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Quantum of Solace

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by E. Tuffmen, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. E. Tuffmen

    E. Tuffmen
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    I recently wrote a definition essay for my English class and because I am one, I chose Introvert. The information I found was extremely eye opening and inspiring, for me at least. I've included the essay here with a spoiler for length.

    Still Waters Run Deep


    The term introvert originated in 1654 from the Latin. intro- "inward" + vertere "to turn". The noun (opposed to extrovert) is from 1918, introduced by the psychologist C.G. Jung and is defined as a person characterized by concern primarily with his or her own thoughts and feelings. With such a vague, bland, description, and the introvert’s propensity for solitude and self-reflection, it is no wonder they are so misunderstood. Introversion is an orientation, not an affliction, and there is as much societal bias and intolerance against introverts as there is toward homosexuality.

    That “loner” keeping to themselves not engaged in conversation is not necessarily shy, timid, or even anti-social, all too common misperceptions, they are simply taking in and processing everything that’s going on. Perhaps they are admiring the architecture or fascinated by whatever group dynamic happens to be at play, or engaged in a memory triggered by something they saw or heard because, generally, they are completely bored with chit chat and small talk. There is also a good chance a well-meaning friend or loved one dragged them kicking and screaming because “you spend too much time alone,” or “you need to get out more”; actually, they do not. For the most part, introverts have just one primary relationship, and maybe a few close family members or friends. Introverts can and do enjoy the company of others, just in very, very, small doses.

    Society in general seems to dismiss introverts, who make up 20 to 30 percent of the population, as morose and misanthropic individuals who just “need to come out of their shell” They are described with words such as guarded, aloof, loner, reserved, private, and hermit—narrow, egocentric words, suggestive of emotional stinginess or lack of personality. Nothing could be further from the truth. They are usually our best and brightest. Albert Einstein, Elenore Roosvelt, J.K. Rowling, Budda, Sir Issaic
    Newton, Steve Wozniak, Michael Jackson, Steven Speilberg, Tom Hanks, Bill Gates, Audry Hepburn, Budda, and even Jesus, who certainly cannot be accused of being
    misanthropic or shy, were all introverts.

    In stark contrast, extroverts, making up 60 to 70 percent of the population, are usually described as outgoing, gregarious, fun, popular, open, and people persons. For For an extrovert, any time and every time is a fine time to socialize and chat. They assume that company, especially their own, is always a welcome boost, and they cannot imagine why someone would need to be alone; indeed, they often take offence at the suggestion. Though this is not to say that extraverts never engage in self-reflection or even sometimes require periods of solitude themselves, just in much smaller quantities.

    For the long suffering introvert suck in an extroverted society where everyone is encouraged to be open and gregarious and outgoing in order to “Win Friends and Influence People” time alone is not only welcome, but essential. They are depleted and drained by too much external stimulation and thrive on solitude and reflection. There is even speculation that introversion falls under the autism spectrum as there are many similarities between introverts and those with Asperger’s.

    As stated by Laurie Helgoe, Ph.D in an article from Psychology Today, “Solitude, quite literally, allows introverts to hear themselves think. In a classic series of studies, researchers mapped brain electrical activity in introverts and extraverts. The introverts all had higher levels of electrical activity—indicating greater cortical arousal—whether in a resting state or engaged in challenging cognitive tasks.” She goes on to state that introverts have more activity and blood flow to the areas of the brain that require inward focus and attention and are responsible for remembering, planning, decision making, problem solving, and even speech production, which reflects the capacity for internal dialog.

    Surprisingly, introvert-extrovert parings can work out well if both partners understand the others needs. For the introvert, the companionship of an extrovert can be very beneficial. The extroverted partner is like a shield for the introvert in social settings, and as long as he or she does not deprive their extroverted partner of the joy of socialization, their relationship can become deep, rich, meaningful, and long lasting, ironically due partially to the introverts need for quality over quantity.

    One personality type is no better than the other. Extroverts and introverts each have a unique perspective, and it is never a good idea to try to force anyone into one box or another. However, extroverts and society in general should try to remember that just because someone may be sitting quietly it does not mean they are shy or afraid, or aloof, or even anti-social. Still waters run deep. More than likely they are swimming in an ocean of imagination and insight.

    Focus: Where do you fall on the introvert-extrovert spectrum?

    Alt Focus: How has being one or the other affected or not affected your relationships?

    Here is a link to the Jungian personality type test if you care to do it. http://similarminds.com/jung.html
     
  2. DrFrylock

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    I've always liked the following litmus test for introvert/extrovert: if you're an introvert, then spending time in social situations with other people can be enjoyable but is usually draining, and you "recharge" in solitude. For extroverts, the opposite is true.

    I used to be a 10/10 Introvert taking the MBTI. In my old age I've softened to a 7.

    What amazes me is that apparently I can project the opposite. I was at a "town and gown" university dinner at a table with a bunch of professors and deans a few months ago, along with the new "development director" of one of the schools. "Development director" is code for "fundraiser," and she was prototypical - a very bubbly, outgoing, obvious-ex-sorority-sister type. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course, but it was a major contrast to the rest of the table.

    Halfway through dinner, we're all talking and having a good time and through a few glasses of supermarket wine, and I finish telling some story about my time in grad school, and she blurts out "WHERE IS YOUR SOCIAL AWKWARDNESS?!" I thought that was a little, uh, explicit, but OK. Apparently the ability to be mildly entertaining at dinner and look other people in the eye when talking to them is such a rarity in her experience with engineer-types that I was some kind of unicorn. I had to assure her that this was all a well-practiced act. While I was indeed having a good time, I would likely go home and crash to replace all the neurotransmitters I was rapidly burning through. And indeed, I did.

    There is a lot of discussion that society is made for extroverts. Perhaps that's true. Being able to socially interact with other people is a really valuable skill. Perhaps this comes naturally to extroverts; it does not come naturally to me. But it's certainly learnable. While I can enjoy extensive social interaction, I will probably never find that it recharges me like being alone. That's OK.

    Having "learned" social interaction, I spend a lot of time looking at those interactions analytically instead of intuitively. When I first learned to play instruments, I began to hear music differently - it became possible for me to 'pick out' what individual instruments were doing and why. As I participate in social interactions, I also find that I can pick out not just what's being said, but how it's being said, what body language is communicating, etc. There's a tremendous amount of nonverbal communication going on in any group, and I usually find that the less-socially-"aware" members in the group are pretty oblivious to it, and I see how this affects their relationships. If you're missing "obvious" cues about when it's OK to talk and when you need to listen, when a topic is appropriate and when it's not, etc., then you're gonna have a bad time.
     
  3. Noland

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    If you put me in a work setting I can talk with anyone because we are all on the same page and there is usually a goal or a purpose to all of us standing around and I'm good at getting information out of people as to what they can do and when and how. Put me at a cocktail party or some other social function where I don't know anyone and I'll pin myself against a wall. Sobriety has made this 1,000 times worse.

    Oh, and, apparently, according to the test, I have an engineer's personality. I don't know what the fuck is up with that.
     
  4. RCGT

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    I guess you could say I'm an extrovert. I could definitely talk your ear off given the opportunity. At the same time, like Frylock, I had to kind of teach myself social interaction. I guess the litmus test is this: for me, being by myself is less like a reprieve and more like a punishment. The idea that someone out there is doing something interesting while I'm sitting around at home drives me nuts. Ironic, considering how much of my childhood was me sitting around with a bunch of books.

    These descriptions always seem a little dick-sucky to me,* but they're still fun. Bolded the parts that apply to me:
    ENTP - "Inventor". Enthusiastic interest in everything and always sensitive to possibilities. Non-conformist and innovative. 3.2% of the total population.

    risk taker, easy going, outgoing, social, open, rule breaker, thrill seeker, life of the party, comfortable in unfamiliar situations, appreciates strangeness, disorganized, adventurous, talented at presentation, aggressive, attention seeking, experience junky, insensitive, adaptable, not easily offended, messy, carefree, dangerous, fearless, careless, emotionally stable, spontaneous, improviser, always joking, player, wild and crazy, dominant, acts without thinking, not into organized religion, pro-weed legalization

    Feels like they were trying to pad their adjectives a little towards the end.

    *Actually, I take this back. INTJs get told hard.
     
  5. Angel_1756

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    Apparently I'm a "trustee".
    Sounds about right. I'm know that I'm very much an introvert. I can get up and talk in front of a group with no difficulty, but I'm absolutely balls at talking to someone one-on-one if I don't know them. I'm horrible at small talk and ridiculously uncomfortable talking to strangers. The boyfriend can chat up anyone and everyone he meets, so he's able to push me out of my comfort zone on a regular basis when we're out - but given the chance, I'd so much rather just curl up with a book by myself.

    Edit: Spoilered for personal opinion on the MB test...
    The Myers Briggs was the test used to select my roommates in my first year of university. I scored exactly the same back then, and was paired with two extroverts and another introvert. Although, I think I got the dregs, because my extroverts were a bipolar alcoholic and a road-kill collector, and my introvert dropped out of school to practice Wicca in Salem. In other words, fuck the Myers Briggs.
     
  6. katokoch

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    I can be an intro or extrovert depending on my mood and the situation. Working in sales and making cold calls all day long requires you to be super outgoing and engaging, and I have no problem striking up a conversation with whoever is in front of me or presenting to a huge group. However, I really value my alone time too. Once I come home from work I flip the switch and am happy with spending the rest of the night working in my shop, alone and secluded. If I'm out for the night or with friends, I can be content with just quietly observing everything in the room but more often than not I'm chatting it up.

    The test confirmed it- I am split 50/50 on the scale.

    Extroverted (E) 50% Introverted (I) 50%
    Sensing (S) 54.05% Intuitive (N) 45.95%
    Thinking (T) 61.29% Feeling (F) 38.71%
    Perceiving (P) 58.06% Judging (J) 41.94%

    ESTP - "Promotor". Action! When present, things begin to happen. Fiercely competitive. Entrepreneur. Often uses shock effect to get attention. Negotiator par excellence. 4.3% of total population.
     
  7. McSmallstuff

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    But were there pillow fights? Lets share about the pillow fights.
     
  8. The Village Idiot

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    Porn Worthy, Bitches

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    Ditto. Due to personal things going on right now, I have had to look inward. What I've discovered is that I'm far more comfortable alone than I am in the presence of others. This came up the other night with my wife. She thought she knew as much about me as I did her.

    She lost, badly. I tend to watch, think and catalogue. Kind of like a serial killer, without the ambition and drive.

    Actually, what's funny is my wife describes me as an 'extrovert' but when put to the test quickly realized that I don't disclose much about me, yet manage to find out a hell of a lot about the people around me. I told some friends about a situation two years ago, and still regret it, because they actually know something about me.

    Yeah, I'm fun, until you talk about me. Then it's all about you, but don't worry, if I pull it off, you'll never know the transition ever took place.
     
  9. Rush-O-Matic

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    Yup, me too. My percentages were a little different, but mine was also ESTP. I feel like that description is pretty accurate for me.
     
  10. Parker

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    I'm an Adminstrator. ESJI I think. accidentally closed it. When I'm out with people, I'm definitely an attention whore, but if I go 4-5 straight days without a day to myself in-between I get antsy.
     
  11. Misanthropic

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    My gut instinct was that I'm middle of the road. The test seemed to bear this out. How . . . . .boring.
     
  12. Popped Cherries

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    I always come out INTJ. although some of the descriptions don't match. (I'm tons of fun, very physically affectionate, and not pessimistic at all.)

    I think the misconception about introverts is that they can't be charismatic and can't be outgoing. This is totally not the case. When in a group of people I'm usually the center of attention and take charge of things the group is doing. However, I don't usually put myself in the position to be in a large group because I'd much prefer my time spent with maybe just one other person or more than likely by myself.
    Disconnect the terms shy and introvert. They don't belong together. They have nothing to do with one another.
     
  13. numeric

    numeric
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    Introverted (I) 81.82% Extroverted (E) 18.18%
    Intuitive (N) 56.1% Sensing (S) 43.9%
    Thinking (T) 51.43% Feeling (F) 48.57%
    Perceiving (P) 60.53% Judging (J) 39.47%

    Your type is: INTP - "Architect". Greatest precision in thought and language. Can readily discern contradictions and inconsistencies. The world exists primarily to be understood. 3.3% of total population.

    loner, more interested in intellectual pursuits than relationships or family, wrestles with the meaninglessness of existence, likes esoteric things, disorganized, messy, likes science fiction, can be lonely, observer, private, can't describe feelings easily, detached, likes solitude, not revealing, unemotional, rule breaker, avoidant, familiar with the darkside, skeptical, acts without consulting others, does not think they are weird but others do, socially uncomfortable, abrupt, fantasy prone, does not like happy people, appreciates strangeness, frequently loses things, acts without planning, guarded, not punctual, more likely to support marijuana legalization, not prone to compromise, hard to persuade, relies on mind more than on others, calm.

    I can't tell if this is an accurate assessment or not. I hate having to make judgment calls on my own psyche, because I feel that my fluctuating emotional state could result in completely different answers, and that I may have been creating who I want to be rather than who I actually am.
     
  14. mav_ian

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    My Mother actually just pointed me in the direction of these tests recently. In other news we're both seeking help for ADD.

    But from my results, it looks like it was pretty much down to the wire:

    Spoilered for life story:
    Sounds like me, my level of extro/introversion changes depending on my comfort, as I'm not overly fussed about being private or not, I just have difficulty reading new social situations and experience has created the habit where I take my time before exposing the poor people to my personality. Once I 'click' in a situation I tend to get loud, obnoxious even without the aid of alcohol, and then it's time to hand out faux-pas like I'm a hippy thrusting free 'zines in people's faces at a train station.
    I was thinking back to my high school years the other day (I spent the final three at a new school) and realised I was sufferening panic attacks nearly every day, and had I worked out why I felt the way I did, I don't think I would have been as insular. I think my first was possibly when I was 13, and for a good 8 years I never figured out why, amongst the ADD, asthma, depression, meds, etc, the confidence I built up in myself while at home just evaporated once I set foot on school grounds. My stomach would be churning, I'd feel all shakey and I couldn't stand up to a stiff breeze. Of course, teens being teens, especially country town ones, accepted my weak, shy appearance and treated me with dignity and respect. True story.

    It also doesn't help that I'm quite stone-faced, and don't realise it. I feel emotions plenty, but my facial muscles didn't seem to get the memo. I have a bad habit of not looking at people in the eye when I talk (I don't tend to notice), and difficulty controlling the volume of my voice (it's normally too low, being asthmatic doesn't help). I think this lack of emotional display puts people off a bit, and I don't approach people too often (for fear of creeping them out). Also, I tend to reflect the way someone speaks to me, so if they're a bit wary and unsure about me, and keep some sort of guard up, then I'll likely reflect this in my voice and body language and voice, creating a vicious cycle. I like it most of the time, because who the hell wants to talk to people? But sometimes it can be a bit annoying.
    You know that expression on your face in that photo your grandmother insisted you take with your new sweater she got you for Christmas, and it's obvious you're fishing deep through the apathy and disappointment to dredge up something resembling a smile so you don't hurt her feelings, and yet you can't seem to remember why it's important to not hurt her feelings, and you've just started questioning the the existence of god?
    That's the expression on my face in the first photo I have of me holding my newborn son. And I felt like I was beaming.

    At some point, I thought I had Aspergers, until I met some people with Aspergers, and also discovered the idiotic and retarded "asspy pride" thing on the net. But many people, including a counselor I should have kept seeing, have said they think I have some sort of higher-functioning form of autism. This pretty much describes me to the letter, but I don't really know if it's worse pursuing a diagnosis, because if I did, what would I gain?

    I agree, I can be the one to break the ice in a new group if everyone's quiet, but the larger the group, the less likely that is. Though I'm not charismatic; I'd say people see my demeanor as 'naive' and 'innocent' (at least those'd be the nice words), until they get know me.
     
  15. E. Tuffmen

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    Introverted (I) 86.21% Extroverted (E) 13.79%
    Intuitive (N) 55.88% Sensing (S) 44.12%
    Feeling (F) 57.89% Thinking (T) 42.11%
    Judging (J) 54.84% Perceiving (P) 45.16%

    INFJ - "Author". Strong drive and enjoyment to help others. Complex personality. 1.5% of total population. (I have also seen my type labeled as "Protector").

    Apparently I have an extremely "rare" personality. I have always scored very high on the introvert spectrum; 78% was lowest. Complex personality is definitely an understatement. I can't stand talking about "nothing". My brain gets numb and I zone out completely within 5-10 minutes of general conversation. Never had many friends and don't want them. I'm pretty much "textbook" introverted. The little bit of research I did for this paper was very validating, especially growing up with an older brother who was an extreme extrovert. I was always made to feel like my personality was abnormal in some way, usually by him. As if being thoughtful and intelligent was somehow a minus. I think he was afraid I might actually wind up doing anything in life better than him. I don't think his poor fragile ego could have taken it. My wife scored an ESFJ and it really works perfectly for the most part.

    By the way, I know there are a lot of errors in the copy of the essay I posted. I just threw up my rough draft.
     
  16. shimmered

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    I can engage, but prefer smaller settings. I'm perfectly fine speaking in front of people, and rarely betray any nervousness in the process.
    I'm very open about things that happen - but far less open about my response to them. I'm very analytical about those situations, but I don't like discussion of my emotions. At all.
    I rated as an engineer. ISTP for those keeping count. I'd say its close.
     
  17. StayFrosty

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    INFP. Basically means I'm not good at socializing, but very good at being emotional. According to the list of famous INFP's, I'm destined to write boring poetry. Woo!
     
  18. bewildered

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    Deeply satisfied pooper

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    ISTJ. I definitely recharge while alone, so it makes sense.

     
  19. audreymonroe

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    The most powerful cervix... in the world...

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    What is it about learning about this stuff that can make you feel so much better? At least for me. I learned about the real meaning of being introverted, and this spectrum thing, a few years ago and suddenly everything made so much more sense and I felt so much more comfortable with a lot of aspects about myself.

    This ended up being long so I'm breaking it down into spoilered sections.

    Focus: Where do you fall on the introvert-extrovert spectrum?
    I'm quiet but I love talking to people, I'm not shy or unsociable or antisocial - I love going out and being around people and meeting new people, but I also very much enjoy and need time to myself and feel that need to "recharge" after being very social because I end up feeling pretty drained. I need to hang out with people - not as frequently as others do, but if I go too long without it I get really upset. I'm not unfriendly but I don't feel the need to try and befriend everyone in the room or fake niceness (beyond politeness) for someone I'm not interested in interacting with. So I match the concept of being introverted pretty much bullet point by bullet point but I had always bristled at the label because I, like so many people, equated it with being shy/unsociable/antisocial. But once I learned about what it really means it started to all make sense.

    And that's even more the case with that Jungian personality spectrum test thing. I like doing all those psych personality test things (or even things like astrology just for fun) to try to figure myself out, and nothing resulted in such an epiphany as when I took that test. All of the other ones mostly described me or were kind of on the mark, but holy shit this thing is nearly perfect. I'm an INFJ (introverted intuitive feeling judging) and almost every single thing is totally spot on and made so much sense and I understood so much more about myself and my interactions with other people. I mean, damn, it even explains how I am simultaneously very organized and really messy - something that I wish I had known when I was a kid as ammo when my dad was yelling at me to clean my room and I couldn't effectively explain that each pile on the floor had its purpose.

    Some tidbits that I think apply to me most:

    -Operate within themselves on an intuitive basis, which is entirely spontaneous. They know things intuitively without being able to pinpoint why and without detailed knowledge at hand, uncanny insight into people and situations, get "feelings" about thing and intuitively understand them
    -Conflict between inner and outer "worlds"
    -Protective of their inner selves, sharing only what they choose to share when they choose to share it, can be secretive
    -Genuinely warm, concerned for other people's feelings, sensitive to conflict and avoids hurting anyone, situations charged with conflict can make normally peaceful INFJs highly agitated and angry, internalizes conflict
    -Trusts their own instincts above all else - may result in stubbornness
    -Perfectionist: doubts they are living up to their full potential, rarely at complete peace with themselves - there's always something they could be doing to improve themselves or the world, believe in constant growth, don't often take time to revel in their accomplishments, very high expectations of themselves and others
    -Strong value system and no patience for or interest in others that don't share those values
    -Natural nurterer
    -Creative, artistic
    -Seek authenticity and depth in their close relationships, tendency for intense and meaningful relationships, feel great depth of love for romantic partners, constantly striving for perfect relationship - can be viewed as demanding, highly invested in health of relationships and puts forth a lot of effort to make them positive

    Alt Focus: How has being one or the other affected or not affected your relationships?

    INFJs are something like 1% of the population (so, like, I'm pretty cool) and I've never known someone well who has the same type of personality and not a lot of people understand me (couldn't think of a less middle school emo-y way to say that) and now I know why. I feel like I even make people really uncomfortable sometimes because they can't figure me out, and I just want to walk around with copies of the INFJ description and hand it to them and be like "No, wait, I swear that I make sense." It can be frustrating and upsetting to feel so different but after learning about this it really helped knowing that - well, statistically, I am really different, but - I'm not alone.

    I would love it if some of the people in my life that I interact with most would take the test so I could understand them too. I bet it would explain a lot, especially for where we don't get along.

    The main thing that I find frustrating with the relationship between introverts and extroverts is that I think society is mostly skewed to thinking that being an extrovert is normal and healthy and right and since introverts are the opposite to extroverts in a lot of ways, that means that they must be abnormal and unhealthy and wrong. Even though they're just two different kinds of personalities and I don't think they can be ranked as one being better than another. (Although, to be honest, that doesn't mean that there are characteristics or behaviors that extroverts tend to have that I consider unhealthy or bad in some way, just like they would think of me.) Just to pick one category, I've found that an extrovert will almost always be considered more qualified for a job than an introvert - and for some jobs, they actually are. You're going to want an extrovert for, say, President, rather than an introvert. But I've noticed this a lot for jobs where I don't think it should matter or where I even think an introvert would excel more than an extrovert but they're obviously still looking for an extrovert.

    It really pisses me off that "quiet" is a negative, especially when I'm so tired of standing around listening to people talk just to hear the sound of their own voices when they have nothing of value to say. And to tie in with that thread we had about why it's okay to make fun of fat people, it seems to be perfectly socially acceptable to be rude to introverted people. To be fair, I think sometimes people are just awkwardly trying to be nice and draw you into the conversation when they abruptly point out "You're being awfully quiet" and/or ask "Why are you being so quiet?" but it's clear that they think that's a flaw, and sometimes it's not hidden. But if I were to pipe up and ask someone "Why are you being so loud" the whole room would come screeching to a halt. And then there are the assumptions that always go along with it - that I'm quiet so I must be shy/boring/crazy/stupid/stuck-up/a bitch.

    Tl;dr: Everyone more or less naturally understands being extroverted because it's considered the norm, but having to fight against the lack of understanding and misconceptions of being introverted can really suck, especially when it's not just being introverted, but also being an INFJ.

    Also, if anyone got interested in their spectrum result, I think this sitehas one of the most in-depth explanations for each personality type.
     
  20. Juice

    Juice
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    Moderately Gender Fluid

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    About what I expected. I didnt expect such a wide margin between extrovert and introvert, but not to far off if I were to guess.

    Well there ya go.

    Right on the money.