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Is scouting for extroverts?

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Agree, and, theres a lot of downside to being an extrovert.


There have been some interesting points of view presented in this discussion:

Most Scouts that age out are no longer introverts when they leave.

Extroverts will thrive in Scouting, but so can the introverts and more importantly, become less of an introvert.

Scouting (among other things) is what has helped me overcome this.


Introvert and extravert are characteristics. One is not better that the other. One is not a deficiency, a thing to be overcome or cured.


I too am currently reading the best-seller book Quiet The Power of Introverts in a World That Cant Stop Talking. Its a fascinating read. Some of the most creative minds and productive people ever known are introverts.

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Introverted people are shy..... and shy people are introverted. Its really sort of the same thing in common language use anyway, but one word is more precise or less casual than the other.


Introverted people can and often do learn how to overcome and appear as extroverts in order to do what needs to be done, but don't be confused.... they are still introverts. According to my experience and what I have studied, personalities do not change.


The introverted person will be drained by the experience of apprearing to be an extrovert, or just being in an extrovert dominated environment. Meanwhile, the extrovert feeds off of that same situation and gains 'energy' from it.


In my experience, I completely agree with Callooh! Callay!

Extroverts misunderstand introverted people.

It may not be true in every case, but I feel that most if not all shy or introverted people really just care about the other person so much, that it gets in the way.... It's not that extroverts don't care about other people, they just don't reflect that 'care' back to themselves.


If any of you know the Myers Briggs personality method, I am an ISTJ to give you my perspective.

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I am an Introvert. After a weekend of scouting I need my me time to relax and recharge. That being said, I don't consider myself shy anymore.


When I started scouting 3 1/2 years ago I was majorly shy. After trial by fire as a Boatswain 2 months after I joined I started to get over the shyness. Now I have a position in Sea Scouting where I often have to get up in front of large groups to teach, or speak. While I still don't really like doing that sort of thing, I can do it now.


Actually I apparently talk too much now.

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Introvert vs. Extrovert is not a better or worse sort of thing. However, even if you are naturally introverted, Scouting does help prepare you with the tools to handle yourself in situations like public speaking, songs, skits, etc. that may come more naturally to Extroverts. It is important to have those abilities to be able to turn on when needed, but not that doesn't mean it's better to be a natural extrovert.

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blw2 tells us "...I am an ISTJ.."

ah yes, ISTJ - The Though Police type - http://www.xeromag.com/fun/personality.html'>http://www.xeromag.com/fun/personality.html


As others have noted - between Extraversion and Introversion, neither is intrinsically better. (introverts, please note that we're only conceding that to make the poor extraverts feel better; it's important to them). It's like hair color. If extraversion is like having brown hair, introversion is like having.... a more beautiful color, of course.


Extraverts like to think they're better suited than introverts for leadership, networking, counseling, mentoring, and the like. I'll concede that they're more likely to more quickly generate more smoke... more sound and fury... but not necessarily better results. Their style can be more effective on short run things that require quickly energizing and mobilizing to get results fast. But if an introvert knows that the noises that extraverts like to make are required, he can happily make them. It's not that introverts can't do the extravert dance. They can. They just don't do it unless there's a good reason or especially interesting partners in that dance.


Introverts don't often flatter themselves with the conceit that they are "natural leaders" as extraverts are more prone to do (introverts flatter themselves with other conceits - better ones, of course). That's because unless there's some reason to be leading - some worthy goal and some reason why they should lead anyone to it... they'd just as soon entertain themselves with their own fascinating thoughts and limit their interactions to limited time with a few others with similarly fascinating thoughts.


Introverts aren't all shy. Since anecdotal evidence seems to be the currency in this discussion, here's an anecdote: I spent a couple years in an assignment in which I had six colleagues with non-identical but similar service and educational backgrounds - all veterans of service in the kinds of positions for which many apply and compete but few are selected. This was an odd job in which we served as course directors for seminars to educate others in fields in which we had significant service experience and academic education. We each lectured regularly in our own seminars and in other seminars for audiences that were sometimes small but quite often into the hundreds. Our audiences were unusually capable and experienced people and they had high expectations of our courses; a person uncomfortable with public speaking would not want the job and would not be selected for it.


Our effectiveness depended heavily on our abilities to maintain and grow our networks of academic and professional associates qualified, able, and willing to participate in our seminars as guest lecturers. We paid and covered travel expenses of course, but the money alone was not enough to draw the quality of people we wanted and got. People worked for us partly because there was some minor prestige in doing so (and that went both ways - the kind of folks we brought onto our teams also enhanced our courses' prestige) but mostly for the joy of serving in a worthy effort and helping to train and educate an exceptionally interesting audience. So "schmoozing" was a big part of our jobs. We all agreed it was a great job and we enjoyed working with each other, the people we recruited onto our teams, and the students in our courses.


But here's the punchline: one day, "they" had us test on the Myers and Briggs Type Indicator. All seven of us tested as INTJ. The "I" is of course for "introvert" which the test indicated was a trait strongly expressed in each of us. I can assure you that not one of us was remotely shy.


The Myers and Briggs Type Indicator is an interesting thing. But take the results with a grain of salt. I think acceptance of the results of the test has a lot to do with the Barnum Effect - just like horoscopes and such - they can sound specific but are actually rather vague and mostly flattering - so people want to believe them. If you're familiar with the test, have a laugh and check out the parody profile of your Myers and Briggs type here: http://www.xeromag.com/fun/personality.html

The parody of the INTJ may be more accurate and is certainly more fun than the serious profiles.


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  • 2 weeks later...

I think it may be easier for extroverts to wrangle Cub Scouts, especially in a "timed" setting where you can't just sit or wait around. Instead of shouting at them to "act like Scouts" or something, just ride the wave and redirect their enthusiasm to whatever activity they're "supposed" to be doing. I think it's almost impossible to herd a group of cats with a quiet "leadership by example" mindset. I'm not saying that it is impossible for a real introvert to be a Cub Scout leader, but I think someone who (maybe has learned) to exhibit extrovert methods of operation tends to just naturally thrive a little better under those circumstances.(This message has been edited by BartHumphries)

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Great insight, Bart.


I recently volunteered to be a den leader next year and my one and only stipulation - no cub day camp. I can't handle the chaos. Weekly den meetings - no problem. Monthly pack meetings - can handle those. Day camp - my prescription for Adavan will need to be renewed.

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