Introverts and Extroverts


Have you ever taken the Myers-Briggs personality test? (If not, click here to take a version of it online.)

You have probably taken the test – or something like it – in a military leadership class during the course of your career, and it is always interesting to see in which category you fall.

But I don’t need a test to tell me I am an introvert. In a crowded room, my preferred position would be in the corner, facing the wall. After a big event, all I want to do is sit in a dark, quiet place and recover. When you tell an extovert, “When I’m with you, it’s like being alone”, he or she will take that as an insult. An introvert sees it as the ultimate compliment.

My wife is an introvert too. When we get back from church, we crash on the sofa and relax until our energy gets replenished.

But not my daughter. She is an extrovert. In the Myers-Briggs format, she wouldn’t just be an E, she would be an E! Extroverts get energy from crowds (introverts get their energy sucked out of them), and after church she is on fire. Her eyes are ablaze and she needs to burn off all the vitality she gained by being in contact with her people. She does this by running laps around her parents who are busy sitting on the couch. The combined introvertness of two adults is too powerful for the extrovertness of a 20-month-old, however, and eventually her energy subsides – much like an oil fire is smothered with a layer of AFFF (aqueous film-forming foam).

My test said I was somewhere between ISJT and INTJ. According to the site, I am responsible, dependable, and I have, “…an exceptional ability to turn theories into solid plans of action.”

It also says I have little interest in the other people’s thoughts or feelings, that other people may have a difficult time understanding me (a little distressing to a cartoonist), that I am doomed to work long hours and that I can be, “…unwittingly taken advantage of.”

So if I’m reading this right, I don’t like people, no one gets my jokes, and when I put in a lot of time on a project, no one will care.

It’s enough to make me want to stand in the corner and stare at the wall.


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1 Comment

  1. Jeff,
    Do you find yourself often humming the little tune that goes something like … “nobody likes me, everybody hates, I think I’ll go eat worms.”

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