Topic RSS | Reply to topic
Author Post

sheepchrist


Member

Posted Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 10:37pm Post subject: Introversion
Very interesting topic.

I do wonder how much of what we are is affected by the circumstance we find our self in. I had an oppressive / abusive childhood and was extremely introverted up until age 16. At that age I joined a youth theatre group and began a short journey towards being extroverted.

I have however flitted from one state to the other and am relatively convinced that I behave in a manner that makes me feel comfortable in my surroundings with the type of people I am with. So I see my self as an introverted extrovert in that, for instance if I am at a dinner party with people I feel comfortable with my extrovert comes out to play or if I am at a similar party with people I don’t feel comfortable with I tend to take a back seat. Human nature is very, very odd

Back to top

Katrina


Member

Posted Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 10:12am Post subject: Introversion
I do wonder how much of what we are is affected by the circumstance we find our self in.
I think that's completely true! Personally, I don't really know if I'm truly extroverted or truly introverted, because there have been so many outside factors that have influenced how I've acted throughout life thus far. Like, was I introverted when I was younger because I was introverted, or because I knew my dad's work would move us again anyway and there wasn't any point in making new friends? I think it was probably the latter, although it's hard to tell, since I come from a half and half couple: my mom loves being alone or hanging out with my sister and I, my dad loves hanging out with friends and always talks to random people.
Once I got into high school and my dad promised we'd never move again, I sort of came out of my shell, and everyone was like, "Um, hey Katrina, since when do you talk?" And by the end of high school I was, I guess, part of the "popular" crowd - not like "douchbag popular," but there was just a group of kids who everyone knew, and who were Involved with a capital "I."
So, now I'm in a sorority, etc., which isn't often a place for introverts, but I do like hanging out by myself on the computer late at night and stuff like that. I just need a long time to unwind, even if I've been out. For me, a few great parties can sort of tide me over for a long time.

If anyone read all that, congratulations, but I guess the point is that although we may have a tendency to be one or the other, I think situation really affects it as well. In the back of my mind, I think of myself as extremely introverted on the inside, but my friends/sorority sisters/acquaintances would probably describe me as extroverted, loud, or perhaps insane.

And I would totally do karaoke while riding a mechanical bull. X-D

Open to suggestions as to what my sig should consist of...

Back to top

Veg Chick


Member

Posted Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 1:47pm Post subject: Introversion
Have just read through this thread, wow it's so fasinating. And just a little spooky as it is a point I have been contemplating personally for sometime.

I am extremely introverted, did the Myers Brigg thing two years ago and apparently I couldn't get more introverted! It was a work thing and it was interesting because the three other people I work with are all extreme extroverts. And while they are lovely people they don't take any notice of other people around them and don't consider the damage of what they can say to other people. Compared to the introverts I know who are all very considered and think of the outcomes before acting. I think I am in an unusual mix of extremes and this is the exception, but it makes for interesting group dynamics. It has also come in handy as it has been recognised by work that this has had a negative impact on my health.

I think maybe selfishness is a trait separate to I/E because I know some selfish people of both types and equally some incredibly thoughtful of both types.

The reason I have been cosidering this for a while is because I have sarted to wonder if, in my case, you can be so introverted to the point of it being faulty?

And I also find that comunicating via forums, text and emails a million times easier than actually talking to someone. I go all :-// and silent.

Feeling sick at the word karaoke!

If you don't know what an extrovert is thinking, you haven't been listening.
If you don't know what an introvert is thinking, you haven't been asking the right questions.

I am nothing

Back to top

joan


Member

Posted Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 2:57pm Post subject: Introversion
This is a great topic.

From experience I would say it is easy to be extroverted when in a crowd of like-minded people, and introverted when you feel alienated from those around you.

As an example, I'm fine with labour party people and trade unionists, even if I don't know them. But stick me in a crowd of business people and bankers, which sometimes happened when I worked and had to go to the odd corporate function, and I just freeze.

Back to top

exoskeleton


Member

Posted Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 7:01pm Post subject: Introversion
So many good comments here!
I agree that context is very important to behavior, but I think introversion is a bit broader than how you act in certain situations. A very extraverted person could certainly feel shy or uncomfortable in a given social situation, and an introvert can enjoy spending time with people. Ginj mentioned that the concept of getting energy from somewhere was good, and that's how I think about it.

I know that there are times when I am very social. I was on sports teams in high school, and I really value the friends I made. When I go watch my former team compete, I have so many people to chat with. Just last week, I was speaking with four or five girls I hadn't seen in a year. I was leading the conversation because I spoke way more than anyone else, and I asked them a lot of questions. I would have seemed very extraverted in that context. However, afterwards, I was glad to go home and read. It wasn't that I didn't sincerely enjoy that conversation; I did. The difference is that I didn't want to go out to dinner with everyone afterward. I had a nice time socializing, and then I was ready to relax. My mental energy, then, was not derived from talking to my friends, but from spending time alone later.
You can be extraverted and not be comfortable in every social situation, or you can be introverted and have good social skills. However, that doesn't mean that all extraverted people feel shy, nor that all introverted people even want to talk to or spend time with others. These terms are just one way of describing temperament and/or personality.

Sheepchrist also brings up the question of why people seem to be introverted or extraverted ways. Perhaps situations one encounters regularly, or used to encounter growing up, effect what someone will enjoy later one. I did have trouble with behaving in class during most of elementary school, and I will grant that that could have affected my personality as I got older. However, it's important to remember that I don't feel like anyone is stifling me when I'm being introverted. I am happier when I am allowed to have time for myself.

sockdolager.

Back to top

Nitro


Member

Posted Thu Jun 4th, 2009 8:39am Post subject: Introversion
That last bit of your reply is one I can empathize with whole heartedly. Being an introvert doesn't mean you are by default going to become a hermit. I think introversion is just someone who is comftorable being alone. Wether I'm with folks of like mind or not, I'm the same person generally. I don't mind speaking when I have something to say or answering some question. I'm at ease speaking in public IOW. But it gets to the point I feel something in me going,"OK, this has been fun but it's enough now. I have other things to do and they can only done alone." so I make my exit when, as someone else said, the party may be moving on somewhere else as a group.

And wether with like minds or not, I still tend to be the listener by and large. But I enjoy that, it's nothing to do with any awkard feelings. I like it when people tell me what they're thinking, who they are, some thing that happened to them. It might influence my writing later.


If asked,"Would you rather be on a whirlwind party train for two weeks or spend two weeks alone?" I think the answer would depend on the other people going ( do I want to listen to them? will they understand when I hole up by myself at the back of the train or be offended? is there something at home I'd rather be doing? ), and wether I felt like I had that internal energy to tag along. If not, I'd stay home X-D

Really? Wow.

Back to top

michael


Member

Posted Thu Jun 4th, 2009 8:15pm Post subject: Introversion
y'all are inspiring me to make a revolutionary new personality test, where the interviewer says:

"hellooo...can i have your name please? thank you. your age? okay, very good. Naked karaoke on a mechanical bull?"

and the results are all based on the person's answer. possibilities may include:

....."only socially, i'm not addicted."

.....***! slaps interviewer on face

......no thanks but i'd love to watch

..... yessir, 24/7, but only on the InSiDe!!

..... oh how strange! i was just thinking about that when you asked! perhaps we were destined for each other.

etc.

is this relevent? should i go now? ok bye.

"HELLO I'M TACTILE !" is an anagram of my name

Back to top

Nitro


Member

Posted Fri Jun 5th, 2009 12:14am Post subject: Introversion
y'all are inspiring me to make a revolutionary new personality test, where the interviewer says:

"hellooo...can i have your name please? thank you. your age? okay, very good. Naked karaoke on a mechanical bull?"

and the results are all based on the person's answer. possibilities may include:

....."only socially, i'm not addicted."

.....***! slaps interviewer on face

......no thanks but i'd love to watch

..... yessir, 24/7, but only on the InSiDe!!

..... oh how strange! i was just thinking about that when you asked! perhaps we were destined for each other.

etc.

is this relevent? should i go now? ok bye.

roflmao..

michael, you're a genius

Really? Wow.

Back to top

tito


Member *

Posted Thu Jul 16th, 2009 1:39pm Post subject: Introversion
I have been planning this rant for a while in my head, although it didn't always have this title. I was going to write something and call it "I have no personality, who cares, leave me alone!" because that was my honest assessment of myself and my preferences for interacting with others. I tend to care more about reading, and to a lesser extent watching, other people's stories and ideas than I do about having well-delineated personality of my own to share. I don't have a lot of fervent opinions or strong emotions, which I believe makes me pretty boring in conversation. This is not to say I don't think or feel things, but I am equivocal on most polarizing topics, and expressing that in public is not a good idea, because it is like saying I'm uninformed or apathetic, even though I don't really think I'm either of those things.
However, I happened to re-read some seminal internet discourse on introversion last night, which I'm sure I read before, but completely forgot. It was totally unintentional; I was reading a recently-published article about a long-running longitudinal study and there was a sidebar link. My feelings and behavior very obviously land me in the category of introvert. It's been my result on every personal survey besides the first one I took, when I was 12 and pretty sure that to "want to be the life of the party" was far more desirable and therefore deserved my affirming response, whether or not it was in practice something I enjoyed. Anyway, this created an interesting situation, because I had just developed a pretty harsh view of myself as being extremely boring, but every negative trait to support this was also one associated with being an introvert. For example, I don't seem to have convictions? No, I don't, because I'm still having a nice time thinking over the issues, sorting out legitimate arguments, gathering and weighing evidence, and I see no reason to stop this midstream in order to give a proclamation.

As much as I want to be relieved and happily don the introvert label, I am still hesitant. There is a study which finds that cerebral blood flow varies with personality type, but I suppose I like the idea that I can reform my own personality. If my blood going in an unconventional direction is more important, I don't feel like there is any room for me to make good decisions about my own behavior. Plus, as a regular reader of science journalism, I've been trained to shout "correlation is not causation!"
The ranting portion of this post is my wondering whether or not introversion is real. I cannot move beyond the idea that it is an extremely selfish way to be. It is by definition fascination with one's own inner life, which I believe implies less interest in the doings of others. Sitting at home with my books, music, and art supplies is doing basically nothing to improve the world. I suppose going out to drunken parties, or even sitting sober in a circle gabbing for hours isn't changing much either, but it seems like good training for such endeavors. One is supposed "speak out" for a cause or "be a good friend" when someone seems lonely. I think of a girl I know who can approach anyone with ease and actually demonstrate sincere interest in a stranger's wellbeing. I am sure her actions are very much appreciated, but if I admire them so much, why can't I do the same? Am I not being very selfish for thinking it's just my way to hang back and be silent, or not even be out in the first place? One must already have a very easy life to be able to spend time alone on a regular basis. How does the responsible introvert, one who really does want to help others, behave?
The unconscious assumption that extraversion is normal and right, especially in American culture, and especially for a female, doesn't make this figuring any easier. There is also the more blatant nagging one receives with when one doesn't want to join in the fun activities. These are the things that could change, but I don't think it's very likely, because it doesn't even seem like a problem to many. It's always taken on the level of personal experience, and problems relating seem to be with individuals rather than personality types in general. If everyone were introverted, I can imagine some important group negotiating never being accomplished, but I have more trouble imagining the shortcomings of a world of extraverts, even though I'm sure there would be many.

Fortunately, this is an issue that's kind of enjoyable for me to consider, because it is personal, but it also benefits from a scientific way of thinking. I feel a lot better just after writing this, if only because it was an opportunity to write paragraphs using correct capitalization. Replies are encouraged, even if they're not related to my reflections here.

a brief addition:
I think this is also an apt topic for a forum like this one because I have found that, not surprisingly, people who enjoy the camaraderie of an online message board tend to be relatively introverted. A few months ago, with no particular hypothesis in mind, I started a thread on another forum asking people to take an online Myers-Briggs Type Inventory and post the results. Almost every single one of us regulars tested as introverted, which is quite far from the estimated prevalence in the general population, where introverts are always in the minority, and sometimes outnumbered 3 to 1 (or more.)

The worst thing about being introverted is trying to make other people understand that you are happy to be that way and the idea of living in a social whirl is almost painful. I am glad you wrote this.

Back to top