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.
King of the butches.
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?
Tell me more about your breasts.
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.
What’s this L Word you speak of?
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?