The alphabet soup of my personality: INTJ…and now QP!

by Sarah Luna

I would liken you to a night without stars ~ "Quiet Girl" by Langston Hughes

My dear friend Jamie sent me a fabulous article about Quiet People with the thought, “I think you are a QP.” After giggling to myself (the capitalization is just too much) and reading the article, I’d have to agree with her. I already knew I was introverted, and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator results (hey, I like to be methodical) state that I am an INTJ–Introverted, Intuition, Thinking, Judging–or Scientist personality. No kidding.

But back to the article…

There are two kinds of Quiet People, says Nicholas Christenfield, a psychology professor at the University of California, San Diego. “There are people who wish to talk, but are too timid to do so” and there are those who “simply choose not to say much.”

Now, I have not studied Quiet People like this man has (in fact, I didn’t know psychologists had a concept for Quiet People that was distinct from “introvert” or “loner” or “socially inept”); however, from anecdotal evidence I believe I express both QP “phenotypes”, if you will, of social handicap and choice.

I understood my social handicap (see the post on my silent period) and had planned out how to combat it while I still lived in Texas. I decided that I would by live alone, try social activities, make friends independent of my living situation, and force myself to talk first. Without realizing it, I was working against one part of my QP personality.

The other explanation for my QPness is that I choose not to talk. Oh yes, this is completely accurate. Read any of Mom’s or Gran’s comments for textual evidence–there is a huge lag time between an event and my feedback, if I respond at all. In the smart words of a QP researcher, my “threshold for saying things out loud is much higher…The average utterance of a Quiet Person should be of higher quality than that of a talkative one. They have had mediocre thoughts, but declined to share them.” Lol, yes.

Per the article’s suggestion, I googled “quiet people”. Oh goodness, if you need a laugh, please do this. Apparently we make Loud People uneasy. They don’t know what we’re thinking because we don’t tell them. We just sit there and listen. We seem to intuit what people want and need. We creep people out because we leave a social situation knowing everything about them while they know nothing about us (woooooOOOooOOOOOoo).

Watch out for the quiet ones.

To be a quiet person is to always be defending your right to silence. No, there is nothing wrong with me. If I don’t have anything to say, I don’t say anything, and I’m often thinking things I know better than to say out loud. ~ Jennette Fulda

I’ll close with a few questions:

Are you a Quiet Person?
What is your Myers-Briggs type?
Have you ever wanted to change your Quiet Person status (either to become one or to convert to being a Loud Person)?