For as long as I can remember I have been more comfortable in small groups than large groups, and far more comfortable listening with the audience than speaking from the spotlight. A few jobs ago I had the opportunity to attend a two-day training on Myers & Briggs personality types (http://www.myersbriggs.org/). I filled out and mailed in my pre-training survey forms, and looked forward to picking up some tips on interacting with my family and my coworkers.
During one exercise the students were divided into two groups and told to plan our summer vacation. In my group we came up with a list of individual activities; I was headed for the ocean, another fellow was going mountain climbing, one woman was flying off to Florida and another was planning to stay home and work on crafts.
We reconvened at the end of the exercise to compare notes with the other group. They were headed off on a cruise together, with shore excursions, group dinners, dance contests and karaoke on the agenda. Though these people had met for the first time that day, they were planning a group vacation with each minute planned, choreographed, and SHARED.
I don’t know who was more horrified – my group, faced with the idea of an entire week sharing every waking moment with strangers, or their group facing days of solitude. I was impressed that such a simple exercise illustrated the difference between introverts and extroverts so very clearly. Wow!
Pete and I are just finishing vacation, getting ready to return to work next week. No, we didn’t take a Caribbean cruise with three thousand of our newest pals. Instead we enjoyed some quiet time at camp – deep in the Maine woods, where over the course of our stay we saw one other person. Perfect! My sister Jan calls our camp an introvert’s paradise for a reason.
In Farley Bend, Emily is definitely an introvert – write what you know, and all that. I am going to need to use my keen observation skills more as I focus on other characters in Volume II. Farley Bend would be an awfully dull place to write about if everyone living there was an introvert.