Monday, March 31, 2014


Work and other items have been kicking my butt for some time lately.  That said, I have made some posts on my hiker blog, since I've been in serious planning and gear pick-up mode for my big backpacking trip that I'll take in the High Uintas Wilderness.  Because that's coming up soon, and because I'm really excited for it, I've done a better job updating that particular blog over this one. 

Here's a thought, though.  I don't often "punt" and do random topics (rather than gaming or at least sci-fi/fantasy related ones) but this has been on my mind lately, and frankly, my desire to spend some time alone in the wilderness has contributed to my thoughts on this.

For many years--close to twenty--I've taken off and on Briggs Myers personality tests to determine my personality type.  This isn't, in my opinion, necessarily indicative of anything particularly meaningful, but some people disagree, and at the very least, it's kind of interesting.  A nice conversation piece, if you will.  And like I said, some people swear by it; I first took it in an Organization Behavior class in my MBA program, and I've taken them for work-related workshops and whatnot over time as well.

An interesting effect of this is that I test fairly strongly for the last three (of four) indicators on the Briggs Myers test.  But I always tend to straddle the line betweeen Extrovert/Introvert.  I don't get a "clear reading", if you will, on that particular axis.

I don't think that I'm a complete ambivert, but clearly where I fall depends on a great number of variables, and it can change over time.  I can get energized and greatly enjoy social activities that would tend to put me on the extrovert side of things, but I can also get really tired of doing that and just want to be by myself.  Something my father said to me a few months ago put it in some perspective--I was talking about my own kids and their development, and he mentioned to me that he was somewhat surprised that as a teenager, I won an "air guitar" contest at a dance.  It was a small thing, but to him it was significant, because he never would have thought that just a few years ago, I would have done something like that.  I recall the event, but I didn't attach any special significance to it.  I think that he was able to see a pattern in my behavior that I wasn't, however. My conclusion is that naturally I'm an introvert, but that I learned at a fairly young age how to run a convincing extrovert subroutine.

This has been a good skill to have, but I also kind of devalued my natural introvert tendencies, confusing them with shyness.  It occured to me also that introversion and shyness are not the same thing at all.  I have little to no social anxiety to speak of (i.e., shyness) I just simply don't care to be social sometimes, or to participate in certain types of social events, and sometimes I'm just simply not in the mood at all.  This is actually much more frequent now than it was when I was younger.  I blame my general busy-ness for this, which makes firing up the extrovert subroutine more tedious and cumbersome when I'm already emotionally exhausted from doing so much.  But again, this set of circumstances was instrumental in allowing me to see past the subroutine that I ran, kind of subconsciously, to percieve my native introvert tendecy in sharper focus.

In any case, I'll be essentially on my own, with no social interaction to speak of with anyone at all, for at least a week, hopefully closer to two, as I drive out to the west and hike in the High Uintas Wilderness.  I can't wait to indulge my long-delayed need for solitude!

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