“Don’t underestimate me because I’m quiet. I know more than I say, think more than I speak and observe more than you know.” ~ Michaela Chung
I’ve always know that I’m an introvert. So when I took the Myers-Briggs questionnaire as part of a work-related exercise, it came as no surprise to me that I am classed as an INFJ personality-type. This table should explain that term to anyone unfamiliar with it:
I didn’t really think about it until lately, when a former college classmate had taken the questionnaire and asked me about my results. I told him that I was an INFJ and that I fully accepted this description of me. He seemed surprised, as an extrovert himself, that I considered myself introverted. I suppose, on the surface, I appear very comfortable in company and I am able to make idle small-talk with the best of them (topics of choice: the weather, whatever Trump has done this week, the rising cost of saffron), but I know myself that I am much more comfortable either by myself or with a small group of people whom I know well. It was what he said next that really sums up the misconception about introverts:
It’s just… aren’t introverts…like…a little weird and awkward?
Full disclosure: Yes, I can be a little weird and awkward. And there’s nothing wrong with that (okay, so I probably should be supervised using adult scissors and I definitely shouldn’t be left alone with your boss, but that’s just common sense). But come on, I’m not some bumbling Hugh Grant archetype who can’t string a coherent sentence together without peeing myself.
Introverts aren’t socially inept idiots. While we may not embrace social gatherings with the same enthusiasm as our extroverted counterparts, it doesn’t mean we don’t like or even enjoy them from time to time. It also doesn’t mean that we’re incapable of conversing with others in a meaningful way. Introverts tend to listen to and really think about what you are saying. It is only when one is quiet that you can really listen. We are contemplative and reflective. That is not necessarily a sign of shyness and most definitely not a sign of weakness.
I want to banish the misconception that introverts are somehow ineffectual loners who loathe human contact. You can be introverted and lead a fulfilling, successful life. You can work and socialise like any other person. You value your own company because it allows you time to think, to reflect, to create, to be.
Being alone doesn’t mean you’re lonely. Sometimes, I feel most lonely in a room full of people because a situation like that often prevents deep, meaningful communication. Conversations at social gatherings can be inanely superficial.
I’ve grown to love my own company. I love the silence of it (well, I’m sometimes silent… there are those days I get my Celine Dion on…). I love listening to my inner voice in that silence… although she’s usually telling me that she wants fro yo and a Storage Wars marathon.
So I’m choosing to own my introversion. I’m not ashamed of it, and you shouldn’t be either. In fact, without this aspect of my personality, I don’t think I would be blogging. It’s allowed me to be a much more introspective person and that’s key to personal blogging really, isn’t it? That and cats…lots of cats.
So tell me about your personality; are you an introvert? Or are you more extroverted? (nothing wrong with that, of course *awkwardly bumps you on the arm*)