By Chuck Woodbury
Are most RVers introverts? Well, that is surely what one of our reader surveys suggests. In fact, it shows that RVers are overwhelmingly introverts — not extroverts, who are much more outgoing.
The book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking describes introverts this way: “At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled “quiet,” it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society — from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.”
INTROVERTS NEED TIME ALONE to recharge their lives. They would not be called “Mr. or Ms. Excitement.” The opposite personality is an extrovert, who thrives on being with others: an extrovert might be labeled the “life of a party.” At that same party, an introvert might prefer to sit in a corner and talk with a friend. Introverts can act like extroverts, but it saps their energy after awhile. Introverts usually fear public speaking but can overcome the fear if necessary and even rise to fame as orators. Introverts tend to think things through. Extroverts are less patient and may want to get something done and move on. Most politicians are extroverts.
Bill Gates and Al Gore are famous introverts who can mimic extroverts. Eleanor Roosevelt was an introvert.
Asians are more introverted. American and European societies are more extroverted. However, Norwegians are famous for being introverts. A joke goes, “How do you tell if a Norwegian likes you?” The answer: “He’s looking at your shoes, not his own.”
In our society introverts can be perceived as unsociable or shy. Our society celebrates extroverts and teaches us that being outgoing is superior to being quiet or reserved. Extroverted parents may think something is wrong with their introverted child.
I am an introvert, and I believe that’s a big reason why I love to be away in my RV. I’m a homebody. I like to read, and I can sit in a chair and peer out a window for an hour at a time just thinking. Oh, I like other people and need them, but in moderation. I enjoy attending an RV rally and mingling with the crowd. But when the day is done and I’m “peopled out,” I am ready to retreat to my motorhome for peace. I suspect a lot of other RVers are like me. Maybe even most, judging by our survey results.