- Thank all the individuals, past and present, who have served in the United States military, and on this day, remember and honor those who gave their lives in the service of this country. Amidst the barbeque and the giddiness over the beginning of the summer season, let's take some time to remember the reason this day is a holiday.
- Thank each of you. Saturday was my six-month blogoversary, and since the end of last November, nearly 300 of you have become followers of this blog. I'm really touched by all your comments and participation, and I'll keep working hard to make The Strangest Situation worth your time.
On Friday, I asked you if you were one or the other or both. A significant majority of you (24 out of 37, or 65%), indicated you were introverts. Many of you used phrases like "100%" or "hands down", indicating you're quite definitely introverted. Several of you referenced your Myers-Briggs Type (I have GOT to do a post on that thing, and I will sometime this summer)--and they all started with "I".
Now, this shouldn't be surprising, right? Most of us are writers. And ... generally, writing is a pursuit that includes a lot of activity between the ears. Yes, to be good, you've got to get out of your own head and get others involved, but a lot of the process is solitary. In other words, we are NOT a randomly selected sample. If you polled individuals in the House of Representatives or actors on Broadway, you'd probably get a different result.
If any of you are wondering, yes, I am most definitely an introvert. When I was in college, I took Personality Psychology, and the professor handed out personality inventory results for the entire class (we'd all been assigned numbers, so no one was publicly outed or anything). But my number ... was on the extreme end of the continuum. According to that test, I was the most introverted person in that class of 40 people.
That doesn't mean I'm not socially skilled or don't enjoy being with other people. I do. I'm also quite a good public speaker, and I actually enjoy that kind of thing as long as I know what I'm talking about. However--I dislike parties and crowds. They wear me out quickly. I am easily overwhelmed by both the social expectations and the sensory stimulation. And in general, I am happiest when I have A LOT of alone time.
Many of you said very similar things. Quite a few of you were asking questions or stating you had tendencies toward both extraversion and introversion. In other words, you were saying you didn't fall neatly into either category. A lot of you were really trying to puzzle out "which one" you were--introvert or extrovert.
Now--if you are to believe a lot of these "personality type" tests, personality traits would be distributed like this:
|This is a cute little bimodal distribution.|
If this was the reality, most people fall into one category or another, and only a few people would fall in between. But is that the way things are?
No. Here's the way things are:
normally distributed. MOST people fall somewhere in the middle (about 68%). In other words, if you randomly selected a hundred people from the general population and gave them a test that measured introversion-extroversion, only a few would come out as extremely introverted or extroverted.
Admittedly, if you take our little sample, our curve would probably look more like this:
|This is an adorable positively skewed distribution.|
We're on a continuum.
So! Don't feel bad if you couldn't figure out what type you are, or if you felt like you had qualities of both, or if you are an introvert in some situations/moods and not in others. I'm quite sure you're right. And if you think about this as a continuum, it might make it easier.
On Wednesday, I'll talk more about introversion-extroversion as it relates to social media. But for today--does this make sense? Are you more comfortable thinking about introversion-extroversion (or any persoanlity trait) as a continuum rather than a category you have to fall into? Or do you feel more comfortable as a "type"?