Innie or outie?

As a high school teacher, I taught a class called Strategies for Success. It was required for all freshmen, and it was a super duper (dooper?) class. I’ve taught in places where the required freshman class was a bad joke, but this was the real honkin‘ deal. The class curriculum was built on Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (phenomenal book!), and we spent a concentrated chunk of time on Myers-Briggs personality testing. It was through my preparation for this course that I learned a ton about myself – I am an INFJ if that means anything to you.

The I in INFJ means that I am an introvert – a borderline introvert. I remember being surprised by the results, but my introvert/extravert numbers were very close. An introvert (as described by M-B) may really enjoy being with people, but he/she is left drained by a lot of interaction. Conversely, an extravert is energized by interaction. As a speaker/teacher I am loud, animated, and constantly moving, and nothing in all the earth energizes me like that! But that is still limited interaction. When greeting at church and in certain social situations I can be charged up by interaction, but for the most part I derive energy from being alone.

Another characteristic of an introvert is the tendency to think before speaking; extraverts think and process as they speak. I have often missed opportunities to contribute in conversations or discussions because I was chewing too long on what to say (some of you are not buying it, but it is so…). I have gotten way better at this over time, but there was a time when I could not participate in a conversation with several real extraverts. I wasn’t fast enough. In fact, in college I took a Spanish placement test as a freshman and landed in junior level Spanish. I could read and write the language well, but this was a class where only Spanish was spoken. My professor would call on me to answer rapid-fire questions, and I would choke every time. If I am a borderline introvert in English, I am an off-the-chart introvert in Spanish. I couldn’t think through what I wanted to say quickly enough to answer her questions. I made an office visit in tears, and she was so kind. She stopped calling on me in class 🙂

So all of this has me thinking how great blogging is for introverts. It doesn’t require face-to-face interaction; it allows time to process before broadcasting, and there isn’t competition for getting a word in quickly enough. So, that led me to wonder how many I’s out there are enjoying the accommodations of blogging?

What are you? An innie or an outie?

And one more thing, I find myself becoming more extraverted as I age, and Chris (who was a strong E is becoming more introverted). Any ideas on how that happens?

I Voted!
Pic o' treat

6 Comments

  1. Jenn in GA
    November 2, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    i’m definitely an extrovert, but i think we match up on the rest of the m-b categories!

    i too am becoming more of an introvert as i age, and i think part of it is having less daily contact with people than i did in hs and college. people are living their own lives, and there just isn’t as much time for interaction as there once was.

    also, i’m finding that i’m more comfortable with myself, so i feel less compelled to be “in the thick” of things in groups. i’ll probably defy that at the blog party, though, so don’t hold me to that!

  2. erika
    November 3, 2008 at 3:03 am

    As you well know I am E through and through HOWEVER I too am learning that I truly enjoy more and more time as an I. and that I do better with my interactions the more I time I spend. Also I realize now that most people don’t care or need to hear/see me:) Good growth.

  3. Scarlett
    November 3, 2008 at 4:02 am

    I’m a capital “E” 🙂 I am loud, assertive, (sometimes bossy), wanna solve everyone’s problem and be everyone’s friend. I love large crowds, loud music, laughing until I almost pee my pants, and crying to the point that I get the snubs…I like extremes and excesses….
    Now, having confessed that, let me just add….it is also how I long to Love God and Worship Him…I imagine myself as the child who runs up the golden, heavenly streets, flinging myself haphazardly into the mighty arms of Jesus, clinging onto Him like a 2 year old clings to her Momma when left in a new church nursery for the first time! Until that day, as I worship here…I want to drink Him into my soul until I am totally intoxicated with his Holiness!

    I admire anyone with “I” characteristics….but make no apology for my basic lack of them…My extreme “E-ness” has been the most effecient mode of ministry for me….hands down….since I was born into the kingdom of God 40years ago 🙂

    So whether you are an “E” or an “I”…I encourage you to work it girls!…He intentionally wired us individually to complete his body and fulfill his purpose!!

  4. Melanie Turner
    November 3, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    I forget what M-B says I am, but I’m pretty sure at almost 32 ripe years of age I am (if I have not always been) an I. I think 10 years ago, I was hands-down an E. I’m learning more about myself as I get older, and I like me better when I’m functioning as an I….so maybe it’s intentional?

  5. Whitney
    November 4, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    Cookie, I’m an ENFJ. We can relate on a lot of levels!

  6. Michelle@Life with Three
    November 5, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    I loved this post! I could soooo relate. I am an ENFP on the Myers Briggs test. But, my “E” score was like a 5. I’m so glad you brought up the “think before speaking” thing. I do that all the time and when I’m with my husband’s family (a family of HUGE extroverts), I often don’t say much for the exact reason you mentioned — I’m not fast enough!

    I took eight years of German in school (not that I can speak it at all today), but when I got to the 300-level college course where we had to speak in front of the class? OMG! I ended up dropping. I couldn’t do it! I’m so glad I’m not the only one. 🙂

    I’m looking forward to meeting you on Saturday!

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