Today’s resolution: Thrive as an introvert

14 Sep

When I started this blog, I thought I would write about my experiences as an introvert and how I view the world from the introvert perspective … but introversion sometimes slows me down. If you’re an introvert — specifically an INFP like me — you immediately understand how that could be. Being an introvert means always needing a deeper understanding of oneself, others … everything, really, before feeling comfortable with expression.

Introverts are like the light-colored fish in this koi pond. We swim just as well as the others, but are sometimes overshadowed by their brightness. (Hawaii 2011/RO)

So I’ll start small with a quick quiz that can help you identify if you, too, are one of the few, the quiet, the introverted, or if you are more of the extrovert personality variety.

This quiz is from Marti Olsen Laney’s book, The Introvert Advantage  (a must-read for an introvert; really, it’ll change the way you see yourself in relation to the extrovert world).

Laney’s instructions: “Look over the list of key qualities below. Which list feels more like you, or is more like you most of the time? (Not every characteristic on the list will fit.) Answer as you are, not as you would like to be. Go with your first impression.

Qualities A

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.

Are generally quite peppy.

Tend to talk more than listen.

Qualities B

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.


While you won’t possess all the qualities on either list, one will suit you better than the other. Which do you think is the list for extroverts? If you aren’t sure, ask yourself: “Am I refreshed more often after quiet time or active time?”

If  you feel the qualities in the B list best describe you,  congratulations — it’s likely you’re an introvert. Because introverts are outnumbered 3 to 1 in our society, we often feel like we don’t fit in, aren’t in step with the rest of the world. We’re the group of people described as marching to a different drummer. In future posts, I’ll share some of the skills I’ve developed for living quiet in a noisy world. Until then, remember to not judge yourself based on qualities valued in a world that rewards extroversion.

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8 Responses to “Today’s resolution: Thrive as an introvert”

  1. Goss Coaching September 14, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    No wonder I like your blogs so much! Another INFP here.

    • Rhonda September 14, 2011 at 10:06 am #

      Thanks, Hanna! I figured you were, based on your blog posts. INFP solidarity!

  2. Natasha September 14, 2011 at 11:11 am #

    Loved that book.

    • Rhonda September 14, 2011 at 11:14 am #

      Me, too. I refer to it often.

  3. Jan September 14, 2011 at 12:02 pm #

    Of course, all of the introverts will feel shy about commenting! So I’ll back my ears and do it: I’m proud to be an introvert. … is that OK?? ( :

    • Rhonda September 14, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

      Absolutely, Jan! You should be proud (we just don’t expect you to be loud, lol) of your introversion. This is a introvert-friendly blog so be yourself, say what you want when you want.

  4. Cici Davidson September 14, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

    I think I’ll pick “Qualities B”!!!

    • Rhonda September 14, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

      I’m shocked, Cici. OK, no I’m not. We’re B proud.

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