My Extrovert/Introvert Teeter Totter

15 Oct

One part of my life that I’m not 100% certain about is this:  Am I an extrovert or introvert?

Knowing this is something I don’t think many people DO know about themselves.  Or, they never asked themselves that question.  Well, I have always wondered.  And I’m still a bit confused about what the heck I am.

In college, I took a quiz one quarter that was based off this.  In fact, a big chunk of the class was focused on personalities, who you are, etc.  At any rate, after taking the test, it told me I was an extrovert.

Okay, that makes sense.

Listen, I love to go out and have fun.  Weekends, you typically won’t find me at home.  I like getting together with friends and family.  After all, being cooped up in a studio all week, the urge to get out is the dominate thought in my brain when Friday afternoons hit.

But, there’s that other side of the coin.

I am not always comfortable going to parties.  I tend to tense up and get nervous during business meetings.  I work my best when it’s me, myself and I.  Plus, during the week, I really do not enjoy getting out at all.  I’m very content staying at home, working on my cartooning, art, writing and eating any leftovers in the fridge.

(But, then again, I do enjoy parties.  Ugh.)

So, what am I?  Extrovert or introvert?

Let’s throw out that test I took in college and judge things by the way they currently are.

The thing about me is I don’t seem very consistent with a lot of my behavior.  Sometimes, I can give a shining first impression to someone that I meet for the first time; smiling, chatty and all the above.  Other moments, I tense up.  I’m feel like my first impression was a complete bust.  I am quiet, nothing to say or – even worse – I say something that is totally not even remotely interesting.

I’m also either very hyper or very laid back.  More along of the laid back part, but still….

I wouldn’t call myself talkative.  I can with friends and family, but that’s after getting to know someone for quite awhile – usually.   Again, that’s not always the case.  Sometimes I can mingle for hours with someone I just met.  But, that rarely happens.  Also, I’ve had previous day jobs in the past where I would do nothing BUT talk and mingle.  Other day jobs, I’m as quiet as a mouse.  I think that depends on the environment a bit, but that always baffled me.  I was the same way in some courses at school.  Either all or nothing – talk or no talk.

What I don’t like is an assumption I’m a quiet, introverted because I’m an artist/cartoonist.  I think most people assume that since I work alone.  Nope.  In fact, most colleagues of mine seem to be like me a bit more in regards to having fun, talking and being WAY out there.  So, I like to dismiss that theory and sometimes I think I just act like an introvert to do so (fooling everyone).

The main question is:  Does it matter?

I don’t think it does.  I DO think that uncomfortable situations are a good thing to confront and hopefully get better at.  I’m thinking about joining a local group that does public speaking.  Why?  Well, though I have taught classes, talked in front of people with ease and have had experience doing so, I feel that I lag in that department.  I still think about it WAY too much than I should.  The idea of doing it makes me nervous.  Usually, I can pull-it-off okay, and it’s a great high at the end of it all.  However, the build-up for it is always too tense for me.  So, I think it’s important to practice doing things that are not characteristics of what you would generally do.  After all, I want to do some book signings and talks when I complete my graphic novel (wink, wink).

However, I also believe it’s important to be yourself.

If I chatted all day, I can assure you you would see very mediocre work on my end.  My comics would be – well – probably awful, and I wouldn’t be near as productive.  Though I might please other people by “being out there”, I wouldn’t be content with myself or my work.

At any rate, again – not sure if it even matters – but when do a self-evaluation, I’d say I’m probably about 60% introvert and 40% extrovert.  I think that college test was a bit off.  Or, maybe at the time, I just wanted to prove I was an extrovert to give all those naysayers a different answer when they think I’m some quiet cartoonist (like I still do at times).

It seems like if you are in a creative profession, more often than not, you need your space.

If you want more light shed on this subject, there’s a pretty good TED talk from Susan Cain you should check out (especially if you know you’re an introvert) by clicking HERE.

I’m not certain what I am, but I guess I’m happy that I have a bit of a combination between the both.  I guess I’m kind of like a supreme pizza – a variety of toppings.  Actually, make that Lucky Charms (the combinations of marshmallows and cereal is quite delicious.)

At the end of the day, if I fell in one category, I’d probably label it a Extro-Introvert.  Either way, it works.

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2 Responses to “My Extrovert/Introvert Teeter Totter”

  1. lutheranworship October 16, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

    Knowing whether you are an introverty or an extrovert means asking and answering this question: “What gives me energy?” To an introvert, being with crowds is draining and energy comes from being alone. The opposite is true of an extrovert. Their energy is being with people and their energy gets drained by being alone.

    • w101njf October 25, 2014 at 7:28 am #

      I think I’m probably definitely an introvert then. Coffee in the morning by myself gears me up for the full day!

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