4 thoughts on “Introvert Or Extrovert?”

  1. I have taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator multiple times over the last 25 years and it always reflects that I am a strongly introverted person. Over the years, I have developed, to use the term popularized by Daniel Goleman, the emotional intelligence to use extrovert behavior in the appropriate situations. As a result, I have been hired or elected to such seemingly extroverted roles as the chair of boards of director and the executive director of nonprofits.

    When I read Susan Cain’s book, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking,” I found it to be a refreshing perspective on introverts and a power they possess and also very validating. The book not only recognizes that introversion is a natural personality style, but suggests that my success may be as the result of, rather than in spite of, this core component of who I am.

    Cain pointed to a variety of traits common in introverts that provide natural advantages in things that are important to me like leadership, community organizing, and research. These traits include being highly sensitive, lacking an interest in dominating social situations, listening more than talking, thinking before they speak, expressing themselves better in writing than conversation, practicing in solitude and engaging in deliberate practice, being highly reactive to novelty, thinking and feeling deeply and bringing an extra degree of nuance to everyday experiences, and so on.

    As Cain wrote, “Our lives are shaped as profoundly by personality as by gender and race. And the single most important aspect of personality … is where we fall on the introvert-extrovert spectrum.”

  2. I’m an extrovert, with emphasis on “extra.” I tend to come alive at gatherings, and want to speak to as many people there as possible. The world and the vitality of living just seems to open up as I enjoy community. I am often aware that I seek to be the center of attention, which can be a grave threat to the extrovert. Toning oneself down can be difficult, but the rush of *being* with others is powerful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *