

I actually took the Myers Briggs Test in 2011. That test determines whether you have more introverted or extroverted tendencies based on how you answer certain questions, I scored exactly half introvert and half extrovert.

It really didn't matter to me at the time because I accepted myself for who I was and I didn't give it any more thought.

However, during my first year at university, I met a girl who, as it turned out, was an introvert in full. I couldn't understand her behavior. Although we did have good conversations, she rarely spoke otherwise, she rarely smiled and she seemed quite dull and unhappy. I didn't know then what I knew now about human behavior and I acted in a very extroverted manner around her in order to counteract her introverted behavior. Well, it kind of backfired.

Given that I also like "down-time" a lot and get bored/tired during heavy social activities, I can empathize with introverts. I honestly prefer to be alone or with a very close group of friends. Sometimes introverts don't feel like talking to people, and those people get offended in turn because they perceive introverts to be rude and anti-social. If you try to tell them your situation, they often dismiss you and tell you to "man up" and move out of your comfort zone.

If I did have a piece of prescriptive advice for introverts, it is this: don't give up who you are, but don't label yourself as "INTROVERT" either. I believe that, given the willpower, we can change our nature (not as crazy an idea as it sounds). Maybe not entirely, but I think that introverted people do have the ability to talk to strangers just as extroverted people have the ability to stop blabbering and listen for a change. It is all in the head.

I see on this page many introverted people have adopted a "siege" mentality against an admittedly extrovert-favored society and many on these pages are quick to claim intellectual/mental superiority over extroverts. I think that is the wrong way to go. There is an equilibrium which exists in nature, and introversion versus extroversion is just another form of that. Accept extroverts for who they are. Accept that they like to talk. Accept that they may be a bit more brash than you. But don't count them out, maybe try to play their game and in time they will play yours. Try to explain your situation, show them the scientific evidence and if they can understand that, then maybe the awkward situations which introverts find themselves in will disappear.

I honestly think that this "conflict" can only be averted through a degree of compromise and a deeper understanding of how people behave differently and accepting the fact that we all behave differently.
Torbald Torbald
18-21, M
6 Responses Jan 2, 2013

You had me until you said things like "we can change our nature" and "it is all in the head." Personality is pervasive over the lifespan, it's not something you can change, nor should you try unless you want to have self-esteem problems or other mental health issues. Sure, I can change my behavior, be the life of the party once in a while. But, what would that accomplish? Is it better to fake it and be well-liked or be yourself and be seen as rude? Personally, I choose to be true to who I am and I make no apologies for it. No one expects extroverts to change the way they are, why should introverts? We all just need to let each other be who we are without criticism.

Is Myers Briggs Test available online & free??? Is it really good and helps to prove or clear certain aspects about yourself?? If so could you guide me to the links or page??
Advance Thanks :)

I kind of get what you're saying. Yes. Leaving comfort zone once in a while helps in achieving balance later in life. However your post (and your comment later confirms that) is definitely all about shyness, not introversion or extroversion. I'm strongly introverted and also used to be shy. Shyness is a personality trait that changes with time. The level of introversion or extroversion always stays constant. It is that way beacause that trait is deeply rooted in nervous system in many different ways. Introverts are over-sensitive to Dopamine. Too much external stimulation overdoses and exhausts them. On the other hand extroverts can't get enough Dopamine and they require Adrenaline for their brains to create it. Also neuro-transmitters follow different dominant paths in nervous systems of introverts and extroverts. You can't really change your physiology even if you tried hard. Forcing yourself to change introversion is like forcing yourself to be shorter by walking on bent knees or forcing yourself to be taller by walking on toes. There is only one exception. Some people have enough self-awareness that they can be good actors and for short amount of time become totally different person. At this point it's all matter it you can stand being fake or you want to always be authentic and true to yourself.

Just because your introverted people often do make an assumption that you think you are superior in some way. In my 55 years of experience, it usually shows up that way for extroverts when I have done everything I can to be polite, kind, loving and have said in a nice way that I need to be excused, meaning that I can't chit-chat any more. I AM NOT SHY and never have been in any way. Yet true to my nature, who I am needs meaningful conversation, meaningful movies, meaningful books and I then will light up like a Christmas Tree and it will be hard to get me to shut up. It is not a judgement about the quality of others conversations. it is a personal NEED to have substance in mine.

Being in a roomful of people I don't know, I can do small talk for a short while. It's mostly always in search of another person that wants to talk about stuff I want to talk about (not unlike the extroverts trolling the room) I've gotten better over the years (without alcohol, because with it, I am the life of the party and not in a way I like to dwell on), and eventually, if there is nothing but general chit-chat going on, I will withdraw and totally enjoy watching the scene. It's usually the extroverts in the room that can't stand that. They feel the need to come "include" me like I'm having a bad time because I'm alone. I love watching people and not in some superior way. I am fascinated with people.

Most of the world, probably gratefully (the community in my head is still out on that. I'm wondering if many social injustices might be gone if they were left in the hands of the introverts), is extroverted. I've spent many years with the extroverts literally telling me there is something WRONG with me and trying to fix it. I don't let it bother me anymore. I do my own thing and mingle where I can. I do like meeting new people and then I am at choice, I can choose to stay or move on. It's that simple and today what you think of me is none of my business.

I understand what you are saying and you right. However, I think you've got to accept that extroverts aren't "trolling," they are merely doing what comes more naturally to them.

Hell, there may be an extrovert member page talking about how introverts never include themselves in anything and seem so arrogant. It's not that you are arrogant, it's just how you behave and it is not mean or anything like that.

That being said, I think we imprison ourselves by attaching "Introvert" and "Extrovert" next to our names because it limits our capacity to grow out of it if need be. We can change our nature, and in ways which don't require a personality adjustment. Maybe one day if extroverted people realize that introverts need time alone they will adjust, and maybe one day introverts will realize that extroverted people love talking a few minutes longer, they will adjust. No one has anything "wrong" with them, and the sooner both sides are willing to understand one another, the better.

Torbald, First let me say thanks so much for this conversation, it's really helped me examine and clarify my thinking about this.I totally understand that extroverts are doing what comes naturally and have every right to ... My problem is when they think there is something wrong with me because I am not like them and need to be FIXED. lol Sorry if it came across at "Trolling". When I read it I don't see that (and again, I wrote it, go figure). I'm glad extroverts are accepted for the way they do things ... just looking for some acceptance that even if we are in the minority, we are not broken. Saying that we can change our nature is another way of saying we can CONVERT to what the majority sees as normal. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH US JUST LIKE WE ARE. I don't want extroverts to change their nature, I want them to accept mine as being okay. I have no need to be extroverted, I am not shy (I teach in a college) and some could mistake this for extrovert-ism,. My basic nature is to live more inside than outside. I see these words as inside or outside, not judgements on if I can ask for what I want, hold a conversation in a room, etc. Shy-vs-outgoing might be better descriptors for what your saying? I will ask for what I want ... just in a different manner than someone who is more external. There is no intention here, ever of hurting feelings. I am very sensitive also (not necessarily tied to introvertism, it's part of my personal nature to do my best to be kind, and also in my nature to speak MY truth).

Changing our nature doesn't require you to become an extovert, Layla. Even something so small as understanding why extroverts are the way that they are makes a difference. You would then see them differently and perhaps act differently towards them. For example, as extrovert who can understand that an introvert wants to be alone sometimes would a momentous change. That is what I was referring to.

I am an ambivert too. When I think I am an introvert fully, the extroverted personality just pops out all over the place, and sometimes when I think I'm fully extroverted I just need that time to go chill out get away from everyone and relax. it's difficult to be an ambivert, but hey, we get the best of both worlds, right? Except sometimes I wish each side would give me a schedule of appearances...

I think, as stated in my article, that there exists an equilibrium in nature. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. So let me ask you this: when you found yourself becoming extroverted, were you around especially introverted people and vice versa?

I ask because this is what I have noticed and I'm wondering if I am the only one with this issue.

Actually I can go either way. Most of myextroverted friends really give me energy, (although some, if they are negative in nature, drain my energy). It's the extroverted situations (dealing with the public face to face all day long) that cause me to want to go home, shower, and curl up with pillows, blankets, and my Kindle. My introverted friends cause me a great deal of wanting to crawl out of my skin 'cause I get very bored. I am a mess, I know!

What you are saying makes perfect sense. I find myself in the exact same position as you when in similar situations.

It's not being "in a mess," it is natural. Someone once told me that the only ones who behave in the exact same manner to both extroverts and introverts are psychopaths. Whether that is true or not.......

But the fact is that having different personas for different situation is hardly crazy.

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Thanks for you input. I don't totally agree with you, but on most of it I do. My husband is as extroverted as they come and I think that's what attracted me to him. One on one with him was amazing when I was dating him. He really inspired me and I fell totally in love. We've been married for 30 years without regret. Even though he doesn't get it and I can't explain it, I need my alone time. He loves groups and socializes nonstop. In a group I clam up.
My husband has no problem meeting strangers. Actually so much, I at times am embarrased. When a stranger initiates a conversation with me, I do OK for a short time. I don't know if this is something that can be changed in introverted people. That's a question I ask myself. I so smile alot. A smile from me is a string of words I can't say

That makes sense, Keeva, and what you say is indicative of an introverted person. In some cases, opposites attract, such as with you and you husband. But there also needs to be a chemistry which is something else entirely (interests, mannerisms, quirks etc). That was obviously there as well.

Regarding my "changing our nature" statement. Ok, let me explain. I used to be shy to a ridiculous degree. It's embarrassing to give examples of my shyness. I also used to be amazingly introverted, as introverted as they come. I had usually only 1 friend at a time and spent 99% of my time alone reading. It was great but people saw me as anti-social and weird.

Somewhere along the line, I switched schools and decided that I wanted to stop being seen as anti-social etc. So I opened up a bit, it took 3 years of trial and error but now I can strike up a conversation with a stranger and hold it for a moderate amount of time and even make an acquaintance out of them. I still have some introvert tendencies but I am glad that I have tendencies of both because it allows me to understand and interact with all sorts of people. That is what I meant by changing my nature.

In high school I found that alcohol made me more of an extrovert. I could easily talk with people with a little liquid courage. I also pretty much stopped drinking before I ended my high school years and my introverted ways came back again. Do you think perhaps abuse may have effect on alcoholism. My husband is not abusive in anyway he's very loving and kind.
Your right it was more than his extroverted ways to make us fall in love so deeply. We both are spiritual people and very caring to others. We think a lot alike

I think alcohol makes EVERYONE more extroverted, Keeva, it keeps our social inhibitions minimized for a period of time.

Abuse does have an affect on alcoholism in my opinion. A lot of people drink because of various stress-related issues and alcohol for them allows for the stresses to subside for a time. The effect is, I imagine, not dissimilar to drugs. A lot of people drink and do drugs to forget things and go into a different world, which is why I don't blame a lot of drug users for taking drugs, because all they are trying to do is escape from their horrible reality.

Thank you for sharing your wisdom. For 1 1/2 years in highschool I drank and did pot to escape from my reality. I thank God it was only for that amount of time. I learned many lessons in that time. Shortly after I quit I met my husband. He is tight laced and somtimes I still can't believe he stuck it out with me with all the baggage I had. Thanks again for commenting I have to go for now.

It's no problem, go well.

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