June 3, 2005

Faking it

Overall, I average somewhere near 50% introvert and 50% extrovert on the Myers Briggs scale. For a long time, people always told me I was an extrovert -- after all, I'm comfortable speaking in front of crowds, I enjoy performing, I like parties and new people. But then, I sat for a real personality exam once, and that person told me:

Introverts need to process what they think and feel by themselves before they share. Extroverts learn what they feel and think by sharing.

By that definition, I'm nothing but an introvert.

This whole summer full of events and multi-week long interviews: tiring. And I'm not even halfway done. Right now, I'd like to not be on. I'd like to not feel that I'm being judged by what comes out of my mouth every time I speak at work and every time I speak at social events. I'd like to relax. In particular, the social events weigh on me -- obviously, I've thought through the things I say related to work assignments before I speak, so that's not so tiring. But at "getting-to-know-you" events -- half the time, I haven't given much thought to the stuff being asked. I have opinions, but I'm not sure I'm ready to share them. Perhaps they're only half-baked. Perhaps they're too personal to share. Perhaps I'm better off being quiet. But rarely is it appropriate to be quiet. So, I find myself sharing my opinions and offending. Or worse yet, it is appropriate to be quiet. But I'm not, because I'm so confused.

If I was an extrovert, I wouldn't be tired by the effort of pre-processing everything and I wouldn't be so concerned about the impression I was giving as I sorted my thoughts when it was more appropriate to be quiet. So, I guess the long-ago analysis was correct: despite all evidence to the contrary, I must be an INTJ and not an ENTJ. Bummer. I'd like to pretend I'm a good natural leader... but apparently, I'm more of a behind-the-scenes mastermind.

I feel like I was going somewhere with this. But where... I'm just not sure. Wish me luck.

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