My last post, which was written late at night in a moment of inspiration (or perhaps insanity), had a lot of comments relating to my being an introvert. I really found that revelation fascinating because it had been so long since I really considered that a possibility. When I first took personality tests, I almost always scored right on the line between introvert and extrovert, and I think I know why. The questions to determine those aspects of personality misled my response. Am I comfortable in a crowd? Yes. But I am more comfortable in a group of people where I know everyone. The thing is, growing up, I knew a lot of my classmates and a lot more people knew me, so I had very little trouble getting to know new people. In simple terms, I could be an introvert with a broader group of people I was comfortable around. I was accepted in many groups, even if I lacked the "qualifications" (I was not in the band, but could hang out with band members), but I was never really a particular part of any group except the nerds (which is often just a group of outcasts from others anyway). I should have taken some of these things as clues to my introversion, but it really did not occur to me in an obvious way. I like to keep details of my life to myself, for the most part, except with people I consider close friends or family. How have I gone so long and not noticed that aspect of my nature as one of my most introverted qualities?
I have always thought of myself as perceptive regarding other people's personalities and talents, and yet I have remained oblivious to my own overarching introversion. As some of my replies to people show, I realize now why I probably thought of myself as an extrovert for so long. My father taught me from a young age that being outgoing plays a big role in being successful. He observed that accountants with less talent often rose faster through the ranks of a firm because they became friendly with the partners. He endeavored to become more outgoing, and I would say he achieved it. Yet, he is still clearly a natural introvert. I appreciated the need to act the part of the extrovert because my father admired or acknowledged the value of being one, but I neglected to remember it was not my nature. Should I suddenly change how I live my life dramatically because of what I have learned? Not really. I think it just helps me appreciate what I want better, and what makes me happy, because I understand myself more. I can't go back and live my life over, but going forward I can live the way that helps me enjoy what I encounter. I will probably make better choices in my career, my friends, and just my social calendar. Maybe I'll even do a better job of raising my kids, knowing how my own father's statements shaped my own worldview.