Here is a problem with my introversion and intelligence:

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Jay (@jaygran7)    2 years, 7 months ago

I’m introverted and for the most part I can provide a higher level of insight and intelligence than most people I seem to associate myself with. I may seem arrogant by stating that fact, but in reality, and with a personality like mine– it’s true. Whether it be that I am attracted to people who are not as philosophical as I am, or that I just don’t know where to meet people who have a similar personality to me, the problem exists. Now I understand that there are many more people like me out there and I believe that a large portion of this site’s members have the same conflict– although when we introverts embrace our introversion we obtain clarity of mind, our deep reflection and rumination sometimes engenders loneliness. My questions are: "How does an introvert find other introverts with similar interests in the physical world, without utilizing the internet to catalyze the networking?" and: "If you can relate to this, what are some strategies you’ve acquired throughout your life that help you cope with your inability to relate to the average individual because you are perceived as ‘weird’ or ‘eccentric’?

Although I do not necessarily believe that there is complete validity in the MBTI test, the personality type that I’ve consistently been labeled as is "INFJ". Maybe this has something to do with my eccentricity.

Any advice or similar thoughts?

0 votes, posted 12.29.2011 at 1:58 am
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Avatar of Bryan Hellard
Bryan Hellard (@xyver)2 years, 7 months ago ago

Sometimes I feel the same way as you man…

“How does an introvert find other introverts with similar interests in the physical world, without utilizing the internet to catalyze the networking?”

By meeting people, getting to know them, and hoping that they are similar to you. I haven’t really found anyone… I’ve got quite a few that are close :) Or maybe they are just like me, I just don’t know them well enough yet.

“If you can relate to this, what are some strategies you’ve acquired throughout your life that help you cope with your inability to relate to the average individual because you are perceived as ‘weird’ or ‘eccentric’?”

Fake it till you make it. Or, fuck what everyone else thinks.

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Avatar of Woodsy
Woodsy (@woodsy)2 years, 7 months ago ago

Yes, the case of clicking with someone that is a match for you without deliberate use of internet as filter is a very rare chance, but why would you need it to be otherwise if you’re an introvert? The precious few that you do happen to run into are plenty! At least that’s what’s been in my head for years.

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Avatar of Jay
Jay (@jaygran7)2 years, 7 months ago ago

Another thing is that I am able to hold a conversation with most people, and am genuinely interested in what other people have to say but for the most part it isn’t mutual. My current acquaintances dislike deeper thought. I have two good online friends that I frequently philosophize with, but the emotional connection I’m looking for isn’t completely there.
I am happy that I do now have people that I can intellectually converse with, and am very thankful for this site because before I found this site I created a group of facebook that was formed to serve the basic function that highexistence provides.

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Anonymous (@)2 years, 6 months ago ago

I find it fun to be considered an eccentric…constantly coming with new ways of thought which seem weird to the average person is a great creative exercise…and I also believe that the universe always seems to kind of balance things out so if you have the tendency to lean to much towards an extreme, you meet people with other values and perspectives (opposites attract or God does not play dice), at least that happened to me, and I had discovered an enormous deal about myself(by facing my fears by hanging in places full of violent people or by analyzing my psychological and emotional reactions after I got beaten up), and I also found out the fact that you can learn a great deal from every human being…you just have to be open minded and free-spirited.

LIFE IS NOT SERIOUS!!

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Ty (@tymr)2 years, 6 months ago ago

@Jay, I felt this way for a long time, and I’ve tried to deal with it in various ways. One thing I did was try to be more loving and accepting and social with anybody and everybody, and I find it goes a long way to make life more enjoyable and less lonely. Some people, of course, you will find unable to communicate with because you’re on totally different levels, but it’s good to extend the gesture towards anybody, you’ll be surprised what you may find.

I have also found there are many people in the same position. Just like you, I started a facebook group where discussions that were very similar to what we have at HE took place, and we had many great discussions. From there, I even met people in real life who I could communicate with. I also eventually came across other groups that others had made, for the very same purpose! So obviously there is a common theme.

I was somewhat introverted for the same reason you were, but when I realized the value of social experience, I tried to be more social any way, and I met people who had similar interests. Many people even respected my intellect and wanted to hear what I had to say on various topics. One thing, though, is to avoid sounding arrogant. You don’t want to to walk around like you’re smarter than everyone else, even if you are.

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Avatar of Ellie
Ellie (@tangledupinplaid21)2 years, 6 months ago ago

I’ve definitely been there and recently I’m trying to snap out of that segregated mindset. Every person has something of value to teach us, and if we’re focused on a “I’m this way, searching for this personality type or field of conversation specifically in my interactions, and most other people are this way”, we are a lot less likely to see value in social exchanges or benefit from our surroundings. I’ve noticed that a lot of less “intellectual” types have stronger than average observational or emotional strengths. Perhaps what we can learn from them is to stop thinking so damn much all the time. It ruins things a lot.

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Avatar of Bryan Hellard
Bryan Hellard (@xyver)2 years, 6 months ago ago

“Another thing is that I am able to hold a conversation with most people, and am genuinely interested in what other people have to say but for the most part it isn’t mutual.”

My my another thing that I feel. I always ask people “How was your day?” or “What’s new?” and actually mean it, because I am curious as to what’s happening in their life, but I never seem to have people ask back…

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Avatar of daveb
daveb (@daveb)2 years, 6 months ago ago

just got the new shel silverstein book for christmas – he’s dead 10 years now so this is like a “lost manuscript collection” kind of thing. very exciting to have new work of his to digest, like modern koans.

Masks

She had blue skin.
And so did he.
He kept it hid
And so did she.
They searched for blue
Their whole life through,
Then passed right by –
And never knew.

beyond that, I agree with ellie on the tunnel vision/exclusive environment aspect. the idea that you “provide a higher level of insight and intelligence” is probably because you make certain that encounters are on your turf. If you go into environments where you aren’t comfortable or familiar and keep an open mind, you’ll learn quickly. you’ll realize that other people have a lot to teach you about things you might not even realize you don’t understand.

a related detail is that your personality isn’t “yours”. you can change it if you work at it. right now you seem to like your personality and so you are clinging to it, even though it’s at odds with your goal of finding new, interesting people. Let go of the belief that you are a deep-thinking introvert, and try being an easygoing extrovert for a while. It won’t be easy but change rarely is. You can always bring that intelligent introvert back out for deep discussions once you’ve met some new people.

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Avatar of Martijn Schirp
Martijn Schirp (@martijn)2 years, 6 months ago ago

My my another thing that I feel. I always ask people “How was your day?” or “What’s new?” and actually mean it, because I am curious as to what’s happening in their life, but I never seem to have people ask back…

I have experienced this many times over and, at first, I used to have the same sense you seem to imply here. How come they don’t ask me back? And I did hold it against them, seeing it as a personal fault of theirs. How can they ignore me while I try to step out of my own comfort zone, trying to actively expand my own horizons?

Now I look at them through different glasses, one where I see they have their own problems and difficulties to deal with and it’s perfectly fine that I am not number 1 priority for them at that moment. This becomes especially clear after my long practice of meditation. Some people go through life 0% aware of what’s actually happening, some 100%. But most of us are somewhere in between, but with meditation this goes up tremendously. And then you see people aren’t really there most of the time, and you can’t hold it against them. It is just so.

And, regarding introverts, they seem to be much more aware of their inner worlds (in this the desire to philosophize) versus the social norms outside of them (a culture where questioning is taboo, since it brings people out of their comfort zone). And they see the latter as a problem, which it ain’t. You can philosophize in an interesting, non-dogmatic and easy going way, it is just an art that needs to be practiced, you can’t become great at it just because you want to. Key here is seeing it as YOUR desire, which may or may not be fulfilled.

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Avatar of ELI var namnet
ELI var namnet (@manimal)2 years, 6 months ago ago

Why do you want to meet more introverts? That will only make everything worse.

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Avatar of Pedro
Pedro (@pedroptz)2 years, 6 months ago ago

I also have this “problem”, I’ve perhaps two friends with whom I can have a deep, meaningful conversation, where we question ourselves and the world around us, basically, an intelligent conversation, but with my other friends, I get very bored, they only talk about things that I don’t care in the slightest, superficial stuff.

But I liked what Ty said:” be more loving and accepting and social with anybody and everybody”

We shouldn’t be so limited socially, we should expand our horizons,, not in a intellectual way, like I think we all already do, but in a social way

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Avatar of General Tits Von Chodehoffen

I’m lucky as hell, I’ve had the same best friends since I was very young and while I’m not super social they are so it all works out.

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Avatar of James
James (@jameslarson13)2 years, 6 months ago ago

@ Manimal, Not Necessarily.

If I’m with an extraverted, superficial type of person, my contribution to the discussion comes from my position and has to do with what I am interested in. I will still share my existential beliefs with them. Don’t let others judgements sway your decisions and actions. I’m a proponent of “fuck what everyone else thinks”@ Bryan Hellard

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James (@jameslarson13)2 years, 6 months ago ago

@ Daveb, why are deep thinking and easy-going opposites?

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Avatar of ELI var namnet
ELI var namnet (@manimal)2 years, 6 months ago ago

@James No matter how much you “fuck what everyone else thinks” the people you surround yourself with influence you and you influence them. If you have a problem, such as introversion (yes, introversion IS a problem) and you surround yourself with others with the same problem, you’ve created a cesspool of that problem. It’s a downward spiral, a negative feedback loop. The only possible outcome is severe, crippling introversion.

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Avatar of Jay
Jay (@jaygran7)2 years, 6 months ago ago

I do not believe that introversion is a problem, but rather a different approach to social interaction. Like I said before– I am genuinely interested in other people, and I am a very eloquent conversationalist, so I think that I could hold a conversation with even the most introverted if we discussed something that is intellectually stimulating.
I’ve had an interesting conversation with someone who has Aspergers Syndrome about Quantum Mechanics, the possibility of other life forms in the universe, and religion. By you saying that introversion is a problem you are basically labeling all introverts as negative, aloof critics.

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Avatar of Pedro
Pedro (@pedroptz)2 years, 6 months ago ago

How is being an introvert a problem?

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Avatar of James
James (@jameslarson13)2 years, 6 months ago ago

Yeah introversion is not a problem.

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Avatar of Bryan Hellard
Bryan Hellard (@xyver)2 years, 6 months ago ago

@ Manimal So… Why is introversion a problem?

To me, Introversion is the ability to look within to find solutions to problems. I have managed to be more extroverted, by spending a lot of time being introverted :P

When you look within, you can see what stops you from branching out.

EDIT:: If introversion is a problem, then removing it should be a good thing. However, that would mean that only extroversion remains. And if everyone was always extroverted, then I believe that we would have a problem. As with everything, balance is needed. Being really introverted is a problem, and being really extroverted is a problem.

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Avatar of James
James (@jameslarson13)2 years, 6 months ago ago

@Bryan: Depends what he was talking about: complete introversion, or virtuous introversion. An extreme of anything is a problem. What levels of introversion are acceptable. What levels of extraversion?

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James (@jameslarson13)2 years, 6 months ago ago

Also, A note about not being able to relate to people because of eccentricities.
I took a vow of silence and my family/everyone that I encountered/pretty much everyone that I hang out with on a regular basis thought it was at least kind of weird. My mom thought I was high as fuck. They joked around all day about it. and I would just sit there and listen. They would take credit for things I did and I would just listen. I just let them have it.

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Avatar of daveb
daveb (@daveb)2 years, 6 months ago ago

Hi James,

No nit-picking here, please read ideas not words. Easy-going and deep-thinking aren’t opposites, but I think easy-going would be close to the other end of the spectrum for Jay, based on his post.

it’s the same as reading your sentence equating extroversion with being superficial; I don’t think you were actually implying that all extraverts are superficial. Moving on.

Either extreme can be a problem for those who want to change and grow; wherever you are now, whatever you’re doing, you’ve got to step outside of yourself a bit if you’re interested in a wider world and more varied experiences. I think balance helps those who want to experience the full flavor of this life. Given that Jay really wants to meet new people, change would help given that what he’s doing now isn’t working.

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Avatar of Tobias Valdemar Broe Knudsen
Tobias Valdemar Broe Knudsen (@2bias)2 years, 6 months ago ago

I think i feel you here… I think bout everything, i analyse things and philosophize where others simply just don’t give a shit. It truly is frustrating to feel that no one cares, but if you want to connect with people i think the best way to do it is not to discuss everything and just try to not take yourself too seriously, it think that’s what scares people away a lot of the time, also it may seem as if you are giving a lecture when really you’re just sharing your thoughts, for no particular reason other than to discuss, and reach a new level of insight or perspective.

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Avatar of daveb
daveb (@daveb)2 years, 6 months ago ago

tobias, I just read your post three times in a row. great advice, makes so much sense.

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Avatar of James
James (@jameslarson13)2 years, 6 months ago ago

@ daveb, I’m serious, why should you separate one from the other? Why can’t one be easy going and deep thinking?
Why can’t one be a sociable, charismatic introvert? We all have certain levels of introversion and extroversion, some people’s are different than others. Labeling yourself as introvert or an extrovert is kind of hard to do, because even though one trait might out weight the other, the other is still present, it still affects you.

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