Wednesday, August 13, 2008

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 infant 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 for you 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. 

Mary Hershey

Original Post July 22, 2007

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On Monday, we'll be announcing the the winner of the Shrinking Violet Slogan Contest! Our lucky winner will receive a copy of Priscilla Ahn's amazing new CD.  And, we'll be printing one (or more) of the slogans on tees and gear coming soon with Cafe Press.   Available for purchase right here.  And once we are properly attired in our tribe gear, we WILL be taking over the world.  (Just so you'll know what's coming next. {:o] )

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Unknown said...

Thanks for an interesting post and good advice about knowing both your strengths and the things that are outside your comfort level. For me, that would be making phone calls. It's funny, I'm fine in person and on email, but it's really hard for me to pick up the phone and make a call, even if it's to someone I'm comfortable with. If I have a phone call I need to make, I dread making it and procrastinate on it as long as I can.

Mary Hershey said...

Oh, I'm with you on that, Sheila. I'd rather do just about anything than answer the phone or make calls. That's why I love email, Facebook, etc. Something about the phone gives me the freakers.

Weird, huh? Hey, I promise never to call you.

Mary Hershey