The Myers-Briggs personalitytest is a very popular self evaluation, especially among college campuses. The test works by offering a variety of questions about your social and personal preferences.
The way you answer questions like “do you prefer working with people or alone” and “are you more of a leader or a follower” will determine the “personality type” the exam will label you with once the test is completed.
The results come back in the form of four letters, each representing a quality of your personality.
This chart pretty much explains them.
There are 16 personality types based on this exam. Half begin with the letter “E.” Half begin with the letter “I.” The “E” stands for “extrovert” and the “I” stands for “introvert.” Half of the personalities we encounter every day are extroverted and half are introverted.
So why do those personalities that start with the letter “E” get favored in today’s society over those personalities that start with the letter “I”? Why do the “I”’s constantly need to justify themselves the the “E”’s? Especially when there are so many “I”’s in today’s world. They aren’t foreign creatures. Why treat them like this?
Introversion is not a flaw. It never was and it never will be. People who are introverted don’t need to “come out of their shell” and open up when you tell them to. They’re not in a “phase” and they’re not being rude to you by not speaking. Believe it or not, not everyone enjoys running their mouth every second.
An introvert is not any less intelligent than you are. Just because someone who is introverted doesn’t make it public knowledge when they know the right answer in class, does not mean they don’t know it.
Classroom settings today often cater to extroverts over introverts. Participation grades, forced discussions, and presentations can often put introverts in positions of discomfort and their grades can suffer as a result. I’m not suggesting teachers should stop trying to have discussions in classrooms; they’re important to have. However, it’s equally as important to offer alternative ways of grading, like online forum discussions, so that introverts have their time to shine once in awhile too.
In social settings, don’t call an introvert out on not speaking. Don’t ask them if they’re “okay.” Talking is not a sign of “okay”-ness for everyone. Also, asking someone publicly if they’re alright is not your best move either.
If you feel like your introverted friend never shares stories with you, perhaps try asking. It’s not hard to ask someone what they’ve been up to. All you have to do is care and show a little effort. Not everyone is comfortable outwardly talking about themselves because it can sometimes come off as bragging and who likes to doing that?
Don’t assume someone who is introverted has nothing to offer. Don’t describe someone as “quiet” like it’s a bad thing, and don’t take it personal either. There’s nonverbal ways to communicate and learn about someone too, you know.
Don’t feel concerned if someone wants to spend some alone time. Don’t think someone has “no friends” because they choose to do classwork individually rather than in groups. Don’t ask someone “who are you here with” when you see them alone at the mall or in any public setting. It’s not your place to feel concern --out of assuming something is wrong-- when someone is behaving differently than you prefer.
My point here is not to shame extroverts and all their outgoing manners. It’s just that in an extrovert-driven world, it’s important to give voice to those who often don’t speak up in conventional ways.