[personal profile] julival2
So there is this little article from the Huffington Post about 23 Signs You May Be an Introvert that is making the rounds on Facebook today. I read it and I have to say that I was NOT surprisingly the opposite of most of the ‘signs’. And I just kept nodding at how the signs matched the people I know who are introverts. However, there were a couple of things at which I had to scrunch up my face and with which I have to take issue.

First, there is sign number fifteen, which says that “you notice details that others don’t.” I’m a big fan of personality tests of the Myers Briggs variety where they measure you tendency to either side of a spectrum for each of four personality categories. Extraversion-Introversion (how one reacts to others), Intuiting-Sensing (environment processing), Thinking-Feeling (processing approach to decisions, situations), Judging-Perceiving (response type). Sign fifteen is really more about intuiting-sensing traits than extraversion-introversion. You can be either E or I and still be a sensor. Intuitors are more about big picture, whereas sensors are more about detail. And it is a spectrum, so a person can be equally prone to both or far to either side. I usually fall hard to the E on the E-I spectrum in testing and slightly to S on the N-S spectrum (they use N for intuiting, since they use I for introversion). And if anybody cares, I split the T-F and fall hard on the J (but I’m trying to work on that).

Second, there are signs seven and sixteen, which are a conundrum for me taken together. Seven says “Downtime Doesn’t Feel Unproductive to You” and sixteen says, “You have a constantly running inner monologue” with the accompanying quote that “most extroverts don’t have the same internal talking as we do.” OK. Downtime feels very unproductive to me. I get slightly tense and uncomfortable when I don’t have anything to occupy my mind. That makes me not an introvert, per this article. But the reason I get slightly tense and uncomfortable is BECAUSE I have a constantly running inner monologue. My inner monologue wants me to be productive. My inner monologue harangues me about being lazy and goes off on abusive tangents if I’m not side-tracking it. That does not recharge me – it causes me a lot of stress. So I either have to be engaged in something productive that occupies my brain or I have to use my ‘downtime’ for reading something really interesting, watching an absorbing movie or show, or making up stories in my head. I make up a lot of stories in my head when I’m cleaning house. None that would interest anyone else in the slightest, but they make me happy. Or I make lists in my head or do long range planning. I cannot relax very well without a good book. I totally suck at just sitting on the couch and channel surfing and watching snippets of mindless TV. It makes me fidgety and hungry. So what does that mean?

Date: 2013-08-22 01:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] carrieb.livejournal.com
I don't see seven and sixteen as being a conundrum at all. I need downtime. . . my inner monologue doesn't beat me up if I am not being productive. I guess it just depends on what your inner monologue is telling you. But I am really not sure what that has to do with being an introvert. I will say, I have gotten much more extroverted as I've grown older. I still NEED downtime after a social event. I can't do too many social events in a row--they can be very taxing. But I don't need to crawl in a corner and shut down in social situations either.

Date: 2013-08-22 02:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] carrieb.livejournal.com
Also, the more I think about it the more I am wondering about the inner monologue. Doesn't every one have a constant inner monologue? How would it even work not to have your brain thinking things?

Date: 2013-08-24 10:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] julival.livejournal.com
That was my thought, exactly! How can inner monologues be exclusive to introverts??

And my inner monologue is always kicking me. It's bad. I blame my mother. (How Freudian of me)

Date: 2013-08-22 05:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] margrethe.livejournal.com
I saw this one too and thought it was funny because the person who posted it I never thought was an introvert? I guess the moral of the story is, we like to try and label everything but some things just can't be and that's ok!

Date: 2013-08-24 10:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] julival.livejournal.com
So true!

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