The Verdict Is Out, I Am An Introvert – What About You?

Categories Lifestyle

“I notice everything but I keep my mouth shut”

An assessment of my personality carried out by Dr. Carol Ritberger, an internationally acclaimed expert of behavior psychology, and which was spot on, was that I have a “red” personality. This means that I am a ‘just get it done’ kind of person; that I am self-driven, competitive, and I like to be in control; that I am action oriented, and I appreciate efficiency; and, that I typically hold stress and tension in my lower back.

You can check out your personality type by answering ten simple questions at: https://www.doctoroz.com/quiz/quiz-what-color-your-personality

But how many personality types are in existence? Psychologists have two opposing views regarding personality

There are the personality type theorists and the personality trait theorists. According to the personality type theorists, every person worldwide has one of four different personality types, each of which is defined by its own unique characteristics. This theory is very useful to psychologists when they are determining the mental and emotional health of an individual. The two most common taxonomies are ‘the four humors’ which were credited to two of the ancient Greek philosophers, namely Hippocrates (400 BC) and Galen (140 AD), and the eight personality types outlined by Carl Jung.

The Greek philosophers classified personality types of people into categories which they called ‘humors’. They are today also referred to as temperaments. The philosophers believed that each of the four humors was a result of an excess of one of the four bodily fluids, namely choleric (yellow bile), melancholic (black bile), sanguine (blood) and phlegmatic (phlegm).

Guys with sanguine personality type are lively, optimistic, buoyant and carefree. They love adventure and are high risk takers. They are poor at tolerating boredom and they seek variety and entertainment. They are prone to pleasure-seeking behaviors and are likely to struggle with addictions. They are creative and are fantastic entertainers. The careers that suit them most are those in the entertainment industry, marketing, travel, fashion, cooking or sports.

People with phlegmatic personality are usually people persons. They value interpersonal harmony and close relationships. They are loyal spouses and loving parents. They are calm and they preserve their relationships with old friends, distant family members, and neighbors. They tend to avoid conflicts and always try to mediate between others to restore peace and harmony. They fit best in careers that deal with charity and helping others, such as nursing, teaching, psychology, counseling, child development or social services.

People with pure choleric personality type are goal-oriented, very knowledgeable, analytical and logical. They are extremely practical and straightforward. They are easily irritable and not necessarily very good companions or particularly social. They dislike small talk and enjoy deep and meaningful conversations. They would rather be alone than in the company of shallow, superficial people. Ideally, they want to spend time with people who have similar professional interests. The fit most in careers related to management, technology, statistics, engineering, programming and business.

People with melancholic personality type love traditions. They do things the way they’ve always been done. They avoid adventure completely. They are very social, supportive to their community, easily depressed, very orderly and accurate. They make fantastic managers. Perfect carriers for them are those that are related to management, accounting, social work or administration.

A quick test that I took to find out my predominant and secondary temperaments indicated that my predominant temperament is choleric while my secondary temperament is melancholic. You can take a similar test to determine your temperament at: https://psychologia.co/four-temperaments-test/

The personality type theory of Carl Jung was based on his ideas on what attitude means. Jung defined attitude as a person’s predisposition to act in a certain manner. He saw two contrasting attitudes – extroversion and introversion.

An introvert person is more conscious of his inner world than his environment – the happenings around him. He focuses on his own ambitions, fantasies, feelings and actions. He is more subjective than objective. Shy people fall in the introvert attitude. The opposite goes for an extrovert person, who in layman’s terms is called an “outgoing” person. He gives more attention to what’s happening around him. He is more influenced by his environment. He is more objective than subjective.

Another important concept of Jung’s theory is the four functions of personality. The first function is “feeling” – which is when a person recognizes the worth of conscious activity. The second one is “thinking” – which makes a person learn the meaning of something. The third one is “sensation” – which allows the person to know that a particular thing exists. The fourth one is “intuition” – which gives him knowledge about something without having conscious understanding of the source of that knowledge.

When these four functions are combined with one of the two types of attitudes, the result is eight varying types of personality, which are summarized in the following table authored by Sarah Mae Sincero at https://explorable.com/personality-type-theory

Function                                  Attitude  
Extrovert (objective) Introvert (subjective)  
Feeling Comfortable in social circumstances and give opinions based on social norms, values and generally accepted beliefs Often defies social norms of thinking and speaks of internally-established beliefs  
Thinking Learns abstract concepts that are taught by his environment Interprets environmental stimuli  
Sensing Recognizes the world just the way it is and gives perceptions in a matter-of-fact manner Views the world based on internal reflections and own attitudes.  
Intuitive Perceives things based on what society dictates, disregarding the perceptions brought about by his senses Greatly influenced by internal drives although he doesn’t have a full understanding of these motivations.  

Dr. Ritberger classifies personality types into red, orange, yellow or green, while Gretchen Rubin, the author of “The Happiness Project”, categorizes people according to tendency into the upholder, the questioner, the rebel and the obliger.

According to Gretchen, the upholder accepts rules – whether outside or self-imposed, meets deadlines and follows doctor’s orders without question. A questioner questions rules– whether outside or self-imposed, accepts them only if they make sense and whether he follows them or not will be determined by his/her judgment. A rebel will flout rules, will resist control, and will be inclined to do the very opposite of what a rule requires. The obliger accepts outside rules, but does not like to adopt self imposed rules. As an example, Gretchen of training with a trainer at the gym. An upholder will do it with a trainer or on her/his own, a questioner will do either only if it makes sense, a rebel will do neither because she has better things to do, while an obliger may meet the trainer but cannot get to the gym on his own volition. Another example: an upholder will stop at a “stop” sign at 3.00am in a small deserted town, so will an obliger, but a questioner will decide whether he must stop. A rebel will not even think about it …. He/she will even roll through the stop sign at 3.00pm when there is traffic.

It is true that some people will not easily fit into any personality type or tendency. It is also true that each type has its advantages and disadvantages. But it is amazing how I quickly placed myself into the introvert/choleric/red camp. Where do you think you belong? And for those who know me in the flesh, do you think the assessment of, yours truly, is accurate?

I am an epic introvert, who quickly becomes an open book when I pen what’s in my significantly fertile mind; fertile as a result of bombardment by realities that are continuously captured by my inquisitive eyes, ears which are constantly rubbing the ground, through constant reading, and through dreaming too.

Writing provides an opportunity to ‘say’ what my unapologetic quiet mouth will not say; which not only soothes me, but also bequeaths to me a relief, a release, and a hope that the written words will change the world, even if only one person at a time.

And so should you seek, that’s where to find me; deeply tucked inside the blankets of reading, seeing, listening, dreaming, and then writing.

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