Friday, February 3, 2012

Extrovert or Introvert - Which are You?

The other day on the NPR "All Things Considered" site I read an interesting interview of Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking.

After reading Susan's interview and reviews of her book, I realized I definitely need to head to the library and check out her book.

In her NPR interview she responds to questions, including: the difference between introversion and shyness, the culture of character vs. the culture of personality, and the value of working alone. The end of her interview includes a "Quiet Quiz" to gauge where you fall on the introvert-extrovert spectrum.

Although it's not a scientific quiz, the questions "were formulated based on characteristics of introversion often accepted by contemporary researchers." Some of the questions include: I often prefer to express myself in writing, I enjoy solitude, I dislike conflict, along with 17 others.

If you would like to read the entire article, interview, and quiz, here's a link to the NPR article, "Quiet Please: Unleashing the Power of Introverts."

I took the quiz then asked my husband the questions. I rank high on the Introvert scale, and hubby is more in the middle. As I took the questions, though, I realized that had I been asked these same questions 20 years ago, although I still would be an introvert, some of my answers would've been different.

So, how about you? Are you an extrovert or introvert or do you fall somewhere in between?


  1. Definitely an introvert - and I blogged about this same thing because of another book I read. Here's the link to the post:

  2. Hi Lynn,
    I figured you were. I'll check out your post.
    Hope you have a great weekend!

  3. I am moderately extroverted on the E-I spectrum, as measured by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. A career in computer programming included business requirements gathering, so my choices mirrored my comfortzone: sometimes alone with the computer and othertimes immersed in human interaction. The accompanying book was "Please Understand Me". This wonderful corporate and family tool measures 4 quadrants of personality: Extraversion (E)-(I) Introversion, Sensing (S)-(N) Intuition, Thinking (T)-(F) Feeling, Judgement (J)-(P) Perception. I was ENTP, my husband ISTJ, one son ENTP, one son ENFP. Our occupations mirror our type. Wikipedia's summary is very good. I "Type" my characters, and try to stay true-to-type as they grow through the plot.

  4. Hi Suzanne,
    Interesting post.
    After reading it, seems like you were aptly suited for your career as a computer programmer.

  5. I think I'm more of an extrovert, but put me in the middle of a cocktail party where I don't know anyone, and I quickly become an introvert. So, I guess since it depends on the situation, I'm somewhere in-between.

  6. Thanks for sharing this, Donna. I had this book on my TBR list so this interview was a great taste.

    I always knew I was an introvert. I really liked that she said introverts aren't antisocial; they're "differently social" and how there's a difference between being introverted and being shy (although, I'm that, too.) :)

  7. I would say I am an extrovert. Yet,I took the quiz and it definitely pointed to introvert. So true to form, I don't know what I am!!!!

  8. What an interesting review (and I'd like to read this book, as well). I'm mostly introverted; I often feel the need to be alone with some quiet space. BUT, if I go to a conference or party, it's not unusual for me to be a regular Chatty Cathy.

    So I must be an extroverted introvert. That's kinda weird, now that I think about it. ;-)

  9. Donna, enjoyed reading and taking the quiz. I'm afraid i landed in the extrovert section (could be me that's all I now (tons of relatives, freinds, job, etc.) Soon I'll be retired and a taste of solidtude may quickly convert me. Then again, I might be saying, "Stay with me. I want to be alone!"

  10. I'm an introvert but on the middle side of things. Interesting questions. Thanks.

    Happy Weekend!

  11. I'm an introvert. I like people, but not crowds. Being alone doesn't bother me at all. I guess that's why I can sit and write for hours on end!

  12. According to that little test, I'm a 17 out of 20 on the introvert scale. I've never been a people person.

  13. Hi Sioux,
    I agree about it depending on the situation.

    Hi Madeline,
    You are welcome. I like the words she used too.

    Hi Cathy,
    I'm basically an introvert, but after a glass of wine I'm more outgoing.

    Hi Alice,
    You are so funny. It will be great when you retire.

    Hi Carol,
    You are welcome. Hope you have a good weekend too.

    Hi Lisa,
    I like people too, but not crowds and being alone doesn't bother me unless it's a dark and scary night.

    Hi Val,
    You definitely are an introvert--and in good company!


  14. I would guess an introvert. I prefer one on one with people unless I know them. Will check out the links, thanks!

  15. I read an article which didn't include the quiz but I'll go back and check it out. I am an extrovert who lives with two introverts but we are all in different places than when we were younger. I like the quiet much more just because the noise of life gets so loud sometimes:)

  16. Hi Donna! I thought I already left a comment here. I'm sure you would agree that I'm an extrovert. I didn't read the quiz, because I don't think there's any doubt! :)

  17. Hi Karen,
    I'm the same.

    Hi Sally,
    I agree about the noise of life getting too loud.

    Hi Becky,
    I guess you know yourself better than any quiz.:-)


  18. Mostly, I'm an introvert, but I can flip to an extrovert if I feel called upon to perform!

  19. I am so fascinated by the premise of this book and although I have yet to read it, I'm happy that us introverts are finally getting the spotlight! Well, not too much spotlight, we don't really like getting attention or talking about ourselves. I have been an introvert since birth. It may have to do with being an only child and I got used to entertaining myself or the fact that my dad would take me to the library practically every weekend which forced me to be quiet with my thoughts. I become a bit more open as the years pass by but I always enjoy a nice quiet moment to read or write.

  20. I am closer to extrovert than introvert, can blab with the best, dislike conflict, do enjoy quiet time and don't mind being alone. I like to observe first when I am in a large group situation.

  21. Hi Clara,
    Sounds like a workable solution.

    Hi Rebeca,
    I think in one of the book's excerpts I read introverts avoid the spotlight, but prefer the desk light.

    Hi Linda,
    Sounds like the best of both types.


  22. Actually I've been considering reading this book. You've helped convince me to take the plunge. As for me, per the Myers Briggs scale, I'm definitely an introvert. Given the solitary nature of writing, it doesn't surprise me that so many writers fall into that same category.

    Critter Alley

  23. Hi Pat,
    I think you're right about writers being mostly introverted.


Mysteries of the Ozarks, Volume V - Interviews with Lonnie Whitaker and Dr. Barri Bumgarner

Here is the second installment of interviews with contributors who have stories in Mysteries of the Ozarks, Volume V , from Ozark Writers, I...