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Archive for the ‘introverts’ Category

  It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything due to regular computer access issues.  Am going to try to post semi-regularly.  It may be once every two weeks or so but may be less often.  The posts won’t be as lengthy as in the past either.  Sorry about this. 

     Since seeing Brene Brown on one of the afternoon talk shows (forget which one) discussing the subject of shame, that got my attention immediately!  Shame is something that is not talked about much even among mental health professionals. 

    Brene Brown mentioned her book on this program and I purchased a copy: excellent!!!!  Cannot speak for other introverts, but I’ve often felt shame for being one! 

    What is shame?

    Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we’re flawed and therefore unworthy of acceptance and belonging.  P5

I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t)

by Brene Brown

It’s an emotion we’ve all felt, both extroverts and introverts, but find difficult to understand. 

 

The following are some examples of participants in a study conducted by Brene Brown on shame:

Shame is that feeling in the pit of your stomach that is dark and hurts like hell.  You can’t talk about it and can’t articulate how it feels because then everyone would know your ‘dirty little secret’.

 

Shame is being rejected

 

You work hard to show the world what it wants to see.  Shame happens when your mask is pulled off and the unlikeable parts of you are seen.  It feels unbearable to be seen.

Shame is feeling like an outsider. 

      Brene Brown says its nearly impossible to explain shame without evoking incredibly powerful and overwhelming feelings associated with it. 

      Wonder if introverts being especially sensitive feel the pain of the shame more than the average?   How detrimental are the effects of long term shaming on introverts.

    I will be continuing the subject of shaming in future blogs.  That’s it for now.

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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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I’m an INFJ, what type are you? Perhaps the Myer-Briggs Type Indicator is new to you? This is relatively new to me, too, discovering it only within the last year. After taking the test on the http://www.humanmetrics.com site, the profile of my type was right on, described me to a tee.
Carl Jung introduced the idea of different psychological types in the 1920s. Isabel Briggs-Meyers and her mother, Katharine Briggs Meyers made Jung’s theory of psychological types more easily understood to people: essentially the theory states that behaviour is quite orderly and consistent due to basic differences in the ways people prefer to use their perception and judgment. (Meyers-Briggs.org). Briggs-Meyer and her mother developed the test to determine psychological types in the 1940s. Research on psychological types is ongoing.
Perception involves all the ways of becoming aware of things, people, happenings or ideas. Judgment involves all the ways of coming to conclusions about what has been perceived.(Myers-Briggs.org) If individuals differ in what they perceive and in how they reach conclusions, then it is only natural to differ in their interests, values, motivations and skills.
Four areas are covered in the test:
Preferences: Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or on the inner one? If on the outer world, this indicates Extraversion (extrovert). If your focus is on the interior world, the mind, this indicates Introversion.

Information: Do you focus on basic information you take in? That indicates you take in information via your Senses. If you interpret and add layers of meaning, this indicates processing information through Intuition.

Decisions: Do you first look at logic and consistency when making decisions? If so, this is Thinking. If you first look at the people and special circumstances, then your method is Feeling.

and finally,

Structure: When dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided? If so, this is Judgment. Or do you prefer to stay open to information and options, then you’re Perceiving.

After deciding on your preferences in the Myers-Briggs test, you will have determined your own personality type, expressed as a code with four letters. There are eight variations: ISTJ; ISFJ; INFJ; INTJ; ISTP; ISFP; INFP; INTP.

INFJ = Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging
INFJ people are a rare breed indeed; only 1-2% of the entire world’s population.
• quiet exterior, hold deep convictions about the weightier matters of life.
• accurately suspicious about other peoples motives. INFJ’s are not easily led. These are the people that you can rarely fool any of the time!
• very selective of friends.
• INFJ’s are introverted intuitives enjoy a great clarity of perception of inner, unconscious process than all but INTJ’s. Readily grasp hidden psychological stimuli behind the observable dynamics of behaviour and affect.
• have an amazing ability to figure out inner workings of the mind, will and emotions of other people and can give the impression we’re reading their minds LOL
• caught between the desire to express their wealth of feelings and moral conclusions about the actions and attitudes of others and the awareness of the consequences of speaking (or writing) this aloud. Sometimes it’s necessary though but will only confide in a trusted person. Trusted is a key word as INFJ’s are well aware of the treachery that can be found in people.
• complex, highly intuitive, gentle, caring, artistic and creative.
• operate within themselves on an intuitive basis, entirely spontaneous; know things without being able to pinpoint why and without detailed knowledge of subject; are usually right and they know it.
• uncanny insight into people and situations, strong feelings about things and intuitively understand them.
• the ‘type’ most likely to have psychic experiences, the sort of things other types scoff at and ridicule. An INFJ does not even understand this at a level that can be verbalized.
• very protective of inner self, only revealing what they choose to share when they choose to.
• deep complex individuals, quite private, quite difficult to get to know but not impossible. INFJ’s hold back part of themselves.

There is much more that could be written on the INFJ’s of the world. To read more, click on the personalitypage.com and personalitydesk.com links below.

..

http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp
http://www.personalitypage.com/INFJ.html
http://www.personalitydesk.com

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Misconceptions abound out there about introverts. Some very unflattering terms are used to describe and label them: loner, misfit, socially awkward, Asperger’s, shy, antisocial, people hater. As an introvert, I’ve had these either said to my face or about me within hearing range (apparently these individuals think I’m deaf too lol). Perhaps, it’s also believed I’m not comprehending what is being said or I’m so lost in my own little world that I’m oblivious to what is going on around me??
I had intended to get this blog entry posted earlier this week but that didn’t happen. The first version was scrapped after reconsidering its tone – – some anger toward extroverts was evident. Bashing extroverts was not my intent although frustration with their attitude sometimes flares up. While some extroverts can be incredibly rude and ignorant in their attitudes towards people who are different in any way, it is more than likely that most extroverts are simply uninformed as to what an introvert is and how they interact in any given situation. Hopefully, this blog can help provide some insight from an introvert’s point of view.
One key difference between introverts and extroverts is biological. Introverts have more activity in the frontal lobes of the brain and front thalamus, areas activated when the brain is processing – remembering, problem solving and planning. Extroverts, on the other hand, exhibit more activity in the back area of the brain. Areas typically thought to be more involved in sensory processing, listening, watching and driving.
Another key difference between extroverts and introverts is how each group are energized. Extroverts are energized by socializing (seemingly constant lol) with people: the bigger the group, the better! Introverts, on the other hand, are drained by constant socializing and non-stop small talk which introverts just despise with a passion. Introverts, such as me, prefer socializing with just a few people and for much shorter periods of time. After interaction with people, introverts need some alone time to re-energize: this may be where the idea we’re loners originates. I’m sure that it’s assumed we’re lonely and/or depressed when we’re seen off on our own but that is absolutely not true!!! I can’t speak for all introverts but I am very comfortable in my own skin and like my company…and quiet times though I suspect their responses would be quite similar.
Introversion and shyness are not the same although from the time I was a very little girl I’ve been called ‘shy’. Introversion is the preference for spending time alone whereas shyness is being uncomfortable, scared and timid to talk to people although they may want to. Introverts can and do talk to people, just not as often. No we aren’t scared to talk to people; we just need a reason to do so. Introverts detest small talk for several reasons but will not go into that this time around: perhaps next week. Some introverts are also shy but these two states of being are not the same.
Characteristics of introverts are many, we are complex;) Here’s a list of the most common ones:

• Introverts often take longer to get to know someone: we don’t meet someone one day then call them a friend the next day!
• Introverts need more than an average amount of personal space…applies to strangers and acquaintances in particular.
• Quiet and subdued and don’t like being the centre of attention, even if it is positive. Don’t like bragging about achievements and we’re not too impressed with those individuals who this either, especially if it’s not warranted. Introverts sometimes resort to ‘dumbing down’ so as to not draw attention to ourselves and appear to be bragging!
• Introverts can seem to have two separate and distinct personalities. One personality is reserved for family and friends we’ve known for a long time and we can be quite lively and talkative in their presence. The other personality is the reserved, quiet and observant one that’s displayed when in the company of strangers, people we know very slightly, and in group situations, especially large ones.
• We listen more than we talk; when we do have something to say, we say it, make eye contact with the person we’re chatting with, then look away from that person. Exactly why we look away from the person after talking, I’ve no clue…it’s one of our charms;)
• If we are asked a question, we require time to think before responding as we need time to process what has been asked, form an answer, consider the matter thoroughly and give a reasoned, balanced answer. Extroverts become exasperated with our slowness in this respect, their frustration written all over their faces;) We introverts are methodical and analytical deep thinkers so a quick, snappy off the cuff answer will not happen instantaneously!
• We are deeply embarrassed by public mistakes, and self conscious by nature anyway. Having long been scrutinized at any and all social gatherings when the ‘social awkwardness’ label appeared very evident to those extroverts who do not (or will not) understand it as being introverted and hating small talk (don’t get me going on this! ). The constant scrutiny has resulted in a significant amount of social anxiety when talking to people in a social setting. Knowing and feeling (like when you can feel someone’s eyes on you when your back is turned…just multiply that a few dozen times!!!) pairs of eyes watching, smirk on lips, exchange of glances that will be the hot topic at the first opportunity.
• Introverts can and do concentrate on a book/project for a long time if they find it interesting. We like to explore subjects deeply and thoroughly. It was suggested subtly that some Asperger’s likely in ‘my mix’ although the person putting forth this idea has absolutely no professional training of any kind in psychology, no MA or PhD. She has no idea what she is talking about and even therapists have a difficult time diagnosing Asperger’s in their patients.
Introverts are highly aware of their surroundings and notice details others don’t notice but aren’t quick to discuss their thoughts and observations. I’ve done this in the past, indiscriminately, and the result was either blank looks or rolling of the eyes and a slight smirk on their faces indicating relating of this incident to friends and relatives would be sooner rather than later.

Enough for this time around,

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