I had an odd realization recently when a coworker offhandedly mentioned going out to lunch that day. My immediate reaction went from “well that would be fun to talk to people I haven’t talked to in a bit” to “hm, do I really feel like going out with a group today” fairly quickly. It wasn’t the first time I’d wondered, “wait, am I actually an introvert?”
I have never, ever been called an introvert, until recently. Growing up, I was louder than people probably enjoyed, and was always up for any situation. I am still energetic and loud in most situations. My other half, however, commonly jokes that I am a hermit due to my propensity to spend at least one weekend a month holed up on my own to recharge and reassess.
I’ve taken the Myers Briggs personality type indicator a million times, and I’ve found that I oscillate between multiple categories, none more surprising to me than my shift between introvert and extrovert. But that leads me to wonder: Is there an in between? And if so, what is it?
I do think there is a middle ground between the two, and I believe it’s being a bookworm. I know, I know. “Bookworms?” you’re thinking. “That’s really all she can come up with?” But hear me out! Merriam-Webster defines a bookworm as “a person who likes to read books and spends a lot of time reading or studying.”
Ding ding ding! Hit the nail on the head with that one. But being a bookworm, as defined, does not imply or state outright that a bookworm is quiet, shy, or introverted. Nor does it say that one is energetic, conversational, etc. Personally, I think it’s safe to imply bookworms are both. Bookworms are the people who want to talk about books and discuss their meanings, because the books are that important. They’re also the people that want and need the time to read on their own without being bothered.
When I step away and become a hermit, it’s often to read. (Sometimes, unfortunately, it’s to do adult things like cleaning the kitchen or doing laundry). Reading, as a relaxer or a recharger, breathes new life into me and my perspective on situations. I use books as escapes as well as conversation starters.
I am neither an introvert or an extrovert. I am somewhere smack dab in the middle. I am the first to enter that conversation on Harry Potter, Frankenstein, or Sleeping Beauty in the Wood, but I am certainly not the last to step away and find some solitary excitement in Pride and Prejudice, Percy Jackson, and Around the World in 80 Days.
I am a bookworm.