Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A Random List of Innie Traits

To continue the topic of my previous post, following are a number of random claims about introverts or innies from my reading of the book, The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney. Although I jotted a few notes earlier, I no longer have the book to verify what I have written below. The points are in my own words and represent my understanding of some material from the book and are sometimes more from my recollection than my pithy notes,, Therefore, I cannot always complete even a limited verification, and I confess that I don't purport to claim that Olsen actually said any of these things; they are my take or what I think that she said.

Innies tend to be low-energy creatures and require reflective time to re-energize, especially after expending energy in an outie environment.

We will tend to be slow in thought, word and action. We will even tend to walk slowly.

Because of our long neural pathways, we often need some sort of a hook to dredge up stored information, and it may even be that we have trouble finding a particular word. Open-ended questions such as, "What movies have you seen recently?" will tend to be met with blank stares. However, "Did you see Harry Potter and what did you think of it?" will probably contain enough of a trigger to bring various thoughts and recollections to the surface.

It seems that innies may tend to hum, whistle or sing to themselves. I know that I do. Believe it or not, she sees it as a way to create energy. Since I no longer have the book, I can't explain how that is supposed to work, not for the life of me.

We are poor at small talk but will often converse at length on topics of substance that we may know something about.

Talking can be harder for introverts because we like to reflect before we speak. Extroverts, on the other hand, will tend to use speech as a pathway to thought; talking will often help them to clarify what they think.

Although I suspect that all people do this to some extent, it is probably also true that innies will more frequently tend to mentally replay scenes and think of things they could have or should have said at the time.

Introverts tend to have only a few good friends. While an outie may consider you a friend after a short, casual conversation, an innie won't likely consider you an genuine friend until he or she has known you for a while and shared some meaningful moments with you.

However, innies tend to be very loyal friends.

We innies are not antisocial people, but crowds may make us uncomfortable. It's difficult for us to cope with all of the external bombardment. Look for us on the balcony or in the cloakroom of the next party that you attend. Remember, unlike outies, who will be stimulated by crowds, we get our energy from quiet reflection. It may be totally opposite for an outie; he or she may become easily bored when there is not much activity going on and actually require external stimulus to feel energized.

There is actually a gene called D4DR (I think that was the name) that can be long or short. Introverts seem to have the short variation, which appears to make one sensitive to dopamine. Therefore, we don't need to experience the same number of external stimuli as an outie to get a hit (for want of a better expression).

We tend to explore a subject of interest in some depth while an outie will tend to dabble more superficially in many topics. This is also true in social situations where outies may be seen enjoying many, brief conversations while innies will more likely have longer conversations with fewer people.


Cathy said...

OMG! I'm a serious Innie. I really didn't fully appreciate it. Wow. I've got to get this book. Thanks, AC. Very very interesting.

thailandchani said...

All of these sounds like me, too! I'm on the extreme end of the continuum though. I get overly stimulated by minor amounts of noise or chaos. Oh. And light.



PBS said...

Wow, for sure I'm an innie, all of those apply. Especially interesting is the part about needing a hook to dredge up stored information. I've joked about my mind working like a search engine--needs a word or phrase in order to look for the information!

Pam said...

I have an old friend that must have read this book...she told me I was a major innie sometime ago.

Of course, I knew this already! And it is why, now that I am house bound most of the time, that I can find contentment in my world.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Yup, I am definitely an innie.

Ironically, I am comfortable in groups of strangers when I am the person in charge. As a clergymsn, this was handy as I often chaired meetings and each Sunday I was seen as the authority figure. I figure it is a "control" issue. I like to feel my self in control which is probably why I don't take any intoxicants.

Turtle Guy said...

"Extroverts, on the other hand, will tend to use speech as a pathway to thought; talking will often help them to clarify what they think."

So very, very me. Am I the only extrovert to read Raindrops, or what?? (well, with the exception of your niece, of course!)

Coll said...

I am definitely an "innie". My hubby leans more to being an "outie". Much of what you say here seems to fit except for the less energy bit. I think I have way higher energy than my social butterfly of a husband. :-)

Sue said...

Interesting that there's a genetic element to introversion/extraversion. I'm defintely an 'Innie', married to an 'outie'. We've read a great deal about temperament and Myers-Briggs theories and so on so are comfortable with the idea of being different and having different needs, but hadn't realised it was hard-wired in our brains in a measurable way.

The 16types site (particularly the page http://www.16types.com/Request.jsp?lView=DynamicPage&Content=BerensInteractionStyles) explores these themes from the personality point of view, with four 'interaction styles' described - two 'innie' and two 'outie', although they don't quite put it that way!