The conversation of introverts and extroverts is a hot topic right now. I want the record to show that I was an introvert when it wasn’t “cool” to be one. People think that because you are an introvert you are rude, lame or nerdy. I have been called all of these things and more…maybe, I am. That is not the point. It means so much more than that.
Back in the day, I thought that I knew everything about everything, and knowing myself should have been the easiest part. After all, I am one of my top 5 favorite subjects! Anyway, Google says an introvert is a person who is shy and reticent (*re-googles “reticent”). However, 16Personalities, a site that studies and provides information on personalities and traits, defines an introvert “are more sensitive and need to escape the same stimuli in order to be more functional.” The site also adds, “unlike Extraverts, Introverts can quickly exhaust their mental energy reserves, and they will only tolerate such situations so long before they yearn for solitude and quiet.” This is an accurate description of how I feel. For me, too much “peopling” (people interaction) drains me. Small talk bores me. In other words, y’all make me tired!
I never wanted to be identified by a label, but this is a label that helps me better understand myself. I have come to realize that labels help me to put all of my randomnesses under one word. Through 16 Personalities, I learned from the Myers-Briggs Index (MBI) (this is another conversation for another day) that not only am I an introvert but, specifically, I am an INTJ…
WTH is INTJ?
The MBI is a self-report inventory designed to identify a person’s personality type, strengths, and preferences. Read more here. The questionnaire is made up of 4 scales:
- Extraversion (E) and Introversion (I) (how we respond and interact with the world around us);
- Sensing (S) and Intuition (N) (how we gather information from the world around us);
- Thinking (T) – Feeling (F) (make decisions based on the information that they gathered from their sensing or intuition functions); and
- Judging (J) – Perceiving (P) (how we tend to deal with the outside world).
As an INTJ, I have quiet energy. I am a big picture thinker, and I make decisions objectively. I think differently. I communicate differently. I love differently. I interact with people differently. I am a robot with a heart. I am very logical and analytical, but very emotional. I love deeply, but outwardly you cannot tell because my emotions are not worn on my sleeves like most people. Logic is worn on my sleeve. I am a long-term planner and professional over-thinker. I see the big picture then put the pieces together. Being logical and analytical have been major strengths of mine all my life. They are also great words to use in job interviews!
Them: “What strengths can you bring to this organization?”
Me: “I am an analytical thinker and problem-solver.”
Them: “Oh yeah, well how would you solve this problem…?”
Me: “Well, first I would…” *drops 3 suggestions*
Me: *Thinking* “you will have to pay for the next 2 ideas.”
Let me get back on track… To keep the paradox going, I am a private person, but I am an open book. If you don’t ask me, I will not tell you. I am cynical but I am optimistic. I appear to be standoffish and awkward, but I can work a room. I am so confusing, I confuse myself. Annnndd most importantly, apparently, I am unique. A writer at LovePanky.com said that there are only 4 in 500 women who are INTJ. Yaaaasssss!!!! I’ll take that! It makes me feel fancy and exclusive!
Anyway, it is interesting and helpful to be able to put a word to my characteristics. It helps me to understand myself a lot better. For me, once I can identify something, I can better recognize and adjust to it. Have you taken an MBI test? If so, what are your traits? Are the descriptions true to your personality? Comment below. If you haven’t taken it, check out the 16 Personalities personality test here.