I is for Introvert: How Do You Know if You’re an Introvert or an Extrovert?

We’re doing Thoughty Thursday a few days this week due to the #AtoZChallenge.

Today I’m thinking about personality types and blogging.

It’s hard for most of us to maintain our passion for “the old blog.” I hear writers talk about this all the time.

They get tired…they don’t know what to blog about…they haven’t found their niche.

Really, that’s the whole reason I do this April blogging challenge each year: The wild variety of topics keeps me feeling fresh if you know what I mean.

Still, the biggest time component of blogging is the social media, which brings me to the title of this post: I think so many writers have hissy fits over their blogs because they’re introverts and all this social media WEARS THEM OUT.

What does it mean to be an “introvert” or an “extrovert?”

I’ve found that very few people know the real definition of introverts vs. extroverts so I’ll share it with you here, courtesy of the Rockstar Counselor Guy who told me.

Being an introvert or extrovert is all about energy.

  • Introverts gain energy from time spent by themselves.
  • Extroverts gain energy from time spent with others.

Most people think introverts don’t like people, which couldn’t be further from the truth. The majority of introverts like people just fine, they just get tired out by too much contact with them.

For an extrovert like me, if I need an energy lift, I go to where the people are. This doesn’t mean I even want to talk to them. Truly. A lot of the time I don’t. I just want to be around them, sucking up some energy from the buzz of the room.

Let’s use blogging as an example so you get a clearer picture.

What are some of the ways blogging helps me as an extrovert?

  • Forming connections and meeting new people gives me the warm fuzzies.
  • Helping people gives me the warm fuzzies too, which is why I do Techie Tuesdays.
  • I get to suck in all that energy from my More Cowbell Posse and use it to fuel my writing (you know, when I’m by myself ).

How might blogging help an introvert?

  • They can form connections without wearing themselves out.
  • They can interact on a limited basis, again conserving energy.
  • If they are shy, they can step out of that box more easily without the sensory input of a face-to-face meeting throwing them off.

Note: Shyness sometimes stems from the second most common fear in America, which is fear of social embarrassment. (More on that later this month!)

If you’re not sure which side of the introvert line you fall on, here is a free quiz on the subject. Answer the questions quickly and honestly.  Go with your first gut reaction–not what you wish you were like.  Do not go back to “check” your work.  It’s not a math test. There is no wrong answer to any question.

That link will give your report back with 4 letters, which stand for the following:

  • I(ntroversion) or E(xtroversion)
  • N(iNtuition) or S(ensing)
  • T(hinking) or F(eeling)
  • P(erceiving) or J(udging).

If you want to understand more about what these letters mean, here’s a great post.

We want to know what your letters are down in the comments! Mine are ENFJ (no big surprise to most of you).🙂

So where do you fall? Are you an introvert, an extrovert, or something halfway between the two? Enquiring minds always  want to know these things here at More Cowbell!

Jenny

p.s. Don’t forget, today is Sibling Day! Be sure to shower your brothers and sisters with lots of love!

About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm (http://writersinthestormblog.com). Write on!
This entry was posted in Blogging, Thoughty Thursday and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

85 Responses to I is for Introvert: How Do You Know if You’re an Introvert or an Extrovert?

  1. rinellegrey says:

    I’m pretty sure I’m an introvert, but for some reason, that doesn’t seem to affect me online? I think because I can easily step away from the computer, and deal with it later (which I do a lot). That’s why I love my blog.

    Rinelle Grey

    Like

  2. emmaburcart says:

    OMG! You just changed my life with that definition! Every time I take that test I come out with a different type. Sometimes I, sometimes E. Today I was E, but it said there was almost no prefernce of I versus E. But, I know that I am an introvert from your definition. I like people and am a people person, but after so much “people time” I need alone time to re-energize. I have always known that about myself, but didn’t know how it fit in to my type. I love going out and being social, but then I need time to be alone. After work, I need about an hour without interactions before I want to talk again. But, that is because I have a job where I interact with little people all day long. I am always on and it drains my energy. Now I can really explain why I need my alone time and hopefully help others understand. And it makes sense why sometimes on the weekends I have days where I just don’t want to leave the house. It’s because I need to get my energy back. Thanks for this great post!

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      You are most welcome, Emma. I need time alone too, and I’m an extrovert. But as I get older, I get more tired out by being “on” all the time (which is what teachers have to be). I need a quiet 20 minutes with my book after a day like that.🙂

      Like

  3. Jenny, have you read Susan Cain’s book QUIET? She was a keynote speaker at BlissDom, and she was fabulous. You might want to check it out. The book took her six years to research and write — and she talks about how extroverts tend to get all the attention in our society because, well… we are the squeaky wheels, right? But introverts have much to bring to the table that we extroverts could benefit from. Like being better listeners, for example. It was a real eye-opener. Something to read in all your free time.😉

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I haven’t read it, but it sounds FAB, Renee! And two of you commenters mentioned it, so I’m very intrigued.

      I married an introvert and I admire so many of the qualities he has – one of them being a great listener. As I’ve gotten older and wiser, I spent time in social settings watching the introverts and opening the floor for them to get a word in. I learn the best stuff from them!🙂

      Like

  4. Great post, Jenny. Thanks for pointing out that introverts don’t dislike people. As an introvert, I enjoy seeing friends and family but I have learned that I need to have quiet alone time every day or I get cranky. Susan Cain wrote a great book on introverts called Quiet. It changed how I look at myself as a person.

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Elizabeth, when I approved your comment I smiled because you and Renee were referencing this book at just about the same time. LOL. I think it’s a sign that I need to get it. I’ll read it, then pass it on to my husband, the introvert.🙂

      Like

  5. E.N.F.P.

    I am shocked to discover I’m an Extrovert, with just a slight edge over Introvert (56%). Whodathunkit?

    I have a slight leaning toward intuition over sensing. (12%)

    But, I’m over-the-top on Feeling over Thinking (62%). So, perhaps my oft used “What was I thinking?” holds more than a smidgen of merit.

    And, I’m all about Perceiving over Judging (78%).

    One of my career choices? Psychology. Perhaps I’ll set up a Lucy (of Charlie Brown fame) booth at DFWCon. The Doctor is *real* in.

    As for blogging, you’d think that 56% edge would send me skittering to post regularly on my glob. I think it’s the blog-jacking fun that’s holding me back. Time sucks aren’t always a bad thing. At least that’s what I FEEL and PERCEIVE.

    Fun, fun, fun, Jenny. Bring your nickels to Dallas. Lucy’s prices haven’t yet suffered from inflation.

    Like

  6. E.K. Carmel says:

    I’ve known I was an introvert but when I learned a couple years ago that where you get your energy makes the difference, I knew without any doubts that was definitely me. I’ve taken free Myers-Briggs tests before and always get I and J, but the S-N and F-T change. Not sure why. But I find personality tests fascinating and I’ve created characters based on the Myers-Briggs classification.

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      E.K. I think the Myers-Briggs is a great way to help with characters. If you click the link I added above (just below the letters), Fae Rowen did a fantastic post on this.🙂

      Like

  7. Bill Parker says:

    INFP. Huge I, huge N, very small F and P.🙂

    Certainly no question I’m an introvert. I’ll sing or act in front of tons of people, but if the words I’m saying are my own, I’d much rather have a very small audience. I kind of confound the F/T part of the test, I think. Logic is one of my favorite things, putting together arguments and poking holes in others and whatnot, but in my own life I make a lot of gut decisions, and I can also be kind of a big baby who can sit there and talk about my feelings and others’ feelings all day.

    Like

  8. I must be an introvert because I’m TERRIFIED to make this comment!!!. Please don’t yell at me, Jenny!

    Like

  9. Jane Sadek says:

    I tried to take the test and answered the first few questions easily, but then I came to questions where neither yes nor no was right, so I gave up. But I know I’m both. I’m a Pisces, and even though I don’t live my life according to my horoscope, I do identify with the two fish swimming in different directions. I crave connection, but I also need my alone time. I think that’s what I love about social networking. I can sit here all alone in my office and charge up my alone battery, but when I need connection, people are just a click or two away.

    I once took a personality test for a job and the lady giving it said I was in some one percentile group, because my organizational tendencies and creative tendencies were exactly equal – but whatever the other two categories were, I was completely devoid of them. Anyway, none of my results were normal, which I guess shouldn’t have been a surprise.

    Like

  10. LOL, Jenny! I’m an ENFJ too. I did the personality quiz at the dayjob last month. It helped our team to get to know one another after 5 years of working together. It was fun and I now realize that my inability to be flexible with rules and deadlines is a personality trait that could hinder me on certain projects. So I love that how these tests can show where we may need to do some work on ourselves.🙂

    After the quiz, I actually realized that in person, I’m a total extrovert. But online, I’m a bit of an introvert. Odd … but then again, I never claimed normal.😉

    This is also a great activity to do when we’re fleshing out characters for our stories.🙂

    Like

  11. Catherine Johnson says:

    Awesome post! There’s nothing offensive about the relationship between introvert and extrovert, it’s just an energy thing. I never claimed normal either😉

    Like

  12. I’m an INFJ – Introvert=11%, iNtuitive=50%, Feeling=88%, Judging=89% – and I am in great company: Aristophanes, Chaucer, Goethe, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Shirley MacLaine, Nelson Mandela, and Princess Leia, to name a few.😀 The description is here. For the record, I do not fantasize about revenge. Quite the opposite. That was fascinating and fun!🙂

    Like

  13. Diana Beebe says:

    I’ve taken that test a few times, and the middle pieces are always different. The first is always I and the last is almost always J. Today it was ISTJ. It’s a good thing there are so many wonderful extroverts like you out there to encourage us introverts to branch out. I appreciate it!

    Like

  14. LOL I’ll have to go in there and take the test…but I laughed because I recognize those letters. We did a Meyers Briggs teambuilding at work….lord I think it was probably 20 years ago, but it was very interesting.

    I am very much an introvert, and have become more so with age. When I was young and cute and skinny and cocky, I covered up my introvertedness with bravado.🙂 Now I let it be. At conferences, since there is no one with me who knows the REAL me, I am able to put on a different hat and act out the role of a more social person. I fake it, in other words. LOL! But I love it! I love being able to do that and people many times assume that is truly how I am all the time. Now…I do have to go back to my room and “recharge” now and then, because all that buzz does zap me.

    Like

  15. I’m ISFJ, by the way. 🙂

    Like

  16. Dawn says:

    ENFJ – Although apparently I’m only moderately an extrovert, which, frankly doesn’t surprise me. I’m not bashful, but I do like my alone time. As in, I NEED alone time every day in order to be able to function as a proper human being. Hmmm… very interesting!

    Like

  17. zkullis says:

    Fun test Jenny!

    Looks like I’m ENFJ. 78% extrovert, 19% Intuition, 25% feelings, and 33% percent judging.
    The 78% doesn’t surprise me at all. I’ve loved my time in New York, DC, Mexico City, Cairo, and São Paulo. Being part of a large crowd is akin to drinking a gallon of Red Bull.

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      SHOCKING, Zack! (Not.)

      I’m very unsurprised that you and I share our letters. But does this mean I’d have make a great G-Lady?? I do love to hang out in bars and watch people…

      Like

      • zkullis says:

        I know, SOOOO shocking! 😉

        You would have made a great G-Lady. We have some G-Ladies on my squad that absolutely kick ass. Amazing girls.

        Like

  18. Yeah, I knew I was an introvert. Big time. LOL the test says I’m INFJ. And yeah, the social embarrassment thing comes in my DNA. LOL

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      That’s so interesting to me, Pauline, because you’ve got that iron thread of confidence running through you. Perhaps life experience just built it out of all those social embarrassment moments.

      Like

      • My life has definitely been unexpected. I grew up in small town, but the hubs employment took us to the city and the south. I’ve learned a LOT from living in the South and in the city. And my religion has been huge component, too. You start giving talks young, then serving in high school. I started teaching classes in high school. Then as married, young adult, had many diverse opportunities to serve and teach. Then when we moved to the South, lots of stretching opportunities. LOL To my surprise, I’m still standing. grin.

        Thanks for the lovely compliment. You never know how others “see” you, particularly online.🙂

        Like

  19. tomwisk says:

    My blog lets me write about stuff I don’t know how to air publicly. I’m introverted. It came after many years trying to be an extrovert and acting the a**. If I could figure a way to handle everything on line I’d be happy. Okay not ALL things.

    Like

  20. Mine turned out ISFJ. I know I’m an introvert. Always have been. Even to this day, I get more rest when my kids and hubs are out of the house than when I’m anywhere with people. Yes, my introversion extends to my family. They are exhausting! Then again, they’re all extroverts=)

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      That is hilarious to me that the introversion extends to your family! I’m always a little jealous of the introverts because I feel like they get more done than me. See? The grass is always greener.🙂

      Like

  21. S. J. Maylee says:

    I’m shocked. I’m 89% introvert, lol. That’s so me. My full moniker is ISFJ. We were at an indoor water park for Spring Break. So many people and it wasn’t even their busiest week. Once we were home, I needed several days to recover.🙂

    Like

  22. K.B. Owen says:

    I love this distinction between “I” and “E” Jenny! (Did you talk about this before? I thought I remembered this from somewhere). It sure makes a lot of sense for me, because I love being around folks and we have a great time, but I really “relax” when I’m by myself. That quiz is always an interesting one: I’m consistently “I” and “F” and “J” – but I seem to bobble between “S” and “N.” This time, I was 1% “S” – weird, huh?

    Oh, and crowds make me REALLY nervous. Maybe not if I was next to Gloria. 😉

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Better, yet…let’s put you between me and Gloria and she can teach the three of us to line dance. What do you think?🙂

      And yes, with living with an introvert, I have talked about this before. Plus with blogging every day this month, I’ve been known to lift a prior paragraph or two and use it in a new way. *whistles*

      Like

  23. This must be in the Zeitgeist because I was going to blog about this. Everyone assumes I am an extrovert, but I’m not. (I am actually an ambivert—but tend to lean to the Introvert side in many ways). I love people and I’m not shy, but if I never had to leave my house, I wouldn’t. People wear me out. I used to shop at 2 in the morning to avoid people. Hate concerts, amusement parks, large parties and any sports activity. Just craters my energy. I love social media because I can pace myself without putting myself in a coma.

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I hope you DO blog about this because I’d love to see your take. Isn’t the Zeitgeist a trip…it always seems to work that way, where an idea floats.

      I can absolutely believe you’re an ambivert. (And incidentally, I could stay in my house forever too now that I get to have people online AND on the phone.🙂 )

      Like

    • Julie Glover says:

      So YOU’re that other introvert at Walmart at 2 a.m. strolling leisurely through the aisles and enjoying the elbow space.😉

      Like

  24. Linda Adams says:

    I know I’m an introvert. I’ve always had people find it very strange when I wanted to get away from the crowds and read book, because I got overwhelmed by everyone. When I was deployed to Desert Storm, I remembered being overwhelmed all the time, so much so that other people noticed something was wrong. I didn’t realize it then, but I was always surrounded by people and had no way to recharge.
    Social media has been a challenge for me. I don’t enjoy Twitter — it feels like a crowded room with a thousand voices chattering all at once. I seem to be doing better with Facebook. Blog — well, you have to get people to interact. I’m pretty much blogging in an empty space. The A to Z challenge has helped a little, but I suspect it will go back to the way it was once that’s over.

    Like

  25. Julie Glover says:

    I have taken the Myers-Brigg Personality Indicator a few times and administered it several times over (career counseling internship). I am definitely an introvert, and one of the things I like about social media is that I can interact on my own schedule, taking breaks as I need to recharge.

    As to my full personality profile, I test as an INXP (F and T are even), but when I read the personality descriptions, I’m most comfortable with INFP. Many writers are NFs. And no, I’m not surprised by your 4-letter profile, Jenny. In fact, sometimes I make a game in my head of trying to figure out what personality types my friends are. I’m usually close.

    Like

  26. Great post, Jenny. I fall into the highly sensitive extrovert category, which means that while I gain energy from people and interaction, I also need a whole lot of alone time. I also feel compelled to speak up about, well, everything.😉

    Like

  27. John Holton says:

    For the longest time, any time I took a Meyers-Briggs test online, I would come out an ENFP. However, many years ago I took the full test administered by a professional psychologist and it showed that I was an INFP, and when I read the descriptions of both, that fit me better. I get very tired and crabby after spending a long time with a lot of people. Problem was, I was a trainer for over ten years, and spending a long time with a lot of people is kind of the job, as you know. I would literally have to lock myself in the bathroom at work after a long day before I could trust myself to drive home. Thank God for telework…

    Like

  28. filbio says:

    Great post! I am a total extrovert. Love attending events, being around people, throwing parties, and holding court. Hey, I do ad sales for a living. Pretty hard to be an introvert in this field!

    Like

  29. Pingback: J is for a Jenny Story: What is the Most Important Thing You’ve Ever Done? | Jenny Hansen's Blog

  30. Gene Lempp says:

    Late to the party, but not shy🙂 I’m a solid INTJ – and yes, direct contact is draining, one on one is preferred, but as those who have met me can attest, I’m not afraid of groups either (hmm, what is the overtone there?). It amazes me how many people equate Introvert with a form of weakness due to cultural stereotyping. As James Madison once said, “I not responding to you because I’m shy, I’m just waiting for you to say something worthy of words.” (paraphrased). If it wasn’t for introverts sitting alone and thinking about the world, we wouldn’t have most of our modern conveniences – including the Internet (Al Gore was not involved). Great post, Jen🙂

    Like

  31. Why am I a day late this week with everything. I cannot catch up. Anywho, I didn’t want to miss this post. I took the test at the link above, although I have taken the Meyers/Brigg test before. My score was ENFJ. So yes Jenny, we do have something in common. So why do I find blogging so draining?🙂

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I don’t know!! I’d think you’d love it, but maybe you like interacting in person better than doing so online.

      p.s. the reason why you’re behind is you just had a house full of people! That tires me out every time.🙂

      Like

  32. Karen Rought says:

    I’m not surprised – I scored 89% on the introvert level. That was an interesting quiz. Thanks for providing the link for it!

    Like

  33. Pingback: ROW80 Check-in #56 One Step at a Time | S. J. Maylee

  34. Pingback: The 500 Hats of Blog-tholomew Cubbins: Reducing Social Media Stress | August McLaughlin's Blog

Comments are closed.