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"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.

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/820345.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. I prefer that you comment on Dreamwidth, but it's also OK to comment here.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 21st, 2013 01:07 am (UTC)
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?
Aug. 21st, 2013 08:36 am (UTC)
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.
Aug. 27th, 2013 09:01 am (UTC)
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.
Aug. 27th, 2013 05:08 pm (UTC)
Yes all of that, especially the last bit.
Aug. 27th, 2013 05:42 pm (UTC)
Do you?

I dislike the woman who runs it, she seems to go on about being this big meditation guru all the time.
Aug. 27th, 2013 06:02 pm (UTC)
I think they're an example par excellence of "journalism trying to create more crap" (and IIRC not paying writers very much to do it, and encouraging hatred in their comment threads).

I probably should stop linking to stuff they post.
Aug. 27th, 2013 06:13 pm (UTC)
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.
Aug. 27th, 2013 06:32 pm (UTC)
Ew, smug TED talks.
Aug. 27th, 2013 06:36 pm (UTC)
I know, right?

TED talks were so novel at first, and now anyone who is pleased with themselves seems to get a go.
Aug. 27th, 2013 10:48 pm (UTC)
I finally refound the brilliant "design your own TED Talk" flow chart I saw the other day.

Aug. 28th, 2013 07:21 am (UTC)
HAHA! That's brilliant!

I love the faux self effacing humble brag!
Aug. 28th, 2013 08:42 am (UTC)
I know! I'll never look at a TED talk the same away again.
Aug. 28th, 2013 09:24 am (UTC)
Well, it's their fault they blew it!

There were some great ones in the beginning.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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