Shhhh..... Somebody's At the Door!

 
     Introvert?  What does that mean, exactly?  The word intrigued me quite a lot, so I did what any good introvert would do.  Got out my dictionary.  You all know you have one on your bookmark bar, give it up already.  As listed by Merriam-Webster online; 

Main Entry:  1in·tro·vert Pronunciation:ˈin-trə-ˌvərtFunction:transitive verbEtymology:intro- + -vert (as in divert)Date:1669 : to turn inward or in upon itself: as a: to concentrate or direct upon oneself b: to produce psychological introversion in


Main Entry: in·tro·ver·sion Pronunciation:ˌin-trə-ˈvər-zhən, -shənFunction:nounEtymology:intro- + -version (as in diversion)Date:1654 1 : the act of introverting : the state of being introverted2 : the state of or tendency toward being wholly or predominantly concerned with and interested in one's own mental life — in·tro·ver·sive  -ˈvər-siv, -ziv adjective — in·tro·ver·sive·ly adverb


     Just before my oldest daughter got married, she and her husband to be spent several sessions with a nice man named Pastor Bob.  This very kind man, gave them a couple of surprise exercises and one of them was the Keirsey Temperament Sorter and an introduction to all 16.  She had so much fun with it that she begged her sisters and me to also take the sorter.  At the time we all agreed it was pretty cool to know there was other people out there like us.  Up to this point, I often referred to my self as a 'recluse', 'hermit', 'loner' or 'homebody'.


     What my daughter was trying to tell me, and I just wasn't getting it, was that ALL of us are introverts.  All three of my daughters, and myself.  A few months later I met this amazing man, and one of the first things he ever said to me was, "I am mostly introverted."   So I looked up that sorter and those results again and started reading up on the topic.  


     Here is a man that is totally okay with his personality, he see's it as quite normal.  As I began reading more and more, and thinking back over my life......... How many times did I hear the words, "Cat got your tongue?"  She's quiet, she never talks.  She's too stubborn to talk to anyone.  She doesn't seem to have friends, she has only had a couple of friends all through school.  She's just shy.  I thought you were a snob, stuck up!  Don't you ever say good morning or good night to anyone?  I would ask my dad, "What's good about it?"


     Like any good introvert, I spent many many hours alone in my room with the door shut.  Music on, reading a book.  And riding my bike, all over the place, on my own.  My folks all thought something was wrong with me.  They just couldn't understand why I refused to talk to anyone I didn't know well.  It was always okay for my oldest brother to be quiet and reserved , I guess that was desired in  a boy.  The strong silent type mentality maybe! 


     I was completely amazed to realize that, almost without exception, all of the people in my life that I am close to, and have maintained as life long friends, are introverts.  This man I love so much, is as deeply introverted as I seem to be.  I wished I had learned about all of this sooner.  I think my life might have been just a little less weird.


      What do you say to a room full of introverts?  Be Quiet!?  To me and my children a great family day might be spent at home, and we might not say 5 sentences to each other all day long.  We are not discontent, each of us has our own hobbies that keep us busy.  Sometimes we get downright talkative with one another, into black hole discussions that go on for a while.  I don't mind these kinds of conversations, especially since it brings me closer to them as 17 year olds.  It's hard enough to relate to teenagers, let alone introverted ones, especially when I am also introverted!    I find myself resorting to my sense of the ridiculous.  It's easier to keep things feeling happy when you can't stop laughing with your mom.  My guy says I 'flaunt my silliness', and maybe that is true.  I just think it's important to be able to laugh at yourself, and enjoy life!  But these are all things that ONLY my inner circle of family ever gets to see.  The rest of the world see's the wallflower over in the corner.


     What happens when you put 6 introverts in a room together for Christmas dinner?  Nothing! It reminded me of that breakfast scene in the movie Pure Country, Nobody will talk to Wyatt, until he and Grandpa are alone, then the game is on!  I have come to believe that introverts have these strange and wonderful personalities, and to some extent can be and ARE very friendly, loving and kind people.  We won't have any problems if you stay out of my room, and leave me alone when the door is closed.  Be quiet in the mornings,  I am NOT  a chatty person in the morning, you will only annoy me. 


 "I'm okay, you're okay in small doses!"  Perfect!


     Don't come to my house without calling me first because I most likely won't answer my door.  Oh wait, I rarely answer my phone either, oh well!   *shrug*  Such is my life!  I really don't 'dislike' people, but I hate the chaos they create.  Don't touch my things, don't move things around and stay out of my cupboards and closets!  And for heaven's sake, LOWER YOUR VOICE!  I am not deaf, there is no need to shout.  I know that all introverts are not as soft spoken as myself and my love and my oldest daughter, my twins are a testament to that fact.  Doesn't stop me from telling them to 'pipe down!' :)  Teenagers who NEVER use the phone or have friends calling!?  Amazing.  If my girls get a call once a month, that's a lot!  I gave them a cell phone, they laughed and gave it back to me.  I said, no no, it gets very cold here and there are a lot of wild animals, so I want you to keep it with you in case of an emergency.  You can't walk 10 miles home when the temperature outside is -38F.  They never turn it on!  I can never call them to tell them I am going to be late getting home from work.  How many people do you know that have teenager cell phones on their account?  I hear people complaining all the time.   My plan is 550 National minutes per month, and weekends.  I have 4756 rollover minutes, and some expire every month, but that's the lowest plan minutes I can buy here!  We just look at each other and laugh, I mean, whatever!!  ;-P  Makes being grounded seem rather pointless too, when you are actually giving them exactly what they want, to stay home and stay in their room with the door closed.  At my house, having to leave your door open is the punishment! LOL


     So, for anyone out there who cares or is interested: My entire family used the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, as found in the book "Please Understand Me II" by David Keirsey. this is a bit like using the  sorting hat,  eh, Mate? Me - ISFJ/P Other Half - INFJ Oldest daughter - INFP Twin daughter 1 - ISTJ Twin daughter 2 - INFJ


     Incidentally, I also took the Meyers Briggs.  Strangely enough, I got exactly the same results... like this ISF*  and no matter what way it went, I always end up even between the J and P.  


     I am not weird, strange, odd, or crazy.  Well, okay, maybe a little :-P  I just like to be alone, and it so happens that everyone in my home likes to be by themselves as well.  God didn't invent bedroom doors, introverts did.


     Extroverts slam them.

 

 

 

 

 

nightowlinak nightowlinak
41-45, F
6 Responses Mar 7, 2009

Your post describes my family growing up! My parents, my sister and I were always "closed in" with people sometimes asking me if everything was ok or if we were angry at one another. What a confounding question that was! We were great, of course! Didn't you see us all sitting together quietly?

I would interact with other children, and play sports, but after an hour or two I wanted to leave and be by myself in my room reading a book. Most of my friends and adult neighbors would ask me why I didn't like playing with others, or why I was so quiet. The adults sometimes out of concern would ask my parents if everything was well, and they would receive a rather stony reception and a quick yes. I'm sure they thought the whole family was a bit weird.

During large celebrations we'd never show up. It would just be too tiresome and not really enjoyable. We'd stay indoors and have some of my mother's outstanding food and play board games. I was "that quiet kid" or, too often, "that mischievous kid" which stemmed from my inquisitive nature and non-compliance with "typical" behaviors expected of my age. Somehow, it was assumed that, since I was different and quiet, I was also causing mischief.

I am married to an extrovert, which causes me a lot of headaches and, with the addition of children, nearly no quiet time. My wife has learned to understand and accept my needs, and I hers. I know she has to speak endlessly with a hundred people at once (or so it feels like), and she knows I want no part of that. She doesn't mind when I leave the house if too many people are over and just hang out with my son (who also displays all the signs of introversion). We usually go to a nearby pond and sit and feed fish for an hour. One hour with a child sitting quietly. What parent of a 4-year old can claim that!

My daughter is still very young, but she seems to have taken after her mother. She is not very reserved with others and warms up quickly, unlike my son at her age. I believe the next few years will bring more challenges and opportunities to teach my children about our different personalities.

For the most part, we have taken what we have learned about ourselves and used that to learn how better to relate to each other and how to relate better to extroverts. If an extrovert is a giver, I have a much easier time relating to them. If they are a taker... I struggle. I wish I had known more about this when my children were small. We didn't get turned onto this until my oldest daughter was getting married and her sisters were 17.

My parents were accepting of my older brother being reserved, silent, heavily introverted, but me... different story. I was made to feel like something was wrong with me that needed to be 'fixed'. To my mother's dying day she continually chastised me for my reserved behavior. As for my brother, well, she would say... he's just that way.

I have to MAKE myself attend certain activities where there are many people. Company Christmas Parties, for example. It's a small company, and if I don't show up, I get harassed for the rest of the year until next Christmas, so I attend and stay the shortest amount of time as is polite. I take my closest friend with me so that we can sit in a corner and chat and not cause any undue stress for the host.

I do much better in outdoor venues. Such as the State Fair. It's easier to walk away and find a quiet space when I am overloaded. If someone says 'out door concert', I'm IN!

Recently my friend bought me tickets for Celtic Woman concert in December. With this much advanced notice, I will keep telling myself how excited I am to see them and that everything is going to be so much fun. But I have already asked one of my closest friends to go with me that understands me. She will be my lead and when the crowd or people close in on me, she shields me from some of it by directing the attention to herself. She is awesome! She knows how to appeal my sense of the ridiculous and keep me laughing, which helps tremendously.

But now that my kids are adults and out on their own. I am single and live alone.... I have to MAKE myself get out and do things with others. I know that I need the social interaction, even though I feel awkward. I may come home exhausted, but I am also finding that I need to keep touching base with reality and other people.

Truly, my closest friends are introverts. ALL of them. So, dinner with this friend. Lunch with these other two friends. A movie now and then. Rarely do any of us go to each others homes, though we all know that we are welcome. NONE of us shows up without calling first.

I just bought a new home. I want to have a BBQ. My conundrum is, I want everyone to check out my new place... and at the same time I don't want them to. LOL I have to override my need to be alone with my need to have friends and solid relationships. I am very friendly and my biggest fear is that I will spend all my time worrying whether everyone is having a good time instead of simply having a good time myself and enjoying their company. :o)

My new neighbors are obviously extremely extroverted and friendly. I hope they can adjust to their reserved neighbor.

I'm glad you found my story interesting and something you could relate to.

keeva,
There is nothing wrong with you. There is a website that I just love called personality pages... here is the link...

http://www.personalitypage.com/

there is A LOT of information on that web site. I think you will enjoy it very much. Meanwhile, take the Keirsey sorter and find out your personality type. It's fun to learn about yourself and realize that there are LOTS of us out here! And though we are not anywhere near the majority of the population, WE ROCK!

keeva,
I recommend the book "Please Understand Me II" by David Keirsey. Please, read it from cover to cover. Being introverted is not a choice, or a lifestyle. It's an orientation that we are born with. Embrace it. Once you learn to manage your time in relation to your peace of mind, you will be so much happier.

Thankyou for answering and I will check the book out. I'm 48 years and I believe that I'm just recently been told by my therapist that I'm an introvert. At first I thought he was completely wrong. He didn't know me. The words still sound forign to me, but I think I'm starting get it.

I have asked two other people in this group to help me understand what it really means to be intoverted, how do you know and you were always an introvert. I am trying to find myself and it sounds like I fit this group. I was SHOCKED at first now I'm trying to accept

nightowl... I think you are me with a different family!! I was searching through experiences for "hermit/recluse" (which I consider myself pretty much) Anyway, this story was the first to come up in the search. I started reading and the more I read, the more I thought: "My God, this person is me!"<br />
I knew I was introverted, but I didn't fully understand; because I am just not a "Me," "Me," "Me" type person. I also thought I was just shy. <br />
Thank you. Your little story has cleared a few things up for me.

Hello Night Owl,<br />
<br />
The Kiersy Temperament Sorter and the MBTI should closely correlate. I agree that “Please Understand Me II” is a super book if you are building project teams or trying to understand the dynamics of working in groups. One thing to remember, these tools have been refined and are less fuzzy than the traditional psychology we were taught when we were in our youth. To add more definition the MBTI was designed around how a person acts in the “work” environment and the K-Sorter tried to add some “real life” to it. In both cases if you read the whole work, you will find that the range of Extrovert to Introvert is a continuum that encompasses wildly Extroverted to deeply Introverted but like anything else that is subject to random variation, there is the bell curve through the middle. The USA seems to lean toward the Extroverted while Great Britain is definitely Introverted. <br />
<br />
Introverted in the concept of either MBTI or K-Sorter is simply a person that gains strength internally, needs to recharge their batteries through some alone time or private reflection. The Extrovert needs others, gains strength and inspiration through interaction with others. The more the merrier.