I was having a conversation with my friend recently. She turned to me and said, “Oh, you’re an introvert, for sure!”
And I have to admit: I didn’t really like it!
My apologies to people who are introverted and love it. (Although most introverts don’t, right?! We’re always making apologies for it!)
But for me, I associate introversion with shyness. Quiet… boring… prefer to stay in and read a book than go out to a party…
I know that’s not exactly what being an introvert means – I know it’s where you get your energy from (internally vs. externally).
But somewhere along the way, I feel like being an extrovert got associated with all the “good” stuff (going to parties! energy! talking! being “brave”!), and being an introvert got associated with all the “bad” stuff, as mentioned above.
But there are good (and bad) things about both!
Maybe extroverts never let you finish your sentence… maybe they’re unreliable… maybe they don’t take time to listen and actually hear you…
Maybe introverts are the ones who really listen to you. Maybe they have inner courage that they don’t need to be vocal about. Maybe they don’t need to be the life and soul of the party, and they don’t compete for attention.
I’m just throwing some ideas out.
I actually did a test recently, as I was thinking about this, and it said I was an ambivert. Jesus Christ.
Although it is actually kind of funny, as I am a bit of a fence-sitter, I like a balance, and I like to be in the middle of anything 🙂
But what I’m more interested in is: do we really need these labels?
What do they help with?
It’s great to know your likes and dislikes. It’s great to understand why some people go out every night of the week, and some people need time out and/or time alone. And it’s great to get to a point where you feel happy with what you’re doing, and how your life is going.
But when introversion has this kind of stigma attached to it (is it just me that feels this?) – do we need to put a label on it?
And am I just tetchy cause my friend called me an introvert?! Probably 🙂
But put me in a new job situation – and I thrive. I love meeting new people and being part of a new environment.
I also love job interviews (which might sound a bit weird). But why not – it’s basically just a chat with some (likely) very nice people! I’ve had some interviews where we’re laughing the whole way through. Interviews don’t have to be serious.
I have someone close to me who loves going to parties and is what you would call “loud”.
She also hates starting new jobs and going for job interviews.
So why doesn’t she just be extroverted when she’s starting a new job?! It’s like a party… in a different setting! 😉
My point is that we all have different situations that we feel comfortable in or we excel in.
So do we really need to put labels on people?
Why can’t we just let people do – or be – what they want?!
You want to read? Go ahead!
You want to go to a party? Go for it!
No label required 🙂
So I’ve decided.
I don’t want to attach myself to a label – introverted or extroverted (or even ambiverted).
It makes me feel kind of shit to be described in a certain way (especially if it has negative connotations. And I feel like the word introverted does have negative connotations).
And my Myers-Briggs type (apparently) is ENFP, i.e. extroverted – so really I’m just confused 🙂
Why can’t I just be me?!
Sometimes I like to sit and read, or head down to the beach to chill out or have some thinking time.
Other times I love hanging out with my friends or with new people, making jokes, and organizing nights out with them.
I don’t need a label to tell me what I am.
I can be one thing to one person, and another thing to someone else. And that’s okay! Right?!
This was actually what sealed it for me.
One of my friends said to me recently, about another friend of ours:
X is an extrovert – 100%!
and then, a few weeks later, my other friend said (about the same person):
X is a definitely an introvert – it’s obvious.
How could these two people be talking about the same person, and have such different opinions/get it so wrong?
Because it depends what perspective you’re coming from. What your comparison is. And what situations you interact with them in as well.
Whether you think someone is introverted or extroverted can be based on your opinion, how you see your world, or how you’re comparing yourself to them in one situation.
So I think I’ll just not use these labels any more 🙂
How does everyone else feel – do you like being called introverted or extroverted?
Does it really matter which you are?!