Participation Required: Introvert or Extrovert

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103 Responses

  1. Paige says:

    Well, if you are an introvert, then, that’s a good thing because we benefit from your musings and putting thoughts into writing!

    I’m an Ambivert…..:-) which is a fancy way of disguising my mood swings. 🙂

  2. Michael says:

    I was never able to peg you on this one.
    I remember when you used to walk into church and it was like someone turned on an extra set of lights…so much presence and energy that the whole place lit up.
    Then you would disappear…
    I wondered if, like me, you were torn both ways.

  3. Ricky Bobby says:

    Looks like I’m an Extrovert, but two or three answers away from an Ambi-vert.

    Some of those questions were pretty clear cut “true” or “false” a couple others was a coin toss.

  4. Paige says:

    Oh, dear, that is quite a compliment. …. I disappeared to do dishes, change a diaper, pick up trash or clean bathrooms! hahahahah “my bathroom ministry”. Still doing that one.

  5. London says:

    When I’ve done the Myers Briggs, I end up pretty much on the middle on this one. I think at my core though I’m introverted. I need time away from people to be able to “psych myself up” for another round of being with people.
    When I was in England I saw a great BBC show that followed a group of people around, watched how they reacted with others, did their jobs etc. All of it was designed for the viewers to try to determine if the folks were introverted or extroverted.
    There was one scene where the group got back from some activity or the other, and some stayed in the common area to relax and talk about it, while some went up to their rooms and took a nap or just had “down time” for a while, then went back out to the rest of the group.
    From the scene at the common room after they returned, you’d never be able to tell that those who returned were actually introverts. They were having just as much fun, being just as loud, and active as everyone else.
    The key, we learned later, was that they had taken a little bit of “down time” and refueled their inner energy instead of trying to not be a “party pooper” and force themselves to stay in the room where they would have just felt and made everyone else miserable.
    It was an eye opening series and I was finally able to give myself permission to take some “down time” between events or after having been with a bunch of people for long periods of time.
    I do it at work by hiding out in my cubicle, if I’m traveling, I alwsys take about 1/2 an hour in my hotel room to “change clothes” (really just taking a break), or driving in my car for a while during lunch.
    It helps me keep from being too grumpy or feeling boxed in.

  6. Michael says:


    I’m just guessing, but I’d say you were an extrovert.
    I also know fully well that you can’t really know that from how people interact online.

  7. Michael says:


    That was a great description of how I also deal with being in public.
    Well done…

  8. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael, I think I was an introvert when I was young, as I succumbed to being dominated and abused.

    I began to become an extrovert as I slowly deprogrammed from the cult-like dynamics of that situation and began to assert myself more and more. I had to “become” an extrovert in the Ad Agency and publishing biz I owned as it required a lot of interaction with the public, media interviews, etc.

    Now, at this age and experience, I have a lot of self-confidence which lends to being an extrovert. I don’t despise people, but I don’t give them the kind of power to really care too much what they think. If they like me, OK (I don’t let it get me too high) and if they don’t like me, well you-know-what them (and I don’t let it get me too low). I care about what close friends and family think, and that’s about it.

    In the pawn biz, you have to like talking to folks, or you’ll stink at it. I love the interaction (mostly)…it can be quite entertaining. Better than TV LOL.

  9. Michael says:

    I was off the charts good at sales because I was able to turn it into a one on one private type of interaction.
    Still, at the end of the day I was drained…felt like I’d spent the day with vampires.
    Some of them were…

  10. Ricky Bobby says:

    I can see that. I think most folks are introverts and love that one-on-one attention and caring. And, I can see that many would latch onto that when you provided it b/c it’s probably the rare human-to-human interaction they get in their lives that is positive.

    Most people are scared to death of other people, are highly insecure, paranoid, etc. Fear grips most folks. They admire extroverts (which tend to made into pastors, celebrities, politicians, talking heads, radio personalities, business leaders/gurus etc) but can’t really interact at a human-to-human level with them due to the lack of deep caring and ability to connect one-on-one by the extrovert and fear of rejection on the part of the introvert who feels inferior and insecure.

    An introvert coming across another caring introvert is a recipe for a very long long sales experience, complete with life story and list of problems etc LOL.

  11. Michael says:


    You’d be surprised by how many pastors are introverts.
    Yes, my sales took longer…takes a while to unload all the baggage. 🙂

  12. London says:

    Introverts are not scared of other people.

    If you read any classic definition of Introverts/Extoverts, you’ll find that it is about where they get their energy from, not about insecurity, arrogance or any of those other things.

    There are plenty of bold introverts who are not afraid to speak their minds, lead other people and deal well with people.

    But then…they need to step away for a while to have time to recharge on their own.

    Extroverts recharge from being around other people. They may be the ones who are afraid of interaction, but they do it because they get more energy from it than sitting alone reading a book or whatever.

  13. Xenia says:

    Heh, I have done sailed right past Introvert and landed myself in the realm of hermitess.

    Only one I missed was “thinking before I speak.”

  14. Xenia says:

    Usually in the course of the week the only people I talk to are church and family members and sometimes I find myself avoiding them! Except my dog. I never get tired of her company.

  15. Xenia says:

    Of course, I talk to you people here endlessly.

  16. Michael says:


    I have to be intentional about not becoming a hermit.
    I think that’s why God put Trey in my life…forces me out into the world. 🙂

  17. Xenia says:

    I can’t get away with being a total hermit because I am surrounded by cheerful neighbors, lovable family members and a church that is a family in the truest sense of the word. Plus, I have a home library of nearly 2000 volumes and a garden w/ hens and with all these riches I am extremely content never to leave home.

  18. Kevin H says:

    Well, I took the quiz and I am most definitely an introvert. No surprise for me there. Maybe I don’t come across that way here, but just like one of the quiz questions was getting at, I express myself better in writing than I often do in real life conversation.

    When I was single, I think I fared fairly well with my introvertedness. I was probably a little less introverted then. But since getting married 10 years ago, there has been a whole other set of challenges. My wife is an extrovert and so are most of her close family members. Add in the steady depression I’ve been dealing with for years now and of course my own sin nature on top of my considerable introvertedness, and things don’t always go so well.

  19. INTROVERT. Big time. Always have been. I’m like Michael in that I could easily become a hermit. I have a wonderful wife and two kids, and if it wasn’t for them, no one would ever see me. I’ve gotten a lot better over the years, probably because of medication.

  20. Michael says:

    Kevin H,

    When I have a bout of depression on top of my natural inclinations, you almost have to force me out of the house at gunpoint.
    That’s tough combo…

  21. Kevin H says:

    I would add myself to the hermit crowd, except that you’d probably be hard pressed to ever find a “crowd” of hermits. 🙂

  22. Michael says:


    You’re a worship leader…how comfortable are you in front of all those people?
    I have to switch personalities…

  23. Michael says:


    I can hear my books calling my name when I’m not home… 🙂

  24. covered says:

    Introvert all the way. This seems odd because as a pastor, I am probably viewed as an extrovert. Being alone or just hanging out with my wife is my favorite place to be.

  25. Kevin H says:

    I’ve heard of some famous people who were introverts that you would have never guessed unless you knew more about them. Johnny Carson and David Letterman are a couple that come to mind.

  26. Michael says:


    This is one of the reasons I’ve always loved Calvin.
    He was very introverted…but God made him live his adult life as a public figure and center of attention.
    I always thought we’d understand each other…

  27. Michael says:

    Carson’s sister lived here in a swank retirement facility that my mom worked for.
    He would come to visit…and he was always very nice, but obviously painfully shy.

  28. Tim says:

    @11 – I agree. I think many pastors are introverts…and apparently, according to the quiz, I’m one.

  29. I’m actually pretty comfortable in front of a group. One-on-one is just too intimate. Groups are worse, but yeah, me in front of a group, I’m fine.

  30. Nonnie says:

    I too am Ambivert E/I. 20 years ago I would have rocked the extrovert scale, but age has mellowed me.

  31. Jim says:

    Test says I’m an Ambivert. My sales career sounds similar to Michael’s. One guy I worked for would always say that he didn’t understand how I could sell a thing. Meanwhile, I broke all of his company’s individual records. He was all tell a joke, slap a guy on the back, and I was all business, selling with logic and not emotion. I would tell some potential clients that we probably weren’t the best fit. The account would be reassigned, some hot shot would sell a 12 month contract, which would be broken by the client two months later.

    He ending up hiring me to run his sales team, which gave the firm their best year in their 30 year history.

    I think I’m an introvert who loves people. I’m not shy at all, I just want to sit on the balcony with my wife and read a book.

  32. filbertz says:

    I’m an extrovert according to the quiz, but know I have a quiet, reserved side that I am quite comfortable with.

  33. j2theperson says:

    I’m an introvert and I’m also shy (but getting better about that). I’m way more extroverted than my husband, though.

  34. Steve Wright says:

    I am very much an introvert…even a couple of the false answers I gave could have gone either way.

  35. Paige says:

    Michael, you hear your books calling when you are away? 🙂 I hear the laundry, dishes and dust ‘bunnies’.

  36. I took the test, but I already knew the answer.
    I have always been an introvert.
    Better than I was when I was younger in some ways.
    Worse in other ways.

  37. jamesk says:

    I consider myself a shy extrovert. I hate one on one situations.

  38. Gary says:

    I prefer one on one. I don’t much care for crowds, especially hermit crowds.

  39. UM….

    EXTROVERT who likes to retreat after the party and have a quiet two hours alone with NOTHING to do but argue on the internet with idiots who don’t recognize my all-knowing wisdom.

    Yes I even tried to answer in the Ambivert way BUT


    SO WHAT?


  40. Jeff Sheckstein says:

    I’ m a pervert

  41. Linnea says:

    Introvert and love Susan Cain’s work…need downtime away from people to recharge and prefer answering emails to talking on the phone…

  42. Gary says:

    Convert. 😉

  43. Ricky Bobby says:

    Classic Sheck, LOL! 😆

  44. Ricky Bobby says:

    Dread, you and I have a lot in common LOL.

  45. Ricky Bobby says:

    “Introverts are not scared of other people.”

    Hmm, not true…and the psychological data supports this. Many introverts suffer some form of Agoraphobia or Social Phobia/Anxiety. I’m sure it’s not an absolute, but many introverts are both scared and insecure in groups of people or crowds and tend to avoid them out of fear.

    Not “all” introverts…but many.

  46. I don’t believe psychological data supports RB’s theory.
    Produce it then…

  47. Ricky Bobby says:

    No, it will clog up the thread. It’s there if you’re interested in doing your own research. Not interested in arguing about it. Thanks.

  48. No, produce it.
    I just think you always just say stuff because you try to overcompensate.
    Overcompensate for what? Well, who would know.
    Maybe a John Piper intern.

  49. Besides, is it arguing to ask you to provide evidence?

  50. I don’t know if fear is the exact word. I get anxious around people for sure. May be fear, I guess, in a sense, but not in the way that you would be afraid of being hurt. Its a physical reaction, discomfort, that I can’t control.

    Might be fear, but if so, not of any specific thing just a generalized fear that is basically the same thing as anxiety.

  51. See, RB makes the classic mistake of equating introversion with shyness.
    Maybe do some research first before spouting.

  52. London says:

    Introversion and extroversion is not about fear vs courage around people. It is about where energy comes from, not about shyness or social anxiety at all.

  53. Ricky Bobby says:

    Derek, LOL. Nah, I’ve made up my mind to be more disciplined on here. If you want to duke it out, come over to the other blog and I’ll give you all you want LOL.

  54. Is it possible to be shy without being an introvert?
    I think I understand introversion without shyness, but I do think my introversion is a by-product of painful shyness.

  55. How does discipline keep someone from producing data?
    Or does not having data keep someone from producing data?

  56. Yes, most introverts need less physical stimuli than extroverts.
    Shyness is more of a social thing and comes somewhat from fear. I was shy when I was younger, but the Army took that away from me at 18.

  57. Ian Elsasser says:

    Michael, I am an introvert. While I have never had any problem teaching publicly regardless of size, when it comes to initiating interpersonal interaction particularly with people I don’t know, I had to push myself to step up. I am better now but still am less than comfortable than I should be. All part of developing.

  58. PP Vet says:

    I love people. I hate people.

    Extrovert who needs lots and lots of time to himself.

  59. Learner says:

    I came out an Introvert. Doesn’t surprise me. I used to be an extrovert and then I was repeatedly wounded by people and I began to be energized in solitude not with those that loved to see me suffer.

    Personalities change. Mine sure has.

    Michael you’re right, more pastors are Introverts than anyone would think.

  60. filbertz says:

    I’m a bit surprised at the percentages of introVs. Not surprised Dread is an ExtroV, nor Arby. I was waiting for someone to deliver JeffSheck’s perV line… let’s see, already got convert, so invert, revert, divert…

  61. Dude says:

    I am simply a introvert…….dealing with large groups of people is a royal pain.I like the quiet solitude of my man cave.

  62. Nomansapologist says:

    Socially apt introvert, here.

  63. Gary says:

    I cater pity parties.

  64. Gary says:

    I posted all about myself. It disappeared.

  65. Gary says:

    Then a tree fell in the forest.

    Seriously, the test was too simplistic. Neither and both. I would rather be in a crowd of strangers than people I know. What do you do with that?

  66. So I’m a little late to this conversation. I’m an introvert by choice. However, God had other plans for me. For those who have taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test I’m an INTP. However, I’ve learned how to cope and be extroverted. All my peers in my business world think I’m an extrovert, and I’m more extroverted than I was previously. I know how to act well and pretend like I care and it works well for me.

    Things that helped me be more extroverted or at least convincing others I’m an extrovert

    1. I read three books on body language, which helped me understand others before they speak. I hated social interaction, because I never felt like I had a good bit of information to really

    2. I read a few books on influence, persuasion and rapport. This helped me understand how to build immediate relationships with people and develop tools to interact in ways that I could lead.

    3. I read a couple books on public speaking. Help prepare me for group presentations,etc.

  67. London says:

    Just by your last line I could tell you were an introvert David 😉

    Extroverts would have gone to a class or group like Toastmasters to learn about public speaking

    Great example btw 🙂

  68. Mixed bag here. No problem speaking or singing in front of a crowd, just don’t ask me to mingle with that same crowd. Much prefer FB, PhxP, email and text than in-person contact. If you’re waiting for a phone call from me, well, let’s just say you’re going to have a very long wait. I am so comfortable being alone that it’s scary sometimes.

  69. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Extrovert all the way, was shy as a kid but then lived in NYC and was homeless and I learned how to hustle and survive, got street smart. I worked in radio on air so I’m comfortable in speaking in front of crowds and stuff. Playing football and stuff also gave me that mental strength as that sport ain’t for the meek as lot of alpha males there. In my current business you have to be pro active in communicating with people so you can’t be too introverted as a manager there. My close friends are all, extroverts as well. In my experience introverts get their feelings hurt easier whereas extroverts are a little more thick skinned.

  70. SolRod, re: your last sentence, just speaking for myself, even though I’m mostly introverted, I think I’m pretty thick skinned. I don’t get riled easily. Insult or harm one of my close friends or family members though, and it becomes a very different story.

  71. Steve Wright says:

    London @53 is a crucial post. “Introversion and extroversion is not about fear vs courage around people. It is about where energy comes from, not about shyness or social anxiety at all.”

    I’m an introvert and certainly do not fear public speaking or crowds.

  72. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Humans are much more nuanced than the extrovert vs. Introvert labels, they are way over simplified

  73. London says:

    Its not about shyness or skin “thickness”
    But about energy, refueling, etc.

  74. gomergirl says:

    I don’t like to talk on the phone. Ever. I prefer Facepants and texting. I don’t like people in general. most times they suck. My friends on line that i have never met (non in-skin friends) are better to me than most people I know in skin. When I had a car accident, I didn’t have any friends that I felt I could even call to get a ride home. It makes me sad. ( I know that I am not a very good friend too) But it is ok too. I am pretty self sufficient. And I have my Dude. He is ok too, but I am ok with it when he leaves for a few weeks (or 6 months) at a time. It’s all good.

  75. Ricky Bobby says:

    “Its not about shyness or skin “thickness”
    But about energy, refueling, etc.”

    No, not necessarily.That statement is not an Absolute and is incorrect as presented as an Absolute.

  76. Where is that pesky data?

  77. Ricky Bobby says:

    I research the scientific studies on the issue under consideration (if available). Unfortunately, many of you have relied on pop-psychology to form both your assertions and conclusions.

    In the scientific studies I’ve reviewed, there is a correlation to low-extraversion (or introversion) and higher rates of disorders like Social Phobia and Agoraphobia. “Phobia” = fear.

    There is a strong correlation. It is fact, supported by sound scientific studies that are published in Psychiatry Journals. The studies are peer-reviewed.

    Introversion (or low-extraversion) is not really “about energy, refueling etc”…maybe in Pop-psychology, but not so much in the science:

    Here’s the money-shot from the studies:

    “Extraversion refers to a person’s tendency to be venturesome, energetic, assertive, and sociable and to experience positive emotions (e.g., joy). Eysenck theorized that introverts have higher levels of activity in the ascending reticular activating system and are more “aroused” than extraverts, in that introverts are more distractible in high-stimulus environments and perform better at prolonged, monotonous tasks (4). Though the physical basis of extraversion remains under investigation (6, 8), there is some empirical support for Eysenck’s theory (4, 9). Neuroticism refers to a person’s general tendency to experience negative emotions (e.g., nervousness, sadness, and anger). Eysenck theorized that neuroticism reflects a person’s characteristic limbic “excitability,” based on autonomic activation patterns (4).

    The relationship between neuroticism and anxiety/depressive disorders is widely recognized; less well known is the finding that introversion is also consistently associated with some of these conditions. Social phobia and agoraphobia have particularly strong associations with both introversion and neuroticism”–Psychology Journal, Nov. 2007.

  78. Ricky Bobby says:

    ” less well known is the finding that introversion is also consistently associated with some of these conditions.”

    Yes, much less well known as evidenced by most of you on this thread, LOL.

    Guess who knew about this? Yeppers. Good ‘ol redneck Ricky Bobby! 😆

  79. LOL…I bet I made you search a while for that one.
    That was fun

  80. Ricky Bobby says:

    No. I knew it from the onset. I don’t generally take a strong position unless I’ve done my homework in the past. I had a general knowledge of the issue, enough to speak to it more authoritatively than others (IMO) and was aware of both the scientifically correct definition of introversion and extraversion and the correlation of introversion to social disorders.

    I didn’t really want to “prove” my assertion as correct, but you guys seem to relish persisting in an ignorant position and then championing it.

  81. Ricky Bobby says:

    and, it was fun, for me anyway. I like being right all the time 🙂

  82. Gary says:

    When I was in high school I was very active. I was also very shy.

  83. “I didn’t really want to “prove” my assertion as correct”
    And when is this ever true?
    Nope, you had to google and it took a while.
    Like I said….fun

  84. Ricky Bobby,

    We have to meet some day, a good steak, a great beer, lots of talk, argue a little, laugh more.

  85. Ricky Bobby says:

    Dread, it’s on my bucket list 🙂 I think you and I would have a marvelous time.

  86. Ricky Bobby says:

    Derek, here’s how it works: I have a great memory for stuff I “learn” and read. I am incurably curious so I end up reading up on a lot of issues. The stuff sticks for some reason, once I’ve hashed it out in my mind and come to a conclusion about a particular issue.

    So, when discussions arise, I remember the basics about a particular issue that I’ve read/researched in the past. I may or may not remember the specific study or article…but I know it’s there, I remember the gist and remember my previous conclusion. Sometimes I remember the specific article or study etc, sometimes I have to find the articles or studies that I know are there.

    In this instance, I remembered the issue, the correlation of Introversion to social phobias, agoraphobia etc..and the basic scientific definitions of extravert and introvert etc.

    My knowledge of the subject was throwing up red flags of contradiction/anomaly/incorrectness/inconsistency with what you and some others were reporting as Absolute and truth. I noted my disagreement, knowing the facts I had reviewed in the past would back up my assertion.

    You pressed and pressed, so I did a brief review and found one of the many studies that establish the correlation between Introversion (or low extraversion) and fear/phobia, etc. as I asserted early in the thread.

  87. “contradiction/anomaly/incorrectness/inconsistency”
    Things like this make me laugh!

    Do you think adding more words makes you sound cooler or is it the Capitalization of Words that shouldn’t Be?

    You are a hoot and quite transparent most of the time.

  88. RB,
    “but I know it’s there, I remember the gist and remember my previous conclusion.”

    However, the missing link … your conclusion was wrong but it is locked in that vast memory you have and every time any topic comes up, you default to those wrong conclusions.

    It’s a sad but true story.

  89. Gary says:

    How can someone be an introvert and not be shy?

  90. Gary says:

    I guess that makes me a shy extrovert. The apprentice juggler.

  91. London says:

    That’s actually a good article.

  92. Xenia says:

    I am an introvert who is not at all shy. If I find myself in a group of people, I am not at all shy about talking. In fact, I am probably one of the most vocal. I also enjoy talking in front of classrooms full of people with no fear at all. But it is my preference to avoid all this and stay home, not out of fear or shyness but out of personal preference. A strong personal preference.

  93. Xenia says:

    Maybe it’s like this: All* shy people are introverts but not all introverts are shy people.

    *or “most”

  94. Summer says:

    Well…..I couldn’t be anymore extroverted! I know everyone in town and it takes me twice as long to do anything because I spend so much time talking to people. I love listening to people talk about themselves and I always ask them questions about their lives and I like talking about myself, too! Ha!! I guess I just love people…..most people anyways.

    BTW, BD, you would love Alex…..he is a very sweet guy. I know that for a fact. That is my personal experience, but I know some would argue with this assertion…..

  95. Summer says:

    Whoops….BD, I meant you would love Ricky Bobby….

  96. London says:

    Just had an experience at work that was all about this thread.
    We are going to be testing some software over the next month.
    We got an invite that said we would all be in the same room for 12 hours a day for a month.
    I freaked out!!!

    I am certainly not afraid if any of them, I know them all well and like every one of them very much.

    I am the most vocal person on the team and some how have become the spokesperson when there’s an issue with “management” who I also like very much. I’m not afraid at all to speak up.

    But…..being an introvert, it freaks me out to think of being “trapped” in a room with these people for 12 hours a day for 30 days.
    Horrible thought!!!
    I don’t mine sitting right next to them , which I do, all day in the cube farm for 12 hours or more.
    But the idea of having to be in a shared space in another building where I can’t get away to my own cube for a while to regathering myself and get some “down time” sent me into a bit of a tail spin.

    That is how you can be introverted and not shy.

    I’m not afraid at all…just need some time and space alone to think once in a while.

  97. Ricky Bobby says:

    Summer said, “BTW, BD, you would love Alex…..he is a very sweet guy. I know that for a fact. That is my personal experience, but I know some would argue with this assertion…..”

    Sssshhhhhh! You’re blowing both of my covers! 🙂

    Thanks Summer. I certainly have a good side, a sweet side, a caring side. I do have a bad side and ornery side as well. I try very hard (offline) to keep the bad side in check…with mixed results.

    Summer and her husband are two of the best people you’ll ever meet. I’ve known them since I was a young kid. They knew me and my brothers very well.

    Summer is one of the most beautiful women you will ever meet, both inside and out and her husband is a giant of man, literally and figuratively.

    Summer’s sons are full of integrity. I won’t go into details, but my wife has a deep respect for them (as do I), especially one son who showed her so much grace and kindness.

  98. Ricky Bobby says:

    Steve Wright (and it seems Derek and MLD) appeal to Pop-psychology like I asserted above. Here is the author of the article Steve linked:

    “Sophia Dembling is a widely published Dallas, Texas-based writer.

    Sophia’s book latest book is The Introvert’s Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World, on Perigee Books

    Sophia is author of The Yankee Chick’s Survival Guide to Texas and co-author of The Making of Dr. Phil: The Straight-Talking True Story of Everyone’s Favorite Therapist and I Can Still Laugh: Stories of Inspiration and Hope from Individuals Living with Alzheimer’s. Her essays and articles have appeared in newspapers and magazines nationwide as well as in such anthologies as Cat Women: Female Writers and their Feline Friends and P.S.: What I Didn’t Say. ”

    Note “writer”, not scientist, psychiatrist etc.

    Like I said, when it comes to sourcing Pop-psychology vs. actual Scientific studies in peer-reviewed medical Journals…I’ll stick with the Scientists…but knock yourself out.

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