This solitary life

I’ve been romping around Blog World for several years now, and I’ve come to the conclusion that a disproportionate number of bloggers are introverts.

So I’ve been wondering: How is blog writing connected to being an introvert?

We introverts have an irritating propensity for believing we’re unique. Ask an introvert to describe her experiences in childhood and here are some of the answers you are guaranteed to get:

  • I felt different from everyone else.
  • No one understood me.
  • I didn’t understand anybody else.
  • I was always on the outside looking in.
  • I never fit in.
  • I always felt excluded.
  • Kids teased me because I was different.
  • I rarely raised my hand in class because I didn’t want to draw attention to myself.
  • I used to wish for just one person to “get” me.
  • I was usually the last one chosen for teams/clubs/groups.
  • I dreaded going to birthday parties (but my mother made me go).
  • I was accused of being “too shy”.
  • I was accused of being “stuck-up”.
  • I preferred blending in to the background.
  • Sometimes I wished I could just disappear.

And on and on….

When I first became aware that people were keeping journals (“blogs”) online, I was immediately captivated by the idea. I’d started writing at a relatively young age, and had kept diaries and, later, journals for most of my childhood and adolescence. The ability to record one’s day-to-day experiences—not to mention thoughts, dreams, fears, and losses—in such an accessible venue seemed an enchanting enterprise. But it also scared me to death.

Of course I assumed that these people who were blogging—the early adoptors, you might call them—must all be extroverts. Who else could allow themselves to make their most intimate thoughts and feelings available for public consumption? I convinced myself that they were confident, colorful, first-one-into-the-fray kinds of folks. I likened the boldest amongst them to a herd of wild buffalo, thundering across the plains of Blogland. And of course I envied them. How brave and fearless they were to put themselves out there the way they did, to expose themselves to scrutiny and judgment and, worst of all, possible ridicule.

Now I myself have taken the plunge into the blogging sea (actually, “dipped my toe into the edge of the puddle” is a more apt depiction), and the more blogs that I read, the more that I suspect that many bloggers, maybe even the majority of them, are introverts like me.

The bloggers at Introvert Retreat have posted a glowing description of the introvert temperament.  Mel, the blogger at Mental Indigestion, compiled an excellent composite of the INFP, which is a personality type identified by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. (INFP is described as the “Healer-Idealist”. It happens to be my type.) Elizabeth Svoboda wrote about the introvert’s need for solitude here.  Elizabeth A. Meckstroth wrote a very insightful paper on the apparently large number of gifted introverts. Lee Ann Lambert blogs on both the delights and difficulties of the introvert’s world.

Being an introvert in an extrovert’s world has never been easy. But now that we have more understanding and knowledge about differences in temperament, those of us who are introverts feel a little less like fish out of water.

Not sure of your status?  Take the quiz “Are You an Extrovert or an Introvert?” here. You can also type your blog—no, seriously! Go here, enter the URL of your blog, and it will tell you what personality type your blog is. It worked for mine!


2 responses to “This solitary life

  • tonia

    *waving hand wildly*

    me too! me too!

    see? i am not so introverted on the internet…but in real life…umm. yeah. i score 100% on introversion tests. 🙂

    there are a LOT of us out here. i think blogging is a wonderful medium for revealing that “misunderstood” part of ourselves, don’t you? here i don’t have to speak out loud and people can see the me that is hidden behind red cheeks and a stammer.

    apparently, my blog is more extroverted. (i scored ENFP.) i’m actually an INFJ. *smile*

    ~ do you live in Scotland? how wonderful!

  • lisa

    This entire site…not just this post…is incredibly comforting, deep, dear, insightful, and very meaningful to me. I wouldn’t miss your posts for the world. Thank you for this rich spot!

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