Monday, 16 January 2012

More thinking on extroverts and introverts

I have been fascinated by the discussion here and on twitter about personality types. It has opened my eyes to some of the reasons other people get involved with social media and blogging. I now have more insight as to why some people are ultra chatty and others prefer not to tweet away all day.

Then this morning I find this article in the New York Times "The rise of the new groupthink"

There are so many things that this article brings up of interest but the one that has stuck with me is about the fact that creativity tends to happen in a solitary place.

It got me thinking about my most creative times and I think I have to agree.
I wrote poetry and songs as a child when I was lonely, never when I was busy with friends. I always thought this was to do with being maudlin (I've always hated being on my own) and it might well be, but perhaps that was no bad thing.

At university and as a graduate I was able to be a full on extrovert with constant people and stimulation; I loved it but there was no creativity except for stolen times alone when I'd need to write an essay or report.

I started writing when I started working for myself 10 years ago. I found it hard not being in a group environment anymore and coped by writing articles and then books. That time alone stimulated my creativity. And now, well my best thoughts come when I'm alone and I thrive off those times now.

I'm sure a fair amount of my writing is about communicating, as an extrovert I need that; but it's also true that being alone gives my head time to reflect and create and I cherish that.

1 comment:

UKViewer said...

It's interesting that we pay so little attention to Personality types and traits. As part of the discernment process, I was sent on both Myers-Briggs (Personality Type Indicator) and Enneagam Courses.

While I came out as Extrovert on Myers-Briggs, it was so marginal, that on reflection, I believe that I'm an Introvert, with an Extrovert screaming to get out.

On the Enneagram I came outs as Type 9 (Mediator) or peacemaker. So many boxes ticked that I could simply recognise my type. It was a much more helpful route to self-awareness, particularly of strengths and weaknesses, that it's a tool to help you to work on the areas of weakness through prayer and reflection.

I certainly, don't write as much as you, which shows me the introvert side, but when I do write, I can sometimes be creative, which seems to be the extrovert trying to get out.

It's a fascinating area of study, but I decided that it needed careful measurement as slavishly following it can be fool hardy. We are, who we are. We can just strive to be a better who we are.