I first took the Myers Briggs Test when I was in high school. Even though, I do not remember the complete description of my personality type, that “I” clearly stands out. It came as no surprise that I am an introvert.
As defined by Merriam-Webster, an introvert is someone “whose personality is characterized by introversion; broadly: a reserved or shy person.” Merriam-Webster define introversion as “the act of directing one’s attention toward or getting gratification from one’s own interests, thoughts, and feelings.”
In comparing the two definitions, I much more agree with the latter than the former. There is a vast difference between reserved and shy. Shy is defined as timid and easily frightened. As someone who has grown in confidence throughout my life, I am neither timid nor easily frightened. I do, however, still identify with the label of “introvert.”
As I get older, the more I realized I do get gratification from my own interests, thoughts, and feelings. My alone time is precious, and I like a lot of it. This does not mean that I don’t enjoy the company of others. I do. I am simply more selective as to with whom I spend my time.
Another component that I find to be integral in the distinction between introversion and extroversion comes from a conversation that I had while still in high school. My choir instructor described extroversion as a personality trait that allows one to gain energy from being around people, whereas introversion typically results in energy being drained when being around others.
This is completely true. Even though my family and I have pushed myself to be more outgoing and comfortable when speaking with unfamiliar people, and even though I have become much more competent in this area, I am still zapped by the end of a networking event or gathering.
In the very recent past, I have also become more cognizant of that that fact that certain people/personalities are more draining than others. If I can, I do try to avoid those types of personalities. Usually, it’s nothing personal. I have met very lovely people whose personalities were simply too much for me.
All in all, this is simply a quick overview/breakdown of introversion and what it can mean to identify with this personality categorization. I want to be clear that there is nothing wrong with either extroversion or introversion. Frankly, the older I get the more I appreciate being this way.
I would love to continue this conversation. Let me know if you are a fellow introvert and whether or not you agree how I’ve broken things down.