Wonder Twin Powers…ACTIVATE! Introverts & Extroverts Unite

Hello, my name is Kristen Lamb and…I’m a nerd. There, I said it. When I was a kid, I used to spend hours at my desk copying my set of encyclopedias or playing with my microscope. You know, the one that had three slides of celery cells stained different colors. Admit it. You had one, too.  

I started writing “novels” before I knew my entire alphabet. My first novel was a real tear-jerker called, “AAAH B Y Love ZQ 197 Z” (love was the only word I knew how to spell). As you can tell by the title, it was the story of Princess Kristen and how she defeated the space aliens that invaded the kingdom on a pink dragon and threatened to take away all the rainbows and make the people all wear ugly boy jeans.

Eventually, as I grew older, I taught myself how to draw but using my dad’s collection of J.R.R. Tolkein calendars and my uncle’s Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manuals.

The nerd doesn’t fall far from the tree.

My Baby Photo

Who ever heard of YA? I was reading Tolkein, L. Ron. Hubbard, and David Eddings by the time I was 12. When I wasn’t drawing or writing or reading, I was playing video games. Wait? Not much has changed. Only now I play an Xbox 360 instead of an Atari.

Why am I taking you down this memory lane of my years as a nerdling? What does this have to do with social media? 

Historically, writers have been portrayed as that odd introvert with such bad social skills he had to make up people to hang out with. Okay, so in ways it is still true.

There is a strong misconception that extroverts don’t make good writers because they can’t spend enough time alone to finish a manuscript. Um…no. Extroverts with no self-discipline can’t finish a manuscript. But guess what? Introverts with no self-discipline can’t finish a manuscript either. They spend their time reading stories instead of writing them. Introverts might be able to write the book better, but extroverts can sell more copies 😀

My point is that social media is a very natural place for nerds…I mean, writers to gather. We can feel free to be who we are, and even find people who march to a different kazoo just like us.

Social media is a direct reflection of who we are. Lately we have been talking about how publishing is changing faster than anyone can keep up, and I believe it is for the better. But, what no one seems to be mentioning is that writers are changing too. That is awesome news!

Social media is helping writers capitalize on their strengths, and mitigate their weaknesses.

The Extrovert

I am an ENFP (Extroverted Intuitive Feeling Perceiver). ENFPs are the most common personality type for comedians and cult leaders. I have capitalized on this. ENFPs are Tigger if he were high on Red Bull and allowed to plan a bounce-house party…with ice cream cake.

I love bouncing around and making people smile. I am the comedian of the personality types. Social media allows me to use that strength somewhere other than the written page. Yes, I write humor…but I now have the ability to use my humor to build my platform as well.

I know that when I first became a writer, it was hard. All that alone time made me crazy…okay, crazier. I would spend day after day writing technical manuals…only to later hold the poor baristas at Starbuck’s hostage because I hadn’t talked to anyone in DAYS and I had 120,000 words I hadn’t used up.

Social media has added balance to my professional life. With social media, I can take breaks from my work, go on Twitter and be a social butterfly. Then, when it is time to get back to work, I minimize the screen until I make a certain goal. Interaction with others becomes my reward for buckling down and making word count. I can be a writer and be myself.

Some of us extroverts are as bad as a highly caffeinated-meth-addicted-squirrel that someone handed a keyboard. We have to learn that buzzing around the Internet chit-chatting only becomes useful if we have a manuscript to sell.

We have to learn to shut up and… OOH Shiny!

What was I saying? Oh, yeah. Shut up and focus. *scratches head* Need to write that on a Post-It.

The Introvert  

I LOVE introverts. Seriously. I collect them. I think it is the challenge to get them to smile…or speak. I’ll take a grunt. I liken it to a sea otter trying to pry open a clam. I’m having fun while the poor clam…I mean, introvert, is having a panic attack. I have gotten better at appreciating the clam’s unique perspective, but I still won’t let them settle under the mud and hide.

Photo of me and Bob Mayer when I first showed him Twitter.

Social media is helping introverts develop skills needed to be successful. Just like the extrovert must develop the discipline to sit in a chair and write, the introvert must learn to interact with others effectively in order to succeed in the Brave New World of Publishing. Introverts can no longer hunker down in an office for months while friends and family slide food under the door and empty the pee out of the Folger’s can….

Okay, maybe you guys aren’t THAT bad.

But the point is that introverts can no longer hide, grunting to your older sibling (marketing department) to speak for you and get you what you want.

I often wonder if this is part of the resistance to social media. The extroverts are the first on board (duh). We get to socialize and that counts as WORK? Sign us up! But the introverts? I think some writers are hesitant to embrace social media because it is out of their comfort zone. Maybe you find people terrifying and you never did say the right things and what if people judge you or think you are dumb?

The best part of social media is We Are Not Alone. Okay, yeah it is a shameless book plug, but it is true. This idea is the fulcrum on which all my teaching rests. WE AREN’T ALONE!!!! WE AREN’T DOING THIS BY OURSELVES!!!

Extroverts and introverts can now become a team.

Wonder Twin powers….ACTIVATE!

We are two sides of the perfect writer. Think about it! Introverts are better at focusing on the writing, and extroverts are better at promoting the final product. But we need to do BOTH if we hope to survive AND thrive in this new world of publishing.

As an extrovert, if I start being Chatty Cathy too long on Twitter, I guarantee you I will hear from one of my more introverted tweeps.

“Um…Kristen. Aren’t you supposed to be writing?”


The other side? Extroverts are the quintessential party hostesses. Seriously. If you are terrified of social media, befriend a Twextrovert (new word, and you’ll only find it here, folks). This is the person on Twitter who knows EVERYONE and who can be counted on to introduce you to a large group of friends painlessly. Before you know it, you’ll go from 1-200 friends and you’ve only tweeted 6 times. Twextroverts are born promoters, and your greatest ally. If you aren’t good at selling, befriend a Twextrovert and they will sell for you…cuz they like to make you smile.

If you’re a Twextrovert? Befriend a Twintrovert, that Twitter pal who can be counted on to send you a DM.

“Shut up and write before I send the flying monkeys.”

Social media makes us not only strengthen where we are weak, but it provides a way to team up with others, and they can be our strength. Extroverts can get introverts to come out of their shells, and introverts can ground their extroversive pals and remind them they need to focus and return to the work. Balloons need to be tethered or they fly away, explode and end up killing a sea gull.

So are you a Twintorvert or a Twextrovert? Leave your Twitter handle so we can follow. Has social media helped you develop some aspect of your personality? Strengthen a weakness? Maybe help you become aware of a bad habit? I want to hear from you!

And, to prove it and show my love, for the month of February, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention WANA in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly. A free critique from me on the first 15 pages of your novel.

Happy writing!

Until next time….

I haven’t had Internet connection for almost a week, so the Mash Up of Awesomeness  will be posted on Friday’s blog.

In the meantime, if you don’t already own a copy, my best-selling book We Are Not Alone–The Writers Guide to Social Media is recommended by literary agents and endorsed by NY Times best-selling authors. My method is free, fast, simple and leaves time to write more books.

Also, I highly recommend the Write It Forward Workshops. Learn all about plotting, how to write great characters, and even how to self-publish successfully…all from the best in the industry. I will be teaching on social media and building a brand in March. For $20 a workshop, you can change your destiny….all from the comfort of home.



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  1. Wonder Twins!! Love it!! I definitely understand that the two personality types definitely need each other in social media land.

    For me, I’m a Twitrovert not because I want to be but because I’m really new in this social media arena. I’m definitely learning about my writing personality and realized just how much of a nerd I am. Just need some help coming out of my nerdy shell I guess!

    And oh, my twitter handle by the way is @mcgriffmusings

    1. Gack. Now there’s a sentence I had not heard in a while. lol. Wonder Twin Powers Activate! There, I said it. lol.

      Placing this blog on my Mind Sieve post for 2/20/11. Since I am mostly an introvert and don’t consider I much to say, I do grab and link to wonderful posts like this one, hoping to help others by playing Twitter Filter.

      It’s one of the biggest problems about Twitter, in my opinion, that unless you monitor it constantly, you miss stuff. And if you work, well, you miss a lot. (I cheat by using TechHit in Outlook, but still have no time to follow everything.) So if I do come across stuff I believe people can use, I do a weekly post with it. (Giving credit and links back to who I heard it from.) My own little way to help in my own introvert way. 😛


  2. You know, I’ve read some other blogs on using the social interaction as a reward when you’ve completed your writing goal, but I didn’t get it until now. Sharing your story as you progressed into writing makes sense and I’ll have to keep it on a post-it for awhile, but you’re very right. If I reward my extrovert self with interactions, I’ll probably get a lot more done, and more in touch with my introvert self too. Thanks!

  3. I’m a true Twitrovert. For a couple of years I just used Twitter to post blog links. Lately I’ve been putting your techniques to use and trying to build a real following–not a bunch of Follow-Back Spammers. I’m not new to Twitter, but I never really got it until recently. Now, I just need learn to focus more on writing and less on what Will Wheaton and Felicia Day are jabbering about.

    Twitter handle: @zenestex

    1. er, I meant, “Twintorvert” 🙂

  4. Mmm-Hmm! and as I am reading this (enjoyable as it is) I am thinking “Go write, you nerd!”

    So, Ba-bye now.

  5. I’m about as far from extroverted as you can get personality-wise. On the Briggs-Meyer scale, I’m an INTJ, which you can read about here: http://typelogic.com/intj.html if so inclined. Needless to say, if I ever convince myself to go to a conference, I’ll be the one in the corner hiding from all the extroverted writers who have promised to hug me should I ever meet them.

    On twitter, I force myself to emulate the more extroverted people – and I find it easier online than off, so I think I do a fairly decent job. The thing about twitter is, if you don’t force yourself to interact and “be” extroverted, the experience will be pretty limited and people get disillusioned with it. I’m always sad to see that happen because of the potential on twitter for community support – it’s truly amazing. On the other hand, because I work during the day and have to be careful of being too visible on social media during work hours, I’m sure that comes off as more introverted again…but it’s unavoidable. I do have my more introverted days, of course. You can’t keep your true personality at bay all the time. 😉

    In any case – I’m @JamieDeBree, and more than happy to chat w/anyone when I’m on (evenings/late nights, usually), introduce people around, etc. I follow all writers back.

    1. INFJ here. I find concentrating on individuals helps calm my nerves, but, like you, I find I need to imitate extroverts at times. It can be very tiring, though, so I make sure my batteries are fully charged before jumping in.

      Looking forward to following yoyr tweets.:)

      1. I totally agree – it’s exhausting playing the extrovert at times.

        Nice to meet you! 🙂

  6. OMG!!! “Oooooh, shiny…” I nearly splurted all over the computer screen! “Likes shiny objects” is on my FB page and yes, I must be your evil twin from another time far far away.

    “Hello, my name is Amy and I am an ENFP.”

    I’m twitter-pated, filled with facebook-icity, linkedin-and-about, and have lately become a blog-aholic. And I need those DMs to tell me to get off my furry ass-ets and WRITE, dammit!

    Twitter handle: @amyshojai

    I’m the one with the sequins.

  7. LOVE! I am a unique beast from the personality testing as I fall EXACTLY dead center between introvert and extrovert (I am otherwise an NTJ–intuitive, thinking, judger). So I balance. I really feel like I’m more of an extrovert on Twitter and an introvert in real life. For me that has a lot to do with the fact that I can deal with the online stuff in my own time where as the in person stuff winds up being RIGHT NOW (OMG THE STRESS!). But on Twitter…I adore hooking up tweeps with new people and introducing folks. For me, living in a small town, there is NOTHING in the way of a writer’s community, so Twitter and blogs and IM is how I stay connected to My People, stay in the loop of the writing world. It’s all very clandestine as I keep these two pretty separate lives between my world as writer Kait Nolan (@kaitnolan on Twitter) and real life me with boring Evil Day Job responsibilities. I’m like Batman but, you know, happier, and without a cape.

    • Kara Thorpe on February 16, 2011 at 5:15 pm
    • Reply

    Twextrovert and Twitrovert – I promise one of those new words will work their way into my vocabulary by the end of the week.

    I am absolutely a Twitrovert… not quite so bad that I have panic attacks over responding to DMs, but there is that cold-sweat, ‘what do I say that won’t sound stupid’ moment. What I really like about social media, and Twitter especially, is that it makes it easy to take baby steps towards breaking out of that shell. Since it’s a constant flow of updates and messages, it can be easy to move past one or two akward moments and slowly reach out to people and do it on your terms.

    I’m on twitter @karahelen – but go easy on me, my poor twitrovert heart can only take so much!

  8. I guess I swing between twitro-and twextro-vertness. I have weeks where I’m all over the place (avoiding writing/editing), and other weeks where I’m hiding (actually writing/editing). Most of the time, though, I’m in-between it all.

    I’m loving your posts, btw. I stash them in a folder. You can find me on Twitter at CCAshworth.

  9. I love it! Great post! I myself am an introvert at heart. Classic INFJ. I was REALLY bad in high school and my first couple years of college. Quite literally that person who sits in the back of the class with her nose in a book, absolutely TERRIFIED of talking to anyone. Then I decided I was sick and tired of being a little, and I started forcing myself to talk. Just a couple words here and there. A “hi, nice to meet you” or at least a smile. I joined student organizations, and I worked as the editor for my college lit journal. But what really helped was working customer service at a bookstore. That REALLY pushed me past my limits. So now, I can make a little effort when I need to, and while I’m still terrified in new situations or around strangers, I’m pretty good at hiding it, and it usually only takes me a day or two to warm up to someone, rather than the weeks it used to take me. I’d say that’s good progress, right?

    And I definitely think that the semi-anonymity, the non-face-to-face factor, of an online presence makes it alot easier to step up and say something.

  10. All this talk about Twitter. Ugh. Does this mean I should finally sign up for an account? I suppose if I’m not required to tweet every time I go pee, I might be able to manage it.

    I’m one of the introverts. 🙂

    (p.s. My blog is a haven for geeks who are also writers, or vice versa. Yesterday I posted about H…T…M…L. Ooo!)

  11. I’m one of those introverts who has always been terrified of people. I’ve been accused of being anti-social on more than one occasion.

    I used to avoid things like Facebook and Twitter and even cell phones for as long as I could hold out. It bugged me that while giving the illusion of bringing people closer together, it seemed to actually separate us. (Picture that person who is oblivious to everything going on around them because they must consult everyone they know about what to buy at the grocery store, or that person who is texting while at dinner instead of socializing with the people right in front of them.)

    When I finally decided to step into this century, I realized I had been fooling myself. I forgot that I am ALREADY anti-social! Stepping into the world of cell phones and Twitter and FB brought me out of my shell, a least to some extent. It allows me to express myself in ways that I could never do face-to-face.

    And my Twitter Handle is: @dextermorganism (yes, I’m a big Dexter fan, and yes, I know, I should change my handle to reflect my actual name 🙂

  12. Okay, let’s start by asking where I can get one of those onsies? My son absolutely needs one.

    Beyond that, as a reluctant entrant to the social media forum, I must admit that I agree. Blogging has definately raised my on-line profile, and yes… even I am dragging my feet into the twitoverse. (I’ve been doing facebook for some time).

    Heavy sigh… back to work.

    But as an aside, the Wonder Twins space monkey grew a heck of a lot scarier looking than when I was a kid. Of course, I still fondly remember the super sidekicks Wendy, Marvin and Wonderdog. Do they count as cannon?

    1. I think you’ll find that and a number of other wonderful baby-nerd clothes on Thinkgeek, one of my favorite websites. The name pretty much says it all.

  13. Another Twintrovert and INTJ here. The good thing about social media for me is that I have time to think before I ‘speak’ and that ‘speaking’ is text-based (I’m someone who will choose email over a phone call anytime!) The thing about Twitter that gets a lot of people and did to me at first (though I’m getting better) is the ZOMG I have to talk to strangers?! But when you do use it well I think it’s a fantastic tool.

    Though people often speak of the internet making people less social, if you look properly, you’ll find that people have actively molded the internet to make it more social. Which is great for extroverts in that they can socialise and great for introverts because the people trying to socialise with them are millions of miles away! 😉

    Twitter handle:

    1. OK, I’ll try that again: my Twitter handle is – @toomuchtelly

  14. Busted. I’m piglet the twintrovert. Loved the images (tigger on red bull? priceless!)

    1. Oh! And my handle is @virginiaripple. Guess I’m showing my twintrovertiness by leaving it out before.:P

    • jasonamyers on February 16, 2011 at 6:32 pm
    • Reply

    I am both an introvert and an extrovert, depending on the situation. I assume that makes me an overall introvert…

    But damn you, Lamb. Now you got me thinking about Belgarath, and Belgarion, and Polgara!!!! Now I will have to go back and read all those books again!


  15. Definite Twextrovert here – like you, I’m an ENFP on the MBTI scale. And a geek too. ( I wanted to be an icthyologist when I was 8 – I was as in love with the spelling as the career 🙂 ).

    (BTW, although Bob claims in his workshops that writers are naturally introverts, writing is one of the careers recommended for ENFPs. Probably because we love people, new experience – and talking, er writing, about them!

    I LOVE Twitter for all the reasons you mentioned above. I’m also good at pitches because I’m comfortable speaking to strangers. But I have to remind myself that while all that is good for a writer, it’s NOT writing. So I’m in the market for some Twitrovert buddies to get my butt back into the chair.


    1. Just a note. Your handle is actually @Danielle_Meitiv. I had to go to your site in order to follow you because the twitter search didn’t bring you up with the other handle. Thought others might want to find you, too.:)

      1. Twitter names are case-sensitive? Yikes! Thanks for pointing that out. (Oh and did I mention that ENFPs are not the most detail-oriented people… LOL)

        Like the lady said: @Danielle_Meitiv

        1. OMG…that is SO TRUE! I am horrible about details…so I married Eeyore. He keeps me grounded and focused and I help him lighten the hell up! LOL

  16. I’m a typical INFJ…Twintrovert! I’m very shy, as well as introverted. I don’t talk much in a large group or when I’m meeting new people. I listen like a hawk though. I know everything that is going on around me. However, I’m much better online than in person. The pressure isn’t there like it is when you are face to face. People can’t hear me stumble on my words when I’m trying to speak intelligently, but my tongue trips itself up. Plus, I’m soft-spoken and half the time people can’t hear me because other people talk over me! I’m constantly being asked, “What?” and I have to repeat myself. It was hard enough the first time and now I have to do it again without flubbing it up?! Once I feel comfortable with someone, then I’ve been known not to shut up. That usually takes a while! My Twitter handle is @lisaullrich.

    1. I’m a bubble left of plumb on that test thingy, just a wee dab more introverted than extroverted. Introversion seems to be something you grow out of. After a few decades of interacting with this species you realize that you’re not going to be eaten alive. Also, other people are interesting and sometimes need a bit of help and sometimes give a bit of help, so it’s all okay after all.

      And apparently Eeyore is a bigamist, because I’m married to him, too.

      I love that photo of you and “Bob.” He does seem to be coming out of his shell lately. Good for you!

  17. I’m an ENFP so I guess I might fall into Twextrovert. I’m not sure if the test is accurate though. I prefer sending people some cute messages every now and then and I love interaction. I also prefer the silence so I don’t know.

  18. Isn’t it funny how many of us introverts are posting comments? (Kristen, promise that you will only use your powers for GOOD, not evil :))

    Loved your post. Just came back from a lunch with women who have “real” jobs – aka money – and don’t stay awake at night figuring out how to kill imaginary people. You made me feel better!


  19. Oh, Kristen, I want to cover you in sparklies or hug you or be your bestest buddy or something. (Maybe all of the above.) LOL! I love this!

    I honestly don’t know what my test results are because they change every time I take it. Talk about being flighty. 🙂 I consider myself introverted, but most people wouldn’t think that about me because I fake extroverted really well. On Twitter, I have no problem reaching out to people and making friends ( @JamiGold ), and I’ve been known to help introduce people around and show them the ropes.

  20. Great post! I’m an extrovert…and an introvert. Some times call for one, and some for another. I like my thinking time but I can’t do it forever without interaction. I talk out my stories with friends to push them forward. I’m @JulietteWade … nice to meet you!

  21. I’m a twextrovert (@m_cutler), but an introvert otherwise. I like being able to plan out what I say and I LOVE the word limit of twitter. Turns us all into poets. Well, maybe doesn’t turn Lindsay Lohan into a poet. or Snooki.

  22. I’m a hermitic extrovert, comfortable in solitude for extended periods but middle of the action when I’m let out. I often have students who are so shy and quiet but then I see their Facebook activity and oh baby! Who is THAT person. I think Twitter does the same.

    To me, social networking and blog commenting are a cousin of driving. People will do and say things that would never happen in person. To some peeps, being Twextroverted and leaving abrasive comments is like road rage. For others, they just need a little distance (like the infinity of cyberspace) to feel comfortable. I’m good either way, but I promise I won’t give anyone the finger from my desk chair. Probably.

    • Gene Lempp on February 16, 2011 at 9:50 pm
    • Reply

    I think what I am is balanced. Jami’s comment hit a chord with me and made me think. When I was young I was an overly sensitive introvert, mushy like peat moss, but as I reached adulthood a long series of experiences has shifted me to, in many ways, the opposite of what I started as. I don’t see that as being flighty (and neither should Jami or others who feel that) but rather as balanced. Having had all of the “modifiers” in dominance at one time or another gives a deeper understanding of others and oneself. I can be hard when needed, soft when needed, stable or fickle…my mom called me a free spirit…can’t think of anything else I’d rather be.
    I also see a difference between real life and internet life. So back to Kristen’s questions: I don’t have a Twitter account yet (so maybe shy or just still debating it) but rest assured the day I do have one Kristen, Jami and all the other fantastic minds I’ve met through the blogs will be the first I try to connect with.
    Love the post, you are always, quite simply, the best Kristen. Thanks for the wonderful moment of self-inspection. Hearts.

    1. Awwwwwww…*digital hug*. Thanks. You guys are all so awesome and I am so glad ur my peeps :D.

    2. Aww, thanks, Gene. 🙂 Yes, I think you’re right that different “seasons” of our life have needed us to be more one thing or another, and now we can empathize with all of them. That’s why my answers are always different. It really does depend on my mood – am I feeling helpful or vulnerable, etc. Thanks!

  23. Wow Kristen, you make us look at ourselves and see what we truly are, and give us the tools to make our dreams happen!

    Painfully shy as a child, I also was forced into the world as an extrovert. Life has given me a hard edge that sometimes comes across in ways I don’t intend. I do care for others, just in a careful way that protects me.

    Social media has forced me out of this shell of safety, and carefully worded updates and responses have brought several new followers. I like the anonymity of social media, and when people comment or follow me, it brings a feeling of belonging to the community. If I want to be a writer, then I better get over the introvert and start concentrating on being a better extrovert, at least when necessary.

    My twitter is @Marjog, and I love art, history and writing!

  24. Hi there, Just a point about something you said
    : “Think about it! Introverts are better at focusing on the writing, and extroverts are better at promoting the final product. But we need to do BOTH if we hope to survive AND thrive in this new world of publishing.” Doesn’t this contradict what you said about introverts and extroverts having equal potential to be undisciplined? Also, I think it’s important to point out that being an introvert doesn’t necessarily make you antisocial. You can be an antisocial extrovert and a sociable introvert. The traits have more to do with the willingness to self promote and with approach behaviour. Thanks for making me think!

    1. Well, whenever talking about personalities, it is generalizing. I think extroverts are more naturally suited for the sales/promotion, and where they need the discipline is when it comes to spending enough alone time to produce a final product. Introverts, I think naturally have an easier time focusing on the product, and where they need the extra push is in the promotion. BUT, overall, we need to exercise self-discipline. Not everything is going to come naturally and easy-squeezy. Most people are not purely one or the other, and there are extreme ends of the spectrum (most people are in the middle of the bell curve). I used extreme examples today because comedy is hyperbole. The statistical outliers are the funniest examples. Thanks for such a thoughtful comment and glad i got you thinking :D.

  25. I’m a total Twintorvert, though WANA has shown me the way to be social in a manageable, productive way. The beauty of social media is that it allows us introverts to interact on a comfortable level. Up until now my biggest obstacles were time and understanding. I’ve built a number of websites and blogged for years, but had no idea of where to start with FB or Twitter. Kristen’s book and blog cleared all that up for me; my only frustration is that I don’t yet have the time to truly start applying what I’ve learned; until the end of the month my writing/internet time is hostage to other obligations. I’m counting down the days until I’ll be free to write and tweet as I’d like.


    • Patti Mallett on February 17, 2011 at 12:23 am
    • Reply

    Kristin, Great reminder that Social Media people, just as in the rest of life, are not all the same. (It’s easy to forget that when everyone communicates in fairly similar ways.) And, just as we (ought to) proceed with caution when meeting people face-to-face, (trying not to blow them over with our chatter or embarrass them with our clamped jaw) it would be wise to do the same with SM. (I fall about dead center. Do you have a name for folks like me?)

  26. Okay as a psychologist by training I have to set the record straight. The traits of introversion and extraversion have nothing to do with being shy or sociable as is the commonly held view. Extraverts prefer being around people to recharge and intraverts prefer solitude for that purpose. Intraverts are fully capable of great sales and interaction–they just tend to find it exhausting. Likewise extraverts aren’t necessarily any BETTER with people…they just tend to LIKE them more.

    1. I’m introverted then. I prefer my own company.

    2. Thank you, Kait! I’m glad that someone is setting the record straight.

      Like many introverts, I’m more socially capable than many extroverts who don’t know when to shut up. 🙂

      I have no problem mingling at social gatherings, talking to strangers, giving presentations, but I recharge at home . . . alone.


      • Anne on February 28, 2011 at 4:00 pm
      • Reply

      Hi Kait,
      Thank you for this piece of knowledge. That makes a lot of sense. I am an introvert, but good with people. But yes, I do find it exhausting. Now that I am trying to choose a career, I was confused not being able to answer the question, ‘are you an introvert or an extrovert?’ because i seem to do well in positions where i have to deal with a lot of people, but still I enjoy being alone or in quiet company.

  27. I was terrified of starting a Twitter account, and totally surprised to find myself behaving like a Twextrovert once I did. I pull out an extroverted social media personality and enjoy talking with ten or twelve people at once, but then I hit my limit and turn it all off for a while. Great blog, Kristen.

  28. firstly: There is a 100-Acre Personality test… I, as you can imagine, am Kanga. Honestly, I’m just so relieved I didn’t get Eeyore! Does that make me a Twintorvert or a Twextrovert?

    linky: http://www.half-asleep.com/pooh/interact/quiz/quiz.php

    secondly: Shape of! A bucket of water!

    thirdly: @gigisalem42

  29. New follower thanks to Andrew and Kait. Huge introvert here and tried Twitter once before. Didn’t work for me. Maybe because I was following the wrong folks. Have been giving it alot of thought lately, since I got my internet addiction under control. 🙂 Your post tipped me over the top. Signed back up. My handle is robnmccormack. ” Wonder twin powers activate “

  30. I think your point about introverts being able to “write the book better”, with extroverts more skilled in “selling the final product” could be expanded upon. Extroverts and other social animals are out there lapping up experiences that introverts may not be so bold as to attempt. I have my introverted days, where I would rather be left alone with a good book and my laptop than interact with other human beings. But if I didn’t have my extroverted days, where would I get my inspiration? What would I have to write about? How good (and by good, I mean believable) would my dialogue be?

    You’re absolutely right that marketing and publicity are natural environments for extroverts. Selling can be an aggressive and exhausting job, whatever the product. But I think having a touch of the introvert about you can lend itself well to selling – the private emotions and passion that you have invested in this book, the raw elements, they are what sell the story.

  31. I’m a total introvert, but Twitter has helped me come out of my (clam) shell. It’s a lifesaver for me, because I work from home and could easily become that ‘food under the door guy’. Hopefully without the Folger’s thing, though. Avoiding people is a built in reflex with me, but for some reason I’ve become comfortable with Twitter and that is spilling over into ‘real life’ too. It’s been a great way to shuffle a few steps along the introvert / extrovert continuum.

  32. I like to call myself a shy extrovert. How does that work, you may ask? I am very quiet until I get comfortable with a new person or situation, but once I am comfortable, watch out. I would much rather be out there being social than sitting home alone.
    That being said, I am not real comfortable with twitter yet. I tend to be long winded, so I have a hard time fitting my thoughts into 140 characters or less. So, for now, I guess I am a twintrovert, but watch out once I get comfortable! 🙂 @msanaquinn

  33. I’m extremely new to Twitter and would fall into the “Twintrovert” category. I haven’t quite figured out what I’m doing there, other than following people like you who I can learn from. (I’ve read your Twitter blog posts, and have a copy of WANA on my nightstand so at least I have a game plan when I’m ready to leap into the Twitter deep end.)

    In the real world, I’m a combination introvert/extrovert. I have a hard time meeting new people and striking up conversation (I hate small talk!) but once I feel comfortable, it’s difficult to shut me up.

    Finally, I LOVE the Wonder Twins reference! It gave me a flashback to my childhood when my younger brother and I would bump our fists together and shout “Wonder Twins power activate! Form of a…” Great memory so thanks. 🙂

    My twitter handle is @HilClarkWrites.

  34. Kait brings up an excellent point in comment #42. I am an introvert, but I’ve held down sales jobs for the last ten years where I had to work with people and talk to people. I can definitely sell a product when I have it.

    My boyfriend is the extrovert, and he loves social situations where he can hang out with a number of people. But he’s actually pretty quiet and sort of shy so he usually wants me to be the one out front.

    And I hate it. Being around people wear me out. This is something that mystifies him because he says I’m so much better at it than he is.

    As a shy person/introvert, I actually love twitter. (a href=”http://twitter.com/#!/loudquietgirl”>My twitter) It’s a very low hassle, low contact way to connect with people. And actually, I keep two twitter accounts, one where I can experiment and try to get to know more people and the other which is my safe spot with friends I feel most comfortable. It’s like staying home when there’s a party going on. I can relax and reset for any future social attempts.

    I do like the point of getting in a good partnership with an extrovert though. I’m not great at calling attention to myself (which is usually called spam anyway and who wants that?), so an extrovert friend to draw me in and make me feel more comfortable would be helpful, lol.

  35. Great post! I’ve often felt like I’m both an introvert and an extrovert too, and I’m still working on how to maximize the benefits of both. I love people, but I’m not good at promoting myself. Twitter and social media has helped me a lot with that because I’ve seen lots of examples of how to (and how NOT to) interact and promote. Thanks for sharing, and good luck keeping the balance going!

    • Tamara LeBlanc on February 18, 2011 at 2:29 am
    • Reply

    Can I be a Twextrovert and still steer clear of most people?
    I suppose if I was transported to Pooh’s world, his pals might refer to me as Rabbit’s surlier twin. Rabbit seems to be out and about all the time (a cotton tail extrovert), but most of the honey eating inhabitants of The Hundred Acre Wood bug the crap out of him.
    I guess what I’m trying to say is that alot of people annoy me.
    Why aren’t more people more polite? It’s rare to hear excuse me, pardon me, or after you anymore. I’m amazed by the amount of people who forget to say thank you or please. And I can’t count the number of times I’ve had a door nearly flatten my nose as someone walking two steps in front of me decides to let it go instead of simply holding it open a second longer. What happened to manners?
    I guess the disapearance of common curtesy (at least for the most part. There are still those out there who, I’m happy to say, appear to have been raised by respectful humans as opposed to wolves) has caused me to immediately expect the worse from people.
    I had thought that things like Facebook, Twitter, and texting would only aggravate the issue. People wouldn’t be talking face to face, so there would be no need to be nice. I stayed away from social media for a long time because of this incorrect assumption.
    But you, my hero, helped me look past my prejudice and learn the ways of the force…the social media force of course:)
    I’ve been thrilled to find a whole network of very supportive, very giving, and very nice people. In fact, because of Twitter, I now have a many friends who are not only polite, but have shared my handle, and my book title with their own friends. I know for a fact that I’ve even sold books because of Twitter and FB!!
    I have been transformed from jaded Rabbit into optimistic Kanga.
    And I owe the transformation to WANA!
    Your book has helped me learn how to use SM to promote myself, and my brand without being obnoxious about it. I think, so far, I’m doing a pretty good job too.
    Loved the post! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, It’s very refreshing to be able to laugh my butt off while simultaneously learning important information. Thanks for that!
    Have a beautiful weekend:)
    Twitter handle @Tamaraleblancrw

  36. I’m on Twitter at @anitaclenney. I’ve only been there for a year and I love it but find it overwhelming. I let it steal too much of my time when I do check Twitter. Other times, I don’t use it often enough. I need to learn how to utilize it better.

  37. It seems to me that Twitter and other social media are helpful for the more introvert-inclined because the activity can take place at home, and people can pick and choose their comfort level of connection. Most introverts aren’t anti-social (as we can see by this comment thread!), they just prefer smaller, more intimate social exchanges.

    Well, that’s my introverted “two-cents” – going back to my twitter-burrow/writing cave now. 🙂

    Thanks for a great post, Kristen. You really opened up a lively discussion!

    • Joanna Aislinn on February 19, 2011 at 2:07 am
    • Reply

    Hysterical post; LOVED it, especially the photo or you, Bob and Twitter 🙂

    Okay, if I could actually get organized enough and actually figure out how to be a proper Twitter-er, I’d definitely be a Twextovert. (Can someone here hook me up w/another one please? As soon as I can go forward w/a real clue, I’ll pay it forward and invite the Twintroverts into my humble tweeting abode. BTW, I’m going by FancyWriterLady, a name coined by a friend who had a lot to say about my pen name).

    And yes: only so much reason to build platform unless there’s actually something to put on it!

    Joanna Aislinn
    Dream. Believe. Strive. Achieve!
    The Wild Rose Press

    • Joanna Aislinn on February 19, 2011 at 2:09 am
    • Reply

    One more thing: I turned myself into an extrovert. (Even wrote a blog about it–and forgot I did! Will go up next week, I think :))

    Joanna Aislinn
    Dream. Believe. Strive. Achieve!
    The Wild Rose Press

  38. I love this blog. I am an introvert. I’ll take it further–I tend to be a recluse. I have a fear of crowds, and a fear of In fact, I’ll take it further than that…I think I’m a closet exhibitionist! That meth-addicted squirrel thing got me going again…I’ll leave my twitter handle alone. Although I think I would enjoy the flying monkeys! Have a great weekend, Kristen! 😉

  39. Well, I guess I was on a roll…Typo every time I get my chain yanked! LOL

  40. I love this post! (For some reason WordPress is sending everything to the wrong email address, so I’m behind on reading all these posts I’m subscribed to). I just started using Twitter again … I used to tweet about once a month since I didn’t see the point. But I read your article and I now know how to use hashtags 😉 Anyway, the short story is that I’ve got at least three followers a day for the last … two days. But whatever, that’s a start. Dunno what they find so interesting, though …

  41. Oops, Mind Sieve post hits on 2/21/11 I just do them early (Actually late this week – was at a convention – so scrambling to catch up now! Doh!)

  42. I think I’m right in the middle. I have a few people that I interact with. Twitter scared me when I started using it, but I’m slowly warming up to it. I still will consider myself a Twitrovert because I do a lot of retweeting than original posts, and I don’t think that counts as true interaction and of course my blog posts are directly send to Twitter. I love your blog. I discovered it today and I’m learning a lot. It was a Godsend on a day that I’m having a writing rut.

    I don’t have an introvert personality, but I’m an introvert writer. I’ve been writing since I was a child, but I was always scared to show anyone any of my writings for fear of criticism. In the last year I’ve been overcoming that fear and between blogging and participating in writing contests I’ve been allowing myself to get exposed… but it’s just like a chihuahua pulling a cart filled with horses. Poor Fifi!


  43. I’m busy catching up on the posts I missed in the last month – my family and I were evacuated from Cairo and needless to say I was a bit distracted and stressed out! I have enjoyed learning how to use social media because I’m a mix of intro / extrovert but living halfway around the world and in another time zone from most of your potential readers is definitely a handicap! Social media has allowed me to connect with many more people than I ever would have been able to reach otherwise.

    1. The important thing is that all of you are safe – the rest of us are still here, whenever you’re ready! It has to be really hard to write under those circumstances. Hope things settle down for you soon. Take care of yourself!

  44. Great guidelines and encouraging words for the introvert. Being an introvert myself, I can see where different methods need to be employed in order to achieve the same results as the extrovert. But, it is possible to succeed, in spite of the common stereotype given to the introvert. We definitely have our strong points. We just need to know how to recognize them and learn how to use them. Social skills will become more natural if you are persistent at practicing them. Social media can be a great outlet to build confidence. I also found some other helpful tips for introverts at: http://relationshipcapital.co/op/?utm_src=bl

  45. Wonderful Love it!! I definitely understand that the two personality types definitely need each other in social media land.

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