On the MBTI (or other similar inventories), I score pretty strongly toward extroversion. The most obvious manifestations of that in me are: I get energized by people, and, I “process out.” I tend to verbally express my thoughts without necessarily having come to a definite conclusion about a decision to be made, or, I just need to tell my story. In telling the story, I hear it differently, sometimes with more clarity, sometimes with more depth, sometimes I become more comfortable with that part of my story because I’ve told it before, sometimes I just like to tell the story again — especially if it makes me laugh.
I have a very dear friend that scores very introverted on the MBTI. Sometimes I forget exactly how deep the cave is she needs in order to process her thoughts. Very often, when she talks about something it is because she has already processed “in” very sufficiently. And, people, especially lots of people repeatedly, wear her out. That is so foreign to me that I thought our friendship was broken. I didn’t know why and I felt like when I would call to talk to her she wasn’t really there.
She called me Sunday night. When I saw her name on my cell phone, I left the finance meeting to see what was wrong. Turns out, nothing is wrong. She is completely and totally overwhelmed. She has a fabulous counselor to listen to her. And, for right now, that’s all the “more people” she can handle. Including me. That stings a little for this extrovert who will almost always take more people, but really it is much more comforting because I know that we are still dear friends. And when my introverted friend, for that moment, could stand “one more person,” I was that person.
And, BONUS, I got out of the finance meeting!