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  1. #1
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Default My Parents Say I Was ENTJ

    Okay, so I've recently been making my (terribly uninterested) ISTJ mother look at all this MBTI stuff, and some interesting things came up during our conversations. I asked her to describe how I was when I was a kid, and then had her compare her description to these "child types" descriptions. After all, our personalities are supposedly more "pure" when we were children, right?

    Anyway, she compared her description to the different descriptions on the site, and it was amazing (and a little confounding) how well my behavior as a child matched up to the description of ETJ kids. I was like, WTF? I mean, I do remember being fairly fearless and gregarious when I was little, but I attributed it (or perhaps rationalized it) as being the result of having "T" style confidence. I then told her that I self-type as INTP (sometimes INTJ or INFP) and had her look at those again to see how well they lined up. She denied my being that much like the ITP kids at all, and said that those descriptions were closer to how my brother (who I'd already typed as INTP) behaved when he was young.

    As you can imagine, it was something of a mind**** to realize that either (1) personality types really DO change drastically with age and experience, (2) I have been deceiving myself this whole time and am painfully less self-aware than I thought, and/or (3) I am a really screwed up extravert who has serious enough social anxiety issues to seem very much like an introvert.

    So what do you guys think? Is it possible to be a "true" extravert whose social anxiety is severe enough that he/she seems totally introverted? I consistently score something like 95-100% on the introversion scales. It just seems really unlikely that I am this dormant ENTJ underneath an introverted mask. And if I am, then I need some serious therapy to get over the kind of "introversion" I'm used to identifying with. Thoughts?

    P.S.- I feel sort of self-absorbed and attention seeking just making this thread, but it's been bothering me for the last few days and no one ever feels like talking about it with me, so I'm going to vent here. Might as well, anyway, since I've spilled more about myself here than to my friends IRL. So thanks in advance if you've taken the time to read this. Extra thanks if you respond .
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    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Okay, I just took these tests as well. Thought they might be relevant. I always thought this sort of thing just meant that one was an especially shy introvert, not a potential extravert who was just really afraid of social situations.

    Extroversion Test
    Score: 28 out of 100
    According to your results you appear to be the type of person who doesnít socialize often. You likely have a limited social network, and possibly arenít really interested in extending it beyond a few close and intimate friendships. Having an active social life apparently isnít the most important thing to you. Chances are that when the opportunity arises to socialize among a large group of people, youíll likely turn it down if possible. This doesnít necessarily mean you donít enjoy socializing or being around people. Rather, you generally prefer spending time with smaller groups of friends. Individuals who score similarly to you typically arenít conversation-starters, especially with people they arenít familiar with. In addition, they arenít known to be exceptionally outgoing, unless among close friends.

    Social Anxiety Disorder Self Test

    Score: 51 out of 68

    Your score suggests that you may be experiencing the symptoms of social anxiety disorder. Although the SPIN Self Test screens for the symptoms of social anxiety disorder, only a doctor can make a diagnosis for this disorder.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Valuable_Money's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    Okay, so I've recently been making my (terribly uninterested) ISTJ mother look at all this MBTI stuff, and some interesting things came up during our conversations. I asked her to describe how I was when I was a kid, and then had her compare her description to these "child types" descriptions. After all, our personalities are supposedly more "pure" when we were children, right?

    Anyway, she compared her description to the different descriptions on the site, and it was amazing (and a little confounding) how well my behavior as a child matched up to the description of ETJ kids. I was like, WTF? I mean, I do remember being fairly fearless and gregarious when I was little, but I attributed it (or perhaps rationalized it) as being the result of having "T" style confidence. I then told her that I self-type as INTP (sometimes INTJ or INFP) and had her look at those again to see how well they lined up. She denied my being that much like the ITP kids at all, and said that those descriptions were closer to how my brother (who I'd already typed as INTP) behaved when he was young.

    As you can imagine, it was something of a mind**** to realize that either (1) personality types really DO change drastically with age and experience, (2) I have been deceiving myself this whole time and am painfully less self-aware than I thought, and/or (3) I am a really screwed up extravert who has serious enough social anxiety issues to seem very much like an introvert.

    So what do you guys think? Is it possible to be a "true" extravert whose social anxiety is severe enough that he/she seems totally introverted? I consistently score something like 95-100% on the introversion scales. It just seems really unlikely that I am this dormant ENTJ underneath an introverted mask. And if I am, then I need some serious therapy to get over the kind of "introversion" I'm used to identifying with. Thoughts?

    P.S.- I feel sort of self-absorbed and attention seeking just making this thread, but it's been bothering me for the last few days and no one ever feels like talking about it with me, so I'm going to vent here. Might as well, anyway, since I've spilled more about myself here than to my friends IRL. So thanks in advance if you've taken the time to read this. Extra thanks if you respond .

    My first thought was that perhaps this was a less accurate test. Or perhaps it was just our mother perception of you.

    Strongly opinionated and self-confident, they think that they're always right
    Strong-willed and independent
    Intelligent and capable
    They're curious about everything, and are always asking "Why?"

    these overlap with

    Logical and objective
    Tend to be adventurous, and enjoy taking physical risks
    They're original and value their uniqueness
    They're highly independent, and don't like being told what to do
    They're very observant
    Curious and interested in learning new things
    Quick to learn new things

    I think your mother may of just not noticed your introversion or since she is(supposedly) and intovert herself she didnt give much touhgt into your introversion. Or perhaps you picked up introversion slowly along the way. Peoples personalitys are constantly shifting during their childhood and early adolescence. Perhaps at one time those things apllied to you but whats important is what you are today. Its commonly accept that by age 16 most if not all of your personality traits are pretty well cemented. Another explaination is that perhaps you contain traits from both ends of the spectrum and that personality typing is hardly a science, much less an exact one. I was pretty suspicous of the whole Idea of typing children, it seems kinda flawed to me.

  4. #4
    Diabolical Kasper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    So what do you guys think? Is it possible to be a "true" extravert whose social anxiety is severe enough that he/she seems totally introverted? I consistently score something like 95-100% on the introversion scales. It just seems really unlikely that I am this dormant ENTJ underneath an introverted mask. And if I am, then I need some serious therapy to get over the kind of "introversion" I'm used to identifying with. Thoughts?
    I had my mum give her impression of me as a little tacker when I was trying to work out my type without much luck as well, word is as a child I was somewhat extroverted in other people's view of me although I'm not now. One of the biggest problems that I see with MBTI is that it's really easy to mistype yourself because of life experiences and then try to fit the mould of the type you identify with.

    Maybe you are mistyped, maybe your mothers impression is inaccurate, either way what helped me was really paying attention to how I reacted to social interaction, I get bored with and feel out of place in many social environments but I don't feel the same way as introverts. After talking about the differences between I and E elsewhere this is what I've come up as the points that stood out to me as exclusively introversion and the opposite of what an extrovert would experience;
    • The idea that you will eventually feel tired and drained even when talking to people whose company you enjoy, the conversation can be enthralling but if it goes on long enough at some point you will retreat into your head and get quiet, or if you can, leave and find your own space to recharge. At the end of socialisation you are less energised then when you started.

    • One of the reasons these conversations are draining is because your preference is to think about what is being said before responding thus you are in a way exerting more internal energy than the average extrovert.

    • In line with thinking before speaking, you do not need to verbalise thoughts in order to fully understand them.

    • You have narrower but deeper interests.

    • Exerting your energy outwardly through social interaction is your kryptonite. Your focus is on conserving energy.


    Other things about disliking small talk, having a rich inner world and needing space etc are things that are not unique to introverts imo as an extrovert who feels the same way.

    My stance is severe social anxiety and extroversion can co-exist, any number of environmental reasons may be the cause of the anxiety but the introversion/extroversion is consistent and about where you direct your energy.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    So what do you guys think? Is it possible to be a "true" extravert whose social anxiety is severe enough that he/she seems totally introverted?
    Welp, it happened to me. I outright hated people when I was younger; I strayed away from them and that I fit the classical definition of introversion. IxtJ would've fit me better then.

    My extroverted self didn't really appear until after college. And I've since grown to care very deeply about most people.

    It's been quite a transition.

  6. #6
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    Maybe your mother is comparing your orientation to herself and your brother and you are more extroverted than them. That's one of the problems when trying to decide someone else's type, it's natural to compare them to yourself and that perspective adds bias.
    Last edited by Orangey; 06-23-2009 at 01:40 AM.

  7. #7
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valuable_Money View Post
    My first thought was that perhaps this was a less accurate test. Or perhaps it was just our mother perception of you.
    Yes, I considered these things. I'm never one to take a test or description at face value, nor do I generally trust testimony (especially from close family members, since many can be prone to embellishing your past.) I didn't want to waste space in the original post describing these details, since it was mainly my goal to hear from others whether they though it was possible to be a socially anxious extravert, but I also had her read descriptions on other sites (such as this one), and I asked other, more distant family and friends about what I was like as a kid. Their descriptions are 100% ENTJ. I've never had such description accuracy with my current self-understanding, or with anyone's current perceptions of me. This is why I haven't dismissed my mother's descriptions of me out of hand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Valuable_Money View Post
    Strongly opinionated and self-confident, they think that they're always right
    Strong-willed and independent
    Intelligent and capable
    They're curious about everything, and are always asking "Why?"

    these overlap with

    Logical and objective
    Tend to be adventurous, and enjoy taking physical risks
    They're original and value their uniqueness
    They're highly independent, and don't like being told what to do
    They're very observant
    Curious and interested in learning new things
    Quick to learn new things
    I considered this as well. It's why I said that I always took her anecdotes of me being "argumentative" and "boisterous" as being a sign of "T" style confidence. It was other parts that she said were definitive of my childhood personality that made me wonder, such as "energetic and enthusiastic," or "active and interested in physical sport," or "competitive," or "they're friendly and enjoy people." I was apparently very forward, and frequently liked to go and talk up strangers and other random adults. I apparently once told a random pregnant woman that she was going to need a C-Section (I was 5), just because I felt like saying something to someone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Valuable_Money View Post
    I think your mother may of just not noticed your introversion or since she is(supposedly) and intovert herself she didnt give much touhgt into your introversion. Or perhaps you picked up introversion slowly along the way. Peoples personalitys are constantly shifting during their childhood and early adolescence. Perhaps at one time those things apllied to you but whats important is what you are today. Its commonly accept that by age 16 most if not all of your personality traits are pretty well cemented. Another explaination is that perhaps you contain traits from both ends of the spectrum and that personality typing is hardly a science, much less an exact one. I was pretty suspicous of the whole Idea of typing children, it seems kinda flawed to me.
    So you think that people change types? You don't think that children are biologically predisposed to have a particular personality?

    [I have something pressing right now, but will get to the other responses later.]
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    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trinity View Post
    I had my mum give her impression of me as a little tacker when I was trying to work out my type without much luck as well, word is as a child I was somewhat extroverted in other people's view of me although I'm not now. One of the biggest problems that I see with MBTI is that it's really easy to mistype yourself because of life experiences and then try to fit the mould of the type you identify with.
    That's interesting to hear (and thanks for the feedback ). You identify as ENTP now, right (and, if I recall, INTJ before)? I certainly agree that it's easy to try and shape your self-perception to fit a certain type. That's why I've been in search of more objective data, like accumulated family testimony, to try and see what I'm really like. Do you (or did you) have the sensation that your self-awareness was not very acute as a child? I don't remember thinking about myself very much before the age of 11 or 12, when I became self-conscious. It was like I always had something else better to do than to examine myself. This is, I think, part of why I can't seem to really find a type that is satisfyingly accurate enough for closure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trinity View Post
    Maybe you are mistyped, maybe your mothers impression is inaccurate, either way what helped me was really paying attention to how I reacted to social interaction, I get bored with and feel out of place in many social environments but I don't feel the same way as introverts.
    I don't really doubt the accuracy of my mother's impressions, mainly because (1) they match up with other's independent recollections of me as a kid, (2) she has a pretty good memory, and (3) I remember being outgoing, though I didn't care enough about my own state to actually consciously label myself as "outgoing" when I was. Your advice to pay attention to my reactions in social situations sounds good, so I think that's what I'll work on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trinity View Post
    After talking about the differences between I and E elsewhere this is what I've come up as the points that stood out to me as exclusively introversion and the opposite of what an extrovert would experience;
    • The idea that you will eventually feel tired and drained even when talking to people whose company you enjoy, the conversation can be enthralling but if it goes on long enough at some point you will retreat into your head and get quiet, or if you can, leave and find your own space to recharge. At the end of socialisation you are less energised then when you started.

    • One of the reasons these conversations are draining is because your preference is to think about what is being said before responding thus you are in a way exerting more internal energy than the average extrovert.

    • In line with thinking before speaking, you do not need to verbalise thoughts in order to fully understand them.

    • You have narrower but deeper interests.

    • Exerting your energy outwardly through social interaction is your kryptonite. Your focus is on conserving energy.
    So I guess the question is, under ideal conversational circumstances (i.e., interesting and inexhaustible topic of mutual interest, good interlocutors/someone you like, stable environmental conditions), would you feel the need, without external prompting, to have some space and recharge? Not in general, but strictly as a result of the energy being used in the interaction?

    TBH I don't know if I can answer that very directly. Socializing with those I don't know is always draining, from moment one. This is because I am not comfortable acting like myself, so I act like something/someone else, and this is draining from the get-go. Socializing with those I know well is usually very stimulating, and I often find that it's the other person who initiates separation in these instances (especially my severely introverted friends, who leave only after one or two hours. I've learned not to take this the wrong way, though I almost did the first few times it happened). There are times, though, that I've not wanted to be around even my family or close friends because I wanted to do something on my own. As you say, though, that's not unusual for extraverts (my ENTP brother often ignores his friends when he's busy with something).

    Quote Originally Posted by Trinity View Post
    Other things about disliking small talk, having a rich inner world and needing space etc are things that are not unique to introverts imo as an extrovert who feels the same way.
    So an extravert doesn't need space to recharge their energy? What do they need it for, if they get energy from social interaction?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trinity View Post
    My stance is severe social anxiety and extroversion can co-exist, any number of environmental reasons may be the cause of the anxiety but the introversion/extroversion is consistent and about where you direct your energy.
    So one's behavior as a young child should be a more pure indication of their personality, since fewer environmental factors have had the chance to act upon them.
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    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greed View Post
    Welp, it happened to me. I outright hated people when I was younger; I strayed away from them and that I fit the classical definition of introversion. IxtJ would've fit me better then.

    My extroverted self didn't really appear until after college. And I've since grown to care very deeply about most people.

    It's been quite a transition.
    Thanks for the response. What caused you to change, and what were your motivations for behaving "introverted" before? Were you extraverted as a child?

    Quote Originally Posted by pippi View Post
    Maybe your mother is comparing your orientation to herself and your brother and you are more extroverted than them. That's one of the problems when trying to decide someone else's type, it's natural to compare them to yourself and that perspective skews adds bias.
    Thanks for the input, pippi. I think I'd be more apt to think this was the case if my entire family consisted of introverts. As it is, I have two extraverted siblings and a number of extraverted distant family member/friends. My mother says I was as (or more) outgoing than my clearly ESFP sister and ENTP brother when we were younger. So it seems like she has a range of introverts and extraverts with which to compare my behavior, which might balance out any natural biases she may have as an introvert who only experiences what it's like to be an introvert. Besides, I am not relying on the testimony of my mother alone (I'd be a fool).
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  10. #10
    Diabolical Kasper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    That's interesting to hear (and thanks for the feedback ). You identify as ENTP now, right (and, if I recall, INTJ before)? I certainly agree that it's easy to try and shape your self-perception to fit a certain type. That's why I've been in search of more objective data, like accumulated family testimony, to try and see what I'm really like. Do you (or did you) have the sensation that your self-awareness was not very acute as a child? I don't remember thinking about myself very much before the age of 11 or 12, when I became self-conscious. It was like I always had something else better to do than to examine myself. This is, I think, part of why I can't seem to really find a type that is satisfyingly accurate enough for closure.
    Went through INTJ and INTP to get there but yup, I'm comfortable with ENTP now. Mostly what I remember as a kid was that I tended to take charge and was happy taking to anyone, I wasn't very shy. For me at around 12-13 that changed. I didn't really examine myself before then, at least not as far as I remember.


    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    So I guess the question is, under ideal conversational circumstances (i.e., interesting and inexhaustible topic of mutual interest, good interlocutors/someone you like, stable environmental conditions), would you feel the need, without external prompting, to have some space and recharge? Not in general, but strictly as a result of the energy being used in the interaction?
    If I'm enjoying the interaction I'll tend to get more and more energised the longer I'm there, I may be tired at the end of the evening but I don't feel zapped of my energy. If I'm really enjoying myself I won't want things to end and am often the last one to leave anywhere I go that's fun.


    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    So an extravert doesn't need space to recharge their energy? What do they need it for, if they get energy from social interaction?
    My own company is more interesting to me than people I find boring Wrote this on another forum;

    To explain my extroversion this is what I find happens;

    When in isolation: I enjoy my own company, itís comfortable and I can concentrate on what I want to do and get lost in my head, however, I know that I can withdraw into myself more than is healthy for me if I do this for too long, too much time on my own leads me to feeling slightly depressive and like I'm swimming underwater.

    The healthiest and most productive state for me is when I get out and socialise, even for just a few hours 3-4 times a week, it doesnít have to be substantial and activities can be more effective than being with and talking to people. Problem is I like feeling comfortable so I donít always do this which leads to me feeling down and not wanting to go out which leads me to feeling worse and so on, once I am out and socialising I feel great and want to get out and socialise more often but making myself do this in the first place is the hard part.

    What extroversion means to me as an ENTP is that I feel alive when I'm constantly moving from one interesting thing to another. Doing the same thing over and over again bores me, talking to people who aren't interesting to me bores me, shallow/passionless chit-chat bores me, social tradition bores me, seeing things through to completion bores me.

    I want to explore and discover and follow random tangents as they come up, spontaneity and movement without over planning totally excites me. I need newness and/or adventure to grab my interest and give me new energy. This however is largely unseen.



    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    So one's behavior as a young child should be a more pure indication of their personality, since fewer environmental factors have had the chance to act upon them.
    Anything could happen in childhood to effect how a child acts however as less functions have developed it is more likely to be a more pure indication as you suggest, imo.

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