Introverts R Us

Marco points to Caring for Your Introvert in the Atlantic.

I’m an introvert. Specifically, I’m an INTJ on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

This is SO true:

Extroverts are easy for introverts to understand, because extroverts spend so much of their time working out who they are in voluble, and frequently inescapable, interaction with other people. They are as inscrutable as puppy dogs. But the street does not run both ways. Extroverts have little or no grasp of introversion. They assume that company, especially their own, is always welcome. They cannot imagine why someone would need to be alone; indeed, they often take umbrage at the suggestion. As often as I have tried to explain the matter to extroverts, I have never sensed that any of them really understood. They listen for a moment and then go back to barking and yipping.

The worst of it is that extroverts have no idea of the torment they put us through. Sometimes, as we gasp for air amid the fog of their 98-percent-content-free talk, we wonder if extroverts even bother to listen to themselves. Still, we endure stoically, because the etiquette books—written, no doubt, by extroverts—regard declining to banter as rude and gaps in conversation as awkward. We can only dream that someday, when our condition is more widely understood, when perhaps an Introverts’ Rights movement has blossomed and borne fruit, it will not be impolite to say “I’m an introvert. You are a wonderful person and I like you. But now please shush.”

Surprisingly, I find that when talking to other introverts I don’t get that “on stage” feeling I get when dealing with extroverts. Maybe it’s not that introverts find all people draining, just the extroverts.

This entry was posted in Weird Stuff. Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to Introverts R Us

  1. We’re both INTJs. And less that 1% of the MBTI survey for those stats.

    I’m married to an extrovert – 39 years this year. I’ve explained things to him in this way for that morning quiet I need,”If you and I are going to get along today, I have to have at least some amount of quiet time in the morning. Would you please keep that tv or radio off for some of that time?” We’ve agreed on the time frame, he honors it and as I said, we’ve been married quite some time.

    People like you and I are beginning to further the understanding of the introversion aspect. And it’s important that we do so since it’s something that is hardwired in our brain structure.

    Patricia Weber

  2. Roberta X says:

    I knew there was something I liked about you! I’m an INTJ, too.

  3. Pingback: Patricia Weber, Business Sales Coach for Introverts : Introvert and Extrovert - Three Distinct Differences to Support Each Other

  4. INTJs unite! Or rather, quietly agree. 🙂

    I had a hard time with this growing up, and I suspect it contributed greatly to the social exclusion I experienced for that period of my life.

    It still manifests itself today, particularly with employers who are high-strung extroverts. They can’t comprehend that I’m getting things done by working them out in my head before taking decisive action, rather than spinning my wheels by talking non-stop and going off on meaningless rants and tangents like they do.

    It’s a hard life for us, sometimes. We are seldomly understood, and under-appreciated for our quiet productive efforts. It wouldn’t be so bad if we simply didn’t get overt recognition for our work – generally we’re happy to do a good job. The problem comes when we’re overtly scolded for our lack of personal grandstanding, which the extroverts take that as a lack of production.