This is the Greenbelt, a scattered set of groves, woods, and piney trails that wind about the city. Here's where I'll set up camp for a while, and just talk about whatever I feel like talking about. You can settle down and listen, or move on, it's all one to me.
Below you'll find opinions liberally mixed with facts on: Introverts and Extraverts, with some thoughts on the S/N conflict, T/F conflicts,and J/P conflicts. Also, some rather interesting notions on how the types view time .
So, what is an introvert? Someone who "charges her batteries" by solitude, not by people. We're the ones who don't go out to parties after working all day, and, furthermore, we can't understand you who do! It doesn't mean we don't like people, are misanthropic grumps, or are loners waiting to explode. We aren't antisocial. We just need time to be by ourselves, so that we can regroup. Believe us when we say 'we really don't want to ...' whatever it is you think would be more fun than staying home, or going for a long "lonely" walk (alone does not equal lonely), or go off away from the gang. Let us do it; go on, run along and have fun; we'll be happy to see you when you get back.
Introverts are often made to feel not just out of step, but downright wrong, by the gregarious society in which we live. Wanting time alone is seen as unfriendly, even hostile, and certainly weird. Teachers give credit for "classroom participation" and extraverts jump right in, forcing introverts to learn to function (exhaustingly) like them; moreover, introverts hate to repeat things already stated, so we often find ourselves without anything to say, as the extraverts burble merrily on, without stopping, and take up all the topics.Parents tell children to "go outside and play"; since being sent to your room is a punishment, wanting to be there brands you as peculiar. When you tell someone you have two (maybe three) friends, they stare at you pityingly and say, "Oh, I'm sure that's not true! Don't put yourself down like that!" What they don't understand is, we don't want forty or fifty friends. We can't even begin to conceive of it. Of course, we don't mean what extraverts do when we say friend: it seems to us that extraverts define friend as "someone I've seen before", "someone whose name I know" at the very least. Why, a woman came up to me in a training session once and carried on like we had been best friends parted forcibly: it turned out we'd been in another training session SEVEN years earlier. I didn't remember her at all.
For a long time, that bothered me. It doesn't anymore. Now I realize I really am not like them, but that there are others like me. And we're (I can't believe I'm going to write this, but ...) okay and they're okay. We just need to learn to give each other the space (or lack thereof) we need.
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Here's a little more about the great Introvert - Extravert gap, based on Otto Kroeger & Janet Thuesen's book Type Talk, highly recommended.
- tend to talk first, think later, and don't know what they'll say until they hear themselves.
- know a lot of people, and count many of them as "close friends"
- like to include as many people as possible in their activities
- find telephone calls welcome interruptions and don't hesitate to call people just to chat
- like going to parties and prefer to talk with many people rather than just a few
- include strangers in conversations
- prefer generating ideas in groups than by themselves
- become drained if they spend too much time in reflective thinking without being able to bounce ideas off others
- find listening more difficult than talking
- get bored easily when inactive or alone
- "look" with their mouths instead of their eyes, and verbally find their way back when they lose their train of thought
- need affirmation from others to truly believe they're doing a good job
- rehearse things before saying them (love the web where they can edit until perfect) and prefer that others do the same, often responding with "I'll have to think about that."
- enjoy the peace and quiet of having time to themselves
- are perceived as "great listeners" but feel taken advantage of by others
- have been called "shy"; come across as reserved
- like to share special occasions with just one other person or perhaps a few close friends
- wish they could get their ideas out more quickly
- like stating their thoughts without interruption and allow others to do the same, thus frequently feel ignored or slighted by those who don't reciprocate
- need to "recharge" alone after socializing in groups; the more intense the encounter, the more drained they feel afterward
- were told by their parents to "go outside and play with your friends" when they were children
- probably caused parents and teachers worry because they liked to be alone
- believe that "talk is cheap" and get irritated by people who are too complimentary or keep on repeating what's already been said.
Extraverts sometimes walk into rooms, present a problem, ask for an opinion, arrive at a conclusion (facilitated by hearing the problem out loud), thank anyone who happened to be in the room, and walk out, convinced that they participated in a joint decision. Introverts get amused and amazed, and wonder if the Extravert really wanted help at all. On the other hand, Introverts work a problem out inwardly, run over the scenarios, reach their conclusions, and never say a word out loud at all, while, often, being convinced that they had this conversation out loud. Extraverts then, too, feel shut out, though rarely amused. Sooooo -- you can see how different we are! But Introverts can learn to get along with, even mimic, Extraverts. There are a lot of people in my office who are surprised that I'm an Introvert. I ask them what they do after work, and just hearing it exhausts me. Me, I go home and shut the door. They can't imagine it. At work it's different, mostly you have to do things that exhaust you in order to function in the Extraverted world. Yes, it's hard, and it's tiring: but you learn, as a child, you learn!
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What's actually a lot harder to deal with are all the iNtuitives I know. Introverts and Etraverts may puzzle each other; Extraverts may feel sorry for us, and we may watch them in awe and wonder (and, occasionally, exasperation), but iNtuitives and Sensors drive each other to mayhem.
Here's a nice little conversation:You can see where that's going--do you see where it's coming from?
- "What time is it?"
- "It's late."
- (surprised) "What time is it?"
- (insistent)"I said, it's time to go."
- (irritated)"Hey, read my lips:what time is it?"
- (equally irritated)"Late. Come on."
- (really mad now)"Goddammit, why do I always have to ask four times to get a simple answer? What @$#@ time is it?!"
- (hurt and/or perturbed)"It's after four, and you don't have to get so angry."
To a Sensor (spkr 1), time is quantifiable. It comes in measured bits, and when he asks what time it is, he wants to know: 4:10.[Actually, "it's after four" isn't really a good answer; my lord, there's a whole hour that's "after four" ... and if you know the N, anything up to around midnight might be "after four!"]
To an iNtuitive, time is relative, it depends entirely on what you have to do. When he asks what time it is, he wants to know: it's late, we need to leave; or, it's early, we've got plenty of time. That's what matters, after all, not that nitpicky "eleven minutes after four" nonsense.
In fact, this sums up the difference between Ss and Ns entirely: one sees trees, the other forests. One sees what's there, what's real, what's tangible, whether or not she needs to see it; the other sees what's relevant, what's meaningful, what might be, and she might walk right past something she's not thinking about and never notice it.
S-N conflict is funny when you see it: ever watch Gracie Allen and George Burns? Ever hear somebody ask "what's the book about?" and get the answer "about 300 pages"? But, unless you know what's going on, it's not that funny to be in the middle of it. Ss and Ns don't mean the same things when they talk, don't want the same answers when they ask, and often feel frustrated by the other's rejection of their answers as just plain wrong. I think (but then I'm an S!) that we have it harder: tell an N that it's 4:10, and she can decide whether it's "late" or not; tell me it's "late" and I still have no idea what time it is!
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Of course, Ps and Js can really get on each other's nerves, too, though not completely from lack of understanding, though Js do tend to think that Ps waffle, are vague and wishywashy, procrastinate, and, in short, are flaky and unfocussed. Of course, they (Ps) think we (Js) are stubborn, opinionated, and close-minded. But Ps just want to gather more data, while Js have a need for closure. They say we "make a decision, any decision, right or wrong"; we say they "couldn't make a decision if their lives depended on it, there'd always be something they hadn't considered yet."
On the other hand, if we learn to work together, it's great: let the Ps generate all the alternatives they can, then let the Js sift through and make the decisions. After all, Js will, if you let us, make the first decision: we will, as they say, make great time going in the wrong direction. Ps, on the other, may never get started at all; like the donkey in the story, they can starve to death stuck between two equidistant bales of hay.
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So, what about T-F conflict? Well, Thinkers find Feelers fuzzy-headed and easily swayed by emotion; Feelers find us (yes, I'm a T) coldblooded and uncaring. Actually, the truth is that we use the information we get in different ways: Feelers fit words like subjective, fair-hearted, circumstances, passion, persuasion, humaneness, harmony, appreciation; Thinkers get words like objective, firm-minded, laws, justice, clarity, policy, detachment. If you are more concerned with how people will feel about what you're doing, if you identify with others' emotions, if you are personally involved with others, if you strive for harmony and fairness, you're an F. If, on the other hand, you prefer to use logic, detached analysis, and objective criteria, if you want the consequences of the action to be the determinant, if you want justice and clarity, you're a T. Fs and Ts can get along (all of us can get along, of course!) because most of us find all of those qualities attractive to at least some degree, even if we just wistfully wish we could be a little more objective, a little less detached, whatever.
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In Type Talk, Kroeger and Thuesen tell how they asked the different types to describe various aspects of time.
Extraverts and Introverts describe how they use free time.
Introverts: go sailing, take a walk, take photos, sit and be quiet by themselves, travel, read, visit a museum, go to the theatre
Extraverts: city lights, metro tour, yacht, furs/jewels, shoppin mall, swim, kites, Yosemite, hike, car, plane, guitar, wild hot movies, red shoes, parakeet, string quartet, long purple skirt, Japanese dinner, handsome man, ice cream, champagne, candles, good conversation, walk on the beach, lollipops, ballet, baloons, flowers, tattoo, party
Note that the Extraverts' list goes on and on (they were still writing when time was up); also the rambling, wordy nature of it. Introverts find the Extraverts' list itself to be tiring.
Sensors and iNtuitives describe "time" itself.
iNtuitives: infinite, forever, eternal, circular, waves, fleeting, short, linear, forward, flowing, abstract, cosmic, tic toc, constraint
Sensors: minute, hour, seconds, short, long, sad, happy, enough, not enough, no time, meeting, fiscal year, calendar year, right, time of day, time to listen, relax, wasted, party, ticking away, year, productive, sleep, wake-up, decade, night, century, day, bad, past, ancient, season, future, holiday, reflective, free, class, clock, calendar, schedule
Two things about these lists: iNtuitives used abstract words, Sensors used specific ones; and second, only one word --short--appears on both lists.
Thinking and Perceivers define "time".
Thinkers: time: the dimension we use to establish checkpoints, involving past, present and future; divided into measurable units; not reusable; and always goes in a forward direction (fast)
Feelers: Chronos/Kairos; collective moments of awareness; meeting point of people, events, situations; passing of history; a way of defining/interpreting human experiences; measuring milestones along their/your/my/our life journey; that which we never have enough of; what flies when you're having fun.
Thinkers want to "establish checkpoints", Feelers see "milestones" in "life's journey." Note that Thinkers never used the word "people" in their hard-and-fast definition; note, too, that that's just what Thinkers came up with: a definition, not a list.
Judgers and Feelers describe "what to do with time".
Judgers: plan it, fill it up, make each moment meaningful, deadline, organize it, use it
Perceivers: find out how much we have, play, brainstorm the possibilities, check out any limitations, have fun, get coffee, treasure the idea of choice, investigate the concept of time, it depends
Judgers schedule to know how much free time they have; Perceivers see it all as "free"--so be careful what you schedule.
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