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Posted by : Cassie Stewart Feb 10, 2013

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I was not sure where to put this so I decided to place this in here and not Fit Tips.
A top question most of us geeks deal with:  Are you an introvert, extrovert or ambivert?  And if I am an introvert what do I do to be more social?  People seem to want to classify all geeks as introverts.  This does tend to be true for many but not all of us.  Some of us fall somewhere in the middle with tendencies toward one side or the other.  The traits of introversion and extroversion, made popular in the writings of Carl Jung, were not meant to be used as precise descriptions for human personality and behaviors.   Different people fall into different places on this continuum, but in general the extrovert seeks her stimulation outside of herself and finds energy in contact with others. The introvert, conversely, is drained by too much social interaction and finds energy in quiet contemplation. The introvert is focused more on the mind.

Jung suggested that introversion and extroversion are determined by the direction of the flow of one's psychic energy: the introvert's energy flows inward, the extrovert's outward. Hans Eysenck, on the other hand, hypothesized that introversion and extroversion represent the degree to which one is interactive with other people.  When people tend to think of “geeks” they think of the book nerd, the comic book collector, the video game/WOW player, the anime fan, the hardcore Doctor Who viewers, etc.  There is more to Geekdom than meets the eye though but when you look at these activities one would almost automatically place a self identified “geek” in the introvert category.

In my years of being a geek (my entire life, LOL) I have noticed that most geeks fall in the ambivert category.  An ambivert is someone who does not fit the introvert and extrovert categories.  An ambivert usually displays qualities related to both categories and some ambiverts tend to display tendencies toward being an introvert and an extrovert.  My fiancé and I are prime examples of this.  We are both ambiverts but I tend towards the introvert aspect and he displays tendencies toward the extrovert category.  I have always thought of myself as an introvert until I became an adult and learned the value of friendships and being around close friends in an intimate setting.  I dislike being in places where there are crowds of people and going to parties where almost all of the guests are strangers.  I dislike small talk and I hate pretending to be something I am not to suit those around me.  I am who I am and others just need to accept that.  My fiancé on the other hand is an ambivert with extrovert tendencies.  He loves reading, playing video games solo but he tends to like going out to have fun, even with strangers, more than I do.

It is a magical thing when fellow geeks can get together and hang out because all sorts of personalities are displayed.  There are some geeks that are super extroverted and then there are others who are very introverted.  Some so much that I wonder why they even come to meet new geeks at an event.  Especially, if all they are going to do is play final fantasy on their DS!  I think that all sides want connection with others and introverts especially.  Our society is so hell bent on pushing the extrovert lifestyle and if you are an introvert then you are a freak!  Even introverts deserve to have a connection with others.

BUT . . .It is up to them to make the first move and join in.  Sometimes this works and then you have a future ambivert and sometimes this does not work and the individual makes his or her situation socially worse.  Again, all personalities come out when I meet up with fellow geeks.  No matter what category you define yourself to be you will always be seen as you.  If you are a mean and cynical person who ignores others feelings and cues then you won’t have any friends and if you are nice enough (even if you are “shy”) then people will like you and want to hang out with you.  You don’t have to become a super extroverted person to have this happen.

So what do you do if you are an introvert? 

  1. Get to know others.  Find a geek meetup group on www.meetup.com or other group of interest to you.  Say hello and meet others face to face!  Go beyond having a screen in between you and others.  If you feel the need to have to hide behind a screen you need to start looking at your online personality.  What is it like?  Do you belittle others online and make yourself seem superior?  Then you know that this behavior is unacceptable offline and you need to correct it or else face being alone for most of your life.  Sorry, it’s the truth and I have seen it so often.
  2. Make the first move.  People are not just going to go up to you and start talking unless they have a reason.  Most likely, you will have to go up to others and talk.  Establish relationships with a small group of people and build off of that.
  3. This is related to #2.  Please do not think that just because someone came up and talked to you that they are now to be your bestest friend evar.  PLEASE DON’T DO THIS! IT’S CREEPY!  It will make you look like a crazy stalker and it will drive others away from becoming close friends with you.  So just stop right there.  I have run into this so much in my lifetime and it sucks.  I hate being mean to others (especially if I know they have some social awkwardness going on) but sometimes I don’t have a choice.
  4. Also related to #2 and #3.  Guys just because a cute geeky girl talks to you and tries to be nice and become your friend does not mean that she wants to date you and become serious!  Same thing to you geeky girls out there.  Just because cute geeky guy talks to you and invites you to hang with his friends does not mean that he is your one true love!  AGAIN, DON’T DO THIS!!  IT IS CREEPY AND STALKER LIKE.  You will make people dislike you if you do this.  Again, this has happened to me a lot and I have had to really ruin someone’s day, year, life (maybe) because I said NO or I started dating someone else and reacted to said stalkers jealousy.
  5. Don’t try to become an extrovert if that is not who you truly are!  It will come off as fake.  Others will see this and dislike you for it.  So be yourself!
  6. Please watch your hygiene!  Introverted geeks people (mainly men) tend to develop some nasty habits.  This is not just personal hygiene.  This also deals with how you live.  What does your apartment look like?  Would you be ashamed to invite a friend over?  How about your car?  Would you take a friend on a drive in it?  Or is you car filled with old Mc Donalds wrappers and old Chinese food?  If you want to have friends start living like you want to have friends!  This is a no brainer.  And people please wash your clothes on a regular basis!  Some people (like my fiancé) can re-wear clothes for a few days and not be stinky but most people really cannot do this.  It is gross.  If you know your feet stink do something about it because chances are others can smell your stank ass feet.  Again these are all common sense things that super introverts tend to ignore.  Especially geeky introverts who do not socialize often.  Please note:  It is one thing to not be able to help something versus not doing something about it.  Some people have issues that cannot be helped and that is understandable but not doing anything about something or trying to improve something is another thing.  Most people understand if you cannot help your situation.
  7. Focus on improving you!  You are important, so personal development should be tops in your life.  And no I do not include “increasing your score on (said online game like Black Ops )” to be personal development.  How about finding a social hobby that aligns with your interests.  For example:  You are a big anime fan!  How about attending some art classes, or Japanese language classes or join a local club.  You can also educate yourself on the things you like most and learning to apply those things in a positive way socially.  There are plenty of books out there on how to improve yourself and release your anxieties and fears.  If you feel you need this then find those resources.  You will be cheating yourself if you don’t!
So those are just some general guidelines and definitions for you.  Again, these are my personal opinions that I have created from my own personal experiences.  I know this is controversial but it is also a big topic amongst many people.  I think everyone has the right to be themelves and they should not change that.  If others do not like it then they can take the high road.  But if you want to connect with others and are finding that it is difficult to cultivate or maintain friendships then you should start looking within yourself for the solution.

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