A Bit Much

'winter' photo (c) 2007, Vladimer Shioshvili - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/


I absolutely love meeting new people. One of the goals for my “do year” was to put faces to some of my friends in the virtual village. It’s easy for me to say, “Let’s get together,” and then never actually do anything that furthers the cause. I wanted this year to be different.

One of the ways I was going to meet some people was through the Sacred Friendship Gathering. For months, I was really excited about having a chance to meet David Nilsen face to face. I’ve felt a connection with him since we met a year ago online, and I was very much looking forward to seeing if that translated to the real world as well.

But as the date closed in, I got a little bit nervous. When I say that I’m an ENFP, I can’t stress enough how much of an “E” I really am. Whenever I take a Myers-Briggs test, I score heavily to the extrovert side of things. This means that I have absolutely no problem in crowds. It also means that I have a very big personality. Very loud, very boisterous, very…much.

Often a bit too much.

Normally people have a chance to get to know me over time. They can observe from afar and then ease into a relationship with me if they want.

But when we’re meeting for lunch at Chili’s for the first time, there’s no escape. It’s just me and my off-color sense of humor, my aggressive hugging, and my loud, loud, loud laugh. I try very hard to let people know what they’re getting into before they meet me, but I know there’s no way to explain ME.  I hate making people uncomfortable, but when I’m meeting someone who I feel like I know, I feel like I should be me. And when I’m me, I can make people uncomfortable.

I suppose I could avoid these situations. Keep things safe. Lower my laugh. Make small talk.

And no one would get to know me.

So instead, I walked into Chili’s with David, Lyndie, and Melinda and gave them me.

It may have been too much, but it was me.


What’s your Myers-Briggs personality? How do you feel about meeting new people?


This is a part of the One Word at a Time Blog Carnival hosted by Peter Pollock. You can read more submissions and add your own here.

  • http://kerrysheadybrew.blogspot.com/ Kerry Miller-Whalen

    Oh, Alise!!  I LOVE loud people!!!  Wish I was there to meet you too!!  

    • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

      Well, I would definitely fit your need for loud. ;-D

  • Mkrabill

    Ok, now I want to meet you. :) I am an ENFP too and I score 100% E. we would have fun.

    • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

      Awesome! We’ll either have the best time or hate each other. But I tend to like people just like me (I’m really narcissistic), so it should be good.

  • http://sarahaskins.com Sarah Askins

    Being an introvert surrounded by loud extroverts, I am used to the loudness, the extrovertness. You could talk, and I will listen. See we would get along just fine! And yes, we shall have a real life hug!

    • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

      I definitely (!!!!) want to hug you in real life. 

  • Michael Mock

    Heh. I come out at IN?J. (One of my big gripes with the Myers-Briggs system is that I come out very strongly on both sides of the T/F split, which says to me that it isn’t always as much of a split as the test would suggest.) It takes me a little while to warm up to new people. Well, I mean, not too long. Six months or so, usually.

    (As you might imagine, this had some interesting effects on my dating life. Her: “Oh, now you want to go out with me? After months of barely giving me the time of day?” Me: “Well, I didn’t know you yet, did I?” Her: “We’ve been hanging out for two years now. We were in Middle School together.” Me: “…”)

    Being around people I don’t know is stressful – like, borderline demophobia stressful. Give me a small group in a quiet setting, and I’m okay. Put me in a crowd, and I have to make a real effort not to just close up and go away. Alternatively, I find someone I do know well, and use them to break the ice and run interference for me.

    • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

      I need to read a lot more about introverts, because my youngest daughter is totally the opposite of me. Very uncomfortable in groups. I forget that people aren’t like me, so I’m sure I’m not all that understanding toward her at times.

      • Michael Mock

        To paraphrase Stephen Brust, it’s easy to forget. Everybody generalizes from a single example. At least, I do…

    • http://sarahoverthemoon.com/ Sarah Moon

      My partner and I are also pretty balanced on the T and F (I lean toward T, and him toward F). I think we have to view the test as spectrums, not just a categories. For example, we’re all both extroverted and introverted but some are usually I, others usually E, others are balanced. Very few people are always energized by people or by being alone because people are complicated. And personality is fluid, not set, so it changes over time. I know many extroverts turned introvert and judgers turned perceivers, etc. Those are my thoughts! 

  • http://www.kfsullivan.wordpress.com/ KIm

    Well, I look the extrovert part…talkative, not afraid the have the floor in public spaces (school, church.) My mama raised me to be polite and charming when appropriate. But, I prefer to be alone or with one person for long deep chats or lots of quasi-inappropriate laughs. 

    Interestingly, all my favorite folks are pretty dang loud, crazy, FUN! I need them…I can be a bit sober left to myself. Even pictures of me as an infant could well be described as “serious.” 

    So, I think you would make me laugh and think new refreshingly challenging thoughts. I think we would get along splendidly. 

    I love to be aggressively hugged. So, yeah? Let’s meet and be friends in real life. Let me know anytime you are coming to “Alabamy.” 

    • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

      My hubs is one of those guys who looks like an extrovert, but really is more comfortable as an introvert. Which came as a bit of a shock to me. And as long as you’re good with aggressive hugs, we’re fine!

  • http://lisadelay.com/blog Lisa Colon DeLay

    I am the consummate ENTP. T and F are nearly split. The difference  between me and the description only really varies in the fact that I can finish things, and sometimes compensate for the potential deficit by finishing early. 

    It seems like all the lunatics are ENTP. Innovators or psychopaths.

    Fun post Alise.

    • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

      I find stuff like this fascinating, even if just as a basic guideline.

      And I’m going to assume that you’re an innovator, because I don’t think I want to be seen as fraternizing with any psychopaths.

    • http://somuchshoutingsomuchlaughter.com/ suzannah {the smitten word}

      i’m an ENTP too! i knew we were kindred:)

  • http://homekettle.wordpress.com/ David Nilsen

    INFJ. And you were not one bit too much, Alise. You were you, and you were awesome. I can’t wait to hang out again soon!

    • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

      For reals, I just loved meeting you guys. Wish we’d had hours more to talk. Like I said the other day, we’ll get something on the calendar soon, so we know that it’s going to happen.

  • http://profiles.google.com/created2worship Niki Cox

    I’m an INFP/J:
    *Moderately introverted, with some extroverted tendencies (I like being on stage, but I’m shy around new people and fear crowds).
    *Moderately intuitive, which is why I can often pass myself off as extroverted when I’m not. I can pick up others’ signals.
    *Strong (almost 100%) feeling. I can be logical, but there’s no keeping the creative, emotional side of me at bay. That can be good, but it can also be disastrous.
    *And mildly perceiving, sometimes judging, usually depending on what time of the semester I (as a writing instructor) take the test. It does mean that most of the time I give people the benefit of the doubt, but I also have my immovable right/wrong pillars.

    It was funny, the first time I took the test. I read my description afterward, and it said something like, “You’re the type of person who will flick a speck of dust off of your project portfolio and not even notice the mess your house or office is in.” That is me in a nutshell. I’d like a clean house, but when I’m focused on grading, painting, or (beginning again this fall) classes for my BFA in art, I don’t have the energy or attention to spare for anything else (except maybe my dog). It drives my mother nuts. I guess that’s the strong “feeling” side coming out in my personality.

    • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

      Yeah, my P/J tends to be the most fluid. That one tends to deal a lot more with what kind of things I’ve been reading/people I’ve been interacting with. 

  • http://twitter.com/corrieaw Corrie Aw.

    I am an ISTJ, the total opposite of you. But people like me need people like you to get the talking started. So keep on being you!

    • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

      I don’t know how to be anyone else! And I’m glad that there are all kinds of people out there. Even I would get bored if everyone was just like me. 

  • http://somewiseguy.com/ ThatGuyKC

    It’s been awhile since I took a personality test, but I like to push the envelope sometimes and do have a very loud laugh (much to my wife’s shagrin).

    I love meeting new people. Especially when we’ve connect via the blogosphere first. It’s like meeting an old friend for the first time.

  • Caitlin

    I’m an INFJ, but people are ALWAYS surprised by that little I at the beginning. One of my professors in college used to joke that “Caitlin is like an equation that doesn’t add up. Mass =/= Volume… which is to say, how does that much volume come out of that little mass?” But I really am an I… I’ve just learned that my loud and blunt nature puts others at ease and allows me to move past those first, awkward moments into a real relationship, and that’s what I love.

    Someday, I hope we meet, because that Chilis wouldn’t know what hit it!

  • Marthaorlando

    Love your honest self-appraisal!  Actually, I test as an introvert, but I do love socializing with others and am actually outgoing.  Go figure! :)
    Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.leighkramer.com/ HopefulLeigh

    Alise, I wonder if we all feel this way no matter what our type. I’m an INFJ but I’ve had these same thoughts. There’s no way to explain the whole of who we are before- or while- meeting someone the first time. We simply are ourselves and sometimes the messiness of relationships means others will feel uncomfortable because of that fact. But as someone who got to meet you last weekend, I thought you were perfect as you are. My only complaint is that we didn’t have nearly enough time to talk!

  • http://twitter.com/ToscaSac T

    ESFP  but some times it felt like this is very borderline… My daughter is rejecting the idea of being in large groups and strange places. I do not know if that is going to be her adult personality or it is just a part of the teenage journey. She is harsher but also more sensitive than I. Humans are so fascinating.

  • Karen Haring

    I love you- and I’m an INFJ. I find it interesting that a lot of people that commented and are friends with you are as well!

  • Leanne Shirtliffe

    I think as we age (how old does that make me sound!) it’s much easier to present ourselves as we are, and that is when we’re at our best. I’m an E??J. Strongly on the first and last…but I can go anywhere in the middle depending on my mood. 
    Of course, that last sentence is one big IYKWIM.

  • http://quietanthem.blogspot.com/ Renee Ronika Klug

    My first thought after reading the title and your Facebook prompt was, “And I bet people love you for it.” 

    I’m an ENFP, too. I’m bold and unfiltered and lack chit-chat skills. If we’re going to talk, we’re going to go THERE. 
    Some people don’t like it; they’ll never get to know me–or you. That’s okay because the people who DO get to know us–you–realize how much better (and so much more open!) their lives likely are because of it. 

    Go you for being your bold self, Alise. It’s how you were made. 

  • http://blog.amberlbaker.com Amber Baker

    I am an INFJ hiding an ENFP. My social anxiety makes it really hard for me to get into new situations, but once I feel safe, I bust out.

  • https://sites.google.com/site/holyhugs/ Jim Fisher

    I flunked the Myers-Briggs …. and I’m proud of it. The facilitator(s) didn’t know what to do with me. I scored dead-center on nearly all scales … which probably is a result of my right-left handedness (I’m an ambi) … and my BOTH/AND view of life rather than either/or. They can’t shove me into any of their silly little drawers … and whenever they try, I squirm and fidget until I am free again. I have to keep going back and forth between I and E or I go nuts. I, too, am loud, hug tightly and way too long and greet my friends with an exuberant (like lift you up and twirl you around) Holy Kiss. But then, my best days are ones (like this morning) when I started the day deeply alone with God immersed in His Divine Love. I gotta have it all … and I feel more fully human when I do.

    • https://sites.google.com/site/holyhugs/ Jim Fisher

      The Myers-Briggs is a dualistic (dichotomous … um … fancy psychometric word for either/or) assessment. I’d be interested in what people found on the Strength Finders assessment. My top strengths are Empathy (duh!), Connectedness (ya no duh!), and Adaptability (*squeeky voice* whillie??). These, to me at least, are a lot more useful and meaningful since they don’t shove you into boxes that might limit who you could become.

      • http://sarahoverthemoon.com/ Sarah Moon

        Learner, Faith, Futuristic, and, uh…I don’t remember the rest. 

  • Joanne Norton

    I’m definitely an extrovert.  And rowdy.  And a hugger.  And a TALKER!  My husband is an introvert and loves me anyhow, which is a good thing.  But I tend to respond a bit the same way you were describing.  Especially, meeting someone important and then seeing how/what I might be and how that might cause them to pull back.  But, one of my main phrases:  God is BIGGER!  He can direct me, handle the situations, and pour His blessing over the whole aspect.  Makes me much more confident.   AND, even as I age and age some more — ain’t a young ‘un — He continues to grow and bless me.

  • http://ordinarilyextraordinary.com/ Amy Nabors (@amykiane)

    My Myers-Briggs is INFP. It takes me a while to warm up to people. Also being shy on top of introvert I get very nervous in crowds, but I’m learning to push myself out of my comfort zone.

  • Michelle Woodman

    I took the test for the first time today, and found out I’m an ISFJ. The levels of ‘S’ and ‘F’ do fluctuate a wee bit, as I can second-guess myself pretty well (taking the test twice is proof of that).

    And I was pretty darned tickled to find the character of Dr. John Watson is also an ISFJ. I so enjoy Martin Freeman’s portrayal of him in the BBC “Sherlock” series. And Jude Law’s rocked as well in the Guy Ritchie films.

    Oh, I’ve got my geek/nerd on. ;-)

  • beverlyakabuddy

    Well, I took the test and am an INFP, heave emphasis on the I.  But that was how I scored today.  I have the feeling that if I took the test another day, I could come out quite extraverted.  Needless to say, I usually go from one extreme to the other when it comes to meeting people in real-life, especially when I think I know them so well on line.  I am always so excited and want to greet them with a great big hug, often overwhelming them.  Or if I perceive they are not as excited to see me, I become very introverted and need to be drawn out and made to feel that they really are glad to see me and want to interact.  I’m basically very shy, but I can be very boistrous.  I hope if we ever do meet in real-life, the exact right balance is there so I don’t either scare you off and offend or seem to be too standoffish, as I’ve often been accused.  I’m a walking contradiction and always have been.  LOL!

  • shan k

    INFP. Is this a dating match game? Are you going to find me whatever goes well with an innfuuhp?

    • http://charityjilldenmark.wordpress.com/ Charity Jill Denmark

      I am an INFP too! I ended up with an ISFJ, and it works pretty nicely.

  • Hazel Moon

    I am not wanting to take that test – I already know who I am and probably not a loud person.  However I will be happy to listen and laugh with you and chat a bit.  

  • Lyndie Nilsen

    uhm… i always forget what my MB is, except for the introvert part, i usually want to change the latter 3 or deny that they are correct. i don’t know why.
    anyways, i’m the kind of introvert who really admires enjoys extroverts (mostly)~ as long as they’re like you.
    i’m so glad we met! i’d be happy to have the opportunity hangout @ Chili’s again. :) *HUGS*

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  • http://www.facebook.com/mkrabill Michelle Morr Krabill

    Linked to this one on the blog today. :) Thanks for being a friend.


    • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

      Disqus generic email templateapprove

  • http://sarahoverthemoon.com/ Sarah Moon

    I’m an I (MASSIVELY I) NT (though also strong in F)P. So, I dread meeting new people at first. I love people to death, but I have no social skills. I’m always afraid people who like the internet me will think that I’m a phony when they meet me in real life because I can’t express myself vocally like I can with writing. Writing is my voice. My actual voice is not so impressive. :P 

    That being said, we need to meet because I get along SO well with loud people because you do all the talking! It’s perfect. My best friend and I have been best friends since kindergarten, and she is the loudest, most out going person I know!  

  • http://www.fromtwotoone.com/ from two to one

    I’m an INTJ. Let’s see how this works out :)

  • http://KatieAxelson.com/ Katie Axelson

    My Myers-Briggs flucuates but I’m generally a INFJ. Sometimes it takes me awhile to warm up to people and sometimes I can jump right in. I look forward to seeing how I respond to Story.


  • http://www.inamirrordimly.com/ Ed_Cyzewski

    The Myers Briggs thing sort of baffles me. In college I was an ENFJ. After seminary, I was an INFJ. So I became an introvert? Not sure. All I know is that in a room full of introverts, I think I become more extroverted. When I meet an extrovert, ahem, I become more introverted. It took me a while to get comfortable with that part of me, but now that I can embrace my quiet side too, I’m much happier in groups of people, letting the extroverts do their thing.

    • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

      I have an introverted friend who said that he feels like an extrovert when he hangs out with me. ;-D

      I think those tests are pretty wooshy. Most of my other letters can change, depending on my circumstances. But I’ve always scored VERY heavily on the “E” side of things. I don’t think I’ve ever, in my entire life, taken it and scored even close to an “I.”

      I can be quiet (really, I can!), but I thrive on interaction with people. I visited Jason’s atheist group on Sunday and even though I didn’t contribute much to the conversation, I still left feeling better than if I’d stayed home, simply for being with a group of people.

  • https://sites.google.com/site/holyhugs/ Jim Fisher

    I am sorta, kinda right-handed … when I am not left-handed … or I forget what hand I am supposed to be using. Ambies are like that. My left-brain loves linear sequential logical deductive arguments, then begins to hurt after a few hours reading blogs bickering over theological if-thens.

    My right-brain loves all kids of music, art, poetry, imagery and metaphor, the begins to hurt after three or four hours in the Louvre.

    I gotta have it all. Lots and lots of both.

    I tend not to see things as black or white. The gray compromise doesn’t work for me either. “Yes! .. And” could start most of my blog comments. I grow weary of yabuts and nobuts. I grow weary of either-or.

    Maybe I see stripes.

    I also like to think of myself as an introverted extravert. Or is it an extraverted introvert? Or maybe a thinking feeler? Oh wait! Maybe I’m a feeling thinker. Sheesh. I can’t remember.

    I flunked the Myers-Briggs test.