Today for Friday Reflections, one of the prompts asks whether you’re an introvert or an extravert. An introvert is someone who derives their energy from within themselves. An extravert derives their energy from other people. Introverts are usually quieter, thinking before they act, whereas extraverts act on the fly. Introverts often prefer to have a few close frineds, while extraverts prefer a larger circle of acquaintances.
When doing personality tests online, like those based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), but even when doing more valid personality tests, I always score as strongly introverted. Indeed, I am a thinker rather than a doer, I can’t stand large group situations, and the closest to a friend I have is my husband.
Online on the other hand, I tend to be much more outgoing. I crave attention from others and am the type of person who has hundres of Facebook “friends” she’s never met or even only occasionally speaks to. I love large groups online, although group chats can be overwhelming. That’s probably more to do with the speed of conversation not being in line with my screen reader’s speed and my Braille reading skills.
What causes this distinction between my online and offline tendencies? It can’t be that I’m anonymous in the online world, because on Facebook, which I most frequently use, I am not. I wonder whether it has more to do with my expressive abilities in real life. In other words, could I be really more extraverted in real life if I had a better ability to communicate and process social situatiosn?
Could, indeed, introversion be the outward presentation of social ineptness? I am not so sure. I am clearly the passive type in the aloof/passive/active-but-odd typology of autism spectrum disorders, not the active-but-odd one. That is, not usually. Sometimes, as I have mentioned before, I am way too open about my private life. I don’t just mean my blog, although I’ve been in situations where I hurt people’s feelings or embarrassed myself with my openness while blogging too. I also mean that I just don’t realize who I can and can’t disclose things to in real life, too. Like I said, in high school I’d tell kids I’d just acquainted all my problems. I still am like this today to an extent.
I may not be as extremely introverted as I seem. Though I don’t handle large groups well, I do like some sorts of smalltalk. I’m not good at it, but I like it. I also think I might derive some of my energy from other people.
Now of course no-one is 100% introverted or extraverted, but on tests I usually score about 95% introverted. That may not be all that correct.