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Friday, June 7, 2013

Extroverts are Overbearing!!

Or so I'm often reminded.

I was at a conference last week during which I attended two, back-to-back sessions on the MBTI. The ironic thing is however that in the first session, people were ragging on extroverts as flamboyant, overbearing, talkative, interrupters whereas in the second session people were ragging on introverts as socially backward, unfriendly reclusives. 

It can get a bit touchy. We're talking our personalities here and we all fall somewhere on the spectrum, but they're just preferences. Heck, you might be an "ambivert" playing gracefully to both sides. (Find out here.)

This particular day, it did get a bit touchy. Surprisingly so. 

And you know what, it caused me to shift uncomfortably in my chair.

I am an extrovert!

And a strong one at that. And I'm perfectly happy with it. 
And guess what? 

Ryan's an introvert.

And I'm perfectly happy with it. 
In fact, our marriage is a wonderful, dynamic partnership because we are so very different...

So why, might you ask was I shifting uncomfortably in my chair? 

It is so very loaded

When I talk to students about the MBTI, they often let it define them, especially the E vs the I. 

And that's okay. But it doesn't have to. 

Additionally, they also view it as good or badAnd that's not okay.

We extroverts enjoy group activities, parties, and discussions. They energize us! But, we recognize that not everyone likes group activities, parties, or discussions. We also acknowledge that introverts aren't simply cold, distant people. They simply enjoy their time to recharge, think, and relax. Is either a "bad" thing? 

The answer is simply 'no'. 

It bothers me when individuals put down one side or the other. 'We certainly know your preference" is a thought I have over and over again as negative comments surface. 

Well you know what!? either way you're insulting me or you're insulting my husband (or Heidi, a close colleague). 

I am grateful that I can think and speak off the cuff, have in-depth, personal conversations in a group setting, and brainstorm like nobody's business. 

But, I also appreciate the subtle, thorough, and logical thought process that Ryan can achieve so flawlessly. 

So, while extroverts can come across as overbearing, they bring a lot to the table. 

And, while introverts can come across as distant, they bring a lot to the table. 

The sweet spot is in the joint appreciation and collaboration. 


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