Being an Introvert with Extroverted Tendencies

BAR_logo_color_1I have vacillated for the last few years in the consideration whether I am an extrovert with strong introverted tendencies, or the opposite. I am not by nature a joiner, but I do love to collaborate and share.  I just took one of those psychological tests that define some of your broader characteristics so that I can participate in a seminar later this week.  This test, based on the answers provided on that day, decided for me that I fall on the introvert end of the spectrum.  I think that many who know me will find the results a hoot because the test actually did peg me pretty well.  (You can take the test at, it’s the Jung typology test.)

Folks who know me will also not be at all surprised that I got sidetracked in taking the test by the wording that was used in many of the questions – an absolute here, a vague reference there.  Since it is a psychology test, I have to assume that the test creators were deliberate in their word choices.  I would really like to ask why, for example on this question:

  • Strict observance of the established rules is likely to prevent a good outcome

This is an essay question to me, not a yes/no proposition – therefore a terrible challenge to decide upon an answer.

Or this question:

  • You prefer to act immediately rather than speculate about various options

This is also an essay question, and incomplete at that – how can I say yes or no without details or the opportunity to explain why each response would be valid based on the circumstances?  I certainly hope that in an emergency there is someone on the team who can parse through various options, lop off inappropriate ones and act while taking initial actions that don’t require thought.

It turns out that the people behind the test drove me mad intentionally to determine that I build specialized knowledge systems – that I like to track down the answer to the question, ‘does it work?’.  Darn Skippy, figuring out a system and getting it to work better is entertainment.  There are 16 combinations of 4 letter results possible in this test and the writers don’t tell us the reasoning and criteria behind each of the letters which make up these combinations.  Being an INTJ – I really need to know.

I can’t wait to find out how we will use the results in the meeting this week.  I found myself already weighing the pros and cons of applying these types of personality tests in the work place.  In the right hands, with deep understanding of creating combinations for optimal dialog and interaction, this would be a boon to any organization.  And then there are the rest, where the possibility of misuse is varied and high.  (There I go, studying systems to create sense again.)

It is this interest in process – systems and people working together in harmony – that informs my business writing.  And that helps me to see that it really takes all kinds to create a strong team.


You may also like some of my other posts:


Introversion Revisited – How Could I Resist?

When We are all Attempting to Differentiate Ourselves, Why don’t We like to be Different?

© 2013 Practical Business | Reasonable Expectations


Filed under Personal Growth, Work Life

14 responses to “Being an Introvert with Extroverted Tendencies

  1. Kathy

    The two questions you mentioned stumped me when I took the test a couple of days ago. I ended up being an ISFP, which is pretty much hitting the nail on the head. But after re-reading the same two questions you mentioned, I don’t recall how I answered them. I think the test shouldn’t be quite so vague. Some of the questions were akin to “trick” questions. Which by the way, what does that first one mean?? So maybe if you can tell me or give me a hint, I’ll retake the test to see what happens this next go around. And the second question while you’re at it. Thanks so much!

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment, Kathy. I found out at my meeting that this test was actually designed by two Quaker ladies, a mother and daughter, that had no psychology training other than an interest in Carl Jung’s work and a dislike of war. (Something to keep in mind these days of eager interest in advanced degrees as proof of knowledge.)

      The questions are deliberately forcing you to think about your response to try to get at your own truth. For instance that first question that I mention is gauging your independent thinking versus group thinking. Are you willing to carve a new path to get where you think the result should be, or do you think that the current rules should always be applied.

      The second question is gauging how quickly you can come to a decision as well as your level of impulsive action.

      There are no right or wrong answers and you should take a look at the percentages that you received for each of your 4 letters since this tells you how strong this trait is for you – at the time that you took the test. If you percentages are low, then you could have a different result when taking the test at another time.

      • Kathy

        Hi Beth Anne, Thank you for your reply. My result was ISFP: I-89%; S-50%; F-25%; P-44%. I found some of the questions difficult to answer and pondered over them. I did my very best. How do you perceive these percentages?

      • 50% is the center, anything lower puts you closer to the opposite in the pairing – Introverted/extroverted, intuitive/sensory, feeling/thinking, judging/perceptive – anything higher makes you more firmly set in that trait. So you are strongly introverted, modestly sensory over intuitive and so on. The most important is that you said earlier that the results seemed right on for how you feel and respond in situations.

  2. Beth Anne, you may be an ambivert. I have kind of decided that may be what I am. I also wrote about this subject on my blogsite All Things Fulfilling some time ago.

  3. Pingback: Introversion Revisited – How Could I Resist? | Practical Business

  4. Did a similar test once (MBTI), turned out an introvert with extrovert tendencies – which surprised everyone as they would have labelled me a typical extrovert.
    The coach who gave the test explained that there is one tell-tale question: Which situation do you search for to recharge your batteries – do you need to be with people or do you like a quiet hour to yourself?
    This source of energy preference seems to determine the introvert/extrovert profile in this case.

    • I agree that is a key question. I have also found that many people think that shy and introverted are one and the same. Ah, may we all understand our own needs when it comes to recharging our batteries because it seems like difficulties stem from those who don’t understand their own needs. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

  5. We are similar, you and I, Beth. Except … as a person on the autism spectrum, I get sensory and mental-anguish overload taking those tests and the urge to strangle the test writers (not literally) causes me to be caustic in my critiques. Bless you for being rational in yours, and speaking for those of us who SO agree with you 🙂

  6. Pingback: A Highly Collaborative Introvert | BAReed Writing, Business Writing

  7. Pingback: Am I Autistic Or Just Introverted Extroverted | Autism Help For Both Parents And Children

  8. Pingback: Am I Autistic Or Just Introverted Extrovert | Autism Help For Both Parents And Children

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