Conversations: the E's and I's of It

The E's and The I's
Have you ever heard of the Myers-Briggs Personality Test. We have found it really interesting. Whether I take the six point quiz on Facebook or the longer more elaborate questionnaires I always end with the same result, ISFJ. Darin consistently is labeled an ESTP. The Myers-Brigg evaluation is expressed in four different quadrants where our personalities range between two qualities. The letters stand for that quality.

Extroversion / Introversion
Sensing / Intuition (N)
Thinking / Feeling
Judging / Perceiving

And I was thinking about the Extroversion and Introversion element. I see evidence of Darin's "E-ness" and my "I-ness" all over the place. This doesn't mean simply that Darin is an Extrovert and I am an Introvert, that isn't it. Extroversion in the Myers-Briggs test describes the personality who's primary interaction with the world is expressed externally. Action, interacting with others is what feeds them. They live externally and their primary experience is of things external. The absence of action and external stimulation depletes them. Introverts, the I's, their experience is an internal one. They recharge with reflection, thought and contemplation.

Our activities online really reflect this dichotomy. Darin is very chatty and part of many conversations and groups. He instigates action and reaches out immediately. Darin often jokes that he has been Twittering his whole life as his email are characteristically short and to the point. My activities tend to be more reflective and contemplative. Much more the listening side.

This year's Blog World Expo was a lesson in engagement and that first lesson for me was one of reciprocity. I follow a lot of the same people as Darin. I look through their streams and Darin and I speak of our Twitter friends like we speak of any one we know IRL (IRL = in real life). But I don't always reach out. What has developed is that I have a group of individuals that I have only engaged with on one level. One half of the conversation does not a conversation make. I am listening but how would they ever know?

We probably all fall to one side of the spectrum or the other. The Extroverts of the world will naturally be more comfortable initiating relationships and enjoying the speed and brevity of microblogging. Introverts may feel more fulfilled having longer more elaborate blogs. While they may excel in listening there won't be a conversation or a relationship unless action takes place. Because unlike in real life (IRL) on the internet if you don't comment or let them know you are listening they just don't know.

The conversation has to be reciprocal. That takes action. Give and take. Yin and Yang.

I will be sharing my antidotes to my "I-ness."
The E's out there may find them helpful too.
And then I will have some adventures to share with you.

;) Lisa

I-ness Antidote: Twitter Gifting

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