I am an introvert

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It’s common to hear people describe themselves as being introverted or extroverted.  The Myers-Briggs personality analysis first introduced the terms Introversion and extroversion into popular usage, and suggested that each person has extroverted and introverted aspects.  Modern usage tends to be a bit different.  When people say that they are extroverted, they generally mean that they are outgoing and interact easily with other people.

Photo Credit: D. Sharon Pruitt via Flickr

Photo Credit: D. Sharon Pruitt via Flickr

For myself, I am solidly introverted.  What does that mean?  Introversion is not shyness.  Shyness is awkward, uncomfortable and lacking.  A person can be introverted and still be entirely comfortable in their own skin.

The best descriptions of introversion usually relate it in terms of energy.  Whereas extroverts gain energy from other people and their interactions, introverts use energy during their interactions and have to later recoup that energy.  For example, an extrovert might be at their best at a busy party, chatting up everyone in the room.  Meanwhile, an introvert might talk to a few people at the party, retreat to a quiet spot to have a glass of wine, then find a few more people to talk to.

That doesn’t mean that introverts are the quiet ones and extroverts are the loud ones.  In a comfortable situation, introverts can be just as animated and outgoing as an extrovert.  But always, it depends on the situation!

Unfortunately, you can’t always control your environment and the people in it.  More times than not, introverts will find themselves in a situation that is not entirely comfortable.  Perhaps there are new people in the room or a larger than usual crowd at lunch.  In these situations, introverts will naturally become more quiet.

It can be daunting – entire sections of your local bookstore are likely devoted to such fascinating topics as Careers for Introverts or Dating for Introverts… hopefully not Introverts for Dummies, but you never know.

But introversion can be a valuable quality to recognize in yourself.  In some situations, people who are introverted are actually more creative than their extroverted counterparts.  It just depends on the situation!

Financially, recognizing yourself as an introvert or an extrovert can help you make better decisions.  For example, since I know that I am more creative when I’m alone and not under pressure from social considerations, I often come into work early in order to tackle the harder tasks that I have.  This (hopefully) makes me a better employee and will one day be rewarded with raises and promotions.  😉

Or, consider your regular shopping routine.  As an introvert, you probably like to think things over and you also probably like to avoid conflict.  So it’s probably better to do a lot of research before a purchase so that you can avoid being pressured by a salesperson into making a bad decision!

An extrovert, I imagine, would have the advantage when it comes to things like negotiating a raise or bargaining over a price.  However, an introvert can do these things too – if they prepare ahead of time and become comfortable and confident in the salary or price they believe they deserve.

Like any other personality trait, recognizing it in yourself is the first step towards making it work in your favour.  Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?  Has it played a role in any of your financial considerations?

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36 Comments

  1. I’m 100% an introvert. Where I think this helps me financially is I don’t have a huge amount of desire to go out and hit the town at night. I’m perfectly happy at home renting a movie. I do like being around people in small groups, but I prefer a movie, or small dinner party. Overall I think that helps me save money.

  2. I’m definitely an extrovert 🙂 Have you read the book Quiet? I found it fascinating, as predominantly an extrovert.
    I like how you mentioned energy, for me, social events feed me energy. I end up wound up and bouncy as a result, which is the opposite of most introverts. That said, there are definitely times that I need downtime and am overwhelmed by 100% social interaction (ie 3 week trips to visit friends and family.)

  3. I’m an introvert by nature. I prefer reading a book than going out in a large party. However, most people think I am an extrovert because I force myself to be a social butterfly. I can be an extrovert when I need to be.

    • CF says:

      I can fake it too, but my most meaningful interactions definitely occur one-on-one. I enjoy social events, but much prefer doing it with one or two other people rather than large groups.

  4. Mackenzie says:

    I am totally an introvert. The part where you said “introverts use energy during their interactions and have to later recoup that energy”, is spot on! Crowds are draining for me, and after awhile, it’s like I need my space! 🙂

  5. I’m 100% an introvert. I’m well aware that I get my energy from being alone, and it’s something that has impacted my career and interests. For example, I am big on the idea of working from home or telecommuting because I am much more productive when I’m not in our open cubicle environment with people constantly talking to me and distracting me. I like privacy and controlling my environment, and I do that best at home, not in an open cubicle! I’ve actually thought a lot recently about how to best use my introverted-ness to my advantage, especially when it comes to my career and income.

  6. Mike@WeOnlyDoThisOnce says:

    Great way to apply your self-knowledge to finance. I imagine you and myself alike also function more efficiently with our finances when we’re left to apply things by ourselves.

    • CF says:

      Definitely. If I have time to puzzle over something, I’m usually much happier with the solution than if you stuck me in a room with a bunch of other people trying to “help” me.

  7. eemusings says:

    The hugest introvert (the subject of a few blog posts in the past!) but paired up with an extrovert. I adore my alone time, while he hates being alone. Being introverted isn’t ideal for my chosen field, though.

    I think a lot of bloggers tend to be introverts, for obvious reasons.

  8. Being an introvert is perfectly fine. My MBTI says I’m 3% over the mark into “extrovert”, but I don’t buy it. I do find myself awkwardly trying to fill silences that other people would be fine with, BUT I expend a lot of energy being social – not that I don’t enjoy it.

    • CF says:

      That’s the thing – I enjoy being social as well. But it really depends on the situation and the people. Rarely, I find people who actually give ME energy – I love that.

  9. Just call me creative 🙂 I’m definitely more introverted than extroverted. I’ve come out of my “shell” a lot in the past 10 years or so, but I still secretly seek solitude.

  10. An introvert but I love to go out as well. Maybe I just have problem with some people. There are times when I just want to be left alone while there are times when I want to socialize especially during events.

    • CF says:

      It depends on the event and the people I’m going with for me. I can get really excited and into it, but other times, I can be withdrawn, even when it’s something I want to do.

  11. There are so many awesome bloggers who are introverted based on your comments! I am also an introvert for sure. 🙂 Get my energy from sitting all by myself and reading/working on the computer =D

  12. I’m also a fairly introverted person…with some extroverted tendencies. Great job using your self-analysis to help you make financial decisions.

  13. I am definitely an introvert! My job involves a small amount of sales related work, and I absolutely hate it. It makes me uncomfortable and it’s just not what I want to do with my life. I’ve brought this issue up with my employer and fortunately I’ve been able to move away from the selling aspects in into more of a technical role.

    In terms of finances, I think being an introvert is a great qualify because it means I love to do research. I think this has helped me make good financial decisions.

    • CF says:

      Even as a software developer, there are parts of my job that make my introverted self cringe, like giving presentations and talking with new people. :S Hopefully I am getting better at it!

  14. I’ve taken that test and I was right in the middle. I think my BF is the same too, whereas one of my sister’s is an introvert and the other is an extrovert. It definitely does explain a lot of things when you know if someone is an introvert or extrovert.

  15. I’m definitely an introvert. Like you said it doesn’t mean being awkward or non-confident like many people would assume. I don’t think being an introvert has played much of a role in any financial or career situations for me other than maybe choosing a career in analysis over sales 🙂

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