Tuesday, August 10, 2010

INTROVERTED iNtuitive Thinking Perceiving

I Am Who: is an experiment on tools people use in order to "know" someone. I am looking at things that people might use in order to understand me better and considering how well or not such a tool describes me. The larger picture is that yes, you may know that I'm a Chinese Libra, INTP, etc., but you will never know me until you have spent time with me.

On the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment, I am an INTP; I’ll get to the entire thing at another time. For now, let’s take one thing at a time and start with introversion.

What the Myers Briggs Foundation website says about introverts:
The following statements generally apply to me:
o I am seen as “reflective” or “reserved.”
o I feel comfortable being alone and like things I can do on my own.
o I prefer to know just a few people well.
o I sometimes spend too much time reflecting and don’t move into action quickly enough.
o I sometimes forget to check with the outside world to see if my ideas really fit the experience.

This generally sounds like me, although I don’t know that people would use the words “reflective” and “reserved” to describe me; I’ve heard the words “cold-hearted” and “ice queen” used instead. I am more comfortable being alone or with one or two other people, rather than in a large group, but I am able to be comfortable with a large group as well.

I question the part about not moving into action quickly enough, on account of other factors, such as I may not have acted because I thought things through and decided that action was not necessary, a process which can be either a matter of seconds or much longer, or that I tend to choose actions which are carried out solely by myself or are private, and so to the outside world, I seem to not be a person of action when in fact I am an active person. I understand the MB general statement, I’m just pointing out that I am more active than people would think; there is, of course, a spectrum of these characteristics among introverts.

I think Pawlik-Kienlen says it better, that “an introvert’s personality traits aren’t necessarily tentative or hesitant, but introverts do prefer to think before they act. When introverts are ready they take action!” I certainly take action when I’m ready!

Now, I do not know who Pawlik-Kienlen is, or what his/her credentials are, but he/she has a few articles on the introvert that give some insight that I think are rather helpful to understanding an introvert. I would also recommend trying the tips on communicating with introverts here.

Recently I came across an entry on Xanga about “Understanding Your Introvert,” here. I thought that this was the best assessment of introverts that I have read in a while, written in a matter-of-fact, to-the-point, yet easily relatable way. In other words, I read this and immediately felt like the author was writing about me and that other people might benefit from reading it. I even linked it on my FB, and if you know me on FB, I don’t link things very often at all.

Here are my thoughts on how well the author’s points relate or not to me:

1. I do need time to be alone. If I happen to walk away from someone or a group, it does not necessarily mean that something is wrong; I may just need some quiet, in which case one may follow me, but do not expect me to say anything but rather, be with me in quiet. I don’t mind the company, and if someone can be with me in quiet, not awkward quiet but companionable quiet, I will attach to that person more. I don’t like the idea of someone needing me to entertain them.

I personally will not shrivel up and die if left alone at a party. I do think it is general bad form to invite someone as one’s special guest and then ignore them that night, or ignore any guest whom is not familiar with the rest of the general party, but I will often make a go of any situation I find myself in. I will however, wonder what I’m doing there and will probably walk away.

For example, Hatchet had invited me to her church’s summer camp. I knew no one else there but her and another classmate, but I was not particularly close with the other classmate. At camp, Hatchet attached herself to a certain group of people who were considered “cool” or “popular” with no regard for me, for the entire week. I, on the other hand, went around getting to know whoever came my way, including the cool kids. At the end of camp, I had many asking to sign my camp book and for me to sign theirs. When we were again alone, Hatchet pouted, complaining that I knew more people at her church than she did. I had no pity for her for this occurrence and made no reply.

2. I am more reserved than others. It has been reported to me on many occasions that I seem aloof and uncaring, or worse yet, hateful and judging, all mostly due to things like how I don’t react to things much (I will hardly smile if I don’t think a joke is funny) or how I am more silent than outspoken. I wouldn’t say that I am timid, these days, so much as that

A point that I really relate to is that I do not like small talk! I think small talk can be useful, but I would rather ask questions to which I am genuinely interested in the answer. This is why I am more likely to ask pointed, personal questions which would seem rude or gossipy to others, but it is more that I would rather not waste your time, or mine, in asking something general or trite like “how are you?,” especially if I don’t really want to know how you are.

On the flip side, asking me a question is a great way to open me up. The more genuine you seem in wanting the answer to your question, the more likely I am to answer it and to answer with expanded commentary. I’m very much a don’t-beat-around-the-bush and get-to-the-point kind of person, but I don’t know that this is attributed to introversion entirely.

3 & 4. Good points, give me time to think and then to respond. If you speak and then I speak and then you speak right away again and so on, I will feel unheard or unconsidered and therefore will think you don’t care about what I said and will eventually say no more.

And be certain, I am doing my best to hear you.

5. This is true. I may be having an inner conversation with my imaginary boyfriend, but I am also aware that in real life you just drank from my water glass. I just didn’t want to embarrass you by saying something when I can just drink my juice instead. Also, I may not notice that you got your braces off, but I will notice if you are suddenly snapping at people, that is, if snapping at people is unusual for your character. In other words, your inner life is more important to me than your outer life.

6. Good point. It’s a good rule in general to accept people for who they are.

All in all, YES, I am an INTROVERT.

How about you? Introvert or Extrovert?