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Topic: Stong Introvert and Strong Extrovert
Posts: 2
Stong Introvert and Strong Extrovert
on: Jan 30, 2012, 1:36pm

I just ordered the book, so I haven't read it yet — just reviews and interviews.

I'm fascinated because I have strong introvert qualities — and find what I've read so far liberating — and have an enormous need to be alone — and find great pleasure in being alone.

At the same time, I also exhibit some very strong extrovert qualities, including enjoying public speaking and even performing.

On tests like Meyers-Briggs I've scored right in the middle of the introvert/extrovert scale. But I don't think I'm in the middle in the sense that I just need a little time alone — I need a lot of time alone, as much as the most introverted introvert.

It makes me wonder if introversion and extroversion aren't really opposites on the same scale, but separate scales of behavior. Maybe categorizing people as one or the other is just a convenience, because lots of people lean towards one or the other. But perhaps the truth is more complicated and taken as a whole one can either be introverted, extroverted, both or neither?

Or is someone like me, who appears to be both strongly introverted and extroverted, a rarity.

Would love to know the author's — or anyone else's — thoughts on this.

Posts: 2
Re: Stong Introvert and Strong Extrovert
on: Jan 31, 2012, 2:38pm

Just learned from another post there is such a thing as an ambivert. Guess I'm not that unusual.

But on reading a bit about the definition of ambiversion, I still think the definition doesn't capture the truth of the matter and I do wonder if the introversion/extroversion scale is really a false dichotomy.

I say this because I'm extremely introverted, love working alone, being alone, love ideas, reading, and absolutely need solitary and quiet. I almost never turn the radio on in the car, but just love the opportunity to be alone with my thoughts. If introversion was a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest, I'd probably be a 9.

But I also have all these extrovert qualities, can get energy from people, like talking to strangers, enjoy being the center of attention.

It's implied that an ambivert is to a 5 on the introversion scale, but I'm a 9, and that's where I see the problem in the way we define introverts and extroverts.

Posts: 1
Re: Stong Introvert and Strong Extrovert
on: Feb 6, 2012, 12:55am

I test very high as an "INFJ" on the Meyer Briggs test. In other words, I'm very introverted.

The weird thing is: I LOVE people. Because I enjoy people, I have no problem making friends. In fact, I prefer not to socialize with my co-workers because I feel overwhelmed with the large number of friends I already have outside of work! (I recently attended a 3-day conference, and there were 7 e-mails waiting for me when I returned home, asking for coffee dates, lunches, etc. I freaked out. It wasn't about these lovely people but about my own sense of inadequacy to "keep up." Hard to articulate. Hope another introvert understands this.)

I recently explained to a very close friend of 15 years that my co-workers probably think I'm a recluse. She looked startled and asked, "But you're not! How could they possibly think that about you?"

My love of people while needing space/quiet is confusing to me and my loved ones. So it was a comfort to read that Meyer Briggs says that INFJ's are often mistaken for extroverts. We tend to quietly disappear in a crowd but come alive in an intimate setting with one or two people. Because INFJ's genuinely love people, we become very animated and chatty in one-on-one interactions. This is the context in which my friend sees me much of the time, so that's why she believes I'm extroverted.

But I'm not. -:)

“INFJ” (Meyer-Briggs test)

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