Introvert or Extravert Better: Ending the Debate

A number of people feel strongly that when you receive a personality (sic) test like the Myers Briggs Type Indicator or MBTI, it is just the way you have been made, and often use that as an excuse to NOT do things they are uncomfortable doing, or sap your energy. Surely, since I am introverted, I should not feel obliged to attend networking events. Or if I am extraverted, I need to be in environments where I enjoy being with people. But is that really the case?

I’d like to end that debate once and for all by helping people who are confused by this to understand where it first began.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a tool that was developed during World War II and has been a popular instrument that people turn to in order to gain self-awareness. The problem happens when you have a bunch of people who are utilizing this tool who have no clue about Depth Psychology. As the foundational basis of the MBTI, Carl Jung was adamant that you are neither one or the other, but the process of individuation.

You have a “shadow” side. It means that if you are introverted, the biggest area of your growth is in chasing extraversion behaviors and learning to appreciate and value them. After all, a strong business partnership is not based on everyone liking each other but rather to have a semblance of diversity to capitalize on individual strengths.

The first step in self-awareness is not saying “oh yes, this describes me very well”, which basically is a dumb thing to do because it merely affirms what you already know. The key is to ask “why does this describe me and is that all I intend to show in the world“. Sure, you may be an ISTJ or INFP. Big deal. The label does not define you. It merely describes your tendency. And if you know your tendency, you can create new neurological connections to some place else. Otherwise, I would have only had introversion behaviors and never become a speaker and trainer, let alone speak to over 500,000 people worldwide!

Yes it is important to recognize where you are. But that is a limiting factor. You need to appreciate that your report in something like the MBTI is nothing more than a starting point of a long, long journey in life. When you look back, you may still prefer your “type”. But it does not dictate you cannot somewhat prefer another type. In my mind, a perfect human is someone who is comfortable flexing across all 16 MBTI types because of a high level of adaptability and agility. Few people recognize, let alone acknowledge that. You may prefer NOT to do certain things, but you still have to ask “why“. Because if you have never experienced it, you might be missing the single most important thing that defines you in the world.

If you are interested in a proper personality debrief by a Masters-level psychologist and how this impacts your goals, then set an appointment to chat with me over Zoom here. If you have not done a psychometric test before, you can take this opportunity to arrange for one to be purchased so that you can utilize this awareness to establish more solid developmental foundations for leadership, communication, sales and much more.

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