Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Extravert vs. Hospitality


We had friends over and after our meal we were enjoying time on the balcony. (This un-winter in Beirut has been so lovely!) The conversation turned to the Myers-Briggs test. I can never exactly remember mine, except that I know I am the exact opposite of my husband (and he remembers his). The thing I do remember is that I was near the middle on a couple of the indicators, but for introvert / extrovert I was one point over the line, to the extrovert side.

At the time when I first took the test everyone (myself included) assumed I was extremely extroverted. The Myers-Briggs results caused me to pause and reflect on what they might mean. That was 25 years ago and throughout the years I have found that I really appreciate the introverted side of myself.

Anyway, back to the balcony, it was observed that I was the only one amongst us that had an 'E'. Everyone else was firmly introverted. The quip was made that my 'E' explains why I am the one to encourage us to get together. I am the one who makes the plans.

After they left I thought about this, while I cleaned up in the kitchen. I believe there is another explanation. I think it is the 'gift' of hospitality, not introvertedness nor extrovertedness that comes into play. I actually much prefer small gatherings of three - five people, which fits squarely in the introverted column. I like the chance to really connect with folks. The idea of a bunch of small talk can cause me to find a room to hide in with a book. I do like having people over. I like planning a meal. I like sharing our home, be it for a couple of hours or many nights. I think it is about hospitality.

(Oh, and I am a planner, but that is neither here nor there.)


  1. I am an introvert, but I love hosting small gatherings, too. (Though I don't do it often.) Hospitality is a great gift -- and a good PRACTICE!

  2. I think you're spot on with the hospitality piece. I bet you're glad (as well as your friends) that you're the one to organize these get together. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Interesting conversation on a balcony in Beirut. Seems like the last place for a conversation like this but I"m glad you are feeling so comfortable there.
    As for me, I'm finding that I like larger numbers around the table and my partner Tuvia calls my comfort numbers, chairman-of-the-board style.
    Does that make me an extrovert?

  4. Love the interesting conversation. I am more of an introvert when it comes to entertaining, though I love going to other peoples homes.

  5. I a squarely in the introvert camp, but I think there is something to the combination of hospitality and the ability to plan. Hand in hand, they are gifts with which to welcome companionship...which both introverts and extroverts do need!

  6. I like your idea of the gift of hospitality. We introverts need those to get us out and about. I can be persuaded to create or attend a gathering of people I know well. Perhaps it's all about chemistry.

  7. I have been doing lots of thinking around this lately. Many would assume I am a big E because I don't mind getting up in front of even large groups and talking....but small talk...when you said this: The idea of a bunch of small talk can cause me to find a room to hide in with a book...is so me. Small talk is something I can learn how to do better, but it does exhaust me. Thank you for this interesting post. xo