Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Are Introverts more Creative?

I knew nothing whatsoever about the Chinese Zodiac until I started making greeting cards for the Chinese New Year.

As a ‘goat’, according to the Chinese zodiac, I was surprised to discover that quite a lot of the characteristics actually describe me quite accurately – and yes, I am even prepared to admit a bit of to pouting when I don’t get my way!

I’m a Gemini according to the ‘modern’ zodiac and it seems a bit strange that I’m not a Capricorn, as that is the Sign of the Goat. However, if you compare the descriptions of the ‘goat people’ in the two zodiacs, they are not very similar.

So is there any truth behind these categorisations?

I’ve always been rather sceptical, though sometimes the descriptions do seem to fit people with uncanny accuracy! I actually pay much more attention to the personality profiles that come from taking the Myers Briggs personality type test.

You can discover your Personality Type

As well as appearing to be very accurate – though, as with the zodiac descriptions, that could be pure chance – I am persuaded of their validity by the fact that they are based on input from the person taking the test, rather than on external factors such as the position of the planets or the date of birth.

I find it useful to know the Personality Type of my friends and family. It helps me to understand when they seem to be behaving in ways that to me seem odd – for instance, a ‘J’ might find it really irritating that a ‘P’ doesn’t keep to a pre-arranged plan, whereas a ‘P’ might feel that a ‘J’ is making a fuss about it, preferring to ‘play things by ear’, rather than being ‘hemmed in’ by a plan.

The biggest and probably most important difference is that between an Extravert and an Introvert.

Author, Susan Cain, has carried out very thorough research into this difference and how Western society’s emphasis on Extraversion overlooks the benefits of Introversion and the valuable contribution that Introverts can make - if they get the chance in a world seemingly full of Extraverts!

She explains all this very well in her TED talk and in even more detail in her book, ‘Quiet - The Power of  Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking’, including the link to creativity.

I’m finding the book fascinating! My only quibble is that, in the book and also in her talk, she seems to conflate introversion and shyness, aren’t really the same thing, as she herself points out, although they may overlap. For instance, I am a ‘sociable introvert’ but I have a friend who is a ‘shy extravert’.

If you have 20 mins to spare, do watch this video – there’s stuff to learn, laced with humour, whether you are an Introvert or and Extravert and what she says about the link between Introversion and Creativity surprised me!

In fact I am an INFJ and quite a large proportion of my friends and one of my daughters are INFJs too, even though there are apparently not all that many of us around!

I’d love to connect with other INFJs – if that doesn’t seem like a contradiction in terms!

And just for fun, take a look at this Pinterest board!


8 comments: said...

Love your zodiac art! I think that the characteristics attributed to sign fit me in a way. Have a great weekend my friend. Me, I'm Still trying to recover from the surgery on the hand, if I use it too much fingers go numb. And yesterday I wrenched my back so I am laid up...what a week! I'm still smiling though :-D

Jean said...

Judy, I took the test and also am INFJ. Are you surprised?:)

I am Aquarius which is an Air sign as is Gemini. No wonder we have connected.

Love the artwork and post!

Judy Adamson said...

Hi Crystal - very sorry to hear about your week. Hope you are still smiling in spite of it and thank you for taking the time to visit my blog in spite of all the setbacks!

Judy Adamson said...

Hi Jean - glad you enjoyed my post and took the test :)

No, I'm not at all surprised - but as I am a person who is always looking for reasons, it's great when I find one! I think we'll have to have some INFJ t-shirts printed!

Christie Cottage said...

I am a new follower. Found your link via the tweet you sent when I started following you on twitter.

Hope you will follow my blog too


Judy Adamson said...

Hi Christie - welcome to my blog. Hope to see you here whenever time allows :) said...

By the way, I think I am what you would call an extrovert and I am dragon in the chinese zodiac. :-)

Judy Adamson said...

Hi Crystal - the reason I wondered whether introverts tend to be more creative is that I read/heard somewhere that to be creative you need peace and quiet and plenty of 'downtime', which is what introverts prefer.

And btw, you may have noticed that I love dragons :)