Brian Little is a research professor at Cambridge University and author of the book Me, Myself and Us. He is an unapologetic self proclaimed introvert and personality enthusiast who is fascinated by the psychological similarities and differences between people.
In his TED presentation he shares, with amusing insight, why we sometimes do not appear as we really are. How factors both external and internal draw behaviors out of us that run counter to what our “type” would indicate.
Professor Little explains that we are lead foremost by our passion and will adopt the behaviors necessary to serve that interest. A natural introvert with a passion for teaching will be compelled by their passion to extrovert themselves to fulfill this task. This of course doesn’t change the introvert’s fundamental nature. This simply illustrates that our personality development is more complicated than what we can be conveniently labelled as.
We are malleable and protean, and can potentially slip into any role we are sincerely motivated to fill even if it is in stark contrast with our natural inclinations. And we do this not because it is how we really are, but because it serves a purpose we really value. Of course, introverts will have to withdraw afterwards and seek much needed solitude to recharge themselves after all that draining extroversion 🙂