Great tips for everyone in our lives:
My fiance and I started our pre-marital counseling at church last week. She’s a true-blue extrovert; I’m a hardcore introvert. Some people think that extroverts and introverts are not a good match in marriage. But, if I wanted to marry someone who was like me, I’d marry myself.
When I was telling the story of how I met my fiance, the married couple who counsels us picked up on the fact that I like things in a logical, structured order. All I said was that I’m generally organized and like to have a plan; the fact that I’m an accountant didn’t help my case. My fiance is organized in her own way, works with people every day and has plans that change at any time.
From there, the male counselor referred to my temperament as anal-retentive about ten times during the remainder of the session. I’m not really an uptight guy most of the time, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that introvert = anal-retentive. Did you ever notice that introverts don’t refer to themselves as anal-retentive? It’s the extroverts who call us that.
I’d also like to add that I don’t like the adjective anal-retentive in general–it sounds gross.
I’m going to keep track of the anal-retentive count over the next five weeks. I might suggest we find another term for anal-retentive: compulsive character.
Card showed up on my radar today, because he talked about being an introvert. His column is a bit odd, as it bounces from movie reviews, to Card’s late-night channel surfing story about cheetahs, and finally to peoples’ misperceptions of introverts. When I saw the column’s running title, Uncle Orson Reviews Everything, I guess his unconnected topics made more sense.
Once you get through 2/3 of the column, Card opens up about how he and his wife have managed to understand and accommodate one another’s temperaments and turned them into complements.
Here’s a selected passage:
These value-laden words are usually nothing more than descriptions of extroverted personalities – people who, by their inborn nature, are drawn to constantly seek to make friendly contact with everyone. It energizes them to be in a crowd; they hardly feel alive when they’re alone.
The trouble is, an awful lot of us aren’t like that at all; even if we have learned to act outgoing and friendly, it exhausts us to be with any more than a couple of deeply trusted friends.
Introverts treasure their solitude, and shy introverts feel no need to extract friendliness from strangers, and so don’t show any.
Here’s a quick quiz from The Introvert Advantage (Laney). Look over the qualities in sections A and B, and determine if the statement describes you the majority of the time. Answer how you are, not what you’d like to be. Go with your first impression!
Like to be in the thick of things
Relish variety, bored with sameness
Know lots of people, consider them friends
Enjoy chitchatting, even with strangers
Feel stoked after activity, eager for more
Speak or act without needing to think first
Are generally quite peppy
Tend to talk more than listen
Prefer to relax alone or with a few close friends
Consider only deep relationships as friends
Need rest after outside activities, even ones you enjoy
Often listen but talk a lot about topics of importance to you
Appear calm, self-contained, and like to observe
Tend to think before you speak or act
Experience mind going blank in groups or under pressure
Don’t like feeling rushed
Which of these qualities describe you the best? Obviously, if it’s mostly A, you’re an extrovert. B, an introvert. You might not have all of the qualities in one list or another, and that’s ok. If your temperament is still unclear, consider taking a longer assessment. I’ll post more self-assessment quizzes as I come across them.