How to Simplify the Myers-Briggs Personality Type chart of Identify Your Inner Introvert
You’ve heard do of the Myers-Briggs personality Type chart which uses personality traits like emotional connectedness, anxiety levels, and analytical behaviors to type people into one of 16 different categories (and people like us into one of 8 types of introvert). However, There’s a much simpler model I prefer that funnels the Myers-Briggs introvert personality types further, distilling them to their most basic elemental form. This chart denotes the four types of introvert that you’ll meet in everyday life.
The Social Introvert
The social introvert is the most gregarious of all introvert personality types. While they still shy away from large groups, they often engage deeply with a selected handful of very close friends and acquaintances. In contrast to the stereotypical introvert, they’re not shy at all and offer a quiet shoulder to cry on or a stable emotional rock for their extroverted friends.
The Thinking Introvert
The thinking introvert most often lives in their own head. These are the people that must analyze everything. They create in depth daydreams, fantasies, hypotheses, and then apply various mental tests to these creations to better understand the outside world. Many of the most famous introverted geniuses (like Einstein and Gandhi) fall into this category.
The Anxious Introvert
The anxious introvert is most-likely the personality type responsible for the stereotypical introvert you might see portrayed in movies and television. These are the super-shy folks with social anxiety that can reach crippling levels. They’re also often very self-aware of their bodies and overly critical about what other people might think about them. However, even people who deal with the struggles associated with this introvert personality type can carve out a very successful life for themselves if they understand how their own brain works.
The Restrained Introvert
The restrained introvert is typically closed off, doesn’t open up easily to strangers, and is reserved in their actions. However, once an outsider is allowed into a restrained introvert’s inner circle, they can very quickly and easily become that individual’s best friend and most-trusted ally. These folks create ride-or-die relationships that can last lifetimes.
But what makes someone an introvert? It’s not about being shy or preferring to be alone. Introversion is a syndrome caused by biological differences that appear before birth.
By Overthinking Introverts Can Often Isolate Themselves—Dwelling in Self-Doubt and Negative Self-Talk or Simply by Failing to Practice Timely Participation in Conversations
Do a quick Google search: what is an introvert? You’ll find more smoke and hokum than you ever thought possible. People’s opinions of us range from “shy” and “quiet” through “thoughtful” to “intellectual” or even “cerebral,” These are all introvert personality traits that are—rightly or wrongly—applied to all of us across the board simply because people just don’t understand what an introvert really is.
Introversion isn’t a lifestyle we’ve chosen for ourselves.
Introversion isn’t a trendy buzzword we apply because we spotted it in a hashtag on Instagram.
Introversion isn’t shyness or a preference to be alone.
Introversion is a real biological difference that can be measured at very basic levels that run far deeper than the psychological differences that pop up.
However, one statement about introverts you’ll find floating around on the Internet is true: we overthink things all the time.
Proponents of introversion—mostly those of us (like Susan Cain) who have used our introvert powers for good and have carved out a bit of the collective human attention for themselves—they call that being “analytical.” I don’t know about you but sometimes when my mind is on overdrive it feels like a hamster spinning on a squeaky wheel.
This happens most often at night. When I’m trying to sleep. Because I have something important to do the next day.
How to Spot the Signs of Introversion in Yourself and Others and Use Them to Make your Life Better
The term introvert has been bandied about a lot recently—as have other trendy psychological buzzwords (like hypocrite, triggered, narcissist, self-care, and mindfulness). And like many of those other words adopted by people who spend far too much time on scrolling various social feeds on their phones and digesting click-bait articles, introvert (or introversion) has been shorn of its original meaning. In fact, labelling someone as an introvert or stating that you yourself are “such an introvert” has become sort of cool, in a weird way. Why? Why do people adopt any of these self-imposed labels? Because it’s neat to be in on the minority (introverts only makeup an estimated 33% of the human population); because they don’t really understand what it means (like how being OCD doesn’t just mean you like things neat and tidy—let’s talk about intrusive thoughts and rituals for a while, shall we?); because they may possess some introvert traits—most people—even the biggest extroverts around—do. Regardless of the why behind this relatively recent popularity of the introvert, this particular personality type (Actually a group of various personality types which share common traits) has become a hot topic.
There have been major books written about how introverts can survive and even thrive in a world built by and for extroverts (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain, creator of The Quiet Revolution). Learning how to use introvert personality types to their fullest potential in leadership positions has become a whole subset of the self-help publishing sector. Introversion has become a topic (and a title) for popular music and music videos from major rising stars like Little Simz. Introverted characters have even become a popular trope (though often misrepresented) in popular movies like The Avengers, Big Hero Six, and many more. “Introvert” has even become a popular target for internet marketers who need to drive traffic to their websites so they slap it in just about every title for an article or blog post they can think of.
For those of us who have been introverts all our lives, this new-found interest in how our brain works is exciting, validating, and—at the same time—a bit offensive. But, like the good introvert I am, I’m going to analyze this phenomenon a bit and (because I’m always trying to push myself out of my comfort zone) I’m taking you with me.
So, let’s dig into this a little bit and see what really makes an introvert an introvert.
How Introverts Can Learn to Thrive in a World Created by (and for) Extroverts
In the video, Susan warms up the crowd by telling a story about the first time she was sent to summer school as a nine-year-old. Her parents packed a suitcase full of books for her to read because it seemed like a perfectly normal thing to do. However, Susan was immediately hit by the realization that this summer camp was to be more like a “Keg party without any alcohol” from the very first day. Not only did her fellow campers ostracize her but the “adult” camp counsellors told her to “work really hard” at being outgoing.
Unconscious Bias Shapes How the World Thinks About Introverts (and How We Think About Ourselves)
This story shines a light on a very powerful bias that many people either don’t know about or don’t like to admit has such a strong hold on our lives:
The world has been trying to tell us that being an introvert is wrong, bad, or just slightly incorrect for as long as we can remember!
This bias has been internalized by so many introverts (and extroverts alike) that we’ve adapted to a history of “self-negating choices made reflexively.”