After my last blog post, I heard from so many fellow writers, and a good many friends, who said that they were introverts, too. Many came as a surprise, especially among the writers I know and admire. In hindsight, I fear that I assumed that most writers were extroverts because of their ability to promote themselves and their books so well. Now I know that is not always the case.
However, having so many of my fellow authors claim they are introverts made me wonder how many well-known writers were, too. I looked for a list, but found that writers were always included as part of a larger list of famous introverts. After reading dozens of lists, J. K. Rowling, Dr. Seuss and Edgar Allan Poe were the only authors who were mentioned repeatedly. Below are just a few other famous introverts that were listed:
Clint Eastwood Bill Gates Abraham Lincoln Audrey Hepburn Eleanor Roosevelt Sir Isaac Newton Albert Einstein Meg Ryan
Mahatma Gandhi Laura Bush Rosa Parks Warren Buffet Roy Rogers Marilyn Monroe Tom Hanks Candice Bergen
George Stephanopoulos Johnny Carson Harper Lee
While I was researching introverts and extroverts, I found that you are not just one or the other. There are a number of variations of each and personality tests that will reveal which type you are.
Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers, first published their test, the MBTI, in 1962, after studying the work of Carl Jung since the 1940s. Jung believed everyone experiences the world through four principal psychological functions: sensation, intuition, feeling and thinking and that one is dominant most of the time. Katharine and Isabel gave his theory a practical application: to help women entering the industrial workforce for the first time to identify the sort of war-time jobs that would be “most comfortable and effective” for them.
Here is a chart that shows the different personality types on the MBTI:
And here are what the letters stand for:
The first letter is for introvert (I) or extrovert (E).
Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning? This is called Sensing (S) or Intuition (N).
When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances? This is called Thinking (T) or Feeling (F).
In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options? This is called Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)
I thought it might be fun to use this information to categorize some of our favorite Austen characters, and luckily came across this MBTI chart with the characters in Pride and Prejudice already done.
I think it hard to pin-point everyone precisely, but I cannot agree with some of these. For instance, Caroline is ISFJ which is ‘amiable and ready to sacrifice?’ I don’t picture Caroline as either of these. Georgiana is classed as ENFP, which is an extrovert and described as ‘life of the party?’ And Mr. Collins, who is ISTP, does not impress me as someone who is unpretentious—not attempting to impress others with an appearance of greater importance, talent, or culture than is actually possessed.
I do think it fascinating that Darcy and Lizzy are alike except when it comes down to T or P. Darcy thinks while Lizzy feels. What do you think? Do you agree with the type assigned to your favourite character? I would love to hear your opinion!
Meanwhile, if you wonder what type personality you are, there is a free MBTI test at this link. Free Personality Test
A more in-depth test can be had for a fee at the Briggs and Meyer Foundation. Myers Briggs Foundation