firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
[personal profile] firecat
"23 signs you're secretly an introvert" by Carolyn Gregoire

Starts out well:
Think you can spot an introvert in a crowd? Think again. Although the stereotypical introvert may be the one at the party who's hanging out alone by the food table fiddling with an iPhone, the "social butterfly" can just as easily have an introverted personality.
Then ignores all that in favor of a list of traits that introverts supposedly have.

Bold = I have it
Strikethrough = I don't have it

You find small talk incredibly cumbersome. Nope. I like small talk. I just have to be in the mood for socializing. Which happens less often than it does for most extroverts, but not never. "We hate small talk because we hate the barrier it creates between people." I don't think small talk creates a barrier between people. It lets people who don't know each other very well talk about a few things that they might have in common, and gives them the opportunity to discover more things in common.

You go to parties — but not to meet people. "At a party, most introverts would rather spend time with people they already know and feel comfortable around." I want to spend time with people I know AND with people I don't know. The people I know make me feel more comfortable around the people I don't know. But yeah, my goal in going to parties is not to "meet" the people I don't know, as in exchange phone numbers. It's to have conversation with them. Or just enjoy the party.

You often feel alone in a crowd. Um yeah, but most of the extroverts I know say they feel the same way.

Networking makes you feel like a phony. They define this as "Small-talk with the end goal of advancing your career". Kind of. But when I'm in the context of something interesting that happens to also involve networking (e.g. Wiscon) it doesn't feel phony.

You've been called "too intense". Not for a long time. "Do you have a penchant for philosophical conversations and a love of thought-provoking books and movies?" Perhaps I'm not called "too intense" any more because most of the people I know, extroverts and introverts, care about those things. Don't confuse intellectual curiosity with introversion.

You're easily distracted. "in environments with an excess of stimulation". One reason I do poorly at e.g. dinner parties or cocktail parties is that I often can't concentrate on one conversation long enough to participate in it.

Downtime doesn't feel unproductive to you. Downtime is defined as "spending a day at home alone with tea and a stack of magazines". Hey! Reading (the) magazines (that I think are worth reading) is learning, so it's productive! Downtime is taking a nap or playing Bejeweled. Those are unproductive. Sometimes they're necessary.

Giving a talk in front of 500 people is less stressful than having to mingle with those people afterwards.

When you get on the subway you sit at the end of the bench, not in the middle because "We're likely to sit in places where we can get away". Actually my preferred spot used to be in a corner or against a wall. Lately that's been trumped by the "getaway" spot, but not because of introversion. It's because I'm fatter than the spaces between seats in most public venues so if I don't sit on the end then everyone has to get up to let me out, and I don't like to inconvenience people that way.

You start to shut down after you've been active for too long. Um, doesn't everybody?

You're in a relationship with an extrovert Yes, and also some introverts.

You'd rather be an expert at one thing than try to do everything. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO I WANT TO TRY EVERYTHING

You actively avoid any shows that might involve audience participation. If this means shows where people are picked out of a crowd by the performers, I don't avoid them because (a) I know the body language that causes performers not to pick me and (b) I know how to say "No."

You screen all calls -- even from friends. I screen calls if I've been getting a lot of telemarketer calls.

You notice details that others don't. Not in the physical world really. I am pretty unobservant. In writing, yes.

You have a constantly running inner monologue. To the point where I spend most of my time shutting it out with reading, or an audiobook, or music, because my inner monologue gets really nasty.

You have low blood pressure.

You've been called an 'old soul' -- since your 20s. Teens

You don't feel 'high' from your surroundings. Maybe less often than some people? But wow, I sure do. Until I start feeling overwhelmed.

You look at the big picture. "Introverts do really enjoy abstract discussion". Yes to both, but they are two separate statements.

You've been told to 'come out of your shell' Yes, in social situations "or participate more in class" No, I am a loudmouth in class or very structured social situations (e.g. support groups).

You're a writer.

You alternate between phases of work and solitude, and periods of social activity.

Date: 20 Aug 2013 10:22 pm (UTC)
jae: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jae
Yeah, that seemed like a strange list to me, too.


Date: 20 Aug 2013 11:06 pm (UTC)
megpie71: Denzel looking at Tifa with a sort of "Huh?" expression (Are you going to tell him?)
From: [personal profile] megpie71
I don't know where this person's getting their list of introvert traits, but the most important one is really this: "dealing with other people face to face is physically and psychologically exhausting and wearing". Whereas the extroverted personality will tend to find they get recharged by being around other people, introverted personalities really do find other people overloading after a while.

But a lot of those criteria are just plain strange - low blood pressure makes you introverted? Someone tell my partner; he's definitely an introvert, and he's the one with the higher blood pressure out of the two of us.

Date: 21 Aug 2013 12:06 am (UTC)
marahmarie: (M In M Forever) (Default)
From: [personal profile] marahmarie
I actually felt the list was relevant to me. But then I'm classically introverted, almost like the archetypical example...anyway, yeah, almost everything on the list applied except, 'You don't feel 'high' from your surroundings' - sometimes I can and do - and 'You'd rather be an expert at one thing than try to do everything.' - nope, I'm perpetually in Do All The Things (or, at least, in Wanna Do All The Things) Mode.

Particularly striking for me is I'm good at a) giving speeches, b) speaking on camera, c) showing off/goofing off before a few or even a bunch of people but absolutely hideous at just making small talk in the same situations afterwards. I have a showy/performer side that is, I don't know, essentially without fear, I guess, but that's not my entire (or even more than a small portion of) my true self, just one facet of it.

But unlike most "You know you're an introvert if..." articles that actually get at least a few things about us so very wrong, typically by making grossly myopic assumptions that don't necessarily apply to every introvert (recently, one blogger got it so wrong I actually commented on her website to dispute some of her assertions, they pissed me off so much) this list pretty much covered it (at least for me; other introvert's mileage can and likely will vary).

Date: 21 Aug 2013 04:40 am (UTC)
st_aurafina: Rainbow DNA (Default)
From: [personal profile] st_aurafina
I tried to explain to someone at a party that I was an introvert, and they just wouldn't believe it. "You're not shy at all!" they said. That's so not the same thing, ffs.

WTF blood pressure? Seriously.

Date: 21 Aug 2013 02:03 pm (UTC)
grammarwoman: (Default)
From: [personal profile] grammarwoman
Heh. Even though most of the article's points apply to me, I'd still have to disagree with the title, because I'd think most introverts are quite aware of their tendencies and that there's no secret about it.

Date: 21 Aug 2013 02:57 pm (UTC)
silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)
From: [personal profile] silveradept
An odd list. I would think introversion, like many things, doesn't universalize well. Besides, are they asking about my work persona or my non-work persona, because they are two very different settings on the introvert/extrovert scale.

Date: 26 Aug 2013 12:04 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] flarenut
Yeah, that list just seems weird. I admit, I had to get good at small talk (Thank you, Dale Carnegie's first book) and suchlike, but small talk is so much easier than real Big Talk.

Inner monologue, sure, but in my experience that's really not an introvert/extrovert thing, more maybe a borderline adhd thing...

And even the recharge thing -- it depends on what kinds of interactions with groups of other people. Some parties and get-togethers with other people are incredibly energizing, some other ones are incredibly enervating. Depending mostly (but not entirely) on how much "performing" and self-conscious monitoring I have to do -- if I spend you time remembering not to tell anybody "that's really bogus", fer example. But even then.

I think that one of the big things that makes these lists to very wrong is that way that the outward features change over a lifetime. If you had asked me much of that stuff in my college years or early 20s, I would have responded completely differently from the way I do now. (One of the reasons I've liked being a journalist is that it's a great cover for being inappropriately fascinated by other people's lives.)

Date: 21 Aug 2013 01:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Apparently, the writers of that article don't understand the difference between "introvert" and "shy person"/"person with social phobia". Because according to that list, I'm an introvert. And, uh, Richard isn't. WHAT?

Date: 21 Aug 2013 08:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've realised lately that I'm definitely an introvert (this wasn't a new realisation...) as in, I need alone time to re-charge. But, I also enjoy being out and about and being social. I've even got better lately at not *always* needing to sit at the end of a row for ease of escape.

Social introvert is my new self-descriptor.

Date: 27 Aug 2013 09:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That list looks a bit shonky to me. The moment I was told that introverts recharge alone and extroverts recharge in company was a defining moment for me.

Do you need other stuff in a list? It's just journalism trying to create more crap. Also, I have a pet peeve against the Huffington Post.

Date: 27 Aug 2013 05:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Do you?

I dislike the woman who runs it, she seems to go on about being this big meditation guru all the time.

Date: 27 Aug 2013 06:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I actually don't even open Huffpo articles that come onto my fb because they annoy me so much.

Do they have an intrusive thing you have to click before you can even read their usually low level articles?That'd piss me off, too. But I think it was her smug TED talk that did for me in the end.

Date: 27 Aug 2013 06:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I know, right?

TED talks were so novel at first, and now anyone who is pleased with themselves seems to get a go.

Date: 28 Aug 2013 07:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
HAHA! That's brilliant!

I love the faux self effacing humble brag!

Date: 28 Aug 2013 09:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, it's their fault they blew it!

There were some great ones in the beginning.


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firecat (attention machine in need of calibration)

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