Personal Development Exercises 5. Introvert/Extravert*?

If you’re interested in furthering your own personal development you may have already undertaken a Myers Briggs personality Type Inventory. If you haven’t I can thoroughly recommend it as a personal development exercise. (Check this article out too Do You Know Your Type?)

I was fortunate enough to be trained in the US by an MBTI specialist psychologist Dr Charles R Martin (Pictured opposite). He’s written many books on the topic and below is an adaptation from Looking at Type: The Fundamentals. Do read the linked article for a full explanation but in this post on personal development I’m focusing on where you put your energy.

The first pair of psychological preferences in the M.B.T.I. is Extraversion and Introversion. Where do you put your attention and get your energy? Do you like to spend time in the outer world of people and things (Extraversion), or in your inner world of ideas and images (Introversion)?

Everyone spends some time *extraverting and some time introverting. It’s important not to confuse Introversion with shyness or reclusiveness. They are not related. Some very seemingly outgoing people can be natural Introverts. It’s possible to do both, of course, but one will be your ‘default’ mode and a stronger preference than the other.

Read through the following and ask yourself which of the following descriptions seems more natural, effortless, and comfortable for you?

Extraversion (E)

  • I like getting my energy from active involvement in events and having a lot of different activities.
  • I’m excited when I’m around people and I like to energize other people.
  • I like moving into action and making things happen.
  • I generally feel at home in the world.
  • I often understand a problem better when I can talk out loud about it and hear what others have to say.

The following statements generally apply to me:

  • I am seen as “outgoing” or as a “people person.”
  • I feel comfortable in groups and like working in them.
  • I have a wide range of friends and know lots of people.
  • I sometimes leap too quickly into an activity and don’t spend time thinking it through.
  • Before I start a project, I sometimes forget to stop and get clear on what I want to do and why.

Introversion (I)

  • I like getting my energy from dealing with the ideas, pictures, memories, and reactions that are inside my head, in my inner world.
  • I often prefer doing things alone or with one or two people I feel comfortable with.
  • I take time to reflect so that I have a clear idea of what I’ll be doing when I decide to act.
  • Ideas are almost tangible things.
  • Sometimes I like the idea of something better than the real thing.

The following statements generally apply to me:

  • I am seen as “reflective” or “reserved.”
  • I feel comfortable being alone and like things I can do on my own.
  • I prefer to know just a few people well.
  • I sometimes spend too much time reflecting and don’t move into action quickly enough.
  • I sometimes forget to check with the outside world to see if my ideas really fit the experience

So, which are you? Which most applies to your personality? Is your type congruent with how you are living your life right now? Do you need to make some changes?

*Correct spelling according to Jung and as he invented the word who am I to argue? And if you hadn’t guessed, I am an E.

MBTI, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Myers-Briggs, the MBTI logo and Introduction to Type are registered trademarks of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Trust. Strong Interest Inventory, FIRO-B, SkillsOne, and Davies-Black are registered trademarks and CPI 260, CPI, California Psychological Inventory, the CPP logo, the FIRO-B logo and the CPI 260 logo are trademarks of CPP, Inc.

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Posted on August 20th, 2012 by

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