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I recently came across a blog post called “How to Get Along with An Introvert” and my first thought was NOT “Gee, maybe I’m an introvert.” I have always assumed that I’m an extrovert because I am friendly, sometimes loud, and sometimes outspoken. And I am usually not drawn to introverted people immediately because they are more difficult to get to know. But some introverts are my closest friends so I thought the article would be an interesting read and hopefully teach me what I could do to improve my people skills. The blog post linked to this article: 23 Signs You’re Secretly an Introvert. And, of course, I had to bite. I thought I’d get insight into the secretive mind of an introvert like the quiet shelves of a library. So I start to read and, as I do, it starts to seem too familiar.

  • #1: You find small talk cumbersome. Cumbersome??? Are you kidding? I find it unbearable, awkward, stilted and completely unnatural. I either talk about the weather or tell an inappropriately personal story about myself.
  • #5: You’ve been called “too intense.” We might be just internet friends and you already know — I’m too intense. I workout too much. I drink too heavily. I eat more pizza than I should. I write bulleted lists. I’m. Too. Intense.

This list goes on for quite a while and I related intimately to 17 of the 23 items on the list. For a self-proclaimed extrovert, that leaves plenty of room for reexamination. Mary, you can’t be calling yourself shy, you say to me, even if you just know me from Merritt and Mary. Shyness does not define my personality but I have serious social reservation in person and doubts even here. I’m an open book kind of person, in that I can be very honest with people, but sometimes putting myself out there is exhausting. And sometimes it can be crippling.

Then I took an online quiz (see #5 again and again) and found that I’m something called an ambivert which means I am a mixed, a tortured mix, of introvert and extrovert.

How about you or are you too much of an introvert to share?

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Mary Galioto
Mary Galioto is the founder, publisher and editor of MercerMe, a lawyer. Originally from Brooklyn, Mary has progressively moved deeper and deeper into New Jersey, settling in the heart of the state: Mercer County. Formerly the author of an embarrassingly informal blog, Mary is a lifelong writer and asker of questions and was even mentioned, albeit briefly, in the New York Times and Washington Post. In her free time, Mary fills her life with mild germaphobia, excessive self-reflection, enthusiastic television viewing, and misguided adventures in random hobbies.

8 COMMENTS

  1. My quiz results came out E/I = Ambivert. I think I am waaayyy more extrovert than that, though. I think my enjoyment of downtime and solitude is due to sheer laziness rather than the need to avoid people and social interactions. Sometimes a girl just needs to watch “A League of Their Own” for the one thousandth time…
    Although, I have terrifyingly low blood pressure and the thought of being called on or singled out makes me want to NEVER attend a comedy show, E.V.E.R.

  2. Very interesting quiz! I identified with 21 of the introvert traits which is really not surprising at all. Small talk is the worst especially when it’s obvious you do not click at all with the person you’re speaking with and then you have to break away in the most polite manner- which always seems rude no matter how well you plan it.

    • Small talk is awful. I was thinking I could use small talk instructions — like talking points. And YES. Exiting a conversation can be just as painful as starting one.

  3. Thanks for the mention, Mary! I took the quiz and was not surprised that I scored as an introvert. But I have to say, I didn’t realize I was an introvert until the last few years and I’m well into my 30’s. I have a career (corporate training) where I speak in front of people and have never thought of myself as a hermit or anything, so assumed I was an extrovert. After doing some reading, I’ve realized all introverts are not hermits and afraid to be around people. My new found knowledge of what introverts really are has helped me realize that this is my personality and better accommodate for it, making life happier and easier for me! Great post!!

  4. Hmmm… i used to think i was an extrovert to end all extroverts but after reading this, maybe i’m not. I’m off to take that quiz!

  5. I’m a complete introvert married to a total extrovert. It can be exhausting at times but I use it to my advantage and make him carry both of us in conversations in public!

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