Saturday, November 18, 2006

What Kind of Blogtrovert Are You?

Although I identify myself as an introvert, my scores on the various Myers-Briggs online quizzes I’ve done over the years probably give me a 50/50 split between introvert and extravert results. (And yes, hubby, I’m sticking with the "extravert" spelling, though I acknowledge that "extrovert" is an acceptable variant.) I’m not as obviously introverted as I once was: I no longer hide under the bed when guests visit the house (though I sometimes want to), and I don’t usually bring a book with me to social events so that I can hole up behind it and look busy while no one talks to me.

I’ve occasionally been told, in tones of hearty reassurance, that I am not in fact an introvert. This backhanded compliment appears to arise from the assumption that the word means "socially awkward loser with no friends" as opposed to "self-sufficient woman with deep inner resources." Books about introversion often begin with a passionate defence of this type of personality in a culture that values friendly, outgoing, assertive types (to the point that prospective employers often test job applicants for extraversion, apparently unconcerned that a room full of extraverts might find it easier to socialize than to actually get work done). Introverts are on the defensive in American culture, it seems.

I suspect that Canadians may direct a little more skepticism at that image of the fast-talking all-American extravert. It has been my experience that extraverts almost universally deny that they are extraverted. "I really love to be alone," they say, as they dash off to greet newcomers. "I felt shy once, when I was four," they add, before launching into their famous comedy routine. Certainly some of the descriptors of extraversion are not entirely flattering: extraverts reportedly crave social environments, feeling uncomfortable in solitude; they cultivate a wide circle of friends rather than a few significant relationships; they ditch old friends in favour of whoever is new and exciting.

Of course, extraverts are rarely like that: the ones I’ve known are usually warm-hearted and passionate about the things they care about; they excel at making everyone feel comfortable and included in the social group; they bring humour and energy to everything they do. That said, I’ve begun to wonder whether I’m becoming a blogging extravert. In real life, I rarely have the energy to get together with a friend more than once or twice a month, while online, I juggle 80 Bloglines subscriptions at a time. Most of my friendships are of many years’ duration, but my blogging friendships are all brand new – and often the newest ones are the most exciting. Usually I prefer one-on-one conversations to mingling in a large group, but in the blogosphere I jump from place to place in a kind of frenzy, trying to dip into as many different conversations as I can.

Not everyone seems to approach blogging this way, though. There are some of you, I know, who approach the blogosphere more selectively. Your blogrolls are small, your conversations intimate. You are blogging introverts, and your writing seems to reflect that in its thoughtfulness and introspection.

So what kind of blogtrovert are you? Do you ever feel hesitant to leave a comment on a blog you haven’t visited before? Do you feel uncomfortable approaching a "popular" blogger? Or are you – like me – a shameless whore always scavenging for more attention?

(And BTW, don't forget to vote!)


TrudyJ said...

I'm another person who comes out almost 50/50 introvert/extravert on the MB. Blogwise, I'm not sure ... I want to be extraverted and attract scores of people to my own blog, but I am a bit shy about posting comments on others', especially if it's someone I perceive as a "popular" blogger. I have about a dozen blogs that I check regularly, so I guess I am a bit more of the intravert online.

cinnamon gurl said...

I think I alternate between shameless whore and introvert. Sometimes I get shy around more 'popular' bloggers, or just plain tired. Other times I go somewhere in the middle, figuring that even the popular bloggers are just people and probably like hearing from their readers, just like I do.

As for my own blog, I'd love more readers and comments... the more the merrier. But I also like having 5 pretty regular readers who I know through their blogs, and I sort of imagine them when I write.

I started to try to do the quiz you linked to, but I got frustrated... where's the sometimes or maybe options???

Veronica Mitchell said...

Definitely introvert. I am sure you are shocked.

I read about a dozen blogs regularly, and generally don't comment on new blogs, or even some I read frequently. I like hanging out on the fringes of the crowd, and don't like being drawn in too much.

blog_antagonist said...

I haven't taken the MB, but in person I am somewhat introverted. I'm just not a joiner. The reason for this is because I have no patience for the petty drama that seems to plague groups of women.

I guess this holds true for blogging as well, and so, I'm pretty selective, blogotarily speaking. And I don't often visit the "popular" bloggers.

I would not be uncomfortable if I chose to comment, but I tend to avoid that which attracts a large following. That goes for books, movies, and blogs. Why? I don't really know. I guess because I have peculiar taste and what's popular doesn't always resonate with me, and I'm often disappointed when I follow the tide of public opinion.

So my blogroll is pretty small, comparatively speaking, though it is much larger than it used to be, because the longer I am in the blogosphere, the more really clever, pithy, and moving writers I discover. But I'd rather have a few really meaty blogs to read, than a multittude of..."meh" to choose from.

I'm the same way with comments. I don't get nearly the number of comments that some bloggers do. And I'll be perfectly frank and admit that this used to bother me. But I've realized that the comments I do get are really substantive and I'd rather have a few of those, than a gazillion "right on, sister"s.

Sorry to be so longwinded. But your post wasn't they type that solicits "right on sister" type comments. :?)

metro mama said...

I'm an blog extrovert. The only reason I limit my blogroll is because I have a finite amount of time. I'm not shy to comment on the big bloggers but often don't because I prefer a reciprocal relationship.

I always identify as an extrovert on MB. However, I love being alone too. I have trouble with small talk sometimes.

Mary-LUE said...

As in "real life" I don't think it is any big secret that I am a blog extravert, is it?

I had to laugh at your aside to your husband about the spelling of extravert. I had that exact comment from my husband not too long ago. To appease him, I change it up, sometimes using the 'o' and sometimes the 'a'.

Christina said...

I'm a little of both, I think. I'm not afraid to comment on a new or popular blog, but at the same time I find it easy to fall into a comfortable safe routine of reading my "regular" blogs.

I agree with you that introverts shouldn't be thought of as a bad thing. Cordy's personality, while still developing, is leaning hard towards "loner", and I worry what will happen in a year when her preschool teacher will tell us she needs to learn to socialize more. If she wants to play alone, I'm all for it.

Mad Hatter said...

Too much to say. No time to say it in. That's the story of my blogging life. I think that I would like to be a blog extrovert but I fear that the extrovert I would become would end up making me a blog cranky pants.

As it is, I have given birth to a daughter who needs no sleep whatsoever which makes me a de facto blog introvert; all of which means I'm lucky because it saves me from becoming an over-involved curmudgeon. (Sorry, I am a bit cranky tonight after being put out by a blog post elsewhere and its icky comment war. Grrr.)

Long story short: I have no time to read or comment as much as I would like. I have less time to write the posts I really want to write. This means I write easier posts than I would like and that makes me cranky.

Your post did not, I repeat, did not make me cranky. Your posts are delightful. I think I am simply having a cranky Saturday night.

allrileyedup said...

I think I'm a blog introvert who is working her way to extrovert (sorry, but I spell it with the 'o'). I don't know if I will ever actually make it to the extrovert stage, because I'm quite an extrovert in real life, and maybe I need to be an introvert in my blog life to keep things in balance. At least, that's what I'm going to say until I become an extrovert.

nomotherearth said...

I am always labelled an introvert in all tests that I take, and that's pretty accurate. However, I do have a very extra(o)verted side and many people would scoff if I said I was shy. Blog-wise, I think I'm leaning towards extra(o) rather than intro. I'm never shy to make a comment - I figure that I always want to know when someone has visited and liked/disliked my post, and so I return the acknowledgement. I tend not to comment on posts that have extremely large amounts of comments unless I have something especially unique to say, though.

Aliki2006 said...

I don't have a problem commenting on new blogs--in fact, I like to. I think this reflects who I am in real life--I like to keep the number of my friends down so I don't spread myself too thin, yet I always try and make connections with people. I wouldn't say I'm an extrovert exactly, but I certainly am not an introvert--somewhere in-between? Maybe a selective extrovert?

Kyla said...

In 3D life, I am fairly balanced. I've always been shy and more of an introvert, but in the past few years, I've become a bit more outgoing.

In BlogLand, I am much more extroverted. I'm not nervous about visiting new blogs, because I always like meeting new people on my blog. I just assume other people are the same way.

Kristen said...

In real life I am an introvert, but I've found in the blogging world, when I have time anyway, I prefer jumping from conversation to feels more doable to me - maybe because it doesn't require physical, visible, or timely interaction?

Jill said...

Blogging extrovert, real life introvert. The hubby is the reverse - blogging introvert, real life extrovert. (although he does comment for you). I think blogging is good for introverts because we can do it on our own terms.

I hate the way introverts are pegged as shy losers instead of people who like their own company. At our 4-yr-old's preschool conference the teacher commented that our son is a little on the quiet side and doesn't open up easily. The husband walked away worrying that we should take immediate some steps to put an end to his introversion. I walked away happy to have a thoughful, well-behaved little boy.

Mary-LUE said...

Back again... Regarding the whole real life introvert reputation. My husband is a very strong introvert. People think it means he is shy. He isn't shy at all. He just needs down time away from people. They don't understand it is just about where he gets his personal energy.

Some of the most dynamic speakers I know are introverts. Some of the most capable people I know are introverts. Some of the best friends I have are introverts.

It makes me sad that some teachers don't understand this and might make parents worried about their kids who are just fine.

Julie Pippert said...

I think Canadians and New Englanders have a lot in common.

I absolutely get a little grin every time you allude to "Canadian skepticism about the whole American idea of...happy/outgoing/etc."

I'm a shameless attention whore in some areas IRL and online.

I'm a shameless Hans Solo in some areas IRL and online.

I think I came friendly, got shy, learned how to be friendly again, and through it all found ways to enjoy being alone and with others.

Cinnamon Gurl, I bet you have more readers than you think. I read you! You should take the bloglebrity quiz. I was pleasantly surprised. I would link but am nakking so handicapped. It's in my last post on my blog though.

I'm unlikely to comment if I think it will get lost in a broad field.

Like Blog Antagonist said...I'm happy with a few really interesting comments.

Mouse said...

I am mostly a blog introvest, most definitely a real-life introvert. My Bloglines have been growing, but I don't comment on everything I read. Some of it is feeling like I'm intruding (total introvert!) and some of it is feeling like I don't have anything to add.

Once I get comfortable someplace, however, it's hard to get me to shut up...

Momish said...

I love this post! I really had to think about just where I would fall. In real life I am an extrovert, for sure. I can talk to just about anyone about anything and love to start up conversations with strangers. But, in the blogworld, especially when I first started, I was so scared to comment. Like Mouse, I felt like I was intruding and unsure if my comment would be welcomed. I still tend to stick with the people I know and feel would want me to comment. Although, I feel OK about commenting on the popular blogs, because my comment can easily blend in with the wallpaper, so to speak.

P.S. I love reading what everyone else has to say too, I was surprised by some of the answers!

jouette said...

shameless whore always scavenging for more attention - blogging extravert, and an ENFP on the MB test we had to take at work. In the blog world, it is hard to read and comment on all the blogs I'd like to, but when a particular post hits me, even if I've never commented (or read it) before, I will comment. This post? Was really intriguing, as were all of the comments so far :)

Eric said...

I'm not a big blog-commenter, although in real life I have no problem jumping into just about anyone's conversation. I still feel like I don't really KNOW the people whose blogs I read, even though I probably know more about them than people I know in real life.

Em said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Em said...

I've actually thought about this whilst lying in bed at night contemplating the nature of my blog and the fact that I don't have many readers! When I do the personality tests I come down 50/50 introvert/extrovert too... which translates into real life to mean that I have a medium sized group of friends and a number of close and deep friendships but I'm definitely not the life of the party.

I think this carries over to my blog where I have fewer readers but I "know" who they are and I like it that way. One of the problems I have with bigger more popular blogs is that by the time there 50+ comments per post, as a reader you become "just" another little voice in a sea of comments. This is why I don't usually bother posting. I think you "lose" the intimacy/connection (for want of a better word) I'm like MetroMama I like a somewhat reciprocal nature in my blogging exchanges... I'm very happy to post on smaller and medium sized blogs (like here!)

Em said...

PS I have to add (now that I've read all the comments - that I often find myself in the same boat as Mad Hatter - I'd like to spend more time writing and commenting but I simply do. not. have. the. time. And at times this makes me very grumpy.

How on earth do you manage to follow 80 blogs a week?

bubandpie said...

By reading as fast as I can? I do feel as if I could read the blogs I do read in a more pleasurable, thoughtful way, if I weren't in suck a fracking hurry all the time.

But I also really miss the blog-hunting expeditions I used to go on, randomly clicking around the blogosphere looking for new finds.

Gwen said...

I'm also about 50/50 on the MB scale, but then I'm about 50/50 on all of its measures which makes defining myself .... a delightful challenge. Still, IRL, I feel like an introvert and a shy one, too. This has been a source of much woe (woe!) in my life because if I know you, I am gregarious and talkative and occasionally even amusing, but if I don't know you, we'll spend a lot of time not looking at each other and smiling awkwardly while you tell yourself I am obviously a bitchy snob since just yesterday you saw me chatting happily with that other mother (the one who happens to be my next door neighbor, not that you know that). I think shy people get a worse rap even than introverts because there's a sense that adults should have grown out of shyness. And we haven't all managed that.

My sister--another introvert--and I spend a lot of time talking about how extroversion is more readily lauded in our (American)culture than introversion, maybe because we have one of each in our parents (could that syntax be more awkward?), and the extroverted one was always the "star" while the introverted one's many talents and charms were ignored.

In the blogiverse, I'm definitely an introvert, too. I prefer reading to commenting, in general. But if something strikes me as comment-worthy, watch out because I just may not shut up.

Mummy said...

This may seem quite a strange comment, let me apologise in case it offends. I was sent the link to your blog by a friend and I thought it might be great to get some insight from other Mums etc. I am a stay-at-home Mum (with several degrees..and a quite a successful legal career behind me), of two (under 18 months) with a third on the way.

What is your daily routine like? How much quality time do you spend with your children? Where do you find the time to blog....and why not about things that actually relate to the kids? Is your blogging just an excuse to go on at length on any topic that strikes your that the point of blogging?

Poor kids....poor husband - though he really needs a seems bordering on abuse that you blog at the dinner table!!! I actually agree with your hubby, maybe I won't find blogs from good mummies because they are all out taking care of their kids....

bubandpie said...

Mummy - On the off-chance that the apology part of your comment was sincere, I'll go ahead and respond. (And I do appreciate the forewarning that offensive content was to follow!)

One of the advantages of blogging is that it provides a space that is usually very nearly free of the judgment that mothers are faced with in so many other environments. (For some reason, when a commenter speaks up to pass judgment on a mother based solely on the self-deprecating remarks she makes on her blog, usually that commenter is not a blogger herself!)

The thing about judgments is that you can't win: if you post nothing but descriptions of your children, some people will conclude that you are mindless and boring (or chastise you for "using" your children as your sole source of blog fodder). If you write about other topics, apparently some people will see that as a sign that you are not a dedicated or caring mother.

With three children spaced that closely together, you have likely been the target of judgments yourself. The great thing about blogs is that if you allow them to, they can provide an opportunity to get to know someone in more depth than is possible if you simply look for evidence you can use to judge someone.

bubandpie said...

And again with the benefit-of-the-doubt thing (assuming that you actually want to know), I'll go ahead and answer your questions:

1) What is your daily routine like?

I work three days a week. On the days when I'm at home, I take the kids to a playgroup most mornings, come home and give them lunch, write a blog post while they nap in the afternoon, and then desperately try to hold the fort over the late-afternoon-stretch until hubby gets home.

2) How much quality time do you spend with your children?

As much as I should? Maybe not. But if I weren't blogging, I'd probably be working on a crossword or reading a book... I've confessed it before, so I might as well cop to it now: I have a lot of difficulty giving my children my total, uninterrupted attention for prolonged periods of time.

3) Where do you find the time to blog...and why not about things that actually relate to the kids?

For the first part, see above. For the second part: because my kids aren't all I think about. I think about my husband, and myself, and books I read, and TV shows I watch, and random theories I come up with throughout the day...and all of that winds up here, in one way or another. Do you seriously have nothing to write about aside from your kids now that you're a mother? (I mean that question sincerely.) Or do you simply feel that a mommy-blog ought to be about nothing aside from mommy-ing?

5) Is your blogging just an excuse to go on at length on any topic that strikes your that the point of blogging?

Um, yeah. Pretty much. ;-)

Haley-O said...

Woo! Great answers to "Mummy's" comment -- which was definitely harsh and undeservedly judgemental. I happen to think you're fabulous. And, blogging the way we do, I think, makes us BETTER MOTHERS! Because it gives us an outlet in which to BE OURSELVES. It's the ultimate me-time. So, we're stronger for our children, and we're not just "mommies," but also writers and thinkers and STARS (HA! blogextrovert...!), and were HAPPY! Isn't that a huge part of what makes a good mother?: a mother who is independent, who feels good about herself, who is productive and does things for herself as well as for her children, etc., etc....?

I also think -- judging from your blog in general, and how you conduct yourself in the blog world, that you and I are a lot alike, and have similar principals, in terms of blogging (and otherwise, actually). I'm a blogextrovert, too. I'll comment on anyone's blog, and I'm pretty shameless. :) I love comments, and memes, and my sitemetre.

cinnamon gurl said...

Kudos to you for your response to mummy. Me, I have a hard time giving the benefit of the doubt in situations like this. I think anytime someone says "No offence, but" they really intend to offend.

But, yeah, my blog is most certainly just an excuse to go on at length on any topic that strikes my fancy. And I figure anything that keeps me happy is better for my kid.

bubandpie said...

Haley-O and C-Gurl: Thanks for the back-up, ladies!

Haley, I was thinking of you as I wrote this post, because I was really surprised when you pled shyness and skipped the latest T.O. blogger-get-together - you seem like SUCH an extravert online!

(And Mouse, with you it was the opposite: you present yourself as a very reserved introvert, but I didn't find you shy in person at all.)

ali said...

online - an extrovert, i believe. not so much in real life.

it's easy to hide behind a computer screen. i will comment when i want to, not comment when i don't want to. i'll comment on the "popular" sites like amalah and rockstar mommy...but i don't expect a reply or anything. i'll comment on smaller sites and am thrilled to get a reply.

Mummy said...

Hey, thank you for the response. In retrospect, I imagine bits of it may seem unnecesarily harsh, and again I apologise.

I guess for all mothers, you don't cease living when your children are born...although life changes and that's something I have embraced. There are certain things that you learn at home, at school, socially from friends etc and they help make you a better person.

When it comes to being a mother...I have relied on my experiences from my own Mum/Dad ( and various other friends and relatives), which is abolutely fantastic. However today's world is a little bit different...and when I read some of your blog, it was merely to see how other mothers...who are perhaps similar in certain respects have dealt with the joys and trials of motherhood.

Again, critism is not a one-sided thing. In my life, I have decided that the first few years are crucial and then the kids are off to school and your role, though equally important changes significantly. A lot of women may feel that because I have altered my life somewhat that I no longer have a life....its just different.

I disagree with someone who said that if she's happy then she is a better Mum. I accept that if you are unhappy it will affect every aspect of your life. But being a better mother is something I imagine all mothers struggle with...I certainly do. However my happiness cannot on its own MAKE me a better Mum. I believe its the decisions that I make daily and the time/attention/love and understanding that I give to my children.

And again, I don't hold motherhood up as something monumental...for those of us fortunate enough to have children (my thoughts are always with those who experience difficulty)...having a child makes us a mother. A child is a blessing and we I think true motherhood is how we raise our kids.

The time just goes by sooo quickly. I just love every moment that I am able to spend with them.. I do have a loving husband and we have fantastic relationship (knock on wood), which has in and of itself (as we have as individuals) evolved with the arrival of our children...we're now a family.

Certianly our imediate priorities may have changed, but I still chat regularly with my family (and his) and our friends and nieghbours. Again, I find the days go by so much faster and I try to spend as much quality time as I can with them. I just don't have as much free time as I used to.

So its absolutely great that you have as much free time as you do and that you accept your shortcomings like I do mine. I wish however, that all of the people who want to comment caould offer some useful suggestions.....for eg. to your point of having difficulty spending long periods with your my mind that's more supportive, since at the end of the day we must all want the same things for our kids.

With respect to the spacing of my children....I don't recall any judgements...I'm not too sure whats wrong with having the kids close in ages, once one's able to raise them properly and its doesn't affect one's health. But again that sort of stuff doesn't bother me...because at the end of the day, I feel that my children get as much attention as they need....perhaps more than....

So blog away and forgive my nerve at having made an honest comment that wasn't a 'you're the best person on the face of the earth..' You're happy, your kids are clearly doing well, and your hubby is the end of the day that's all that matters...not some stranger who knows very little...night night

bubandpie said...

Mummy - I kind of wondered if you were a "real person" instead of someone being deliberately aggressive to stir up trouble. And based on your comment here that certainly seems to be the case. I think a good rule of thumb is never to tell someone that you pity her children (especially if what you're pitying them for is the burden of having such a terrible mother!). It's like saying to the parent, "I love your children more than you do," which is really just clearly not true.

Personally, I think having children close together is wonderful - but I threw that out as an example of the kind of thing people DO sometimes judge. If I had said, "I feel sorry for your oldest child - you sure didn't bother to give him/her any individual attention before having two more babies" that would feel like a pretty harsh judgment (and would, very likely, be utterly baseless). And some people do think things like that - just as others think it's evil and wrong to have only one child.

I agree that there's a place for constructive suggestions - they tend to be most helpful when they are offered in response to a felt need, and when they're offered horizontally, if you will - "Here's something that helps me when I'm feeling that way" - as opposed to being handed down from on high.

bubandpie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bubandpie said...

Oh, and on the free time issue - your most recent comment is about the length of a standard blog post. Are you sure you don't want to start a blog of your own? ;)

Beck said...

Ummm. I'm hestitant about commenting on new blogs - I have to lurk for a while before I feel comfortable. And I won't comment on the superstar blogs... But in real life, I'm very extroverted. Interesting question!

Mummy said...

I think a bit of my comment was misconstrued....

I scanned some of your entries looking for things related to kids/family life and I came across the post with the blogging at the dinner table....and the one with your husbands comment.

I don't know anything about one-liner was based on HIS comment....which YOU quoted. I don't pity your kids, the comment was clearly in response to blogging at the dinner table and HIS comment about mums who blog.

So, if you think its great to blog instead of chatting with the kids and husband...great, but don't generalise the comment, about people sitting in high places etc....I am not perfect and neither are you...or maybe you feel that you are and as such my entries must be even more offensive.

It seems as if you're making your comments re: having kids close together....its okay if thats your view, no need to say that 'others may feel'

But I see my kids for more than a few hours per week, no problems spending time with them, and they love interacting with each other and with I guess, though I am no perfect, I don't think they're suffering too much....

But I will think about it before I plan number 4.

Mummy - Idle Person said...

Re: the free time issue. I am hurt, I made such an effort to express myself clearly in light of my earlier shorter comment that was so objectionable.

Was it too long to read?

With respect to a blog of my own...I'm a little too busy LIVING my life...not enough hours in the day to do justice to the real relationships in my and friends...but hey, maybe one day...though may not have a very big

Changed my name to idle person....which is what I seem to be (its the middle of the night where I am and I am staying up to keep an eye on my little girl who has a fever...this has helped pass the time though...)

Mel said...

I'm a little of both. I'll comment once or twice on a "popular" blogger's site if I feel I have something relevant to add; but if they don't acknowledge that I've said something after I've stopped by more than once, then I will refrain from commenting in the future. Unless they're a REALLY big blogger, in which case I'll comment away because they aren't liable to answer anybody.

cinnamon gurl said...

To mummy - idle person (BTW, maybe you want to read In Praise of Idleness?)

Something I have learned since becoming a mother: there is more than one way to be a good mother. We all have to do what's right for ourselves and our families. When I encounter other mothers, in real life and in the blogosphere, I try to support their own ways of being a mother. They may not make the same choices I do, but being a mother is hard, intense and important work, and I think we need to cut each other some slack.

I think it was Andi Buchanan, in Mother Shock, who said that she believes when people give unsolicited parenting advice or make judgments (the two are linked in my mind), it really says more about the one giving the advice. When people are comfortable with their own choices, they tend to be pretty tolerant of others doing things differently. It's when people doubt their decisions that they tend to make harsh judgments.

Which is all a roundabout way of saying that I think you are being judgmental, mummy. I don't think this is an example of fostering discussion and exchanging different viewpoints. I think you're being kind of mean, really. I think that if you don't like something on a blog, just click away.

Again, kudos to B&P for being so respectful in her responses to you.

bubandpie said...

Mummy - Idle Person (*grin* - I like the new name) - Fair enough. Your comment was conciliatory - so much so that you convinced me that you really did not set out to wound or insult me with your initial comment, that you were really unaware of how the "poor children" part was likely to affect me. So - setting myself up in high places - I gave a demonstrative example of what it feels like to hear a remark like that. Not that it was necessary for me to do so, since you had already apologized, so please disregard my analogy, and believe me when I say that I do not in any way think that giving children siblings does anything but multiply their blessings a hundredfold.

And as for free time - we all need what we can get, right? - even if it's in the midst of a workday or in the middle of the night.

sunshine scribe said...

I think I am pretty similar on my blog and in real life (only I share way more info about myself on my blog - in real life I am more the one asking animated questions to draw others out).

This was super interesting. As always. I might have to crown you queen of everything my dear.

karrie said...

I'm like you--a shameless, mostly introverted whore who enjoys attention. :)

mom-nos said...

Really interesting topic. I'm actually a trained Myers-Briggs administrator so I find it particularly interesting from that perspective.

A couple of things. When I do MBTI presentations I always highlight the part of my training that said that "extravert" and "introvert" in Myers-Briggs typology have different meanings from "extrovert" and "introvert" in everyday vernacular. In real life, we tend to equate "extrovert" with "outgoing and friendly" and "introvert" with "quiet and shy."

In MBTI, though, the E/I preferences are not a measure of sociabilty. They really look at how we use and generate energy in our lives. Extraverts tend to get their energy from the outer world of people and things; when they want to "recharge their batteries" they prefer to do it with other people. Introverts get their energy from the inner world of thoughts and ideas; when they need to "recharge" they prefer to do it alone. (Note the use of the word "prefer" - E and I are seen as preferences, with the understanding that everyone has the capacity for both. It's likened to right-handedness and left-handedness. If you're right handed, you probably use your left hand for lots of things every day. But the quickest, easiest, most natural way to approach something tends to be with your right hand. Same principle with MBTI preferences.)

So (long-winded, I know), in MBTI it's (more than) possible to be an outgoing introvert or a shy extravert. Or vice versa.

I'm a clear introvert in MBTI, though I have a job (that I love) that requires me to interact with lots of people all day every day. If I were an extrovert, it's likely that late afternoon would be a high energy time of day for me because I would have spent all day building energy through my interactions with people. As an introvert, I am tapped out by around 4:00, and need to spend some time alone in my office to recharge before I get in my car to drive home and have family time.

I never thought about it before, but I guess I have carried my introvert tendencies over to blogging and I tend to travel in small circles. I enjoy blogs like yours with its high energy and bazillion comments to each post, but they do make me feel a bit out of my element. And yet, here I am posting a comment... an extraordinary long, analytical, reflective, introverted comment, but a comment nonetheless!

bubandpie said...

Mom-NOS - Ack! I'm blushing at the memory of all my amateur-psychology MBTI posts, based mostly on Keirsey (since I've never had the real one done by a qualified professional!). At least I haven't done that post yet on how there really needs to be a fifth letter added to the scheme: H/L for high-strung vs. laid-back (though hubby and I have heated discussions about whether H/L is an independent trait or simply a function of the intensity of one's J/P preference: I vote for independent trait on the grounds that one's intensity is not always focused on a need for structure or freedom: I've known a few H-E's and quite a number of H-F's; yes, hubby and I are nerds).

Nervous babbling aside, one of my favourite things about the system is how often people assume that the answer to a particular question is obvious or universal: i.e. "Obviously I feel better after making a decision, doesn't everyone?" - only to discover that other people assume the opposite.

The "where-you-get-your-energy-from" explanation of the E/I dimension always seems like that to me. Of course it's draining (though fun) to spend time in a social gathering; of course we need time alone to recoup. Isn't everyone like that?

My brother-in-law isn't: I've never seen anything like the way he actually falls asleep when he's in a small family gathering (though he bounces off the walls if you throw him in the room with a bunch of strangers). But I do think that only the very strongest extraverts feel highly energetic at four o'clock.

mom-nos said...

Don't sweat it! I'm a trained administrator, but I'm by no means an expert!

When I'm referring to 4:00 energy, I don't really mean productivity. By that time of the day, many of my extraverted colleagues have had enough of being behind their desks and find themselves congregating near the copy machine to joke and banter and "recharge." And when I hear them gathering, instead of going out to join them, I tend to get up and close my office door.

I see a similar thing happen with large-group events. At the end of the event, the E's are pumped and say "Hey, let's go grab some coffee," so they can ease themselves into winding down. But even if I've had a great time at the large-group event, I'm usually ready to say farewell by the end of it.

Red Rollerskate said...

I also jump from blog to blog in a disorganized frenzy and I think it is EXACTLY BECAUSE I am an introvert in real life. On a blog, no one can see that I have nowhere to put my hands. Or that my glasses are falling down my nose and I never know how to push it back up. Or that I don't know where to put my feet (together? One toe pointing out Paris Hilton style? One leg back a la 1985?) So I love to have a few close friends in real life, but to be a friend slut when no one can see me or condemn me. It's fun to play pretend. :)

Red Rollerskate said...

Mummy/idle person - I just have to add one thing. Blogging in and of itself is not the issue. The issue is free time. I would hope that every mother (and father, child, person) has some sort of free time every day. Whether you spend your time staring out the window, watching TV, reading, doing crosswords, or blogging, it doesn't matter. It seems silly to critique blogging, don't you think?

Find a hobby, time to recharge. And if you can do it in a creative way that causes you to connect with others, even better.