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Archive for April, 2012

This question was posed to an extrovert (an ENFP, one of many Myers-Briggs types) who’d left a message that he’d like to interview me which I did. I also asked him a few questions:

Which introvert (INFJ) traits drive extroverts around the bend?
You are finicky, the impossibility of dragging you out of the house on occasions. You can be on the tetchy side of things. At times, you want alone time when we want your attention.
As an introvert, I don’t think I am finicky (excessively particular, fussy, fastidious are dictionary definitions). Perhaps this is true but it also might be one of the many differences between an introvert and an extrovert. An example might be how an extrovert and an introvert (after time given to reply) might answer a question: the extrovert wants a generalized response, simplified – however, after much consideration, the introvert gives detailed analysis that includes pros/cons and several possible outcomes. No doubt that might possibly strike an extrovert as a bit finicky?
Then there is the impossibility of dragging an introvert out of the house on occasions. It’s true we don’t always want to go out of the house….but we may actually have good reasons. We might have already had extended periods of being with people and really need to ‘re-energize‘: the number of occasions and the amount of time spent at each are very important factors, so too, is the number of people present. If there have been a number of occasions recently with insufficient alone time afterward, that sucks the life out of us. It helps when we are informed ahead of time that there may be a social occasion coming up, then we can ‘prepare’ ourselves for it. If we decline the ‘invite’ to go out of the house, perhaps the way you approach this might be a sticking point with us. If you try ‘dragging’ us out that will not work;) will just dig in our heels and stay put. If you say, “c’mon it’ll be fun’ as an enticement to lure an introvert from their lair, that’s not apt to work either. Social event and ‘fun’ don’t always appeal to an introvert, especially when others present are relative strangers. The prospect of making small talk with strangers is particularly draining for us – if we can avoid this, we will! Think introverts would rather undergo a full frontal lobotomy than engage in small talk with strangers:)
Yes, I can see how our much needed alone time would be a sore point when you’re trying to get our attention. Think negotiation
Tetchy at times, yes, likely we are. Doesn’t everyone get tetchy at times though? I don’t think this trait is necessarily one exclusive to introverts.

Why do extroverts have such a negative view of introverts when they really know nothing about the person, only that he or she is quiet? This question is a two part one: Why does a ‘quiet’ person in the midst unnerve extroverts?
Because most extroverts confuse it with snobbery or stuck up and we hate it when you are not giving us attention.
That we are snobs or stuck up because we’re quiet is absolutely incorrect. Introverts are quiet because 1) we’re thinking 2) we don’t find it necessary to talk for no reason. We think first then talk! Extroverts think out loud while introverts do it in our heads. So, the fact that we quiet folk do not pay enough attention to our louder ‘cousins’ is a sore spot, eh? Sorry, if we ruffle your feathers…it’s nothing personal – really!
Part 2 response to this question
It’s the quiet ones you always have to watch for. If the quiet one is not talking, they are plotting something and we want to know what you are plotting.
This is true, we are plotting …a coup by introverts to take over the world and shush extroverts to get some much needed quiet! LOL Seriously, introverts are not plotting when we’re quiet…we just don’t feel the need to verbalize our thoughts and our brains just aren’t wired that way. When introverts are quiet, they are processing information that has just been communicated to them in some form, most likely verbally. If it is brand new information, hearing it is far more challenging for the typical introvert. Although I didn’t know anything about this aspect of introversion at the time, listening to lectures at university was often overwhelming and I struggled to keep up listening wise. Attending university as a mature student, I assumed the difficulty was a lack of background in some subjects. Now I realize this style of learning is the weakest one for me – the introvert. I am reasonably certain other introverts can relate. Reading new information clarifies concepts only vaguely comprehended when listening to the same material explained. Writing and/or providing illustrations in the form of charts or other materials is much easier for us to communicate our ideas than by verbalizing them. So when we don’t talk as much as you’d like, it is a matter of different communication styles. We aren’t withholding information or plotting something diabolical.

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