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.
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.
“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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