Living in the moment – which personality type does it best?

So much consideration seems to be set aside for exploring the differences between introverts and extroverts. Yet, perhaps a more important consideration should be set aside for exploring the differences between the ‘Sensing’ type and the ‘Intuitive’ type.

Unlike introvert to extravert, which is split evenly at around 50-50, the split between Sensing to Intuitive is much wider at around 75-25.

While all other personality categories relate to how you interact with the world, the Sensing / Intuitive split determines how you see the world and what kind of information you focus on.

Intuitive people focus on introspection, using ideas, imagination and theories. Many intuitive’s feel disconnected from the real world. They are the observers of life in the 3rd person. Intuitive types naturally explore the possibilities of what might happen, or why something has happened, rather than what is actually happening now.

Sensing types, by contrast, live in the moment. They are aware of what is happening, and focus less on the past or the future. Sensing types are observers of life in the first person, and are consequently much better at dealing with concrete facts and tools, and the real world.

Sensing types would have their ‘feet on the ground’

feet on the ground

Intuitive types would have their ‘head in the clouds’

head in the clouds

Those people who sit closest to the middle of the personality scale hold the key to all possibilities, able to dip into either side of the scale, as the situation requires. For those with strong traits to either end of the spectrum, it is always a double edged sword.

Remembering to enjoy the moment is something that comes far naturally to the sensing type. While an intuitive type gains ideas and imagination, it comes at the cost of living in the moment, forever focusing on what has or will be, instead of simply enjoying where they are.

Whether living in the moment is easy or natural to you or not, it is long known to be the key to greater happiness and contentment, and something all of us should practice.

Adding character depth with personality types

Our characters are the soul of our story. There are many routes we can take to adding flesh to our character’s bare bones, but I find personality type to be a fascinating option, which can add a ‘real’ dimension.

Whether you already have a personality type in mind, or you want to find one that fits your character, the following can help to pick out the traits you want.

Summary of personality types with percentage of population:

ENTP: (3%) The debtor / The Visionary. Mental sparing. Loves a challenge. The devils advocate. Straight talking. Gets the the heart of the matter. Gregarious. Cannot resist an intellectual challenge. Friendly and charming.

ENTJ: (2%) The Commander/ The Executive.  Born leader, with charisma and confidence. Ruthless, determination and drive. Unwavering self belief in achieving their goals. Bold, strong willed. Naturally take charge.

ENFP: (8%) The Campaigner / The Champion. Charming and independent. Loves connecting with people. Energetic, warm, passionate. Always finds a reason to smile. Free-spirit. Loves to talk about people.

ENFJ: (3%) The Teacher / The Giver. Politicians, teachers, and inspirers. Lead by inspiring. Genuine, radiate authenticity. Mesmerise their followers.

ESTP: (4%) The Entrepreneur / The Dynamo. The centre of attention. Risk takers. Energetic thrill-seeker. Metaphorical fire-fighters. Life of the party. Live in the moment. Live on the edge. Love to chat and joke. Playful.

ESTJ: (9%) The Guardian / The Supervisor. Hardworking and traditional. Strong sense of right and wrong. Community organiser. Love to organise things and people to a purpose. Conventional and factual.

ESFP: (9%) The Entertainer / The Performer. Born entertainer. Love the spotlight. Stylish. Spontaneous, fun-loving, and engaging. Contagious enthusiasm for life. Soul of the party. Involves others in having fun.

ESFJ: (12%) The Caregiver / The Provider. Popular and social. Conscientious helpers and generous with their time. Love to gossip and play host. Practical. Caring and eager to help. Social organisers.

INTP: (3%) The thinker/ The Architect. Inventive and creative, with a unique perspective and vigorous intellect. The philosopher, the architect, or the dreamy professor. Finds discrepancies in statements. Passionate innovators.

INTJ: (2%) The Mastermind / The Scientist . Imaginative yet decisive, ambitious yet private, and amazingly curious. Logical. Analytical problem solvers. Confident. Thirst for knowledge. Reserved, serious, strategic thinkers.

INFP: (4%) The Idealist / The healer. Calm, reserved, shy. Seek to find the good in the worst people. Kind. Imaginative idealist. Non-judgemental. Artistic/ Poetic. Reflective, spiritual, and constantly seeking a deeper understanding of life.

INFJ: (2%) The Advocate / The Protector. Morally astute. Soft spoken. Use warm, sensitive language. Creative. Insightful about others. Reserved. Quiet and mystical. Listen attentively. Highly perceptive.

ISTP: (5%) The Craftsman / The Mechanic. Practical problem solvers. Love to build or create. Explore with their hands. Trial and error approach. Mechanics and engineers. Bold and practical experimenters. May appear reserved.

ISTJ: (12%) The duty fulfiller / The Inspector. Practical logic. Dedication to duty. Enforce order. No-nonsense. Upholder of the law. Hard working and persistent. Fact minded and reliable. Serious and conservative.

ISFP: (8%) The Adventurer / The Artist. Live in a colourful, sensual world. Non-traditional. Seek out beauty. Enjoy life, and go with the flow. Unconventional. Quiet and unassuming. Flexible and charming. Enjoy new experiences. May appear distant or aloof.

ISFJ: (14%) The Defender / The Nurturer. Industrious, practical and compassionate careers. Meet kindness with kindness. Humble and unassuming. Sincere. Social, but don’t want the spot light. Offer assistance with modesty.

Writers – the introvert and the extrovert

booksAh the humble introvert, often considered a lonely soul. Watching life rather than living life. As a writer and an introvert (and since I must obviously never get out) I often contemplate this type-casting, and what it means to me as a writer.Leonid_Pasternak_001When we think of writers in the stereotypical sense, we often consider them to be introverts. The image of the person secluded away, tapping contentedly on his or her keyboard working at a new novel, with very little social interaction is to most people the image of writer / introvert.

Extroverts by definition, enjoy being out-and-about, socializing, interacting, and dare I say it living?

So, do introverts make the best writers? Most writers? And are they really what they seem? 

Ok, so first question – Do introverts make the best writers? 

What sort of book are you writing? Top 10 party holiday destinations – a personal account? hmmm, possibly not many introverts are going to be jumping up and down and say me me, can I write this one!

While I clearly made up this book to illustrate a point, I am pretty sure there is a whole swathe of books out there (real example above!) that only an extrovert could write. Not sure if they sit at home in the darkened cupboard writing it in isolation though? Perhaps they write collaboratively. Many people write all kinds of books from factual to fiction in a collaborative way, and while some of these may be still a combination of individual efforts, many will be brainstorming type situations with lots of interaction and ideas bouncing about between real people (the ones in your head don’t count).

Extroverts are naturally more sociable; there is no getting around this. Does this stop or prevent them writing. Of course not, they may just decide to sit in a bustling cafe and write instead of a quiet room.

Are introverts really what they seem?

No one is totally introvert or extrovert. Yes, they can lean heavily to one side or the other. This therefore implies that even the heavy introvert has actually ventured out of their darkened writing cupboard at some point. And as a writer it would make it tricky to write about stuff if you have only ever read it in a book.

introvert

As a society, we still aspire to be the fun-loving extrovert who is easy in any social situation. It seems to me that many introverts and extroverts see this as the utopia of social grace. Ok, so extroverts tend of be far more magnetic, they draw the eye – possibly because they go out of the way to – but hey who’s splitting hairs. As an introvert I would be the first to admit you are most likely to find me trying to become one with the wallpaper at any kind of big social event if I don’t already know the people really well (and sometimes even if I do).

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That said, and contrary to popular belief, introverts are actually very capable to being out there, what is different is that they don’t actively seek it. For me being an introvert or an extrovert is about what energizes you – centers you. Extroverts are energized by social interaction; it makes them feel happy. Conversely, make an extrovert sit alone for the day; they are likely to feel very flat, depressed even.

So the opposite is true for an introvert. I work in a busy office all day, and interact constantly with colleagues, present and meet with new areas of the business who are stakeholders of what myself and my team do. My day is full of interaction from the moment I arrive to the moment I walk out the door. But at the end of the day I am exhausted and I cannot wait to get home to the peace of my own home, and my keyboard where I can put aside all the hectic-ness of the day. I need this down time to feel happy and centered, to be at peace, and to re-energize myself.

There are introverts and extroverts who are the epitome of their kind, but there are also a lot of others who break that ‘type’ mould. Introverts and extroverts can both bring something unique to the world of writing. Whether you are introvert or extrovert or somewhere in the middle, be proud of your uniqueness, and the blend that is you. Whether your a people watcher, or the person who is watched, write about what interests you, what you are passionate about!