Are You a Multipotentialite AND an Introvert?
Photo courtesy of Pedro Ribeiro Simões.

Are You a Multipotentialite AND an Introvert?

Written by Bev Webb

Topics: Multipotentialite Patterns

How would you feel about the following weekend plan? Kicking it all off with drinks straight from work, going out for a meal, moving onto a night of bars and clubs, and following that up over the next two days with brunches, meet-ups, meals out, parties, and a house full of guests to enjoy them with.

What do you think? Are you feeling excited or are you running away at the mere suggestion?

This plan is the exact plan a friend of mine was telling me about a couple of days ago. The thing is, the more she brimmed over with excitement, the more petrified I became of that weekend. I don’t mean to be a wet blanket, but that schedule is my idea of hell.

It’s not that I’m anti-social. It’s just that I find socializing exhausting.

I’d much prefer to spend a day in my head, exploring some of my many interests and getting into a state of flow. I love activities that are so immersive that I don’t even realize I haven’t spoken to anyone for hours.

If you’re not familiar with the world of introversion, let me introduce myself. Hi, I’m Bev and I’m an introvert. Pleased to meet you.

Us introverts tend to be quieter and more inward-looking than most. Unlike extroverts, who gain energy from social interaction, introverts find that spending long periods of time with other people drains us of energy.

You’re more towards the introverted end of the introversion-extroversion spectrum if, after spending time in a large group of people, you feel exhausted and as if you need to recharge by spending some time alone. If you’re an introvert, this is why that packed weekend schedule of back-to-back social engagements might have left you feeling cold.

Introvert Myth Busting 101

Myth #1: Introverts are shy

This is a common misconception, as many folk assume that being introverted is the same as being shy. An introvert may or may not be shy. Shyness, and indeed social anxiety, have more to do with an awkwardness or a fear of social situations and interactions. Introverts don’t necessarily fear these situations; we just don’t seek them out.

Myth #2: Introverts are anti-social

It’s not that we don’t like company; it’s just that we’re more naturally drawn towards our own company. Whereas extroverts are fueled by social interactions, we find them exhausting. We recharge when we’re alone, so it’s natural for us to seek out quieter surroundings with fewer people.

Myth #3: Introverts are conservative

Often people mistake introverts’ quietness for signs that we are conservative or reserved. Introverts can be quirky and unconventional; it’s just that we don’t always shout about our quirks. Quietness doesn’t to have to mean “boring”!

Myth #4: Introverts are selfish

This is one myth that gets thrown around a lot. It’s often assumed introverts are selfish and self-obsessed because they’re inward-looking. I’d argue, however, that in reality it’s quite the opposite. Introverts are more likely to be thoughtful and highly self-aware, and therefore more conscious about how they respond to those around them.

Introversion and Multipotentiality

Many of the common signs of multipotentiality – like a hunger for learning and the craving to be in a state of flow – often involve spending time alone. I’m therefore intrigued as to whether or not there are a higher number of introverts in the multipotentialite community than there are in the average population.

Over to you!

Are you an introvert? If so, do you think your introversion has an impact on your multipotentiality (or vice versa)? Do you think there are more introverts than extroverts in the multipod community?

bevBev is an artist, creativity coach and founder of Kickass Creatives, a website offering practical support to frustrated creatives. She’s over 20 years of working in the arts: experimenting with everything from performing in a fire circus and managing a hiphop dance company, through to web consultancy and jewellery design. Bev is passionate about using her experience to enable others to fully develop (rather than hide) their multitude of talents too. Connect with her on Twitter @creativekickass.

77 Comments

  1. Louise says:

    This is 100% me! I have so many hobbies and interests that I do by myself that I look forward to my alone time. I’ve mostly found it difficult to be able to use my lone-skills on CVs/as extra curricular activities because I cant say I’m part of such and such a group, or participate in this team because it’s just me! I don’t know which came first, being an introvert or a multipod or if its a simultaneous development, but I would say being an only child and the youngest in my wider family has meant that I’ve always been self sufficient at entertaining myself.

    • Bev Webb says:

      Hi Louise!
      Love your question: which came first introversion or multipotentiality? That is so hard to answer! With adding your “lone-skills” to your CV (resume), maybe list them as things you’ve done and not worry about putting the context (i.e. the who with or what for). Would that work? :)

      • Louise says:

        That’s what I tend to do, it’s just difficult to put when you seem to need a piece of paper to make you officially ‘skilled’ at something these days!

  2. Mini says:

    THANK YOU for number 3! I get this a lot, and I have never heard anyone put it into words like that before.
    People who do get to know me are always surprised at the “unconventional” interests I have, having made the assumption that I am conservative and boring simply because I can be quiet. I have to be honest and say that I find this incredibly frustrating at times!

    • Bev Webb says:

      Hey Mini!
      Yep, number 3 is a great one – you don’t have to be a brimming over extrovert to be interesting!!! You’re not alone with getting frustrated about that one. :)

  3. Amy says:

    I’m a big time introvert. That first paragraph was nearly panic attack inducing lol. I definitely need alone time, but I’m not an anti-social hermit either. I need interactions with people too, just less than other people, and I prefer smaller groups and more one on one. Sometimes, it back fires. If I’m at a party and start talking with someone it’s easier to keep conversing with them than have the same 5 min convo with another 10 people. I find that introverts usually don’t like to be “surfacy” either. But more than one guy has thought I was interested because I talked to them for so long. Whoops! I need to get better about forcing myself to move along sometimes.

    • Bev Webb says:

      Hi Amy
      Yep, totally panic inducing!!! Seriously, I just wanted to run away. I so know what you mean about not wanting to talk at a surface level too – I’ve lost track of the number of deep & philosophical conversations I’ve gotten into late at night. Interesting side effect it’s had for you! ;-)

  4. Michelle says:

    Awesome post, Bev! My favorite myths are the last two. I’ve had many experiences when I just happened to divulge a more “unconventional” part of myself and I’ve actually been told that wasn’t/couldn’t be true! It’s funny how confident we are about who someone else is. :) People are so complex and multi-faceted, it’s impossible to know someone 100%, I don’t even know myself! “It’s just that we don’t always shout about our quirks” really hit home for me.

    Setting boundaries is a great skill to have in general but I would say that it is most crucial for introverts. Negative emotions such as shame and envy can really creep up if we don’t have the tools to know our needs and make arrangements for own self-care. To disappear to recharge (without guilt) when we need. It took me a long time to weigh the cost of oversocializing vs being authentic and being alone for a few nights and realized the second one was the best option for me. AND when I do what’s best for me FIRST, I’m more present and a much better human when I’m socializing anyway!

    “Introverts are more likely to be thoughtful and highly self-aware” – exactly. That “inward looking” you describe has upped my ability to be compassionate considerably.
    -M

    • Bev Webb says:

      Hey Michelle
      I so agree we need to be able to be “guilt free” about slipping away from socializing when we need to. It can be really hard though, especially when those around us are enjoying themselves so much they don’t get why we’d want to leave!

      Knowing yourself and how you function best is such powerful knowledge to have, and like you say, it makes for an even better you. :-)

  5. cayelin says:

    So grateful you brought this to the table for discussion. The fear that has been coming up for me ever since beginning the process of developing a website and online business has been very confusing since I have been attracted into the community and others who are doing this. I put the whole thing on hold for a while because the yes/no of it was crazy making and I started to avoid doing art altogether because it became associated with this demand.

    Thanks for a great piece, Bev!! ; )

    • Bev Webb says:

      Hey Cayelin
      Great to hear from you! Glad you liked the post & that it’s given an airing to an issue that so many of us encounter. Have you found a way to get your creative practice untangled from the uncomfortable side of things? :)

      • cayelin says:

        Hi Bev,

        Thanks for asking about my creative practice. Since my potential web site(s) would have been oriented towards my visual/3-4 dimensional creative arts, healthy food inventions, and healing, my creativity has shifted to piano, voice, and a new drawing practice that is kind of like a meditation process and oriented towards inner work in sketchbooks and feels non showable to me. I’m still doing food inventions for myself and friends and pondering some times as I enjoy them if there was a way I could share these which would not trigger those feelings.

  6. Margaux says:

    Borderline. When I’m out, I love being out. When I’m in, I love being in. I get energised through contact with other people, but I get recharged by being alone. I love new experiences, so I’m game for going along with other people’s ideas out in the wild, but I also love spending time just doing whatever I want without having to negotiate with anyone.

    This bears out in Myers-Briggs: depending on the questions that are asked and how I feel when I’m answering them, I can test as I or E.

    • Bev Webb says:

      Hi Margaux
      Yey, a timely reminder that as with so many things, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Whilst we may have mainly ‘introvert’ characteristics, there’s a vast spectrum which we may move back and forth along depending on the situation or circumstances. :)

    • Stella says:

      I’m similar to you. I’m a vocal and outgoing person; I like socialising and feel bad when I haven’t been around people for a while. But if I’m around people for too long I don’t like it so much, and I have moments of just not particularly wanting to talk much. It’s kind of frustrating not being able to say ‘I’m an introvert!’ or ‘I’m an extrovert!’ but I like sitting on the fence :-)

    • Jacob says:

      This means that you fall dead in the middle of the introvert-extrovert spectrum…this is called ambiversion. So, you are an ambivert.

  7. Paul says:

    Indeed!

    Strongly introverted here as well! Back when I joined the tribe I participated in some discussions regarding type. I strongly suspected that there would be more introverts among the multipotentialites but I didn’t see that among those who participated in those discussions.

    I recognized all the myths, having had them thrown in my face more than once, except #3. I’ve never heard anyone assume Introverts are conservative. (But then again, my own “weirdness” is quickly noted so they might just assume I am the exception to the rule…)

    Thanks for this post Bev!

    • Bev Webb says:

      Hi Paul
      Great to see you on here! Myth #3 is a misconception I’ve found some folks can have, in the same way we might be mistaken for being shy.

      I’ve found an assumption that if you’re not a gregarious party animal, you must be boring, quiet, meek and conservative. It’s like the shorthand that extrovert=good and introvert=bad, somehow all those seemingly negative characteristics get lumped together! Again, it’s a judgement based on an “all or nothing” scale, rather than seeing the complexity and multi-faceted nature of our species. :-)

  8. Helen says:

    Perfect timing for this post Bev! Just surfacing from a week of socialising topped off with friend and his new partner visiting for a long weekend. My brain was starting to feel like scrambled egg by the end.

    It’s not that I don’t enjoy their company – they’re all interesting and great fun and, like any multipotentialite, I want to hear their stories. It’s just the lack of breathing space that starts to suffocate me. I’m like a balloon slowly deflating pfffff! Adding insult to exhaustion is the accusation of being anti-social, by my party loving partner, when I try to explain why a heavy social life is not something I aspire to in any way at all. I’m not anti-social, as you say – just anti-social overload.

    And yes, the way I re-oxygenate is by spending time alone. I nurture my brain back to life with my favourite projects, catching up with reading, checking in with my online life and getting outside with some meditative walking or cycling. So it would make perfect sense to me that there is a close link between the colourful and varied interior life of an introvert and multipotentiality.

    And that party thing Amy, I know exactly what you mean!!

    • Bev Webb says:

      Hi Helen!
      Great to hear from you. Sounds like the timing of this post was perfect!! Love the analogy of a deflating balloon – that goes so well with the idea of a party that goes on to long (like when we make a break for some solitude). :)

  9. Sukhvinder says:

    Excellent post!

    Shopping is draining for introverts, especially on Ikea.

    At least that’s my experience.

    • Louise says:

      I am just the same, and yet when it comes to online shopping by myself at home I love it!

    • Mini says:

      How do you feel about supermarket shopping? I find that very exhausting!

      • Nikki says:

        Supermarket shopping is only bearable when I get in there very early (opening time). No crowded lanes, less noise, replenished shelves, and available parking spots close to the entrance. I will never again go to the supermarket during the day or in the evening when it’s packed with people! For my fellow introverts who have not discovered this as yet, feel free to try it out.

    • Brian says:

      Years ago an Ikea opened up a new superstore in Cincinnati, Ohio. I thought I would pop in and have a quick look around. Four hours later, I finally found the exit and my son and I, exhausted, dragged ourselves to the car. A guy’s day out turned into a day-long survival course. If they didn’t have the diner half way through, I don’t think my son would have made it. I, of course, have never been back.

    • Bev Webb says:

      Hi Sukhvinder.

      Heheh! Yep, know what you mean about IKEA. My friend’s band did a song all about not being able to find your way out of their stores :)
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNcaaehKaC8

  10. Jessie says:

    I’ve just been thinking about this. To me my introversion and multipotentiality feel very much entwined and inseparable, but that’s because they are both part of me. But I was wondering what the trend might be in multis as a whole — whether we’re more likely to be one way or the other.

    My introversion definitely informs my multipotentiality, or the way it expresses, because I definitely lean towards pursuits that are solo activities that I can become absorbed in (or obsessed with ;) The downside comes when something I’m trying to do requires some networking or collaboration — I do like collaborating on creative things, but I’m always a little afraid to make that commitment.

    • Bev Webb says:

      Hi Jessie
      Great point – I think many of us multipods feel a magnetic pull towards solo activities. :)

  11. Emma says:

    Great post!
    I’ve only recently discovered that i’m a multipod, after years of wondering what the hell was wrong with me.

    I can definitely identify as an introvert, happiest when i’m alone, learning new things and getting stuck into projects.

    The main issue i’ve encountered is that people just think i’m a bit weird. I like talking to people but, as you say, not on a surface level. If i’m surrounded by people who are chattering away about nothing, I tend to zone out and go into my own little world. I much prefer to talk one on one about deeper subjects, and this can be a problem with strangers who aren’t multipods.

    Luckily for me, my best friend is a multipod and an introvert, and we meet a couple of times a week for coffee and a chat. Our conversations range from our kid’s latest antics to politics and religion (on which we hold differing views!). Its funny but I never seem to grow tired of her company like I do other people’s, we just seem to ‘get’ each other.

    And yes, I too hate supermarket shopping, in fact any place where there are hoards of people – thank goodness for the internet!

    • Bev Webb says:

      Hey Emma
      Fab to hear you’ve found our multipotentialite community. Is it a weight off your shoulders to know there’s nothing “wrong” with you?!!! :)

      I love your description of zoning out – that is exactly how I experience it too.

      • Emma says:

        It is a weight off my shoulders Bev, and strangely i’ve found that i’ve been more productive since embracing my multipotentiality. I suppose its because I no longer waste time trying to choose what I’m going to specialize in for the rest of my life, and just do whatever I want, safe in the knowledge that I don’t have to stick at it. Makes life so much simpler and much more fun!

  12. Ed says:

    Great post!I’m an INTJ mildly on the introvert side of the spectrum. I recharge my batteries alone and need to do it quite often but have no problem being in crowds or being social for periods of time. I like being around people but need my space.

    I like both solo and teamwork activities, but find myself frustrated in teams if I do not have control, so I am not technically a team player. I like to get to the point on things and try them out and then quickly move onto either improving the process, or moving to the next thing. Socializing gets in the way of this. Then add into the mix multipotentiality, and there is just not enough time in a day! I am not sure how I would accomplish much in the world as an extrovert AND an multipotentialite though!

    • Bev Webb says:

      Hi Ed
      Once during a huddle on the Puttytribe we did a quick survey of Myers-Briggs types – guess what? Yep, INTJ came up again and again! I’m sure there’s a connection between introversion and multi-ness. :)

  13. Brian says:

    Me, introvert, indeed! Shy, Ha! I dearly love your articles, Bev. They seem to touch on things I never heard anyone discussing growing up. Me, in my foolish youth, thought introvert was the same as shy and therefore thought myself shy. Then someone asked me why I “acted” like I was shy. Why I would bottle up my personality, that was, in her view, a force of nature. I was shocked, replied that I didn’t know, and have since let my inner Rodney Dangerfield loose into the world. Sadly, it took until my 30s to meet the girl that let me out of the bottle…but better late than never!

    • Bev Webb says:

      Hey Brian
      Thanks for the great feedback! I’m so happy that this post has hit a chord with you, and so many of our community. Like you, it took me until my 30’s to begin to understand why I do things the way I do, (like rarely finishing anything) and that I didn’t have a “problem”. I hope that by talking about our experiences we can help others to find their multi-ness too. :)

  14. Hi Bev – I enjoyed your article. I’m definitely both an introvert and a multipod, so I recognise your panic at the thought of a busy weekend socialising! Someone else said they get energised socialising – I do too, but I then quickly start to feel exhausted, so I have to make sure I leave before that happens. I can be a bit hermit-like at times, too – mostly because I’m enjoying doing my own thing, and partly due to laziness and a reluctance to make the effort to go out!

    I recognise all of the myths you’ve busted, too, perhaps with the exception of #3. – here in the UK we tend to be quite reserved anyway. Although, having said that… like quite a few introverts I know, I love being on stage, either talking or singing – but I’m not flamboyant with it! I’m hoping that, now introversion is a hot topic on the interweb, we might be able to get the message across that we’re not (necessarily) any of those things you’ve listed!

    • Bev Webb says:

      Hi Julia
      Yep, just the thought of a crazy social weekend sends me into a panic! I used to think I was being a hermit, but these days I recognise that it’s more about needing alone time to recharge, rather than being anti-company.

      It’s funny how a lot of us are interested in performing or being on stage. It’s kind of like we put on a public face, and then afterwards retreat back into our lone world to recover! :)

  15. Mandy says:

    I am certainly an introvert, because I do gain energy from time alone, but also a very restless one. Not having social activities on the weekend would stress me out, but having too many things going on (wait a second, where do I fit in Mandy time?) would stress me out just as much. Being a very unfocused multi-potentialite, I would love to find my zen in calming down and spending time on one of my many passions, but I also get overwhelmed in (which one?) and distract my self with social activities. And it always seems like there is never enough time anyhow. Probably working two jobs doesn’t really help there.

    • Bev Webb says:

      Hi Mandy
      I think multipotentialites put a lot of effort into juggling work, multiple interests and socialising – it can be real hard to get the balance feeling right. As Michelle commented earlier, it’s important to recognise the need for self-care and not to feel guilty about saying no if we feel over committed. :)

  16. Morgan says:

    Yes, this is me – I was trying to explain to someone why I’m feeling apprehensive about spending 4 days with other people’s families over Christmas period followed by a 4 day intensive course with other people – even though I’m looking forward to both things and they are my choice, having them back to back is an exhausting thought! The person I was telling this to – perhaps not an introvert? don’t know her that well – didn’t seem to really get it and said I was ‘overthinking’ things and should ‘just enjoy’…But I find I have to have a game plan for squirreling away moments alone, during such busy social times, or I will find myself getting burned out and sometimes irritable…and have a long recovery time afterwards (which I won’t have because it’ll be straight back into looking after my son after that). I look ahead and plan my schedule to avoid introvert overwhelm as much as possible, but sometimes it just isn’t possible! I haven’t thought about the link between introversion and multipotentiality before – but it makes sense to me. Like Jessie, I am drawn to collaboration with others – and have done – but sometimes find myself at an event – say, singing with others – wishing I could just be at home and alone reading a book! So it’s hard to have the commitment on a weekly basis. I agree with the stuff around ‘myths of introversion’ – I was shy as a child but not at all as an adult though I can feel awkward in certain situations, like if a lot of small talk is expected of me. I suck at small talk, but give me a deep meaningful conversation anyday :)

    • Bev Webb says:

      Hi Morgan
      Wow! I feel weak at the thought of 8 intensive socialising days in a row. Definitely plan in some mini-breaks for yourself during each day – even if it’s just to close your eyes and focus on your breathing til you feel balanced again. :)

  17. Eric C says:

    I wouldn’t consider myself an introvert. In social and work situations, I try to find an “in” with the group. I use humor to get me in and can build relationships from there.
    I think being a multipod can help immensely in building relationships with new people. I have many varied interests that can help me build rapport with almost anyone.
    I do like time to myself but prefer to be around at least a few people.
    This was a great read and the comments have given me some different perspectives.

    • Bev Webb says:

      Hi Eric
      Many thanks for your feedback. Being a multipod definitely has advantages when it comes to chatting with strangers – we have such a wide range of subject matter to choose from! :)

  18. Brian J says:

    Great stuff! I have identified myself as a “gregarious introvert” for years- I enjoy people, I’m not shy at all- but being with people drains the life out of me! This has been a confusing concept for many, since most associate shyness with introversion.

    It wasn’t until very recently that I now identify myself as a multipotentialite- so now I guess I’m a gregarious introverted multipotentialite! I’ll have to think of a shorter way of saying that…

    • Bev Webb says:

      Hey Brian
      Love the term “gregarious introvert!!! It explains brilliantly that it’s nothing to do with shyness or not liking company, it’s just that we need to do it on our own terms. Thanks. :)

  19. Peter says:

    Yes, am an introvert, and that is where our power resides.we are loaded vessels and with such energy inside us, we don’t make empty noise,not. that we are afraid or being timid but because of the treasures we carry. Gentliness, slow but steady, quick to hear but slow to speak, doing more listening than speaking, we seek for the solution rather than talking the problem. These are few of many of our characteristics.

    • Bev Webb says:

      Hey Peter
      just wanted to say how beautiful & poetically you’ve phrased it. You’ve absolutely nailed it. :)

  20. I think there’s a lot of myths about extroverts too. Or, rather, different people using the word are talking about different things.

    Somehow it has gotten popularized for being about social-ness. But Carl Jung defined extroversion as a preference in processing information. In the original theory, it doesn’t have to do with socializing at all. It has to do with whether you “process out loud” or “process internally” — whether you are oriented to your inner world, or to world outside you. Other people are only one element of the “outer world”, and intense socializing may just not be a part of the outer world you enjoy, even if you are primarily extroverted in the way you process information.

    For example, people think of writing as an “introverted” activity because you do it alone. But it is actually an extroverted process, because you are putting your thoughts into external form. Meditating is an introverted process, writing is extroverted, but both are done alone.

    My way of processing exactly matches ENFP’s processing order – Extroverted Intuition, Introverted Feeling, etc – but I’m not a typical “extrovert” the way our culture defines it. I spend most of my time alone and I hate socializing with people I don’t know (unless they are wildly interesting or easily accessible energetically). But I spend all day taking in information, researching, and learning about the world outside myself.

    I don’t want to hang out all night at a party. But I do need to have some external way of processing in order to sort out what I’m thinking, and I do primarily take in information through Extroverted Intuition (which is the primary source of my multi-potentiality).

    What I find irritating about small talk is actually the low fidelity of external stimulus–not that it is distracting me from my internal stimulus. I just find many (external) things far more interesting than a party. So it’s not that I find people overwhelmingly stimulating (as an introvert would), I find them underwhelmingly boring, and want more interesting stimulus. Also, ENFP’s need alone time to sort out all the external stimulus they take in, so they tend to need more solitary time than most other extroverted types.

    Furthermore, everyone processes via both introverted and extroverted functions, it just depends on what order they are in.

    I recommend taking the Myers-Briggs or other versions of the test, studying the function order of your type, and really understanding the theory better. It’s much more useful if you understand it in more depth.

    • cayelin says:

      Hi Emma, appreciate what you brought to the discussion about the Meyer-Briggs test.

      I took that test last year online as part of a class, and it seemed that I tested INFJ. Now, considering the points you have shared, I am wondering if I should be tested by a professional as I remember noticing as I took the test some confusion with questions and I felt like there were many questions I could have answered different ways.

      The score results figured into becoming involved with studies towards a new career path (a career counselor fed the score into a career data base using Meyer-Briggs scores). but so far this has been rather torturous even if interesting at times. I’m not sure if it’s just completely wrong or my multipotentiality kicking in again that became bored and stressed rather quickly.

      • There are several different versions free online and they test different things. Googel the Kiersey Temperament Sorter. I usually test as on the border of E/I. I definitely am behaviorally an introvert when it comes to most people things, but functionally an extrovert when it comes to ideas and life itself.

        Here is a test that focuses on functions rather than types:
        http://cognitivequiz.com/quiz.html

        Personally I’m not sure it is really good for career advice. Career is such a complex thing.

        This article sums up an ENFP’s attitude toward socializing:
        “Getting your energy from social interaction, but disliking superficial conversations. Yes, I want to go to a party tonight. But a party full of contemplative people who want to alternate between taking shots and discussing the meaning of life.” And #4, classic multi-potentialite struggle: “Having a thousand great ideas that you never follow through on.”

        http://thoughtcatalog.com/heidi-priebe/2014/09/25-struggles-only-enfps-will-understand/

        • Bev Webb says:

          Hi Emma
          Many thanks for sharing the links and for the really helpful explanation about the Myers-Briggs test. We are all multi-faceted and in some ways, these categories are helpful to grab a “snapshot” of our traits and characteristics, so that we can make more sense of the how and why of ourselves. :)

        • Emma,

          I’ve been WAITING for the day that someone would bring up the similarities between multipods and ENFPs. I’m an ENFP and finding out my myers brig type was basically my gateway drug to the scanner/multipod world.

    • Thomas says:

      I second this! In addition, reading Carl Jung’s original paper, “psychological types” really gets at the difference between the extraverted and introverted versions of each function – and clarifies how they have nothing to do with “social” and “asocial”.

      It’s also worth noting that Jung was fascinated in the practice of Alchemy as a precursor to psychology – and that one of the key alchemical principles is that of balancing pairs of opposites and unifying the soul – that is, to become enlightened you have to embody both thinking *and* feeling, take both the extraverted *and* the introverted attitude, so that you can respond with spontaneous authenticity to any situation and become -quite frankly- puttylike!

  21. Shelly says:

    Thanks for that wonderful article, Bev! This is the first time i’ve seen anyone discuss introversion and multipotentiality together! When I read through that schedule your friend had, I was only a few items in before I found myself thinking ‘where’s the alone time?’ lol Needless to say, I wouldn’t have lasted through that weekend.

    I am going to check out your site, I struggle a lot with introversion and multipotentiality. Looking forward to reading more of your stuff!

    Shelly

    • Bev Webb says:

      Hi Shelly
      Glad you liked the article. Yep, it’s making me think too that every weekend should have some “lone time” planned in! :)

  22. Rebekah says:

    Well, here is my perspective: I have more interests than I can count on both hands. And I am definitely an introvert. I thrive on “alone time.” How else would I fit all my interests in? :) But seriously, I am exhausted by crowds and I find it difficult to create conversation just for its own sake

    • Bev Webb says:

      Hi Rebekah
      Yes, we definitely need plenty of time in our heads in order to process all of those interests. Reading pack through all the comments on this post, isn’t it interesting how many of us share a dislike of small talk? :)

  23. Angele Freeman says:

    Im definitely an introverted multipod. Im not shy, I can handle myself in social situations and crowds if necessary but Id much rather spend time alone figuring all the millions of things out that are going on in my head. I think my multipotentiality has influenced me being more introverted as I feel people may not understand me or certain social situations may become awkward for me. Im very self conscious and to avoid embarrassment or feeling out of place I’d rather engage in more personable gatherings with like minded people or just stay to myself. Maybe im a weirdo lol

    • Bev Webb says:

      Hi Angele
      You’re defintiely not a weirdo! There’s a firm trend amongst the comments here for spending quality time alone or in the company of a small number of people. And as you say, it’s certainly not shyness :)

  24. Milena says:

    I enjoyed this article. My opinion is that introversion and multipotentiality are deeply connected, because introverts take time to immerse themselves into their soul, their creativity and curiosity and thus can develop more skills and more interests. Extroverts are often distracted with need to socialize.

    I warmly recommend Susan Cain’s book “Quiet, the power of introverts in world that cannot stop talking.” It is one of the best resources about the introversion out there and it has deffinitelly broadened my horizons.

  25. Milena says:

    I enjoyed this article. My opinion is that introversion and multipotentiality are deeply connected, because introverts take time to immerse themselves into their soul, their creativity and curiosity and thus can develop more skills and more interests. Extroverts are often distracted with need to socialize.

    I warmly recommend Susan Cain’s book “Quiet, the power of introverts in world that cannot stop talking.” It is one of the best resources about the introversion out there and it has definitely broadened my horizons.

  26. Thomas says:

    NOPE not at all, lol!

    I’m a raging extravert, and so are almost all of my multipod friends. I always assumed there was something about extraversion that made us especially prone to draw ideas from every possible source around us, in the same way that we draw energy from the social environment. A lot of us are count performing, teaching and speaking/demonstrating in public as some of our highest passions (along with art, inventing, writing, etc). And if we couldn’t handle a large group we’d be licked.

    I know a lot of extraverted multipotentialites, and others know a lot of introverted ones. Seems a lot like a roll of the dice/flip of the coin.

    I think it stands to reason that there’s no real connection between multipotentiality and either introversion or extraversion. In fact I actually find it a little divisive to suggest that there is. It doesn’t do us a lick of good to associate labels with multipotentiality.

    After all, isn’t that what it’s all about – rejecting all the labels so that we get to be *everything*?
    I bet the most accurate thing is to say that multipotentialites are extraverted AND introverted – we all have the potential to be whatever we need to be based on the situation. That’s the whole point.

  27. Georgie says:

    Yes! I’m not sure if all introverts are Highly Sensitive People, but I’d definitely noticed this myself. A lot of Scanners are HSPs, I’d say at least 3/4.

    This is very interesting!

  28. Hey everyone, I read this post and the comments days ago and I just wanted to say thank you. While I’m familiar with the discrimination many introverts face via the work of Susan Cain, I haven’t really thought about how much our biases against introversion have affected my career as a multipod.

    My mom once said that she thought people like she and I were “born introverts, but forced ourselves to be extroverted because we wanted to fit in.” I remember the exact day that I decided to be “more social.”

    Today I consider myself an ambivert, because I engage in careers/hobbies that are good for both types, however, I think that I wasn’t giving my introverted side the love she needs. Reading the things you’ve written and thinking about what it takes to be a happy multipod, I realize that I often didn’t honor my desire to be alone enough, and thus there are many projects and parts of myself that have not yet been expressed. While I’m not saying that we’re all extroverts, I do think that honoring all of our interests does require time. And being OK with your multipod self can be even harder when you haven’t accepted your introversion yet either!

    This all being said, these comments have motivated me to give myself more down time. Thank you again!

  29. chez says:

    Thanks for this article Bev. I am definitely an introvert. You have cleared up a lot of myths & mythstakes about what an introvert really is. Thank you. I am all of the above and make no apologies for it. Trying to communicate within a big crowd is just so difficult for me. I much prefer my own company or small crowds. Yes, and that weekend with schedules back to back. Not me at all. I am a sensitive. I pick up on peoples energy and the energy of a room just by walking in there. This was very handy when job hunting. I knew straight away whether a place would be good or not so good for me to work in. I have recently learnt how to protect my energy and stop it from getting scattered. This will help me to be more comfortable in social situations. But really, I just prefer the quiet life. haaaa…deep breath.

  30. ev says:

    Is introversion an inherited character trait? All the women in my maternal line are introverts (they don’t know it) to different degrees. My mom, my sister and I are very strong “social introverts”. People love to spend time with us, however, we are very picky about which social interactions we choose to “deal” with. Hands downs we prefer to be at home involved in our projects.
    Just wondering…
    Love to see all these many comments on such a great thread!

  31. Giovanni says:

    Very interesting. I`m also an introvert by nature.

    The thing is, the most interesting activities for me are usually individual (reading, meditating, researching). But when I meet people that are intellectually engaging in a subject that I`m interested in, I can be quite conversational.

    Society seems to favor extroverted. But the fact is that many high performers, in different areas, are introverts.

  32. Allison says:

    Hello. I am an introvert and a multipassionate. Nice to meet you! My favorite line in this blog post of truths is, “Quietness doesn’t to have to mean ‘boring’!” Amen, sister!

  33. Sarah says:

    I’m totally an introvert multipotentialite. Wish I could put “more alone time” on my Christmas list, lol

  34. Jeff says:

    I am an introverted iconoclast, trilingual, published in two languages, a jazz pianist, avid birder, even an ex-nationally ranked track athlete –and other things. I never married, because the thought of the “settled” life always freaked me out. I will soon retire to Xalapa, Veracruz. It is good to read this. It is right on the money. As an introverted multipotentialite, I have met many like me. They are always EXACTLY as described here. As Giovanni says, we can be quite conversational — but we are not blabber-mouths! Our conversations tend toward substance, philosophy, humor — ot about what we just bought or what’s on the daily agendum. It’s frustrating to have introversion misinterpreted by extoverted socialites. OK I’m done. ciao

  35. Krissi says:

    Hi!It is incredible to find others like me. I too have felt as if I must be broken or busted in someway because I am an introvert and multipod. I don’t like the surface stuff, I really enjoy depth, breadth, and meaning. I love people but I just don’t always “need” them as in their approval, validation, interaction. I rarely share my interests with anyone either. I sculpt, paint, sketch, write songs, poetry, prose,and photography but I don’t share them much because people don’t believe I have done them. It’s frustrating and drives me further away from sharing. Reading others stories gives me hope and a community I can fit into. I have been accused for thinking I am “too good for everyone.” That’s not it at all and I am confused about how someone can so terribly misunderstand my love of absorbtion, introspection, and creation.

    How do you handle the stigma or being labeled a “loner” etc?

  36. Ash says:

    Introverted and a multipotentialite here too! I find most extroverts simply don’t understand that I’m not mad, sad, grumpy, shy or whatever label they think I need assigning lol
    On the MP front, Ive had most people in my life assign me the label of loser or failure for my inability to “complete” task/projects/ect. Glad to see there’s most likeminded people — even if we are the quiet minority ????

  37. Doug says:

    Yep. Introverted here. INTJ. “Caring for Your Introvert” in The Atlantic was a revelation for me. Just like all the articles I’m reading here!

  38. Misty says:

    I’m an introvert and multipotentialite. I’ve known I was an introvert for quite some time, but just learned about multipotentialites. I personally think they work well together for me. That’s why I Googled this topic and came across this post. I wanted to see if this was a common thread amongst multipotentialites and/or introverts because it works so well for me.

  39. Henry Velazquez says:

    This is a great read. I always thought I was anti social my entire life until this year that I was introduced to the introvert community. Everything made more sense and I started feeling less bad about wanting my own space. I was told that as a kid when family would visit that I would close my eyes real hard to not see everyone around me. As I grew up I never wanted my friends to come to my house so I could have time to myself on the weekend. The most social was during high school but I always cut came home early to have time to myself. Two years ago I just wanted more time to myself and a lot of friends got defensive because they where use to be stellar showing up for a couple hours and sometime all night drunken times and they think I’m ignoring them.

    I want to start a hip hop shirts and accessories underground brand but since it has gotten to the point that at the end of the moment I don’t end up going to local underground hip hop shows and I can’t draw then I’m screwed because I don’t socialise enough to meet the artist that would want to start this venture with me.