You are neither an Introvert nor an Extrovert.
If you think you’re one, the other or in-between – then you’ve been sadly mislead and it’s not your fault.
This article focuses on the myths and fallacies of introversion and extroversion, what it means to you and how it effects your life.
For years you’ve been duped into believing you’re one, the other or somewhere in the middle. If you worry or think as an introvert or an extrovert you’ve been made to feel less than human insular and standoffish by one standard, overbearing and a nuisance by the other and wish to understand what it is that drives you and why you do what you do, then this article is for you.
The common misconception is that an introvert is shy and suffers from social anxiety with a preference for their own solitude; their own company. The extrovert on the other hand is domineering, loud, brash and likes to be centre of attention.
The terms introversion and extroversion come from the work of Carl Jung and later typified in the personality profiling work of Myers Briggs. Many organisations today use the Myers Briggs type indicators to determine your personality preferences as a means to help them with the job application and interview process.
As with many personality indicators rumours abound and misconceptions occur. The crass preference then becomes fact. Introverts are shy and social outcasts, extroverts are loud, brash and the soul of the party…
…and they’ve been sadly mislead.
Introversion and extroversion and has less to do with personality and who you are but more to do with how you respond to stimulation.
For years I’ve been lead to think I was an extrovert – outgoing, easy to make friends, loud (sometimes), enjoy the lime-light, sometimes a little brash 😉 and so on….but how wrong I was when I completed this test!
The simple test below will show you what I found out.
This test is taken from the BBC Child of Our Time series by Prof. Robert Winston
The Test: Which one are you?
What you need. 1-4 sheets of A4 Paper. 1 Lemon cut in half
1) Take an A4 sheet of paper, hold it in front of you and lick along one edge and continue going until you run out of saliva, that is your tongue dries up on the paper. If you get to the end of the paper, turn it over and use the other side. Continue going on each side until you run out and your tongue feels dry on the paper.
2) Then make a mark or an indication of how far you licked.
3) Take the 1/2 lemon and squirt on your tongue. Now take some new A4 sheets and repeat 1)
Now measure the difference.
- Is there little or no difference?
- Is there a huge difference?
- How much extra saliva did the lemon produce?
(no lemon, paper? you can do this if you’re good with your imagination – follow the guide below)
- Clearly see in your minds eye a freshly cut lemon coming to your mouth
- Picture it in detail, smell the zest of the lemon as it comes closer
- Imagine putting the lemon into your mouth while squeezing and chewing it deeply
If you started to salivate or found it hard to even imagine getting a lemon nr. your mouth then this demonstrates how easily your olfactory senses are stimulated. (introvert)
If nothing happened then this demonstrates that you require more stimulation for your senses to be enabled. (extrovert)
(for a full proper test, use the physical method as described above).
The Test Answers
Go to page 2