That’s me in the corner.
We just returned from an event in San Antonio to raise awareness for the Wyakin program, and I am exhausted. Why? Because while extroverts gain energy from other people, introverts lose their energy in crowds.
The Navy made me take the Myers-Briggs test a few times, and I always came out as having the traits of being introverted (with a capital “I”), intuitive, thinking, and a judger, or INTJ for short. Apparently, INTJ is the least common of sixteen possible combinations of personality traits. Only 2% of the population has been rated INTJ. But, in what will be or already has been a PhD topic for someone, most military officers are INTJs. [Note: This actually was a topic for a Master’s Thesis at United States Marine Corps Command and Staff College by LCDR Jane M. Moraski. Her studies showed that the most common personality for military leaders was ISTJ. Slightly different than what I had read earlier, but introverts nonetheless.]
It would be interesting to find out if other INTJs have no problem in familiar circles, like hanging out with buddies. I did some of that in San Antonio and felt completely at ease.
I am not sure if you can tell by looking at the photo, but I was relaxed and comfortable then, being in the company of good friends. The rest of the time was spent meeting people. Don’t get me wrong, they were gracious and welcoming to a fault. It is just that every handshake with an unfamiliar face tended to suck the energy right out of my body, and by the end of the day I was a quivering mass of flesh.
At least I now know that I am not alone. It is comforting to know that a lot of my military buddies have the same tendencies. But there is a problem.
That corner is going to get crowded.