A couple of weeks ago, I followed the blog “The Other Side of Regular,” after the writer followed me, and the first post I read inspired me to write something.
In her post “Kurrently Unaveylabol,” she considered the difficulty of being introverted and needing “me time” in the society where everyone is connected and always in communication through cell phones, e-mails, and whatnot. The emphasized term, “extroverted introvert,” gave me an idea for a post. So, without further ado, let me reflect on it as I see it.
The term “extroverted introvert” (or its opposite, “introverted extrovert”) seem like paradoxes or oxymorons. They are not necessarily so. Like so many other characteristics of people, I think that the intro/extroversion comes on a sliding scale, and is not black-and-white. When a person self-describes as an “extroverted introvert,” it means that they are outgoing in some cases, but their baseline is to remain to themselves.
That term actually seems to fit my baseline as well… and not just due to Asperger syndrome. Let me explain further.
I think that my baseline is one of an introvert. My attention to details and low-maintenance personality are thought of more introverted characteristics. Also, although I like a lot of different social events, parties are usually not my thing. That, of course, is not the be-all-end-all characteristic of an extrovert, but I find myself a little more reserved than a true extrovert.
Yet, when I am engaged in a conversation or other social contact with people whom I know (or even don’t know–see some of my blog posts that have mentioned conversations with strangers on trains, like “Ironic prompt,” “Cocktail party effect,” and “Low Tech Part I“. My extroverted side shows when I am in a comfortable environment, such as Hillel or a synagogue, a college sporting event, or playing board or card games.
It is definitely possible to have characteristics of both an extrovert and an introvert. For me, it also tends to vary depending on my mood and other situations. I am not as likely to go out to Chicago for an evening on the town, partially because I don’t like taking the train back late in the evening, and getting a cab is pretty expensive. Oh well. Actually, since I only have two more full weekends in Chicagoland, I might as well let it hang out this weekend. No worries, I will not get drunk or otherwise into trouble, but I’d like to hang out with some friends that I have met at Husker watch parties.
Oh, and one more thing. Given that teemaqx also talked about the social contact associated with using technology and social media, I will say that I find those to be introvert-based items. My definition of extroversion is that when a person is actively engaging with people face-to-face!
Readers: Do you see your baseline as Extrovert, Introvert, or Ambivert?
NABC: Next Right (though I may not go until Saturday or Sunday)
Menomonie: 9 days.
Stout teaching starts: 35 days.