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A Land Deep and Wide of Introverts
According to Myers Briggs personality theory, there are four fundamental spectrums that define you. The first one is extroversion to introversion. There are a lot of misconceptions about what is an extrovert or an introvert. This spectrum is on a 200 point scale. When you go toward the middle you act more as an ambivert. According to Myers Briggs theory, you should be able to figure out your personality by looking at the other three spectrums -- which are sensing to intuition, feeling to thinking, and judging to perceiving. Altogether these make up functions of your personality... which there are 8 and you get 4. But let's focus on introversion today.
Extroversion and introversion should be one of the easiest spots for you to figure out about yourself. If you are falling into the ambivert crowd, this could be based off the other 3 spectrums you find yourself in. For instance, introverted NF (intuitive-feelers) care a lot about people; thinking about people and social interactions gives them a charge. So INFJ and INFP can easily come off more ambivert, or even extroverted to people; however, their dominate function is introverted intuition and for the INFP, introverted feeling. The dominate function is what defines whether you are more extroverted or introverted.
We all have aspects to us that are extroverted or introverted... this may confuse you and make you think that you are an ambivert, but you probably lean more one way or the other... by finding out where you get more satisfaction.
One of the easiest ways to tell if you are extroverted or introverted is by what you prefer doing with your free time -- would you rather spend an entire week locked at home reading books and watching movies and thinking, or would you rather go on a week long adventure with your best friends? Which of these options makes you feel more alive? Which one drags you down?
Extroverts can find themselves in a situation where they really don't like being alone. They may force friendships on themselves in order to feel connection. An introvert is offended by fake connections. They only want to spend time with people who are genuine and authentic, because they don't want to waste their time when they could be doing the actual things they love... like daydreaming.
Introverts are not necessarily shy or outgoing. Being introverted does not mean that you dislike people, that you are socially anxious, or socially awkward. Some introverts are highly charismatic. Some extroverts are actually shy. It just depends on where they want and seek to spend their time. Yes, introverts often are more shy and that is partly because they might not develop as intense of social connections.
Introverts tend to be more interpersonal. They like to spend time with people one on one, and they could kind of care less about large groups, parties, or networking. They may manage these things just fine, but they would prefer to do other things. For an extrovert, constantly having to study or depend on ideas will get boring or lonely way too fast.
The Introverts of Myers Briggs are:
INFJ -- the counselor
INFP -- the dreamer
ISFJ -- the protector
ISTJ -- the inspector
ISTP -- the inventor
ISFP -- the artist
INTJ -- the thinker
INTP -- the architect
Some famous introverts are:
Jesus, Albert Einstein, Michael Jackson, Steve Jobs, J.K. Rowling, Bill Gates, Abraham Lincoln, Christina Aguilera, Rosa Parks, Audrey Hepburn, Mark Zuckerberg, Lady Gaga, Barbara Walters, Stephen Spielberg, Marlon Brando, Henry Ford, Natalie Portman, Robert De Nero, Sigmund Freud, Plato, Dante, Leo Tolstoy, Marilyn Manson, Edward Norton, Cate Blanchett, Carey Mulligan, Sufjan Stevens, Jimmy Carter, Mother Teresa, Christopher Walken, Kanye West, Kirsten Dunst, Tiger Woods, Jessica Simpson, Bruce Willis, and Matt Damon.
Humans are complex and unique, and because introversion-extraversion varies along a continuum, individuals may have a mixture of both orientations.
Sometimes introverts may do things to dissuade people from talking to them. But I think theories based on what clothes or music introverts like is pretty bunk. People are going to have their own interests for their own reasons, dress how they want, etc. I find clothing has more to do with the judging-perceiving scale than extroversion-introversion. ISFP are Michael Jackson types -- can you get anymore flashy in your wardrobe? Everyone needs some amount of solitary time, and everyone needs human interaction. You can only survive so long as a hermit.
How to Interact More as an Introvert
First off, try to find other introverts. You'll have a common understanding. Try going to different things. I think introverts like activities that engage their mind and are not just meeting for the sake of meeting. Try hanging out with different people, go to new places, ask yourself what things you've always wanted to try. You can continue to improve your social skills by interacting with more and more people. This may sound intimidating, but remember... you're not meeting everyone all at once. If you don't like a social scene... then you don't have to stay committed to it.
Do what you can to find friends with common interests. Like minded people end up at the same places. Do what you can to change up your schedule. You may be surprised when you start pushing yourself to do new things.
Don't make being introverted an excuse to get out of social situations. You can hurt yourself if you never come out of your corner. Being introverted doesn't mean you are socially awkward. You have a lot of ideas that everyone else would love to hear, so don't keep it all to yourself. In fact, you need to make it a goal that what you learn when you're by yourself, you share with others. This way it'll enrich people, and you'll start to find others who are like minded. Excellent introverts know how to balance their social lives and also gain from it to where it better enriches their imagination. So don't use being introverted as a crutch. Put yourself out there! It won't be the end of the world. Sometimes you need to unplug from digital media and try new things.
If you do put yourself out into the social world and it doesn't go well, don't be too hard on yourself. Things don't alway go smoothly and sometimes it takes some patience. Give a social situation a few tries before you give up. Be reassuring to people. Try talking more.
Try taking community classes:
*Rock wall climbing
Introverted Idealists INF
Idealists spend time heavily in introspection. They are on a quest to find the true self. They are also considering heavily what is the truth path of their peers. To the Idealists self discovery is one of the greatest experiences of all. This personality wants to be able to answer deep philosophical and humanitarian questions within their mind. They enjoy getting to know people, and then spending time in healthy self reflection. This group of people are strongly motivated by their hearts and intuition. They are sympathetic, caring, empathetic, and hopeful. They tend to be very emotional as children, and calm as adults. They like simplicity, but also complexity. They have a great deal to their personalities, but most importantly -- people are what inspires them most, even if they have to run away and hide in a forest.
INF personalities tend to be religious, intelligent, and soft hearted. They are easily moved... and sometimes too spontaneous for their own good. They are good at predicting the future, and at tending to wounds. Neither the INFP nor INFJ like conflict... INFP abhors it with their entire being... INFJ just wants to make sure they are just and fair.
They work hard, they are creative, and they are beautiful people. Some of the best humanitarians on the planet have been INFP and INFJ. This is a small group of people, and so they can often feel out of place. You may see a triumphant amount of them in an English department.
Introverted Traditionalists ISJ
IS Analyticals tend to be more quiet and introspective and are well aware of their immediate surroundings. They tend to be more detail oriented than the other types.
This group is very traditional, hard-working, and goal oriented. Both the ISTJ and the ISFJ have goals set for their careers and family. They like to achieve what is normal. They have very strong relationships to those that they love. They tend to be solid people as friends and mates. They fight fair, they manage well, and they are supportive. They don't get too distracted by frills, and they are easily some of the most dependable people you'll ever meet. They are great at organization, planning, and acts of service. They are extremely loyal to those they love, and take their contracts as spouses and parents seriously. They are selective about people, but the people they do love... they love deeply. Those people are central points to their hearts. They don't like to over bother people, but give them space.
ISTJ in particular likes to make sure that finances are running smoothly. They want to take care of their family. A lack of a job or financial stress is felt strongly by an ISTJ. As for an ISFJ, when people around them are hurting, they hurt too.
Introverted Experiencers ISP
Introverted sensors have a love for art and aesthetics. They may come off really dreamy or as procrastinators. They like to get into projects with their hands. They are very kinesthetic people. They enjoy building art, working with mechanics, and getting in touch with what is sensual. They like to think about sounds, smells, colors, tastes, and textures. They don't like being over stimulated in their surroundings. They can be really quiet about what they really want and have a hard time expressing it unless it is through another artistic medium. INTP is more mechanical where ISFP is more artistic. But both are going to use their hands to make things.
Both tend to have an interest in doing outdoorsy things. They are not near as energetic as their ESFP and ESTP cousins. They can seem like their dormant until a big project that interests them comes their way. They are impulsive, spontaneous, and they are indecisive. They can really feel a lot of pressure if you put too much on them to make a decision, a commitment, or meet up at a certain time. This kind of puts their stomach in a knot. SP personalities have a hard time with traditional schooling. The ISTP won't see a lot of value in a lot of classes, so they won't put in enough effort to study. ISFP, on the other hand, are daydreamers and have a tendency to get bored in class... and also see no point. If you can get these two to use their hands somehow in class it will help them to learn, because theoretical reasoning in their heads, honestly isn't their favorite thing to do.
Introverted Conceptualists INT
The NT gang are powerful thinkers. The INTP and the INTJ are some of the smartest people you'll ever meet. They are able to quickly understand abstract theory and find its application. They enjoy a number of topics, and they enjoy when people can discuss these topics. They are constantly finding new ideas, new people, new everything. Sometimes they struggle with their lower functions and it is really hard for them because they are so smart that they don't quite understand why those bottom functions are causing them problems. For instance, the INTP is dominated by introverted thinking, their Achilles' heel is extroverted feeling. They can easily be manipulated into a bad relationship. They deeply want to love and feel love, but usually they miss the red flags of a bad relationship, so they really need to be careful because this can be a bane. They need people who are honest, and INTP needs to be real when someone is taking advantage of them. Dating an INTP is awesome because of how great of a thinker they are, and great thinking is attractive.
INTJ can lose sight of its sensing. It can easily walk into walls, forget that it needs to sleep, or even clumsily go through life getting bruises and the like. INTJ is like INFJ in this regard. They both are flabbergasted by their weak extroverted sensing. Both can do better by stretching this function. You can do this by taking classes that cause you to use your brain outside of its normal conceptual side. Try dancing, cooking, something that makes you interact with external stimuli.
Andrea Lawrence (author) from Chicago on April 18, 2016:
That's awesome! I'm glad you are so passionate about birds. We need people getting others interested about the animals on this planet.
Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on April 18, 2016:
I am an introvert, but if you get me outdoors with my birds, I can do a talk in front of 10,000 people and my passion will come screaming through.
Andrea Lawrence (author) from Chicago on April 14, 2016:
I'd love to help you figure out what is your personality according to Myers Briggs!
Paul Richard Kuehn from Udorn City, Thailand on April 14, 2016:
This is a very interesting article. I am an introvert but can't really pinpoint my exact personality type based on Briggs-Myers. I never thought that Lady Gaga was an introvert.
Yoleen Lucas from Big Island of Hawaii on April 10, 2016:
I"m an introvert, due to the fact that I grew up in a hostile ghetto. I have always admired extroverts.
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on April 08, 2016:
Very interesting! Would be great to know for sure who we are, who loved ones are, what to expect from each one, and how to interact with each other. This articel can be helpful when we figure it out.
Andrea Lawrence (author) from Chicago on April 08, 2016:
Thank you! I'm glad that this has been valuable for you.
Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on April 08, 2016:
This is a very interesting hub. I've always known that I am an introvert. I enjoy being with people who share my likes and dislikes, but I can be completely happy writing and being alone. Your research is apparent and valuable to the reader. Thank you...
Theresa Jonathan from Maseru, Lesotho on April 08, 2016:
Amazing work! This is truly educative for many of us. I am INFJ and before I understood these concepts, I was concerned that I was not normal because I really love to be alone to read, write and research. I was a counsellor even before doing psychology and counselling; it is what I do naturally. Thank you for clarifying other categories so well!
Buildreps from Europe on April 08, 2016:
Excellent article on this issue. I am an INTJ married to an INTP woman. I cannot say anything else that literally everything is wonderful.