What does “spectatrix” mean?
Spectatrix is the female form of the Latin (and English) word “spectator.” I chose the name to reflect both my preferred method of approaching the world–to spend time observing a situation before jumping in–and also the fact that the site is written from my perspective, that of an introvert viewing the world around me. Plus, it sounds slightly naughty.
What is an introvert? What is an extrovert?
Most basically, these terms refer to where a person gets their energy from; introverts find it energizing to spend large periods of time alone, while extroverts gain energy from spending time with other people. If you like small talk and have a large circle of friends, you probably tend toward the extrovert end of the spectrum. If it’s less painful for you to get a needle at the dentist than it is to chat with other patients in the waiting room, you might be an introvert.
How did you come up with the idea for this site? The basic answer is that I have a lifetime’s worth of experience being an introvert, and I felt like I had something to say about the subject. My very first post on this site, Introducing Spectatrix, provides more information about how Spectatrix came into existence.
Isn’t “introvert blog” an oxymoron?
While it may seem strange that an introvert (someone more inwardly directed) would choose to express herself in a public forum, the internet is a surprisingly hospitable environment for introverts. Unlike what often occurs in real-life social situations, online conversation allows the more taciturn among us to have our full say without interruption. And as Martha Stewart would say, “that’s a good thing.”
What is a “passionate introvert”?
I coined this term to describe a person full of opinions, ideas, and insights, but with a personality style that does not lead them to express these passions in a dramatic, external manner. For me, the quintessential passionate introverts are writers, artists, scientists, inventors–highly-creative people obsessed with their work–who, despite other abilities, find it difficult to hold up their end of a conversation with a stranger at a party. On a broader level, I believe all introverts are passionate about something, despite appearances to the contrary, and it is one of my goals to raise social awareness of what these folks bring to the party (so to speak) everyday.
In addition, to be a passionate introvert can also mean embracing one’s true nature in the face of sometimes negative ideas about introverted behavior, such as the beliefs that introverts are “shy,” “anti-social,” or in the context of business, “not team players.” Introverts can learn to develop traditional extrovert qualities (like public speaking, socializing, and managing others), but introversion is still their preferred mode of being, the way they are most comfortable experiencing the world. I believe this preference should be honored and understood, especially by introverts themselves.
I also like the term “passionate introvert” because it sounds slightly naughty (see “spectatrix” above).
Is this site only for introverts?
No. While much of the content on the site may appeal more directly to introverts, it is my hope that extroverts will also be interested in learning more about what it is like to be an introvert, either for their own sake, or because they have loved ones who are introverts. In addition, not everything I write about refers specifically to introversion, but is of more general interest.
Do introverts have a sense of humor?
Yes! Humor is one of the key ways introverts deal with the stress of living in an extroverted world. As much as we like to complain about our mistreatment at the hands of an uncomprehending public (a prime source of fodder for this site), we do smile often, and can occasionally be seen laughing in public.
Are all introverts basically the same?
No. Among introverts there is a huge range of personality types, as in any large group of people. The one thing we share is our deep need for periodic solitude. I obviously don’t speak for all introverts; the ideas and opinions on this site come out of my own experience and that of other introverts I know. For those interested, I am an INFP (Introvert iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving) according to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.
What is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator?
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator was developed by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers as a way to determine different personality preferences. Ideally, recognizing these differences can lead to greater self-awareness and increased understanding and respect for how other people behave. The first element of the MBTI measures an individual’s tendency toward introversion or extroversion (I vs. E). For more information on the MBTI, visit the Myers & Briggs Foundation Web site.
Where can I find more resources for introverts?
There are some good books available on this subject, chief among them Marti Olsen Laney’s The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World (which I highly recommend). Jonathan Rauch’s very popular 2003 essay in the Atlantic Monthly, “Caring For Your Introvert,” is a humorous and extremely helpful guide for extroverts who want to understand the introverts in their lives. For more resources, visit the Links section in the left-hand column of this site.
Do you have any professional training in psychology or any other “-ologies”?
No. This site is not intended to offer any scientific answers or advice, but is simply written out of my personal experience as an introvert.