Sunday, July 22, 2007

There's More to Introversion than Meets the Eye

I think if Robin and I stood on a corner and took a random poll asking people to describe the difference between introverts and extraverts, most interviewed would say something like "... introverts are shy and extraverts, well, not-so-much ..." Or, some variation of that.

What is so interesting about the work that came from Myers and Briggs who studied Carol Jung's work on I/E type, is that there are at least five different different dimensions or subsets of type. We can't be that easily packaged into talking/non-talking terms. Complex creatures we are!

From E (left) to I (right), the dimensions are:

Initiating------------------- Receiving
Expressive----------------- Contained
Gregarious ---------------- Intimate
Active---------------------- Reflective
Enthusiastic---------------- Quiet

You might be an introvert that is enthusiastic and expressive, and yet, you'll head straight for your interior space for reflection and recharging. Conversely, an extravert may be quiet and contained, and crave the stimulation of outside activities and connections to keep themselves well and balanced. This complexity and variety can lead many astray.

I do wish we came out of the chute with an owner's manual clutched in our tiny fist. Introverts, especially, need to know how to perform self-care in a world that has a default setting for extraverts. (imho)

When it comes to promotions, marketing, networking activities, yeah-- knowing what your strengths are is essential. But, it is equally important to know what feels like a one-way ticket to the Land of Dread. Do you know yet what you can comfortably do? And what you might be willing to challenge yourself to try? And what you just don't EVER want to do-- even if simply everyone in your writer's group is doing it?

I'm thinking back to a post that Robin did months ago that was really helpful. It was called the Comfort Level Inventory. If you missed that one, I'd really encourage you to go back to it. Seriously great tool to have and use.

In the meantime, do celebrate the amazing creature that you are. A self-charging being! Man, we were green before green was even cool. "-[]



1 comment:

R.L. LaFevers said...

Wow. Fascinating stuff, Mary! I had never heard about the five different dimensions related to introversion.

I'm thinking I'm expressive and enthusiastic...