The Outgoing Introvert

In undergrad, I didn’t want to spend any time alone.  Because my writing instructor insisted that we take time just to be, I would force myself to lie on my bed in ten-minute increments, doing nothing.  Just lying there, resting, being alone.  I’d feel so rushed and eager to do-do-do and be back with people that I’d check the clock and be shocked that it had only been three minutes and I had seven to go.

I took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and I tested as an ENFJ … and 100% extrovert.

introvertAs my writing life grew deeper, and as I grew older, I watched this do a complete flip.

These days, I am a solid introvert: I value my alone time, I feel drained after spending a lot of time with company, I absolutely have to build in time for rest, recharging, and solitude.

And yet, I’m still quite outgoing.  I’m not shy.  I am a good public speaker.  My job is all about hospitality.  I think it shocks a lot of people when they first learn that I’m an introvert, probably because they have misconceptions about what “introvert” and “extrovert” really mean.

Even now, if I take the Myers-Briggs, it still tells me I’m an ENFJ.  The test just can’t interpret my outgoing answers in way for it to regard me as an introvert.  But trust me, I am.  No close friend of mine would argue with that.

How about you?  Do you get your energy from being with people or from being alone?  Do you fit into the stereotype– a quiet, shy introvert or a loud, outgoing extrovert– or are you like me, a mix that defies the expectations?

Image credit: couldn’t find source.  Let me know if you know!

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Are you familiar?

Wikipedia says, “The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment is a psychometric questionnaire designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions.”

Essentially, it’s this test you can take that will tell you what type of person you are/personality you have.


Years ago, I took the official test and tested as an ENFJ, which seemed quite accurate and which made me join the ranks of other famous ENFJs such as David (king of Israel), Ronald Reagan, Dick Van Dyke, and Oprah Winfrey.

Over the years, I have grown increasingly more introverted, so I’d really like to take the test again and see where I fall on the scale.  Although the official test costs money, there are free versions of it online.

Just retook it.


I have a hard time believing that.  I am far more energized by being alone than by being with others.

And yet …

The new test said I was 1% extravert.  The old one said 100%.  That’s a pretty big jump.

In the interest of discovering, trends …

If you have OCD, what is your Myers-Briggs type?  Do you find yourself more introverted or extraverted?