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Introverted
Old 03-13-2004, 09:06 AM   #1
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Introverted

A poll that intercst ran a few years ago suggests that those who reach FIRE are introverted. Even those who are interested in FIRE are generally introverted.
http://www.retireearlyhomepage.com/mbti.html
Anyway, I posted this on TMF the other day, and thought maybe somebody here might be interested.

And thanks, dory, for the "Dryer sheet aficionado" tag. It makes it sound like I know all the URLs where people are scantily-dressed in dryer sheets.

BTW - I tried to make part of this a table and failed. I'm sick of trying, so you'll just have to read the 3 columns one at a time.
----------------------------------
I've been running across stuff about introverts that really tee'd me off. Since so many FIREd types are introverts, I thought others might be interested, too.

1. At the doctor's office, I was reading the most recent Reader's Digest about "The 10 Simple Things to Make You Happy". I didn't get to finish, but it seems if you don't constantly surround yourself with people, you can't possibly be happy.

2. Then I get home, and continue to reread YMOYL. Right at the beginning, on page 9 is a chart called a "Life Rating Scale". The idea being that if you are anything below #5, following Joe Dominguez's 9 steps will get you there. Well, I don't want to be at #5 after reading the descriptors. It sounds exhausting. Here are the descriptors for #3-#5 (#1 and #2 do sound pretty bad).

#3
Content
Doing OK
Average
Sometimes happy, Sometimes blue
Stable
Normal
Few risks
Fitting In

#4
Happy
Growing
Satisfied
Productive
Relaxed
Free of tension
Efficient
Time available
Fun
Secure

#5
Joyous
Enthusiastic
Fulfilled
Overflowing
Ecstatic
Powerful
Making a difference

I'll take 1 from #3 (content), most from #4 and none from #5. I mean, really, it's fun to be ecstatic for very short periods of time, but I'd be exhausted it I was ecstatic all the time. Overflowing? Powerful - no thank you.

What's wrong with being content? I'm happiest when I'm content.

3. For further reflection, here is an article from the Atlantic Monthly.
http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/2003/03/rauch.htm

[i]It has even learned, by means of brain scans, that introverts process information differently from other people (I am not making this up). If you are behind the curve on this important matter, be reassured that you are not alone. Introverts may be common, but they are also among the most misunderstood and aggrieved groups in America, possibly the world.[\i]

It's actually a pretty funny article.

arrete
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Re: Introverted
Old 03-13-2004, 11:24 AM   #2
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Re: Introverted

#5. sounds like a used car salesman. Being INTJ and left handed - I'm working on becomeing a 'crusty' curmudgeon who only sells "previously owned" dryer sheets to select customers. BTY - the article was kind of humorous.
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Re: Introverted
Old 03-13-2004, 12:00 PM   #3
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Re: Introverted

I believe the term 'introvert' as used by myers-briggs is a bit of a misnomer as I think they intend it to mean someone who looks inward for their direction as opposed to someone who looks outward for it. In other words, a self-starter/self-motivator. Been a while since I read the background on it.

If that isnt the case, then its damn wrong because I've tested multiple times as a big fat INTJ and introverted in the classic sense does not apply to me in the slightest.
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Re: Introverted
Old 03-17-2004, 09:36 AM   #4
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Re: Introverted

The only people I know who are constantly joyous, elated, and content are the Gen-Y snowboarders who buy tiny cigarettes. I always wondered why they don't spring for the normal, full-sized cigarettes.

All joking aside, thanks for the article. I can see why most INTx types want ER because work is nothing more than constant, forced superficiality. Because everyone is watching his/her back, nobody is going to have any meaningful discussion on any topic of substance. Anyone who's survived a few years of corporate life knows that politics, sex, and religion are best left unmentioned, but even a topic such as ER seem to be verboten among burned-out, constantly complaining co-workers. Maybe some just don't have the imagination to think beyond the 9-to-5 grind, or maybe some are still hooked on the American (Pipe) Dream, so all discussions eventually devolves to the weather, the traffic, the latest consumer gadgets, or the newest office hottie (not enough of those but at least they're interesting).

ER may not be the ball of wax that everyone here makes it out to be, but I'd bet that those who have achieved ER can say what they think, or if they can't, they can choose not the say a darn thing.
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Re: Introverted
Old 03-17-2004, 11:21 AM   #5
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Re: Introverted

I enjoy complaining, often using powerful words. I am very enthusiastic about it and enjoy working on my curmudgeon skills for when I ER. Do I qualify for #5 status?

By the way, what is INTJ?

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Re: Introverted
Old 03-17-2004, 12:35 PM   #6
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Re: Introverted

By the way, what is INTJ?

You can find out about it at intercst's homepage. He has a nice little writeup about the various personality types.
http://www.retireearlyhomepage.com/mbti.html

I'm not sure what category curmudgeons fall under

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Re: Introverted
Old 03-17-2004, 12:40 PM   #7
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Re: Introverted

This link is a summary of INTJ. It is a Myers-Briggs personality type. (A guy named Keirsey has a lot to do with this, too.) There are 16 types.

There is a quick'n'dirty Myers-Briggs-like test at this site. I have a couple of Keirsey books on the subject, too. It's interesting stuff.

The informal study arrete mentioned is here on intercst's REHP site. (Oops, looks like arrete beat me to the punch while I was typing this post.)

By the way, TH is correct about the "I" not necessarily meaning socially introverted. Introspective might be a more appropriate term. If I recall correctly, Keirsey's book explains it as getting your strength from within rather than from others, but I might have that mixed up since I haven't read the books in a while.

(I'm an INTP, but I joined REHP at TMF after the survey was done.)
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Re: Introverted
Old 03-17-2004, 02:28 PM   #8
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Re: Introverted

I tested INTJ in 95 on a temp job and INTP on the four question quiz with link you posted. Heh, heh - INTj or INTp depending on my mood.

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Re: Introverted
Old 03-17-2004, 02:45 PM   #9
 
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Re: Introverted

I am an ESTJ - Execution Saves the Job. Not a lot of 'E's here.

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Re: Introverted
Old 03-17-2004, 03:55 PM   #10
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Re: Introverted

Quote:
I tested INTJ in 95 on a temp job and INTP on the four question quiz with link you posted. Heh, heh - INTj or INTp depending on my mood.
I tested INTP on the online test, but later when I took the extended quiz in the book I came up as ISTP or ISTJ (don't remember which); a friend also tested S in the extended quiz. The book, David Keirsey's Please Understand Me II, describes each type fairly thoroughly and I definitely matched INTP almost to a T but ISTP/ISTJ was definitely not me. There was an extra test for those who scored close on the N/S, so we took that and both wound up with type indicators that had descriptions matching us. (She was an ENFJ.)

I figure psychology isn't an exact science, anyway. But MBTI is interesting.


I pulled the aforementioned book off the bookshelf to look up the I/E letter to get a more definitive answer. Well there wasn't really one. Well, there were two or more; opposing.

Chapter 1, "What the Myers-Briggs Letters Mean" section:
Quote:
Thus, if we look closely at her type descriptions, we discover that by "extraverted" Myers meant having an "expressive" and outgoing social attitude; by "introverted" she meant having a "reserved" and seclusive social attitude.1
The referenced footnote is over a page and a half long! It's Keirsey's opinion on extraversion versus introversion. I'm having a hard time picking a small quote or even summing it up. He makes a nice point about introverts being better listeners. Here's a decent short quote:
Quote:
This is not to say that Reserved persons do not like to be around people. They enjoy socializing with others, but at large social gatherings or professional meetings they tend to seek out a quiet corner where they can chat with one or two other persons.
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Re: Introverted
Old 03-17-2004, 07:48 PM   #11
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Re: Introverted

Quote:
All joking aside, thanks for the article. I can see why most INTx types want ER because work is nothing more than constant, forced superficiality. Because everyone is watching his/her back, nobody is going to have any meaningful discussion on any topic of substance. Anyone who's survived a few years of corporate life knows that politics, sex, and religion are best left unmentioned, but even a topic such as ER seem to be verboten among burned-out, constantly complaining co-workers. Maybe some just don't have the imagination to think beyond the 9-to-5 grind, or maybe some are still hooked on the American (Pipe) Dream, so all discussions eventually devolves to the weather, the traffic, the latest consumer gadgets, or the newest office hottie (not enough of those but at least they're interesting).
It's not just that INTx want to escape the daily grind - it's that many have the planning skills you need to pull it off, and also tend to find joy outside of spending money.
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Re: Introverted
Old 03-18-2004, 12:04 AM   #12
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Re: Introverted

Hi Arrete:

I really enjoy reading about the MBTI personality studies. Most of my male friends think this stuff is akin to palm-reading. So, when I try to figure out someone's personality type based on MBTI, they usually say something like "you know that stuff is not factual or scientific, so don't try to categorize people and put them in boxes because they are more complicated than that". I acknowledge this but still feel that the MBTI and similar personality tests are useful and have a certain validity.

The ER sample indicated that 60% of the group favorable to ER were "IN" (Introverted Intuitive) types, even though this type is relatively rare in the general population. Perhaps this can be explained somewhat by the general conclusions arrived at through MBTI and other personality studies:

Introverts (I) generally are less susceptible to distractions and outside influences than are Extroverts (E). Also, a useful aspect of the detachment characteristic of Introverts is that they are little affected by the absence of encouragement. If they believe in what they are doing, they can work happily toward a goal (like FI/RE) for a long time without reassurance, which many Extroverts seem to need. The Introvert's loyalty goes to his/her own inner principle and derives from it a secure and unshakable orientation to life. Extroverts look at a situation and ask, "How do I affect that?". On the other hand, Introverts are more inwardly focused, directing their energy toward themselves and their own ideas or thoughts. Introverts tend to look at a situation and ask, "How does that affect me?". They are more naturally self-centered, but in a literal, not a pejorative, sense.

Concerning the Intuitive (N) versus Sensing (S) types, the key distinction between Intuitives and Sensors has to do with the way they view time. Sensors are very present-oriented, so whatever they are engaged in at the moment commands their full attention. They consequently tend not to worry too much about possibilities that may or may not occur in the future, especially about those things they have little or no control over. In contrast, the Intuitives (N) are usually more future-oriented, so they tend to dream about tomorrow, focus on possibilities, and imagine how present events will affect the future. Perhaps a rough analogy can be made here: The Sensor will spend today for immediate gratification, whereas the Intuitive will save today for something valued or valuable in the future (like FIRE).

Many of the posters on this board seem to be male NT (Intuitive-Thinking) types (e.g. INTJ. INTP, ENTJ) who are commonly found among the scientists, engineers and technology occupations. Independence and Autonomy are very important to this personality type, so it is no surprise they make up a large percentage of those in ER.

I am a female INFP (Introverted-Intuitive-FEELING-Perceiving), so am somewhat a "fish out of water" among this group - and enjoying it immensely! I also like the occasional sarcasm and sardonic wit (characteristic of NT humor) displayed on this forum; it seems to spark more fun and lively discussion

I believe the only other poster on this board who admitted to being an "F" (Feeling) type is Popyee (ENFP), who described himself as playful and spontaneous, to the best of my recollection. As an NFP, I can surely relate to that. (It's the P (Perceiving) factor that makes for the play/spontaneity/flexibility/curiosity - as opposed to J (Judging) types that like more structure, organization, and planning).

In the book "Type Talk", it says INFP's may approach retirement with a particular joy if it allows them to leave a traditional career or job that imposed the kind of structure and rigidity that INFP's resist. How true - and especially nice when one can retire at 50 rather than 62!

For anyone interested in reading more about the MBTI Personalities, here is one of my favorite sites:

http://www.westonkaanimalhospital.co...ceptualist.htm

Sincerely,

Toejam
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Re: Introverted
Old 03-18-2004, 03:58 AM   #13
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Re: Introverted

Hey Toejam -

I'm INFP also. I'm basically a lurker though as I've nothing of substance to contribute. :-)

I would characterize myself as what you said here:

"In the book "Type Talk", it says INFP's may approach retirement with a particular joy if it allows them to leave a traditional career or job that imposed the kind of structure and rigidity that INFP's resist. "

Amen sister - that's me all the way!!! :-)

DaddyBoy
Oh BTW - I'm "male" - hence the "Boy" in DaddyBoy... :-)
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Re: Introverted
Old 03-18-2004, 04:37 AM   #14
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Re: Introverted

Daddyboy

Having nothing of substance to contribute hasn't prevented me and I'm high on IN (probably INTJ) even though I flunked the 4 question test(INTP). Surely your opinion on dryer sheets will be a valuable addition to the forum.
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Re: Introverted
Old 03-18-2004, 06:14 AM   #15
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Re: Introverted

Daddyboy: Substance? Most of us are talking about dryer sheets and I'm drawing pictures of them.

UncleMick: You might try reading the descriptions of INTJs ( http://haleonline.com/psychtest/resu...SN=N&TF=T&JP=J ) and INTPs ( http://haleonline.com/psychtest/resu...SN=N&TF=T&JP=P ) and pick which one sounds most like you.
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Re: Introverted
Old 03-18-2004, 07:25 AM   #16
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Re: Introverted

INTJ. I read the posted links and liked some of both INTJ and INTP. Sooo I pulled the old 1995 test - INTJ with a very weak J barely over the dividing line between P and J.

Funny thing though 'crusty' nor 'curmudgeon' was completely absent from all that I read. Also dryer sheets, FIRE, frugal,etc. Perhaps they need this forum's help to modernize their descriptons.
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Re: Introverted
Old 03-18-2004, 11:00 AM   #17
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Re: Introverted

I always thought INTJ was unclemick's way of telling us "I Need The Job".

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Re: Introverted
Old 03-19-2004, 03:29 AM   #18
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Re: Introverted

I too am an INTJ. It's funny how INTJs represent a small % of the total population (as I recall), but seem to represent a much larger % of the FIRE population. Probably no coincidence.
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Re: Introverted
Old 03-19-2004, 05:08 AM   #19
 
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Re: Introverted

No coincidence is right! I am a dead solid
INTJ and was actually compelled to ER. Didn't put all the pieces together until I found this forum, although I knew
myself pretty well. Always went my own way, made my own rules, etc. This was quite successful in business,
less so in romance

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Re: Introverted
Old 03-19-2004, 09:05 AM   #20
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Re: Introverted

Its definitely not a coincidence. The personality type is ideal for two things: Being in a position to accumulate considerable wealth and having the mindset to comfortably leave the workforce behind.

A good description from Kiersey:

http://keirsey.com/personality/ntij.html
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