I just finished the New York Times bestseller Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain.
It’s a terrific book.
W asked if it was all about how great introverts are being that yours truly is the poster child for introverts everywhere.
Not quite. Even though introverts are awesome. I said that very, very quietly. Almost in a whisper.
The book is about how the world needs introverts and extroverts. I also learned that people are like rubber bands. We can stretch to a degree, which means, for example, that an introvert can overcome a fear of public speaking and, in fact, become quite adept at giving speeches in public.
Cain’s book got me thinking about whether most butches are introverts. Lea Delaria, probably not an introvert, but aren’t most of us big bad butches quiet and brooding? Do you tend to just want to stay at home organizing your flannel shirt collection? Do you feel more comfortable talking to your cats than people?
Cain included an introvert-extrovert quiz in her book. I’ve included it here with a few minor additions.
Answer each question true or false. The more “trues,” the more introverted you probably are.
Introvert-Extrovert Quiz — The Butch Version
1. I prefer one-one conversations to group activities. Group activities butches really don’t like: quilting bees, Mary Kay parties, jazzercise class.
2. I often prefer to express myself in writing. Actually, I prefer not to express myself at all. I am made of stone. I will not show emotion.
3. I enjoy solitude. Just me and a Melissa Etheridge greatest hits CD.
4. I seem to care less than my peers about wealth, fame and status. Because when you’re a butch, who needs all that other stuff?
5. I dislike small talk, but I enjoy talking in depth about topics that matter to me. Like baseball, beer, the Indigo Girls and really great cleavage.
6. People tell me that I’m a really great listener. Especially your wife.
7. I’m not a big risk-taker. Except for that whole looking-like-this-and-using-a-women’s-restroom thing.
8. I enjoy work that allows me to “dive-in” with few interruptions. I also enjoy recreational activities that allow me to “dive-in” with few interruptions.
9. I like to celebrate birthdays on a small scale, with only one or two close friends or family members. Like the twins over at Hooters.
10. People describe me as “soft-spoken” or “mellow.” Especially after hanging out with Miley Cyrus or Willie Nelson.
11. I prefer not to show or discuss my work with others until it’s finished. Or else I’d have to kill you.
12. I dislike conflict. Dyke drama is for other dykes.
13. I do my best work on my own. Because everyone knows butches do it better.
14. I tend to think before I speak. Don’t hear anything? I’m still thinking.
15. I feel drained after being out and about, even if I’ve enjoyed myself. Yes, this is my I’ve-enjoyed-myself face.
16. I often let calls go through to voicemail. Exceptions: Heidi Klum, Sofia Vergara (see no. 5).
17. If I had to choose, I’d prefer a weekend with absolutely nothing to do to one with too many things scheduled. That’s why I turned down invitations to the potluck, the Hilary Rodham-Clinton book signing and the midnight showing of the Piper Perabo movie retrospective.
18. I don’t enjoy multitasking. Unless one of the tasks is drinking a beer. Watch me catch a football and drink a beer. Cook and drink a beer. Use power tools and drink a beer. Drink a beer while drinking another beer.
20. In classroom situations, I prefer lectures to seminars. When taught by the hot new English professor with the big black glasses.
What about you? Are you an introvert, an extrovert or a middle-ground ambivert?
Ha! Loved it!
Thanks! I’m never sure that people will find these things funny.
I’m an introvert with people and an extrovert with dogs. However, once I warm up to people (say over several years) I can be almost extroverted if I know everyone in the room. And I’m with you on #18.
I will raise a cold one to that.
*nod nod nod nod nod nod*
. . . . .
Ermagheard. I love this list.
I am definitely an introvert.
And #14? I’m SO with you on that.
Have you ever taken the Jungian interpretation of the Myers-Briggs personality inventory? I am definitely an introvert on the I/E scale there. If you’re interested in that sort of thing: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp
I’d be curious to know which kind of I-type you are. 🙂
Sensing (12%) slight preference of sensing over intuition
Thinking (1%) no preference of thinking over feeling
Judging (78%) strong preference of judging over perceiving
I’m not sure what this all means. I think I failed the test.
It’s not a test, so you can’t fail it. 🙂
It’s sort of like that rubberband thing you were talking about. Everyone has different degrees of these traits, and when they’re all put together, they sort of outline your tendencies.
I think you’ve got the introvert thing nailed. No explanations needed. 😉
Sensing is how you interpret your environment.
Some people are more heart-based; others are more head-based. That’s the difference, essentially between Thinking (T) and Feeling (F). Given that you only have a 1% procilvity of Thinking over Feeling, I’d say you’re a pretty sensitive thinker. 🙂
Judging… People get all sorts of (incorrect) negative opinions about this word. In the world of MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Inventory) though, basically this means you are a decision-maker. I am too.
Here is a pretty user-friendly description of a ‘typical’ ISTJ: http://www.16personalities.com/istj-personality
(There are others out there, of course. I like this one because it’s in layman’s terms.)
Do you think it fits?
I am an INFJ: http://www.16personalities.com/infj-personality
Very interesting. Can I ask why you know so much about this stuff? A hobby or job-based?
I think the ISTJ label fits. I am loyal and deadline driven. I like to work alone. I often put the needs of others before myself. These are strengths and weaknesses.
Look at you. A rare INFJ.
It’s sort of both. Learning what makes people tick ~ myself especially ~ is something that helps me greatly in my work, and I’ve sort of made a hobby of exploring different schemas where that sort of thing is concerned. I think there are a myriad of ways to gain a better understanding of one’s self; this is just one of them, and it’s most applicable (for me) in work situations.
Yes, I’m rare. But not like a steak is rare. 😉
I’m an INFJ (MBTI), a Pisces (zodiac), a Bear (totem), a Dragon (Chinese zodiac), an eldest child (birth order), etc. In my own way, I ‘fit’ all of those descriptions. Yet I don’t fit any *one* exclusively. I figure it’s the same for most people. 🙂
Gotcha. I did enjoy reading in Quiet about introverts. How we salivate more when given a taste of lemon, prefer music and other sounds at lower decibels and in general have a stronger reaction to external stimuli. Sometimes I feel like a freak because I’d rather stay home and read a book. Quiet explained that I’m just hard-wired differently than other folks.
Hey, I’m a Pisces, too.
Oh no! I wrote a reply explaining the whole ISTJ thing, but it disappeared. There were links in it, so maybe it went to your spam box?
I am trying to teach our kids to think before speaking. It is a skill that comes easier to some than others. I am almost never that person who says something she doesn’t mean. Maybe it’s because I understand the power of words. Once they’re out there, you can’t take them back. Even when you say you’re sorry and you didn’t really mean it.
I am very careful about what I say, how I say it, and to whom. Words have an incredible amount of power.
It’s difficult for me to associate with people who speak without thinking, especially if they have fly-off-the-handle temperaments. I firmly believe that words are the tool we use to speak our thoughts into being. Once it’s spoken aloud, it’s a reality… Or on its way to becoming a reality.
So I’m 100% with you on not saying what you don’t mean.
Introvert with extrovert rising. 🙂
No kidding. This blog allows me to release my inner extrovert.