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Pacific Northwest, United States
I am The Shytrovert a proud, moderately shy INFP and this is my blog. I write about society, relationships, current events and how shy and introverted folks can cope in an extroverted world.


Freaky Friday Tangent Post: Satan or Illuminati? The Answer rests in your MBTI

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It’s a shytrovert quandary: I’m shy, so I feel awkward talking to others ( and consequently am not skilled at doing so) and I’m introverted, so I’m not that motivated to talk to most people either;  Particularly at work, where it seems to count the most. 

Have you ever noticed that the people who get promoted or manage others and make the most money are the ones who gadfly about making everything their business and asserting their will over their colleagues?  Not surprisingly, this is why most managers are extroverts.

Being a manager is about dealing with people.  Babysitting them and directing them.  Extroverts seem to love that kind of shit.  They want to be alpha and at the top of the heap.  It gives them a feeling of coolness and power that is irresistible.  These are the types of rewards many introverts could care less about, supposedly.
I could never be a manager.  I hate babysitting people and I deplore drama unless it’s a TV show or movie, because, you know I’m an observer and not personally involved.  I know many extroverts who would shrivel up and die without high drama in their lives, I suppose because it’s stimulating and extroverts need externally stimulation because they don’t have a lot of internal stimulation going on.  At least, a lot less than intros. 
Anyway, this leads me to segue into a weird place.  I love web surfing on topics that interest me like introvert/extrovert comparisons.  This English dude breaks it down in a philosophical manner that is interesting if not a tad bit disturbing and perhaps even elitist.  But, here is a highlight that explores the MBTI types so judge yourself:

Jung's Psychological Types

It was Jung who defined the two basic "attitudes": extravert and introvert. If you strongly exhibit one attitude in your conscious life then, he said, the other attitude becomes unconscious and acts in a compensatory manner i.e. if you are extravert normally, your unconscious will compensate by being introverted and in times of stress this unconscious attitude will erupt and take command of your consciousness until the stress is relieved and you return to normal. Extraverts and introverts tend to misunderstand each other. They have little liking and respect for each other.

Jung then defined a four-part psychic structure called the "quaternity". The ancient Greeks defined four different human temperaments ("humors"): choleric, melancholic, sanguine and phlegmatic, which arose from four qualities (hot, cold, dry and moist), and four basic elements (fire, earth, air and water). Nature has four seasons, the compass has four points, Buddhism has four noble truths, there are four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, four letters of the Tetragrammaton, four gospels. Four, to Jung, was an almost mystical number.

Jung's quaternity consisted of two opposite pairs: thinking and feeling, intuition and sensing. A thinking person is someone who likes to make judgments using the power of reason in preference to emotion and snap value judgments; a feeling person is guided by value-judgments and emotions rather than reason. An intuitive person is future-orientated and imaginative, their mind instantly trying to conclude what a present event means for the future; a sensing person lives in the moment with no regard to the future - his five senses are fully engaged, sucking in every detail. He lives in the "now" rather than a hypothetical future.

If you are a strong thinker, your feeling side will be pushed into your unconscious, and vice versa. If you are strongly intuitive, your sensing side will be pushed into your unconsciousness and vice versa. In times of crisis, these unconscious functions can erupt in uncontrolled and disturbing ways.

Jung argues that each of us is dominated by one of these four functions. Some of us are ruled by the thinking function, some by intuition, some by sensing and some by feeling. The opposite function (with the opposite attitude) then becomes unconscious. The other two become auxiliary functions, one of which will support the primary function (with the opposite attitude) and one of which will become unconscious (with the same attitude) to compensate.

The unconscious functions can play a huge role in our lives. The thinking person may react ferociously and with excessive emotion when others act irrationally. The feeling person, in a crisis, may try to adopt a thinking approach to get him out of it, but is likely to get it all wrong and reach terrible decisions that make his situation worse. The sensing type may suddenly be overwhelmed by intuitions that are chaotic and crazy and lead him to join cults and the like. The intuitive person, in stressful situations, may be overwhelmed by sensations and engage in entirely inappropriate sensation-seeking activities.

Repressed feelings manifest themselves in hysteria. Repressed sensing manifests itself in phobias, compulsions and obsessions. Repressed thinking manifests itself in dogmatic certainty. Repressed intuition manifests itself in wild speculation.

Good mental health involves trying to cultivate the repressed, unconscious function and make it conscious, and also bringing the remaining functions more into consciousness. A fully rounded person is someone who has a good, conscious balance of all four functions.

Jung's scheme leads to eight psychological types, in four pairs:

1) Introvert Thinking 2) Extravert Thinking

3) Introvert Feeling 4) Extravert Feeling

5) Introvert Intuition 6) Extravert Intuition

7) Introvert Sensing 8) Extravert Sensing
1)    INTROVERTED THINKERS are typically found among philosophers and theoretical scientists They construct grand, rational schemes that explain the whole of reality. They are not highly engaged with the normal world or normal people. They are obsessed with their own ideas and are always seeking the Holy Grail that furnishes all of the answers. Many members of the Illuminati are of this type.

2)    EXTROVERTED THINKERS can frequently be found among practical scientists, economists, lawyers and management consultants. They look for facts and evidence in the real world. They avoid speculation. They are much more interested in small, well-verified projects than the all-compassing grand schemes of the introverted thinkers.

3)    INTROVERTED FEELING types are typically found among poets, artists, musicians, monks and nuns. They can seem mysterious, enigmatic and appear as they though they are enjoying the most exquisite, overwhelming and profoundest feelings of which humans are capable. Their loves, their passions, their emotions, will always seem vastly more intense than those of others.

4)    EXTRAVERTED FEELING types are typically Hollywood actors, chat show hosts, public relations experts, media "personalities". They love making shows of their feelings and can often seem fickle and obsessed with fashion as they switch their passions from one thing to another. Their love lives can be chaotic as they can rapidly fall in and out of love. They crave social success and being in the limelight. Hollywood stars giving their tear-filled, melodramatic acceptance speeches at the Oscars ceremony sum up this type.

5)    INTROVERTED INTUITION types can be mystics, future-oriented poets, painters and writers, religious thinkers, authentic clairvoyants, authentic psychics, seers and visionaries. They often see themselves as unrecognized geniuses, unfairly overlooked by society, but with great and unique knowledge of esoteric, religious, scientific and philosophical matters at the most speculative end of the spectrum. Many members of the Illuminati are of this type. They can strike more "grounded" people as daydreamers, cranks, charlatans, people with unrealistic expectations, and people who go off on flights of fantasy.

6)    EXTRAVERTED INTUITION types are those who are quick to see and seize an opportunity. Entrepreneurs are of this type, and con men, scammers, carpetbaggers, and speculators. Many "conceptual" artists belong to this type. Public relations spokespeople, advertising bosses, illusionists, "magic" performers, fake psychics, adventurers and explorers are other examples of this type. They tend to manipulate people on the basis of future promises and dreams. The Old World Order contains many people of this type. Wall Street is full of them.

7)    Introverted sensing types are those who are almost overwhelmed by sensory information. They suck in and savor every detail. Connoisseurs, aesthetes, wine tasters, art critics, food critics, music critics and fashion critics are of this type.

8)    Extroverted sensation types are those who seek pleasure through their five senses. They aren't interested in the world of intuition and are firmly wedded to the physical world. They are practical and hard-headed, dealing strictly with the facts. They love eating, drinking, sex, speed, drugs, sports, dangerous sports, excitement, music, fashion. Their craving for novel sensations can lead them into addiction, compulsion and perversion. Racing drivers, sportsmen, film producers, many celebrities, music stars and leading actors are of this type. These types are particularly easily seduced by Satan and his archons. They are often extremely greedy because money gives them the ability to indulge their desire for sensual pleasures and the expensive habits they tend to acquire. These people love luxury. You will find the richest of them in the finest restaurants, enjoying the highest cuisine and most expensive wines. They will buy fast cars, yachts, and live in grand mansions. They love wearing bling and the most fashionable clothes. They are obsessed with signs of status, and are highly attuned to the most subtle differences and distinctions between people. They drip with gold and diamonds and can be extremely snobby. They like to travel to exotic destinations. The Old World Order contains many of this type. These are the people mired in materialism and sensation-seeking. Those of this type who are not rich are obsessed with computer and video games (as loud, realistic and violent as possible), action movies, driving fast cars, sex and drugs and rock 'n' roll, music festivals, beer festivals. They always walk around with headphones on, constantly listening to music. They can't bear being quiet and thinking private thoughts. These are the type most naturally inclined towards Satan. There is nothing spiritual and thoughtful about them. They are a huge obstacle to a better world because they drag everything back to materialism and sensationalism. They always need louder and bigger bangs for their buck. On Facebook, they endlessly stare at pictures. Lowbrow, noisy, speed-filled Hollywood action movies are targeted at them. They don't like reading or anything that takes them away from instant gratification.

In order to compensate for their weaknesses, it's not unusual for different types to seek relationships with those who have the opposite traits; introverts might seek out extraverts and vice versa, thinking types might seek feeling types and vice versa, sensing types might seek intuitive types and vice versa. They may think that they can become "whole" by being with someone who has the opposite qualities, but often they come into conflict, fail to understand each other and make each other unhappy. Equally, those who have relationships with those with identical psychological traits can magnify their problems. Two introverted thinkers coming together might become highly reclusive and withdraw from the world, preferring to remain in their world of inner thought. 

Hmn.  Let me know what you think in the comments section.


Shy Fictional Characters of Note

As Featured On EzineArticles  Most people who were shy, love someone who is shy or are shy themselves know that living with a bashful disposition and navigating through a social world dominated by extroverts and outgoing types is no laughing matter.

From substance abuse to suicide, the ways some shy people have chosen to cope are heartbreaking.  Nevertheless, as much as shy people can be vilified and punished by the larger society simply for being, it has also rewarded us with some cultural touchstones that can help lighten our burden, at least for a little while.

What are those? Likable shy characters.  Here are a few of my favorites:
1. Shy Ronnie, SNL – of all such characters I probably relate the best with this creation of Andy Samberg formerly of SNL fame.  Ronnie is a painfully shy redhead who is also a rapper.  Unfortunately he always seems to clam up around his partner Rhianna, but as soon as she leaves the room he blows onlookers away with his awesomely aggressive rap style.  Like Ronnie, in my day-to-day life a gentle soul who’s bark is worse than her bite, but I let loose on this blog with bad words and everything!

2. Edward Scissorhands – As misunderstood android created by a lonely old man who dies before he can finish his hands, Edward, beautifully played by Johnny Depp says little but impresses with his ability to wield his sharp hands to create incredible works of art whether it’s a cool haircut or to create a hedge shaped like a dinosaur.  And even though people around him are cruel because he’s different, he remains gentle and kind.

3. Cat Woman/Selena Kyle – A beautiful and diligent single secretary Selena has a wild streak hiding just under the surface.  When she is kicked around one too many times by her evil boss, murdered even, she rises from the dead as the devastating anti-heroine cat woman.  Not exactly a villain not exactly a super heroine, Selena definitely proves that yep, still waters do indeed run deep.

So those are my offerings of interesting shy characters that make me feel a little better about myself.  What fictional shy folks do you know of and admire?  Share in the comment section, and let’s make this an evolving list together!


Positive Shyness

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Shy Violet
Can shyness be a positive trait?  In this culture which so often touts outgoing “people-person” traits as best, being shy is often seen as something negative.  You are thought to be “submissive” and “one down” next to the hard-driving alphas of the world.  Even some introverted people, when trying to explain their temperament unwittingly put shyness in a negative light by quickly proclaiming “I’m not shy!” as if it’s a bad thing.

As a person who is both shy and introverted, I see positive aspects in both my temperament and personality type. To me, shyness is the opposite of boldness, and therefore a personality trait.  Not to be confused with Social Anxiety, which is shyness gone amok, and is a disease. 

Here’s a list of three positive characteristics of shyness from the website Beat Shyness Secrets:

1. Children utilize positive shyness as a defense mechanism. It is an innate instinct that a stranger may be bad, and it keeps children from volunteering for kidnappings. Outgoing children are not necessarily doomed, but shyness in children can provide an additional safety feature.

2. Shyness affords people time to acclimate to a new situation or scenario before they jump in. It can help you to slow down your interactions so your brain has the necessary time to sense danger or hidden traps.  Useful in cases when you start a new job, and you need time to determine the unspoken rules and codes of conduct.

3. Shyness gives people time to acclimate to one another and affords both parties a chance to present themselves tentatively. This time of slower interaction can decrease fear of rejection and can offer a chance to decide if a person is friend material or a danger. 

In addition some scientists believe that shyness may have evolved specifically to keep you safe. Being reserved and cautious can help you make better impressions and decisions.  

As Martha Stewart would say, “It’s a good thing.”


To Many Employers Introvert is a dirty word

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This is an excerpt of a recent article I found (OK, it came from Google Search) about how "introvert" is thought of as a dirty word when it comes to employment and hiring.  Fancy That.  The writer is Renee DeCosky, and here’s what she has to say:

“Plenty of people talk about introversion like it’s an unattractive quality and some affliction that can’t be overcome. The truth is that introverts are just fueled differently than extroverts. We’re in our own heads quite often. The quieter we are, the more we’re thinking and generating ideas. It’s not that we don’t know or don’t “get it,” but we’re just considering all avenues. It’s not that we can’t work with clients, but that we like to think about our approach first. And it’s certainly not that we hate being around others and prefer only to work alone. In fact, I find that working as part of a small team can actually boost my “introvert superpowers.”
I agreed with her up until the last part.  I  prefer to work alone, but that's because I’m an intuitive and most people seem to be sensors.  This can be very frustrating; however, that’s another topic for another day.
Apparently lots of employees think introverts have nothing meaningful to contribute because they’re quiet or that they won’t fit in because they’re quiet.  This is balderdash, particularly when it comes to introverts who are not shy.  As we know, people confuse the two personality types consistently.
As a mixture of both, I have had my share of challenges interviewing for and keeping jobs.  Mostly it’s been due to my shyness – not seeming comfortable in social situations or passively waiting to be asked questions instead of truly participating in a discussion. Also, just plain social inexperience - not knowing what to say or how to act at certain points during an exchange.
Some of my problems with getting or keeping jobs have come down to my introversion and needing that time to process before answering or not seeming “enthusiastic,” which I’m convinced is another word for "extroverted."  I mean, is it really necessary to act like a cheerleader on cocaine to be an office jockey?
What’s so terrible about being an introvert?  Surely we have something to contribute to the workplace.  Ms. McCosky thinks so.  She offers up these three reasons to hire introverts:
1. Introverts think before they speak.
Every day there’s a story in the media of an employee (typically an extrovert) who does or says something to throw their company into a bad light, and the gaffe usually occurs on Facebook or Twitter.  How many careers do you suppose social networking sites have sunk? The truth is introverts are less likely to make off-the-cuff remarks or say things that can be misconstrued.  It's simply not our nature. We think through the consequences, and that’s why we generally  think before we open our pie holes.
2. Later on, introverts continue to generate ideas.
As people that like to take in information and ruminate on it, it’s only natural that some of an introvert’s best ideas come after the meeting or brainstorming session.  I’m thankful that my current boss is attuned to how introverts operate and their strengths they bring to the table. He wisely invites me to feel free to e-mail any cool ideas I might come up to him following a meeting.
3. Strategy is an Introvert thing.
Introverts are head cases, in a good way; as in we’re in our heads a lot, thinking about stuff and how we can approach and do stuff.  Because of this, many of us excel at strategy or can teach ourselves to excel at it.  For employers who need someone to weigh pros and cons or play Devil’s Advocate, an introvert is an excellent hire.  
Bottom line: Introverts can do as well on the job as any extrovert, and often excel in ways extroverts can’t.  We can also be successful in jobs typically the domain of extroverts, we only need to learn how to recognize and hone our strengths and then sell those strengths.
Recommended Books on Career and Business Success for Innies:

The Introvert’s Guide to Success in Business and Leadership, Lisa Petrilli ( eBook)

Why Should Extroverts Make all the Money? Frederica J. Balzano (Paperback)

The Successful Introvert: How to Enhance Your Job Search and Advance Your Career, Wendy Gelberg (paper back)

Self-Promotion for Introverts®: Get Heard More. Even If You Talk Less, Nancy Ancowitz (eBook)


Why am I so Quiet? I'm Crazy, of course. You knew that...

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Ever wonder why nobody ever gets called out for talking too damn much?  Not in public anyway. Everybody just grins and bears loud people.  Oh, they'll say stuff about them, behind their backs.  But if you’re quiet, not bothering anyone, everybody wants to know why.  Well, if you’re crazy enough, like the Shytrovert, you can just start saying shit.  Crazy shit.  What kind of crazy shit?  How about these gems:
Why not act dumb, deaf or blind?  Their questions are asinine.
  • What?  Quiet!  I am not!   Who’s saying that?  Why I oughta! Let me at ‘em!  Let me at ‘em I say!!!!
  • What?  Why am I on a diet
  • What?  Why don’t I try it?  Try what?
  • I know you are but what am I?
  • What? Why am I such a riot?
  • Why don’t I fry it?  I’m not sure what you’re talking about but I can tell you that I recommend baking.  Baking is much healthier.
  • You have got a lot of nerve asking me that!
  • Why I never!
  • Why are you so talky?
  • Seriously?  How would I know?
  • The same reason that…did you hear that?
  • Oh my God.  Is it that noticeable? What should I do?  I’m so scared.  Hold me.
Faceless nutbar models the latest in crazywear.

After you get done spouting this nonsense, no one will ask you why you’re so quiet again.  The answer will be obvious: you’re insane.