Sunday, September 25, 2005

Psychology Notes:
Introversion and Extroversion

In the category of Things Found While Looking For Other Things, I found a post entitled How to Go From Introvert to Extrovert, by Steve Pavlina.  (I got to that page by looking in Rebecca's Pocket [9/22/05] for her post on Trickle Up Economics [9/23/05].)

Unlike a lot of self-helpy kinds of posts, Pavlina's is actually quite good.  The author detials his own transition from being introverted, to being extroverted.  His type, as assessed by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, changed accordingly.

I thought that was intesting, because the MBTI usually shows me to be an introvert, but on occasion it has branded me an extrovert.  Looking at the individual items, it turns out my score there is almost perfectly split.  So the whim of answering a single item one way or the other makes the difference.  

The question I have, that the author does not answer, is this: So we know how to make an introvert turn into an extrovert, but why should we want to?  The whole point of the personality types as described in Gifts Differing, is that one type is not necessarily better than another.  Like the assigment of strength points in the construction of a charater in an adventure game, there is a way to win the game regardless of the type of charater played.  Likewise, in life, there are ways to construct a good life, regardless of your personality type.  Unlike an adverture game, in real life there is no guarantee that any given character can win.  But in life, you do not have to win, with the state of winning having been defined by someone else.  In fact, it helps to not think in terms of winning or loosing.  Rather, it is more adaptive to think in terms of making the most of what you have.  

Anyway, all you introverts out there can go check out his advice.  Just remember that it probably is a side trip that does not actually get you any closer to winning, whatever that is.