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10 April 2015

I Is For Introverts & Blogging

During April, we're participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Every day (except Sundays), we’ll be doing an alphabet themed post starting with “A is for Adventurous” and ending with “Z is for Zinc”. We've got a theme for every letter sorted except for Y. If you have any ideas for the letter Y, please leave a comment or email. 
 
How many of you would identify yourselves as introverts? If you’re not sure, have a think about the following statements:
  • I am seen as "reflective" or "reserved."
  • I feel comfortable being alone and like things I can do on my own.
  • I prefer to know just a few people well.
  • I sometimes spend too much time reflecting and don't move into action quickly enough.
  • I sometimes forget to check with the outside world to see if my ideas really fit the experience.
Does this sound like you? Then you may be an introvert. 

Or maybe the statements below reflect you better. If so, then you may be an extrovert.
  • I am seen as "outgoing" or as a "people person."
  • I feel comfortable in groups and like working in them.
  • I have a wide range of friends and know lots of people.
  • I sometimes jump too quickly into an activity and don't allow enough time to think it over.
  • Before I start a project, I sometimes forget to stop and get clear on what I want to do and why.
If you’re familiar with Myers-Briggs, then you’ll understand the difference between a preference for introversion vs. extroversion (I’m an INTJ by the way). But if this all sounds like crazy talk to you, then here’s what it’s all about (see here for more info). 

“People with a preference for extroversion are like solar panels. They soak up energy from the external world.” 

“People with a preference for introversion are like rechargeable batteries. They plug themselves in when they’re spent.” 

Whatever your preference, it’s important to keep in mind that everyone extroverts and introverts. And that just because you’re an introvert, doesn’t mean you’re shy or a recluse. You might be, but they’re not related.
Back in the days when I worked in the HR department in corporate la-la land, one of the fun parts of my job was to help people figure our their personality preferences. I particularly enjoyed seeing people’s eyes light up when they realized that it was okay to be an introvert in a world which seems to favor extroverted personalities. 

After I stopped working, so that we could try this nomadic lifestyle of ours for a while, I didn’t think too much about introverts vs. extroverts. But then I ran across some blog posts on the very topic and it made me realize how well suited a nomadic lifestyle (whether it be in an RV, on a boat or traveling around on camel) is for introverts. The beauty of traveling around in an RV or boat is that when needed, you can go off into the boonies or to a remote anchorage to get away from people and recharge your batteries. 

As much fun as it is meeting new people (which is one of the great joys of being a nomad), it can really drain my energy reserves. It was so refreshing to read that other bloggers experience the same thing – whether it is because they have a preference for introversion or are extroverts who just need some solitude from time to time. Here’s a few links to check out – if you know of any others, can you share a link in the comments or drop us an email?  

[Note: As you read these posts, please keep in mind that I have no idea if these folks are introverts or extroverts (unless they’ve explicitly said so), but I found what they’ve written to be thought-provoking on the subject in general.] 

Cherie and Chris from Technomadia have some great posts on the subject on how they balance their need for introversion with the social aspect of RVing including Introverts Swimming in a Pool of Social and An Introvert's Guide to Meeting People While Traveling Full-Time
Nina from Wheeling It wrote a post about Solitude and Freedom which talks about the importance of periods of solitude to recharge, even for extraverted personalities. 
On her About page, Sue from RV Sue and Her Canine Crew talks about how she is a loner who relishes solitude. She opens her heart and her home via her blog and enjoys blogging because she can interact with interesting people without having the meet them. 
Jessica from MJ Sailing talks about being surprised to find that, despite her preference for solitude and spending time just with her husband, she started to crave friends and buddy boats once they started cruising full-time. An interesting illustration how even introverts need to extrovert from time to time and vice versa. 
Ramble and Revel has an interesting post with useful tips about how to meet people on the road when you suffer from social anxiety.

Blogging and other forms of social media are a great way for introverts to connect with others. They can take time to reflect before “speaking” online. They can share their stories without having to stand up and speak in public off the top of their head. They can engage when they want and disengage when they need solitude. I wonder how many bloggers out there are introverts vs. extroverts? 

Are you a blogger? If so, do you identify as an introvert or an extrovert?

If you want to know more about MBTI and introversion vs. extroversion, then check out this site.
 
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16 comments:

  1. I am an extrovert. My hubby more of an introvert and our girls, one of each. I am the one with friends all over the world, as that's how I deal with the long term travel as and extrovert.

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    1. How interesting that one daughter is an introvert and the other an extrovert and that you and your hubby are one of each too!

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  2. I'm an introvert also - and have lived/traveled on a boat as well as the RV now. Good article. Y - yellow flowers (or yellow whatever)?

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    1. The fact that you've lived on water and land is one of the reasons I enjoy your blog so much :-) Thanks for the Y ideas!

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  3. Good topic. I guess the moral of the story is to know yourself. ENTP here, which probably explains why I'm having so much fun being a historic tourguide. Solitude drains me, people energize me. As my friend Ean once put it, You say, "pristine anchorage," I hear "solitary confinement."

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    1. I love the pristine anchorage analogy - such a a great illustration of E vs I people!

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  4. Possibly age has something to do with it too? I feel I get less introverted as I get older. Maybe not working any more means I am not using up my energies dealing with people in an intense way all day, so I have energy left to go,out and forge new bonds.
    Anabel's Travel Blog

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    1. I remember when I was working full-time - I would be often drained by the end of the day and not want to talk to anyone. Now that I'm not working, I can spend my energy where I want to, instead of just on work.

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  5. I'm an ENFP. I'm mostly extrovert now, but I used to be an introvert before college, so I can identify with that and still have moments when I'd rather be alone.

    Jakarta & Bandung, Indonesia [AtoZchallenge]

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    1. Every ENFP I've known has been such a fun and creative person :-)

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  6. Both my Hubby and I are introverts. We always ask each other if we are normal because we are happy to be just at home, and sometimes in different rooms and not speak to each other for hours. But now that you gave me something to think about, we are definitely introverts.

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    1. This made me laugh because it sounds just like us! I often say that I knew my hubby was the right guy for me when I realized that being with him was like being alone, but better.

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  7. How about Y for y-valve? I am an introvert with social anxiety. One of the worst things about sailing is meeting people - which isn't always that hard, but feeling like I have made a real connection with them is. I find time is the best way to get to really know someone -- and, of course when you are moving every couple if days, which we like to do, you just don't have time.

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    1. Great Y suggestion! I know what you mean about meeting people for the first time. It can be challenging. One of the things about sailing is that you have some instant conversation starters - talk about your boats, where you've sailed to etc. I always find it easier to have something in common to talk about when first chatting to complete strangers. But you're right, it isn't the same as really getting to know people over time. So where to do you sail? What kind of boat to you have?

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  8. I had someone categorize me as INTJ, too! And yes I believe I am an introvert, given the pointers above. Blogging suits me as a hobby, but I am happy to "socialize" with blogging friends online.

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    1. Yay - another INTJ! Socializing online is ideal for introverts. And then when you meet your bloggy buddies in person, you already have a basis for conversation.

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We'd LOVE to hear from you! If we're out on the water cruising, our internet access will be limited and it may take a while before we're able to respond to your comments and pay a return visit to your blog, but please know that we will once we can get connected.