The Dreamy Idealist

This morning my brother posted a link to a personality quiz on Facebook. According to the results, he’s an “independent thinker” and I’m a “dreamy idealist.”

 I wouldn’t be surprised if my friends and maybe even family members wonder about the accuracy of my results. The first sentence of the description is: “Dreamy Idealists are very cautious and therefore often appear shy and reserved to others.” I’ve never been described as reserved (although in many ways I am) and actions such as moving my family halfway across the country hardly seem cautious.

The interesting thing is that the independent thinker and the dreamy idealist are both introverted personality types, which makes perfect sense to me but may surprise the people who know both my brother and me.

I’m the person who can (and does) strike up a conversation with a stranger in the grocery store, can make small talk and appear comfortable in large crowds, I enjoy public speaking, and I’m often the center of attention. I’ve probably been described as gregarious, but believe it or not I’m an introvert.

My brother is not gregarious, doesn’t like being the center of attention, and would prefer to read a book than attend a party. He’s also an introvert.

As many people do, I thought that if someone was outgoing they were an extrovert and if they were reserved that meant they were an introvert. I considered myself to be an extrovert because I love entertaining people and enjoy social gatherings. Although I find social situations enjoyable they are also emotionally exhausting. I very much need time alone and anyone who knows me will confirm that introspective is a word that describes me.

A few years ago I read an article about outgoing introverts and many of the questions I had about myself were answered. I learned that introverts gain energy through reflection and extroverts gain energy from other people. It also became clear that outgoing doesn’t equal being an extrovert.

As an introvert, I’m not particularly inclined to share my innermost emotions with people unless I really trust them and trust is something that doesn’t come easily. Sharing experiences is entirely different than opening up the emotional shell that protects the heart.

Many people don’t realize there’s a certain anonymity and sense of privacy that comes along with being the life of the party or the person on stage. It’s much easier to keep your thoughts and emotions to yourself when you’re entertaining others with funny stories or training them on the latest internet trends than if you’re being asked questions.

My brother and I had very different childhood experiences in one major way. Our family moved nine times before I was fifteen which meant a new school and a new set of friends every couple of years. On the other hand, my brother ended up being in the same town and the same school system starting in fifth or sixth grade. I often wonder if this difference is why I ended up being more outgoing than him (told you I’m introspective).

Back to the dreamy idealist, it was a cool assessment and quite accurate. Here’s a link to the personality test in case you’re interested.

Now it’s time to work on my latest ink journal entry. Seems like “dreamy idealist” fits me in more ways than one.

sunflower in sepia and bright colors_2

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