Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How to get me disproportionately worked up.

Write a post about what introverts are like.

Every time.

I fume.

Andrew listens.

S - They're saying that introverts THINK and  REFLECT more than me and overall are more INTELLIGENT than me. So unbearably SMUG!

A - Who wrote it? 

S - Some random I've never read before.

A - Um... Overreaction? Why does it matter? 


A - Maybe they are just trying to compensate for the awkward and difficult lives that they lead. Let them think they are more thoughtful and clever if it helps them in their misery.


Here's the thing. I think I might actually be an undiagnosed introvert. While still being an extrovert.

I hate small talk and social pleasantries - let's get down to the real stuff. What's keeping you awake at night? What will the new creation be like?  I like large wads of time by myself. Four hours a day is no where near enough time to read and think and reflect. I hate noisy parties where I can't easily hear what people are saying. I'd much rather hang out with a couple of friends than with heaps of people. After I've been socialising I want to go off by myself. I don't get excited at the thought of speaking to strangers (unless they are interesting strangers and are willing to speed through the introductory stuff)...

Maybe I get cross reading introvert stuff like this because I feel like the post is saying that I am not like I actually am. That I can't have certain characteristics because I'm an extrovert.

Maybe psychs will do more research and find that the introvert / extrovert distinction is flawed and they'll come up with something else.


  1. Next you'll try telling us that there aren't only two types of people in the world, you subversive, you...

    By the way, I'm not sure that 'undiagnosed' is the right term to use in this context. #10 it can't be treated, so it can't be a disease, right? ;-)

  2. I am an "extrovert with a strong introvert shadow", does that fit? I also have strong feelings about people being true to themselves, not fluffing around forever with small talk. I've written about it on my blog a few times. There are others of us out here Simone!

  3. I like small talk and social pleasantries.

    The idea of 4 hours on my own makes me panic.

    I love noisy parties.

    Hanging out with a couple of friends isn't enough - the more the merrier. That way I won't get bored.

    I'm always speaking to strangers. The guy at the servo. The woman at the cafe. The person in the street. The dad at Milo Cricket. It's mainly just small talk and social pleasantries. But sometimes it's about more secretive stuff. Unless you do the small talk first you'll never get onto the big stuff.

    So that makes me an out and out extrovert does it?

    Probably. All the personality tests I've done say that I am. But who cares. We all know our personalities are much more complicated than any test can handle.

  4. AND my husband is an introvert and hates that stuff too. He is not reflective and intellectual with a deep internal narrative. I do think he's an introvert - other people tire him - and I'm an extrovert - I tend to buzz after good interactions with others - but we don't necessarily follow the other prescriptions. Flawed descriptions I would say.

  5. I guess I fit the "introvert" picture.

    Don't like the small talk or pleasantries. That's a bit of a problem when it comes to getting to know people at places like the kids' school. Because I don't do the small stuff well, I don't get anywhere near the big stuff. And it does make me feel rather ineffective when it comes to important stuff like evangelising people.

    Love love love the idea of 4 hours on my own. Unfortunately that's a bit of a way off while I'm home with a toddler and newborn...and next week, two big kids as well.

    Hate noisy parties. But I think that is a sensory issue I have as well. I don't do noise well, especially in the evenings. I think I get overloaded (like small babies do!?)

    I like the small group get together much better than a crowd.

    I've always seen myself as introverted. But I don't feel that I'm always particularly reflective and I certainly don't think I have a deep internal narrative happening either (well, maybe sometimes, but certainly not all the time).

    I think that amazingange (an interesting name choice for an introvert?) is just putting a lot of random (and flawed) thoughts out there without a lot of backup. All that introvert/extrovert stuff is a bit overrated. How did you manage to find her, anyway??

  6. I posted this link earlier this year ( and said I did it just to annoy the extraverts :) - because I agree, it would annoy me if it wasn't talking about me :). I also think that as Christians, you have to push past some things. So you don't like small talk, well, be a little less self-indulgent and do it for the good of others I say. ANyway, a knock at the door and I must fly and do small talk.

  7. I'm an extrovert and just read the link. I know what you mean - I felt like I was wrongly stereotyped after reading all that myth-busting introvert stuff. I don't like noisy parties either, and after being out and about I have to have quiet, down time or I get stressed. I hate stereotypes.

  8. I don't think ange has any sort of Psychology qualification. Have you ever done a proper MBTI assessment? Pete comes up as a borderline introvert/extrovert whereas he would be clearly classed by most people as an extrovert. He needs a lot of time by himself. So do I and I'm right down the introvert end of the scale.

    PS. You are an extrovert. You speak (and blog) what's on your mind straight away!

  9. Helen - yeah. I know I'm an extrovert. I've only done free MBTI tests but they all say so.

    Al - The trick to 4 hours by yourself is being somewhere where you can see people. Hear them and watch them. I count it as by myself if we're not actually talking. Yep. Being bored is the pits. So are you thoughtless, stupid and unreflective? Do you have an inadequate inner world?

    Ali - I read it earlier in the year (probably your link - don't remember) and tried to keep calm. Nicole posted it this week and I gave in...

    Everyone else - yes. Thanks.

  10. I think Ange is discussing a certain kind of introvert - not all people who are introverted rather than extroverted would fit all her points.

    I think her point about IQ and introversion is probably right from my experience. Hanging around in academia I interact with a lot of very smart people, and they are overwhelmingly introverted (although academia would both self-select and encourage that).

    I'm not sure that's a big problem though. After a certain point, IQ seems to be a restriction as much as an enabler - really smart people tend to get institutionalized a lot (we just call them universities, or something similar within a large company) and while they can do some jobs in a way that no-one else can do, they often can't do the much larger range of jobs that are around. (I remember reading that over time a witness's reliability decreases with IQ as their mind 'fixes' their memories and makes them consistent with their beliefs.)

    And my hunch, without reading the study, is (even if it was confirmed by other studies), it's more at that very high end of the spectrum that it would come into play. Extroverts can be smart, really really smart. But that small group of eggheads will be mostly introverts.

    It's like men and women. They have the same average intelligence. But men have a much larger spread - more morons and geniuses are men. That doesn't mean women can't be smart, really really smart. It's just that most geniuses (and people with IQs under 80) will be men.

  11. That list actually gives the game away to you Simone, by protesting too much.
    Myth #11 It is always the surly introvert who eventually goes postal or is really a serial killer.
    Reality: Sure, very often, but come on - that's definitely not ALWAYS!

  12. I am an introvert who is good at small talk (I've moved a lot - small talk is necessary if you ever want to make a new friend). So I am a constant disappointment. 'Wow she's going to be so great and fun to hang out with' they think after meeting me at something. But I can't do lots of intense 'hanging out' because I get so worn out by it. So I should probably add a disclaimer to these first interactions 'I seem fun now, but I can't keep it up, so keep your expectations low'. But I am handy to have at a tupperware party or gingerbread night.

    I don't know what to do with these lists - I always end up confused.

  13. So interesting. Simone, I totally get your frustration at that post. I actually clicked the link expecting to disagree with you, because I figured I would probably assosiate with most of the points on the introvert list.

    And I did, the list summed me up pretty accurately, but my issue is the smugness in the attitude of these kinds of things.

    "We introverts are so misunderstood, we are actually the ones who really make the world go round. We are the true heroes, the underdogs, with hearts as big as Pharlap. We are so individual and so unlike all you other clones. We are so secretly amazing that you would be so priveledged to know one of us."

    And while doing that, extroverts are so quickly written off as these shallow, fake, dull, pretty on the outside people, and disregarded in exactly the way Johnny Introvert got up in arms about being treated himself.

    It's fine to want to be better understood, but the flipside of that is being prepared to better understand those people over there in the other camp.

  14. "more morons and geniuses are men"

    Baddelim, you should put that on a tshirt

  15. @Ben, that's the kind of t-shirt that can help end the term of a President of Harvard :D

  16. I think those sorts of lists are fine as long as you don't see them as black and white, you MUST fit all of the criteria and be classified as one or the other. If the introverts, extroverts and mixtures of both can understand each other and love and serve each other more effectively - then great! Like Karen and Jenny, I fit a lot of the introvert criteria, but I'm certainly not any more of a deep thinker than my more extroverted friends.

    All types of people made for the glory of God.