I’ve always considered myself an introvert and never really thought much about the definition. I have a lot of hobbies that don’t require other people to be involved, such as reading, writing and doing crafts. So I’m pretty happy with spending a lot of my time alone. However, I recently joined some facebook groups for introverts and feel like I am very different from many of the members. It has led me to dive deeper into the discussion of introversion and extroversion and how I want to define myself, moving forward.
I’m not really that big into labels and for me, the whole conversation of whether I am an introvert or extrovert is moot. Of course, I could just say that I am an ambivert or an omnivert but from what I read, I don’t fit in with either of those definitions, either. If I were to create a label for my personality traits, I think I would say I am a “Selectivert”.
One of the primary things that I kept hearing in the introvert groups is that introverts don’t like large groups of people and need to recharge after being around them. To me, that only applies to being around the wrong kind of people.
I have a lot of deep thoughts and ideas going on in my mind and I have no desire whatsoever to keep them to myself. I am very creative and love to work with other creative people. I am altruistic and like to work with others who also want to “change the world for the better.” I have a quick wit and humor and I love to be around people who appreciate that and give that back. I have spiritual ideas and I love to meet other people who share those ideas. So I spend time trying to meet other people to see if we “get” each other. And when I do come across people like that, I want to be friends with them and keep them in my life.
I don’t need to recharge from a crowd of people if we are all on the same “wavelength” for lack of a better term. Those kind of people help energize me. Crowded art shows energize me because I talk to the artists. Comedy clubs or musical performances inspire me and, of course, they can be watched online. But they are a hundred times better (to me) when you experience the feedback from the rest of the crowd. Working on community projects where we are all building a zoo or a children’s playground have been some of the most fulfilling times of my life, even with hundreds of other people around. The only reason I may need to recharge from these things are because I expended a lot of physical energy there.
On the other hand, parties or social gatherings that are full of obnoxious people, people that attack my ideas, etc. drain me. It’s not because I am an introvert. It’s just emotionally draining to be around buzz-kills and the world seems to be full of people trying to discourage others and I selectively choose not to associate with them.
Compatible people recharge me, even in large groups. Incompatible people drain me. It’s as simple as that. I am a selective extrovert, in my opinion. However, if I take almost any Myers Briggs type test, it will say I am an introvert just because I like peace and quiet. Honestly, I think those tests are set up to not give you enough options. But like I said, I think the point is moot.
Some people believe that introversion and extroversion are a matter of genetics. And, according to the website selfdecode.com*, based on my genetics, I am “Likely more introverted based on 3,535 genetic variants” that they examined.
It wasn’t too long ago that we only had a few words for gender. Now there are MANY. In my mind, the same is true for the terms introvert and extrovert. Those might be qualities we are born with but who we are now depends on a million other factors that have influenced our lives. There are also other labels such as empath and HSP which might fit into the whole equation for me and others.
Somebody in a facebook group I am in commented on one of my posts yesterday and said, “Why are you trying to fit into a circle when you are a star?” I love that! I think groups that are JUST for introverts or JUST for extroverts are sort of closed circles. And I don’t think I fit in a circle.
If you think about the shape of a star, it has many points radiating out from a central core and I believe that describes most people. We are not just one thing or another. We have many facets. I don’t feel that my introversion or extroversion status is one of my most defining facets. So those facebook groups are limiting to me.
Anyway, personally, I need the right people in my life to inspire me and encourage me. I definitely need people who can make me laugh. So I’m just going to keep calling myself a “selectivert” and keep searching for the people who inspire me.
You can read more about the 16 Myers-Briggs Personality types by following this link: Myers&Briggs Foundation
You can read more about empaths and the HSP personality type here:
The Difference Between Introverts, Empaths, and Highly Sensitive People
Selfdecode is a website that “provides personalized health recommendations based on a combination of your DNA, labs, and environmental factors”. I’ve used their site for years for health issues but I recently searched their site for introversion and extroversion and it gave me a report based on my previously uploaded genetic profile.