Some days, all I want to do is watch MST3K, eat cookies, and look at pictures of pretty British men.
Other days, my brain goes a million miles an hour, I can’t stop coming up with ideas to (over)analyze, and I want to have serious intellectual discussions until my voice gives out.
Today is one of the latter. This is when I am thankful to have intelligent friends who can prompt and participate in such discussions. I’m also glad I have a blog where I can get additional feedback.
I always linked my home-body tendencies to my introversion personality. It was surprising to me to read you were embarking on this homeless adventure! (I do also wonder if my home-body tendencies could just be a result of moving around A TON throughout my childhood.) Anyway, my biggest dislike about college was feeling like I didn’t have a home -the dorm/apartment? my parent’s house? my car? Where did I belong?! It made me very uncomfortable in the same way I feel uncomfortable socially because of being an introvert. So I connected the two. Anyway, I’m curious about your thoughts on this. … [And] if you’re visiting friends and staying with them, where will you introvert? (Yes, I just used introvert as a verb, not sure if that’s right, but whatever.) Do you not have a strong home-body tendency?…
As an introvert who needed time to process this, of course I thought about it, and thought about it, developed some ideas, reached some tentative conclusions, and wrote back.
When it comes to my specific type as an INTJ, I’m not sure if this whole road-trip idea is related. It might be. I wrote months ago about being naturally dissatisfied and unsettled, and that may be because of the tendency of INTJs to be hyper-critical and difficult to please. That trait may emerge in me as wanderlust. It may be because many INTJs are action-driven, wanting to implement their ideas, and my get-up-and-go could come from that. Much of my trip itinerary is coming from thoughts like, “I’ve always wanted to see this particular landmark…might as well do it!”
But like everyone in the general population, each INTJ is different.
(…every INTJ is great. If an INTJ is wasted, God gets quite irate.)
My dad is also an INTJ, and he tends to alternate between extensive travel and long periods at home, and I have followed that pattern at times. I have INTJ friends who have studied abroad and lived fairly uprooted lives. I have other INTJ friends who are very much homebodies who do not travel frequently or far. I have some INTJ friends who are risk-takers in areas I would never dare to tread, and others who find my own adventurous decisions remarkable.
At this point, I am convinced that a person’s Myers-Briggs type is not so much about their outward behavior, but about how they process information and view the world. Yes, the two may be related, but one does not necessarily predict the other.
While my road-trip adventuring may be related in part to my INTJ type, it also might be because my parents took me on a lot of trips when I was young, so I had a love of travel instilled in me from an early age. I also moved a lot starting in later childhood, and of course in college, going back and forth from dorms to home, and then moving to different cities after graduation. While Melissa had a similar experience, she reacted by going in the opposite direction, seeking stability, while I internalized it and developed a craving for change. I always think I want to be rooted somewhere, only to grow bored within a year and look for something else.
Neither reaction is right or wrong, better or worse, just an example of how two different people adapt to similar circumstances.
. . .
As to whether being a homebody is related to introversion, I’m not yet sure which conclusion I favor. Either
1. being a homebody or having wanderlust is not related to introversion/extroversion, but is dependent on other factors, such moving a lot as a child, or
2. being a homebody IS an introverted trait, but shows up in different degrees.
Just as no INTJs are exactly alike, no two introverts or extroverts are alike, either. Not every introvert likes to read; not every extrovert likes to go clubbing.
Intro/extroversion tends to fall on a scale, meaning that all introverts have a little bit of extroversion in them, and vice-versa. No one is 100% of either. Not to mention, different situations bring out different traits. I generally lean more extreme on the introvert scale, but I think that has changed a little with age. And I do have some traits that you might not expect of the typical introvert.
One of my closest friends is an extrovert who frequently enjoys solitary mountain hikes. This may be how her introversion, however small, manifests itself. I am a “typical” introvert in that like to be alone, I enjoy reading, I dislike small talk and loud, crowded environments. But I like to travel and not stay in one place for a while. This may be how my small bit of extroversion “comes out.”
I do look forward to periods of stability after I experience some kind of upheaval, but I get bored faster than I expect. Perhaps it is the introverted part of me that craves that stability and leans toward being a homebody, but other parts of my personality quickly overtake it.
As for fulfilling my other introverted needs on the road, I don’t think the traveling will be too challenging. Yes, I will need alone time, especially after days or weeks of staying with friends, but I can go without it better when I can see it coming over the horizon. I’ll be spending a lot of time in the car by myself, sightseeing alone, or staying in hotels on my own, so finding time to recharge my social batteries shouldn’t be an issue. A bigger challenge may be when I visit friends and my hosts get sick of me!
Here is where I open up discussion to readers, be they regular or passers-by (Googles-by?):
Are you a homebody? A nomadic type? Do you travel a lot? Do you go back and forth? Does it change based on your particular life phase, season, or stage?
Is this related to your personality type, or your introversion/extroversion, do you think?
I want to hear your thoughts!
TELL ME YOUR THOUGHTS.
. . .