Spiritual growth and healing · The way we are

Are you an introvert or an extravert?

Are you an introvert or an extravert?

When I did the Myers Briggs personality test, it became clear I had an INFJ personality, which means I am more on the introverted side.

Introversion, according to About.com, is a personality trait described in contrast to extraversion. While extraversion is characterized by sociability, talkativeness and assertiveness, introversion involves being more focused on internal thoughts and experiences.

Unlike extraverts, introverts don’t need to seek out external stimulation. They are inward turning, meaning that they are focused on the inner world of thoughts, feelings and emotions. While extraverts gain energy from socializing, introverts must expend energy while interacting with other people. For example, after attending a party, an introvert might feel a need to spend some time alone in order to ‘recharge’.

I was discussing with a fellow introvert recently about how natural it felt to ‘stay in our own heads’, as opposed to milling around and chatting with lots of people. We agreed that the decision to socialise, particularly on a large scale, needed to be intentional and deliberate. And while getting ourselves out of the house and interacting with others wasn’t necessarily instinctive for us, the payoff was always felt afterwards. We felt glad we pushed ourselves to do what wasn’t necessarily on the top of our list to begin with.

No matter what our personality type, pushing ourselves into the big, wide world can be a scary thing. Many of us are battling insecurities, doubts, fears… We aren’t always sure how we’re going to come across. We don’t know if people are going to like us. Perhaps we’ve been hurt before…

Sometimes it just feels safer to hide away. To maintain the same small community of friends, if that… Making yourself vulnerable can be a scary thing. But without such risk, it’s very hard to build strong, enjoyable relationships.

I remember a time in my life when I suffered from social anxiety. I was OK with trusted friends and family, but with anyone else I would clam up – freeze – and often say nothing at all in group settings. Things are different now, and more often the world is bright and ablaze – full of possibilities! I am not held captive by fear, and I usually feel and act friendly, happy and open.

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I am still an introvert – loving nothing more than a long, peaceful night on my own with a good book – but I look forward to the social stuff too. I always try to strike a good balance each week.

Have you ever done a personality test? Do you feel more revived by people, or by ‘alone time’?

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22 thoughts on “Are you an introvert or an extravert?

  1. Just talked about this with someone recently…I’m kind of both ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s interesting to learn about though and we should all be learning about ourselves and knowing ourselves, I have discovered. Hope all is well your way!

    1. It’s quite topical at the moment isn’t it?
      I agree – I got a lot out of doing the test, and reading up on my personality because it gave me insights I didn’t previously have. It also meant I could kind of ‘own’ my traits in a way and work to make the best of them.
      Hope all is well with you and your family too!
      Have a great Thanksgiving!

  2. I just took this test too and it came out with me being 100 percent introvert too. Many questions that I saw could’ve been answered with “maybe”, but I have known for a long time that I am not a person that fits in with the party crowd at all. Give me a good book and I can enjoy it and my day, that is my relaxing weekend.

    1. Yes, I can relate to that!
      I liked taking the test, because even though I was fairly aware of myself, it was a good confirmation, and led me to further insights which helped in everyday life.
      Thanks for dropping by!

  3. I’m some sort of a combination–very extroverted on the blogs, but limited social contacts in the outside world. Balance is good! God bless you BIG, and by the way, I’m SO Glad you’re here!! Love, sis Caddo

    1. A combination is good! We so appreciate your ‘extroversion’ and the ways you enrich the blogging community with your talent and heart!
      Thank you Caddo! Have a wonderful weekend.
      Blessings and hugs,
      Ali

  4. HI! I remember you at high school. Would definitely have said you were introverted =) But I saw you could get out of your shell too. =) I think children force you to be more ‘out there’, but maybe that is just me. I now freely talk to people in the supermarket, saying all the sorts of things to them that my mother did (that embarrassed me SO much!).
    Enjoying reading your ponderings =) But would be great to meet up with you some day!
    Betsy

    1. Hey there!
      Yes I agree, kids do put you in different social circles and people chat more with you when you have a baby!
      Haha, thanks for dropping by and saying so. Yeah, let’s stay in touch. You’re on Facebook?

  5. I took that test quite a while ago, I’m an INTJ. (I also took the test as each of the six main characters in a novel I was working on to “get into their heads.”) I much prefer staying home and keeping to my normal group of friends. I do make myself go to the monthly ‘ladies’ night dinner that a group in our neighborhood does so I get out of the house, but it’s like a chore to me.

    1. That’s a great idea, to get inside your characters’ heads that way!
      Yes, I can relate to that preference. I enjoy getting out of the house if I know the conversation will be more in-depth, or focused and meaningful, like a bible study group – but I’m not the party type, and I often find small talk/ chit-chat excruciating!

  6. I wonder if most bloggers are introverts. The extra-extroverts can’t imagine spending free time alone in a room with a computer -unless it’s to get directions to the party. I think the internet is a way for some “I” types to develop social contacts without having to deal with loud, overstimulating environments. For some who do not read body-language well it creates a level playing field. It has actually opened the world to them. But internet communication also gives an excuse not to extend oneself to get out there and make friends with huggy people with skin on. (INFP here)

    1. Haha, I think that’s so true Charis!
      And well said. Yes, for me blogging is a socially interactive thing which also suits my need for calm and quiet. But I also agree with you there – I would never want it to be a replacement for the ‘huggy’ exchanges that are also vital for our wellbeing. A good balance in everything I say!
      Thanks for your wise thoughts.

  7. Great post; from a fellow introvert. I used to get tired of being called Shy, because I’m not, but boy do I love to run home after being out about and just be still and alone ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Yes, I can relate to that. And shy isn’t something most of us aspire to, so it’s never nice to hear it. I always felt misunderstood too.
      Haha, yes totally!!

    1. Oh wow Denise – apparently it’s the rarest of all types, with less than 1% of people falling into this category… Go us!!
      Enjoy pondering your unique strengths ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Really? Wow! That is so strange…I just figured we must be in the majority since I was the same as you right off.
        Hmmm, I guess we are super special !!
        And we are INFJ sisters! LOL

  8. Hi, My husband and I took a simular test before we were married. He is 100% extrovert and I am 100% introvert. We still are mostly that way too. I enjoy getting out in groups and socializing for awhile but only for a certain amount of time otherwise I get tired and need to come home to recoop. He can go all day long.

    1. Wow, 100% each. That would’ve been so helpful to know.
      Yes, my husband is an extrovert too, and we generally balance each other out quite well. He makes sure he gets a few social ‘fixes’ per week, and I get my ‘me time’ fixes ๐Ÿ™‚

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