Introversion and Me

You can’t be both introverted and an actor…. I read that on facebook this week. (Hurry, someone tell Meryl Streep that!) But I’ve also heard that you can’t be both introverted and a blogger. I’m being bombarded on all fronts. Apparently both my hobby and my profession are wrong for me. Shit. 
I have been a lifelong INFJ according to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality. Some people’s “type” can change throughout their life. Mine has not. Did anyone else’s school counsellors make them take introvert/extravert quizzes in 6th grade and then talk about their feelings?  Maybe that was just my school…

I’ve always come up as an introvert to the surprise of quite a few of my friends who know how bubbly, enthusiastic and talkative I can be. How can I be an actor, blogger and an introvert? Bloggers share so much of their lives and that’s not something an introvert would do. And why do so many bloggers claim to be introverts? How can you get up on stage with all eyes on you? That’s not something an introvert would do.

on the shore

Well, if you believe these things there may be a flaw in your rationale for it; introvert does not equal shy. In fact, shyness and introversion are hugely different. Introverts are fully capable so talking with and interacting to a large group of people, they just tend not to relish all aspects of it. Here’s a quote I find very applicable, “Many introverts could easily go out to a cocktail party and talk up everyone in the room — and they may enjoy themselves doing it. But at the end of the day, they’ll look forward to restoring their energy by coming home and reading in bed with a cup of tea.”

Which is true. I like doing things with other people; I enjoy it. But afterwards I feel drained. I need some time to recharge before plowing on to the next social occasion. The longer I spend being “social” the more time I need to by myself to feel myself again. Whereas Sam could spend every single night of the week with friends over for dinner, out for drinks, meeting for coffee and it would never phase him. It’s his bread and butter.

When it comes to public speaking introverts are fine with it! What they need more than their extraverted friends is time to prepare and think and plan out what they are going to say first, where as an extravert would be more comfortable improvising. I love speaking in front of people. If I didn’t then I’m surely in the wrong career- but I am only truly comfortable doing so when I am fully prepared. When I am acting, I am assuming the life of someone else, someone else that I have put a lot of effort into and am fully prepared to speak as them by the time an audience might see it. When I am blogging I have all the time in the world to gather my thoughts; to articulate them in just the way that I want. In short, I can control what I present to the world when I blog. And that’s something I find incredibly seductive about blogging. 

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