“Matthew, much to his own surprise, was enjoying himself. Like most quiet folks he liked talkative people when they were willing to do the talking themselves and did not expect him to keep up his end of it.”
-L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables (maybe)
We like to have a laugh here on this site. Once, twice, maybe even three times we’ve taken the low road, but today we are going to step into the more mature and self respecting daily bucket of knowledge. We are going to talk about something a little more thought provoking, and possibly describes a large majority of the Internet visiting folk (probably you). Let’s talk about Introverts and Extraverts and learn what they are. Even if unfortunately no one seems to agree on how exactly to define them.
THIS SEEMS EXCESSIVE
Myers & Briggs
Katherine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers gave birth to the personality “type” movement. In tandem they completely revolutionized the way we see other people, and more importantly, the way we see ourselves. Some disagree on their assumptions about everything, but we’re too lazy to find a more reputable source, so we’ll stick with them for now.
Katherine, the mother and “Briggs” in the duo, started her work in 1917 exploring the different types of personalities. She concludes that four types fit the bill: thoughtful, spontaneous, executive, and social. She wrote a couple articles in the late 1920s, and eventually passed the torch onto her daughter Isabel who ran wild with the concept.
Isabel, the “Myers”, originally started off as a mystery/fiction writer penning Murder Yet to Come in 1929, and later Give Me Death in 1934. Their single 5 star and un-rated respective reviews on Amazon (at the time of writing this, go buy it maybe) leave the jury out on how they are currently received. However, she did find more success in later writings as we’ll find out.
The pair published the Briggs Myers Type Indicator Handbook in 1944, which apparently didn’t feel right, so they switched it to “Myers-Briggs Type Indicator” in 1956. After some success, they went on to release the MBTI Manual in 1962, which was the backbone of the test they use today. You can take the current test online (it’s not free), OR you can find a similar replacement by punching a few words into Google.
WITH ALL THESE OPTIONS, IT’S ALMOST AS IF EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT OR SOMETHING
So what do they even have to do with Introverts and Extraverts? And why can’t I find Give Me Death at Barnes and Noble?
Extra/Intro-version, MBTI, and C.G. Jung
“Does anyone else panic when the cashier makes eye contact with you during check out? lolz #introvertproblems”
-Half the Internet (maybe)
The above is the dumbest widely accepted definition of Introverts that you’ll stumble across currently. Plainly: that’s not introversion, that’s social anxiety disorder (or like any of a bunch of personality disorders). Social anxiety is what we’ve come to accept as introversion, with extraverts being the smooth and outgoing social butterflies. But it isn’t actually how it’s defined. So how is it defined? Well this is where Myers-Briggs plays a part.
Our mother-daughter combo, and subsequently the MBTI, were strongly influenced by the psychiatrist C.G. Jung. The dude, in simple terms, was influential as f*ck. He worked with Freud, impacted everything from religious studies to quantum mechanics, and most importantly had his theories showcased in the video game Persona. Also, he basically coined the words introversion and extraversion, giving us our actual definitions, aside from what you might find on Whisper.
PRIDE OF SWITZERLAND
Jung proposed that the main dividing point on intro/extraversion is all about energy. Simply, where do you recharge your batteries? Going out to a party and socializing with your friends reboots your system? That’s extraversion. Sitting and staring at the sunset while thinking about life sets you at ease? That’s introversion. So if you have an easier time getting your energy from the ‘outside world’ you’d be considered an extravert. Introverts need to recoup their energy from ‘inside world’ with thought and reflection. Sociability and awkwardness can indicate one type or the other, but it isn’t actually what DEFINES you that type.
DOES ANYONE HAVE AN iPHONE CABLE? LIKE SERIOUSLY GUYS, IM ABOUT TO PASS OUT
So…what does that mean?
It means you aren’t an introvert because you awkwardly waved at someone on the street who was waving at the person behind you. That’s just an embarrassing thing that happened to you. No you aren’t Johnny Depp smooth because you’re an extravert, and you don’t need to be the life of the party either. Introverts aren’t necessarily smarter than extraverts, and extraverts aren’t necessarily cooler than introverts.
In summation, how you perform socially has nothing to do with being one or the other. So please find another excuse for why you are “quiet” and “reserved”, or “loud” and “crazy”.
I’M JUST AN EXTRAVERT BRO
What you have learned today
- Introversion≠Social Anxiety
- Extraversion≠Life of the Party
- It’s spelled extrAversion, because Jung said so