Tuesday, November 4, 2008
I took the Myers Briggs personality test as part of a group bonding activity at one of the schools I taught at. In the test there are four indicators that tell you about your personality and I only can ever remember that I tested as an introvert. Learning that I was an introvert had a huge impact on me.
At first I was embarrassed. We live in a culture that values extroversion. Extroverts are cool, confident, say the right things at the right times. And introverts stand around with blank looks on their faces watching it all go by.
But then, the more I thought about it, the more and more it made sense to me. I am terribly shy and quiet in new groups. I don't have lots and lots of friends. I like working alone. And that all means: I am an introvert. It has a name. And the name isn't: socially awkward. or: weird. And, not only that, but I'm not the only one. Lots of people are introverts.
There are perks to being an introvert. I may not have lots and lots of friends, but the friends I do have are terribly close and know all kinds of things about me. I value vulnerability. I like really knowing people. And I think all of that has to do with introversion.
A friend told me that one of the main differences between introverts and extroverts is that extroverts are concerned about how they will impact the world. And introverts are concerned about how the world will impact them.
And knowing this about being an introvert and about introversion itself helps me understand my voter anxiety this morning.
I have been worried about voting for days. Not worried about who to vote for. I figured that out a few months ago. I worried about my name being on the list. I worried about going to the right building. I worried about the little old ladies that volunteer and if they would be friendly. I worried about how voting would impact me.
And that anxiety almost messed it up for me. I stepped inside the voting booth with Isaac strapped to my belly and panicked. I got Joe Biden and John McCain mixed up. Which was which? I got so nervous that I couldn't work the machine at all. I had to ask the little old lady for assistance.
But then I voted. I did it. And it didn't do me in.
So, my fellow introverts. Don't be worried about going to vote. Don't be worried about how voting will impact you. Don't be worried about the machine. You'll figure it out. Just go and do it.
You'll be glad you did.