I’m in Watford at the moment on a three day training course for work. For the first time in my life I have been called an extrovert.
There’s ten of us doing the training at the moment, and although it is quite heavy (something I’m as yet undecided as to whether that’s due to me being new to the role or just because it’s hard work for everyone) it is quite enjoyable.
The trainer doesn’t seem to suffer fools gladly and is fairly on the ball.
After spending a day and a half with us, he split us into groups (as he had done so a few times) and sent us to different rooms to discuss a scenario that we were about to role play. Twenty minutes later we came back together and presented our findings. After this, he revealed that he had predicted that four of us would take certain roles in the role plays, and asked us to tell him who we had chosen to do which roles.
My group of five had decided between us that two of the more senior managers in the group would carry out the role plays.
The trainer expressed his surprise at this, and turned a page over on his flip chart, revealing two lists of five names, arranged according to the groups, with the letters “EX” at the top and “IN” at the bottom. My name, in my group, was firmly at the top.
I questioned this as I couldn’t figure out the acronyms. He explained that they were simply short for Extrovert and Introvert, and that he had suspected (and had been 75% correct) that the extroverts would be the ones doing the role plays, and that he was surprised I hadn’t done it.
I was stunned.
I still view myself as the shy 16-year-old who has just left school, that wouldn’t say boo to a goose. I know I’ve gotten more confident (mouthier, perhaps?) but extrovert? Really?
I looked back at how I remembered acting the previous day or two. Chiming in with ideas, being quite vocal. Always saying something that I thought could be deemed funny or quick-witted.
But that’s not extrovert to me. That’s a reflection of me. How I want to be loved, to be told that I’m doing a good job. To please people.
And the more I thought about it, the further back I can go and can see that I’ve always done that. I’ve always wanted love. Acceptance. It accounts for my propensity to copy those I admire - to mirror their actions.
I can fit it around past relationships where I feel I’ve either burnt through relationships as I’ve realised fairly quickly that I’m not going to get what I want from them (bizarrely a sense of love and long-term security which equally I’ve bolted from if I ever felt it was one-way), and how I tend to fall in love with the ones that I DO fall in love with very quickly (and I can cite both Mel and Elaine as proof of this).
It’s funny that sometimes you think you know yourself so well. The good, the bad. The minor points and the major points. Yet suddenly someone can show you a side of you that you had never really thought about. And now I can’t stop thinking about it. Me. An extrovert.