7 Things All People Who Are Unsure If They Are Introverted Or Extroverted Understand

Flickr / Serge Melki
Flickr / Serge Melki

At some point in time, most people take the Briggs Myers personality test.  Between college and graduate school, I want to say I was required to take it at least five times.  Given that I only lie on internet quizzes about which fictional character I am or something of the like, I was more than a little surprised that my Briggs Myers test results were inconsistent.  More specifically, I kept getting different results about whether I was an extrovert or an introvert.
The rest of the results were expected. I’m either an ENFJ or INFJ personality. I’m aware that I tend to lean on feelings and intuition while simultaneously making decisions based on judgement goals.  For years, it bothered me that even I had a hard time distinguishing if I’m an extrovert or an introvert.  In reality, I am sincerely a mix of the two.

1. For as much time as I spend talking, I spend probably the equivalent amount of time in my own head.  Yes, I have opinions on basically everything and a sarcastic aside to go with them, but I’m equally happy being in my own head space. I often tell people I can’t turn my brain off which is the truth.  No amount of yoga or meditation can stop the thoughts swirling around in my head like a tornado.  

2. If there is a lag in my response time in a conversation, it’s not because I’m not listening.  In reality, the lag time is because my thoughts have already jumped three steps ahead which I’m sure can be frustrating to those on the other side of the conversation.  I find it frustrating, and I’m the one doing it.

3. Yes, I would love to get together and go out, but please don’t give me too much time to think about it.  Book the tickets or make the reservation before I have time to retreat to reading or Netflix.  

4. I have no problem making a fool out of myself in public to make other people more comfortable.  Sincerely, I will do slam poetry or lip sync like it’s my job for a laugh, and I can be shockingly good at controlling a room.  With that said, there are bank vaults that give easier than I do.  I have my secrets. I’m entitled to keep them.

5. A hug in greeting or goodbye is always welcome.  I’m also very prone to cuddling up to friends when I’m cold.  When I encounter close talkers, people who need to be almost nose to nose to talk to me, I have to use every bit of willpower not to push myself back to give some distance.  If someone grabs me by the head or back of the neck to talk, the conversation has already ended as I have assuredly removed myself from the area.  Personal space exists for a reason.

6. I absolutely adore, love, and respect my friends. I am genuinely grateful to have such a great group of people in my life, and if any of them need something, I would do it in an instant.  With that said, it took a little time to find my friends.  I don’t handle high maintenance or needy people well.  First, I don’t actually want to decipher every conversation someone’s had with his/her significant other.  Forwarding me conversations of texts only makes me wonder what is happening with the messages I sent.  Second, I don’t necessarily respond to texts immediately if I’m in the middle of doing something and the text isn’t urgent. I don’t expect anyone else to respond to my silly text at rapid-fire rates.

7. I teach high school students during the day. For those eight hours a day, I have to be outgoing and talkative or else I’d be a really terrible teacher. At night though, I write books and blogs to give shape to that raging tornado of thoughts. While I passionately talk about other authors’ works all day, I cringe every time I submit my own chapters of writing. Slightly hypocritical. Definitely comical.

Multiple parties have told me that I am often hard to read. Here’s the thing.  I’m not a book, so I’m not meant to be read.  Give me some time.  Like all true ambiverts, I’ll step forward when I’m ready. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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