Friday Question #182 / Gnu Bars Giveaway WINNER

By , February 10, 2012 4:47 am

What is your definition of introvert/extrovert and which characteristics do you identify with more (introvert, extrovert, in-between)?

Is it just me, or do the definitions of introvert and extrovert seem to be… lacking?

Introvert = shy? Hmm, really? That seems too cut and dry. And definition #2 makes them just sound self-centered!

Outgoing? Social? That is it?

This is why I am asking for your definitions and which you relate to more! These are the black & white definitions I have always thought of for introverted vs extroverted in my head, but I think there is so much more going on than that. 

I keep running across references to this book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (another possible definition – introvert – quiet?). And I keep running in to introvert/extrovert references in the research I am doing for work (office design). It’s really making me interested in doing more research on my own! But, I haven’t. So I don’t have anything to share with you yet. Except, this quiz (click link and scroll down) which will give you an idea of if you are introverted or extroverted. 

Like I said, I always thought extroverted = outgoing, always busy, full schedule, and introverted = keeping to yourself, not very social, always alone. The thing is, neither of those close-minded descriptions fit me. I am very independent and love love love my free time, but I also keep a somewhat busy social calendar, love chatting with new people, and making new friends. I am not shy at all, am rarely embarrassed and it’s hard to get me to shut up. Yet I have days, and weeks (like this one!) where I just want to chill at home with my husband, and only see my closest friends. So where do I lie on their scale? 

I would say I am mostly extroverted, with a bit of introverted in me too (Hey – peeps who know me in real life – what do you think I am?).

But, I am 13/20 for that quiz (which I highly recommend) – meaning I am more introverted. According to one quiz. Hmm. (Or maybe, ha ha)

The Gnu Bars Giveaway winner is #16, Gingerfoxxx! Gingerfoxxx, please email me your mailing address (to and I will get the sampler pack sent your way!

41 Responses to “Friday Question #182 / Gnu Bars Giveaway WINNER”

  1. Kandi says:

    I think of introverted people as more thoughtful (thinks a lot, not necessary thoughtful of others), quiet, preferring to be left alone. Extroverted people as outgoing, opinionated (well, maybe just more likely to state their opinion?), life of the party.
    I know those are likely more black/white definitions too but I think the words are meant to be black/white and people usually fall somewhere in the middle. I couldn’t even complete that quiz you sent me because I couldn’t decide if the statements were true or not. I guess I fall somewhere in the middle. I tend to be more extroverted than introverted but I can be shy or keep to myself if I’m in a new situation or around people I don’t know. I’m also that way if I’m around people I can’t find common ground with.

  2. I think you definitely lean towards extroverted but I don’t think anyone fits exactly in one category only. In my head when I think of extrovert, I think of a loud person who feels better when surrounded by lots of people. You aren’t loud, you are just super friendly. When I think of an introvert, I think of a really quiet person who thinks a lot about things and is conscious on the effect their actions have on others. It’s hard for me to explain though because neither one is negative, they are just different and both have their good and bad parts. I feel like you have the best qualities of both. You will talk to anyone and are super friendly, but then are also very aware that what you do has an effect on other people.

    • kilax says:

      Thanks for your nice compliments Tori 🙂

      I do kind of feel like there are negative connotations to both of them, when you are right – neither is right or wrong!

  3. abbi says:

    I think of introvert as keep to yourself, quiet, listener more than talker and extrovert as outgoing, life of the party type. I’m definitely introvert! There was an article in Time recently about the power of shy that had some introvert/extrovert references!

  4. dad says:

    For a definition I like comedian Tim Bedore’s (about people from Minneapolis) “Where the introverts stare at their shoes and the extroverts stare at your shoes”. You? Lets just say I wouldn’t picture a lot of introverts posting a picture of a sore on their foot for all the world to see.

    • kilax says:

      Ha! I like that definition!

      I don’t know – I think the foot thing just means I am a self-centered attention whore 🙂

  5. diane says:

    I always understood the difference as, most simply, extroverts draw their energy externally, from others, and introverts draw their energy internally, from their own reflections and thoughts.
    If you haven’t already, I’d recommend doing some reading on the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and the work of Carl Jung that it’s based upon. Everyone is pretty much on a scale–very rarely do people fall 100% in either direction. (I didn’t look at the quiz so it might be the same stuff!)

    • kilax says:

      I had never thought of it that way. Thanks for explaining it to me!

      I have done that quiz but I do not remember my results! I should retake it 🙂

  6. Emily says:

    I consider an introvert to be someone that is energized from being alone, and an extrovert to be someone that is energized from being around other people.

    Have you ever taken the MBTI personality test? All my life I’ve been an “ENFJ” where the “E” stands for extrovert, but in recent years I’m starting to border on being an “INFJ” where the “I” stands for introvert.

  7. I agree with Emily – I think it’s about where you get your energy from, although obviously introverts can get some energy from people and extroverts from alone time.

  8. Kristina says:

    I am a definite introvert in that I like/NEED down or alone time, but I also really need social interaction. I do think that we don’t necessarily fit one box or the other all the time.

  9. bobbi says:

    Oooo, I like Emily’s definition too!

    I got 12/20 on that quiz 🙂

    I feel like we are similar in this regard. We enjoy social situations. We are friendly and try to make others comfortable. But we are pretty comfortable inside our own heads, and need down time to “reset.” And we tend not to spew our shit unless we’re with our close friends.

    So maybe we are outgoing introverts?

  10. I think I am a strange mixture of both. I am shy at first, to people I don’t know. It takes me a little while to warm up to people, especially in the workplace. (The first day of marathon group training where I didn’t know anyone was terrifying.) But once you get to me or I get to know you, I won’t shut up. These definitions are really black and white and I think so many people are a mixture of both and fall inside the grey area.

    • kilax says:

      That is how my husband is – shy around people he doesn’t know well, but then after he knows them for awhile, he really comes out of his shell!

  11. Gingerfoxxx says:

    ARE YOU SERIOUS???? I was just whining about never winning anything ever. consider myself served!

    I think it’s hard to be simply “introverted” or “extroverted”. For me it depends on the situation. When it benefits me to do so, i can be extremely extroverted. (but i definitely love my down time too!)

  12. Megan says:

    I think I am definately an introvert – althougg my blog might suggest otherwise. I think if I were to meet you in person, you would be an extrovert – you always seem excited and willing to meet new people, try new things, get out there and experience things without hesitation. Just from reading your blog, I imagine you as someone who would be great to go to a party with, or just sit and drink coffee with (or tea!).

    • kilax says:

      Aww, thank you for your nice compliment! I do try to be up for trying new things all the time 🙂

      Do you think your blog portrays you a bit different than you are? Or just the fact that you have a blog, makes you seem more extroverted?

  13. Maggie says:

    I tend to think that extroverts like being the center of attention, and introverts don’t. So to me it doesn’t really have anything to do with necessarily being social or outgoing (or not), just do you like the attention on you? I have a friend who I think is a classic extrovert (that’s the friend I need to stop being so hard on). She’s always posting the most mundane stuff on Facebook, and I assume it’s just because she thinks people care about everything she’s doing – one of my friends and I joke that she thinks the world is a TV show and we are all guest stars (so we’ll joke “It’s the Jane* show!” [not her real name]). She’s also the type that has to make her problems everyone else’s problems too. I think we’ve generally just gotten used to it and have a “yeah that sucks” and move on kind of attitude when she tries to do that.

    • kilax says:

      Is that really an extroverted tendency? Or just an annoying habit? All joking aside, I do know people like that – everyone has to know their business all the time and share their drama. I never thought about that relationship with being an extrovert. Are all extroverts oversharers?

  14. Kayla says:

    I definitely am more of an introvert. I am quieter (until you get to know me) don’t like attention on me and at times like to be alone, but I definitely like being social as well. From the 1 time I met you, I would say you are more of an extrovert, but that was just my first impression 🙂

  15. Ren says:

    I’ll chime in to agree with the “energy” explanations. Introverts typically have to expend energy to handle social situations and then need some alone time to recover. Extroverts may become fidgety or bored when alone but thrive in social situations.

    There are, of course, all sorts of exceptions, along with people that fall somewhere in between as well as at the extremes (cannot deal with social situations at all or quickly go stir-crazy when alone).

  16. David Mierau says:

    Hi Kim! Hey, thanks for your birthday wishes! In regards to your post, I’ve heard about that book too and it sounds really interesting. I may have to pick it up at some point. I could relate to a lot of what you wrote, especially the thing about having a mixture of both introversion and extroversion. I recently read that introverts are more energized by ideas, which made sense.

    Give Data a pat on the head for me. 🙂 Thanks for all your encouraging comments on Kim’s blog!

    • kilax says:

      You’re welcome Dave! Hope you have a great bday celebration tomorrow 🙂

      I need to look more in to this whole energy theory! Because it seems like that is the real key. And I know I feel great after a quiet weekend and drained after a busy one.

      Data says thanks for that pat and hello to Mosie! 🙂

  17. gina says:

    You are such an extro (as I picture you shaking your butt at the drop of a hat)!

    Me, I lean towards the intro. I guess there are just varying degrees of being an introvert or an extrovert.

  18. Melissa says:

    Like Emily said above, I have heard from different personality inventories that introversion/extroversion is where you get your energy from.

    It’s interesting that you bring this up because we had a conversation about I vs. E at our Bunco group this week and most had never taken a personality inventory before and thought that I = thoughtful or quiet and E = loud and “life of the party”.

    I have always scored fairly high “E” on every inventory I have taken…and think that I am actually trending even more that way as I age and a few of the girls that don’t know me as well were *shocked*! Which actually kind of shocked me! Because, while no I am not an exhibitionist (like a couple of the girls in our group are), I am not shy or quiet and I absolutely love being around others and connecting with people. Interestingly enough I also scored 13/20 on that quiz though…but really? “Thinking before you speak” is considered an introverted trait? I just thought that was intelligent and well-mannered!

    I work with some “I” personalities and Matt is an “I” (even though most people think he is an “E”…he is DRAINED after social interactions and dreads them). Anyway…it goes back to the quiet/shy thing that I think you discussed a few months back…and I hate it because I often feel the “I” descriptor comes with a negative/anti-social stereotype!

    • kilax says:

      It is interesting that your group was surprised. That does go to show you that you can be quiet and extroverted! It is funny you mention the thinking before you talk thing. Because that is one that I do NOT do! I tend to just give my opinion, whenever people ask for it. I am learning the hard way not to speak up anymore (this is more political though, than me saying stupid things).

      I need to retake that test and see where I stand!

  19. J says:

    You have to read this! A friend passed this on to me…I am an introvert lol and found all of these things so true about me!

    • kilax says:

      That was a great link! It targeted all the misconceptions I think of, like introverts being shy, weird, not liking to talk… never wanting to leave the house. I guess that is what I was referring to when I said the black&white description of an introvert vs an extrovert!

  20. Losing Lindy says:

    hey thanks for stopping by! I was wondering how your foot is? I was going to email you earlier and I got sidetracked. Are you bruised/swollen/etc? I hope you are icing/adviling.

    • kilax says:

      My foot is still bruised/or whatever you want to call it (lol). But I was able to run 6 miles yesterday on it without pain. It’s such a weird thing. I am not sure what to think of it. Thanks for asking about it! 🙂

  21. […] over the years, but they do not allow for a ton of creativity. One of the weekly prompts I found is Friday Question at ilaxStudio, the book of a pretty cool lady named Kim. I’d encourage my meme loving friends […]

  22. Tina says:

    First time playing and the question was perfect. Looking forward to reading all the other responses.

  23. Mica says:

    Harrison has some very introverted people in his immediate family, so when I compare myself to them, it seems pretty obvious that I’m on the extroverted side of things. That being said, I think it’s more helpful to think of it as a continuum, with people “on the ___ side of things” like you said.

    Having met you, I think that the quiz results are accurate. I think your thoughtfulness really comes across on your blog, which makes me think of you as more introverted. (Not to say that extroverts are thoughtless, of course!) It just has given me the impression that you put a lot of time in thinking before you speak or act and that you also work to create meaningful relationships.

    • kilax says:

      When I think of it that way, I have some very introverted peeps in my family too, which makes for an interesting comparison!

      Thank you for the very nice compliment 🙂

  24. Erin says:

    The post J linked to about the 10 myths of introverts is dead-on. I am TOTALLY an introvert so it surprises people that I like public speaking. It’s because I have a reason to talk!

    Can you be an outgoing introvert? Because if you can, that’s what you are 🙂

  25. Susan says:

    I’ve always been taught that introverts draw their energy from being alone, while extroverts draw energy from other people. On any sort of test, I always come out at least 90% introverted, which is no surprise to me! I’m shy and quiet and don’t talk much about new people, but when I open up, I’m golden. I’d rather have a few close friends than a huge group of acquaintances. Being in big social situations can be exhausting, and working as a nurse definitely makes me more tired because I have to be with people alllll day! I like that “myths about introverts” link that a previous commenter posted, as it’s so true! We live in a society where it seems much better to be extroverted, as introverts keep to themselves and don’t talk as much.

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