Life of an Introvert

Ah, the comfort of home.  I’m writing today from my good old couch all warm and toasty with the lovely scent of gardenias in the background.  Definitely a step up from yesterday’s aroma. I thought we could start where I left off on my field trip post….To be or not to be, that is the question. Ok, maybe that wasn’t the exact question but let’s talk about personality types.

I am an introvert.  If you haven’t noticed, I have a lot going on inside my head but honestly there is still a lot of it that isn’t making it out to prime time yet (for your safety and protection).  I have heard from a few friends and family since I started writing this blog that they are surprised that I am “funny”. 🙂  Because, I don’t think “funny” is necessarily a word that comes to mind when someone would describe me which is ironic because to myself, (inside my head) I’m a outright comedian!  I am constantly cracking myself up all of the time!  But being an introvert, I think before I speak and I’m not sure that my humorous thoughts should really be shared with the world because a lot of it, is well, umm, shall we say, is inappropriate. 🙂  Yep, R rated. Warning: This content in my mind may contain mature themes, offensive language, sexual oriented nudity and violence.

See, a few things that you also might not know about my introverted self is that…inside this crazy head of mine, I’ve got a mouth like a truck driver. Oh, yes.  Every explicit word out known to man and a few new ones I’ve invented, are used on a regular basis in my mind.  I’m not sure why (maybe I was a truck driver in a past life) but I am swearing up a storm most of the time so I really make a concerted effort to filter it all out as much as possible before I speak because it’s just not well, lady like or PG for my kids’ sake.

In addition to my sophisticated high class vocabulary, I also seem to have a drunken sailor stumbling around in here too because I have an impulsive raunchy side to my thought process that enables me to turn almost anything into something sexual with or without an alcohol induced state.  I’m still undecided if this skill is a gift or a curse.  Any simple comment, an innuendo, play on words, visual picture and BAM! the X rated peanut gallery appears out of nowhere.  So most all of the time, I filter that out too (and trust me, I have to censor A LOT even as I am typing) because I would never want to be offensive or inappropriate for anyone.  (So if you secretly want a little more sizzle, just say the word and I’m right there with ya!)

I truly have no idea where this all of comes from and assume it’s all that masculine energy running around crazy within me so I just live with it as my own little secret form of mental entertainment.  I think would describe my humor in its unfiltered glory as “sassy” which I define as 1/2 smart ass and 1/2 sexy (or sex related) complete with a black garter belt and stockings (sorry, that was inserted courtesy of the book whore and she says Hi!) and well, obviously that can be quite a package! Back to my point…

Oh, yes. Humor.  I wouldn’t say I enjoy slap stick type humor as my best friend Barb knows, but prefer more quick witted humor and I love irony. (Insert song clip here; It’s like rain on your wedding day, courteous of Alanis Morissette)  And then add a little dose of sarcasm and voila, yep, there it is.  The world according to Me.  But who likes a smart ass?  Um, no one.  I used to try it out on my sister when we were younger and found that it only resulted in physical objects hurling toward me at extremely high velocities. And who likes everything layered in sexual overtones (Me!), Um, not many either.  Sure it’s fun to be flirtatious but it doesn’t seem like a chick appreciated quality, more of a guy thing (and was definitely a hit at work when I was the only female in an all male fantasy football league) but it learned it’s best to keep that under wraps too.  So back into the closet I go to roam around in the deep dark corners of my sick mind.

My introversion surprises many people, especially those who know me from a career perspective because being in Sales/Leadership roles, I extrovert myself all day long, but in doing so, this is not where I get my energy from.  Introverts get their energy from within (internally) and Extroverts get their energy from their environment (externally).  This is outlined by one of my favorite tools, Myers-Briggs, which classifies and breaks down your first instinctive natural responses or personality type descriptors into 4 segments, the first one being Introvert or Extrovert. Please note either is great and you can spend time in both sides but its geared to uncover your first tenancy and states that is usually the most dominate.   I can usually observe or ask someone a couple of questions to tell quickly their personality type…

1) Do you speak before you think (Extrovert); or think before you speak (Introvert)?

2) Are you energized by your surroundings (Extrovert) or do you find it draining (Introvert)? Where do you like to recharge?

3) Do you by choice have a lot of friends and like to keep your schedule very full; especially enjoy a lot of social or group environments (Extrovert) or have a few friends and prefer more time alone and like one on one conversations (Introvert)?

There is a test that anyone can take but I have found these 3 usually narrow it down pretty quickly.

As an introvert myself, I definitely think about everything before it comes out of my mouth.  That is part of the fun thing about this writing thing is I am kinda being an extrovert without the talking part because of my free flow of consciousness minus the above trash detector.  It’s good to be able to flex your muscles on both sides for true balance. You can always tell the Introverts vs the Extroverts in a conversation or a meeting because the Extroverts usually do most of the talking from beginning to end.  And the Introverts usually will stay quiet until called upon or have more to say after the conversation once they have had a chance to truly digest everything.

I am fascinated by Extroverts because you never know what they are going to say.  They are like real time verbalizing machines working through their own issues, thoughts, general commentary out loud before they actually have a chance to think about what they have actually said.  This is often confusing to an Introvert because we take what Extroverts say as final well thought through information (because that’s what we do)  when really, it’s not that way at all.  All of that thinking that an Introvert does inside their head, Extroverts do outside their head, so to speak. 🙂  It’s really good to remember that when engaging others.

Extroverts often feel like Introverts don’t communicate enough and Introverts feel like Extroverts talk all of the time expressing their stream of consciousness or unconsciousness.  Now, let me throw a twist into it, under stress and pressure, one’s opposite type can get triggered.  Like when sometimes when I am upset, all of this stuff just starts spewing out that I haven’t had a chance to really think about and get clear on before I communicate it.  Yikes, it’s like the lovely filter malfunctions and I can’t turn my motor mouth off!  And for an extrovert who usually has so much to say, everything can get clogged up and they shut down.  Of course, this is just one area of the segmentation and it definitely plays off the other 3 but we’ll go into that another time.

Extroverts are very social and Introverts prefer more of the quiet life and often like to spend time alone or one on one verses big group settings.  That really resonates with me.  I know a lot of people but really choose just to have a very small handful of close friends.

Extroverts love the energy of their surroundings and often get charged up being out and about.  Introverts feel drained at the end of the day and recharge by going within.

I honestly think being an introvert has really served me in my self exploration because I spend a lot of time sorting through all of these insane voices.  Speaking of which, I’m going to get out of the house tonight and head to SF for dinner.  Yes, a little one on one human interaction!   YAHOO!  So, I’m going to hit the road but give some thought to if you are an extrovert or an introvert and think about a few of the close friends, family and coworker to see if you can figure out what they are too!

Until tomorrow…

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2 Responses to Life of an Introvert

  1. I thought I was an extrovert but as I get older I became more of an introvert. Sometimes it changes depending on my mood. I agree with you on introverts and self exploration.

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