Are RVers introverts? Our survey says “yes!”

Are RVers introverts? Our survey says “yes!”

 

By Chuck Woodbury
EDITOR, RVTRAVEL.COM
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.

#531; ##RVT782

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8 thoughts on “Are RVers introverts? Our survey says “yes!”

  1. Ellen

    I’m with Michael — more research needed, because, anecdotally, RVers seem to be extraverts. Why else would so many RVers thrive on all the activities held at so many RV parks? Dinners, dances, workshops, concerts, card games, billiards, shuffleboard… the list goes on. Plus many are “tournaments.” I’m not sure a lot of introverts are attracted to the idea of competition…. I’m curious about what you make of what seems like an incongruity between the “social butterfly” atmosphere of so many RV parks and the results of the survey, Chuck.

    1. Chuck Woodbury

      Ellen, I think the results of our survey tell the story. I agree that RV “resorts,” with all the activities you talk about, are much more likely to attract extroverts. But most RV parks don’t have all those activities available. A park that I stayed in this trip for a month near Hollister, California, was very quiet. There was one formal gathering, and the people were friendly when I walked by, but for the most part everyone kept to themselves. But, again, our survey was not scientific. The book Quiet really does explain the difference between extroverts and introverts. And it’s not like there is just one type of each. There are very introverted people and then there are are far less so. And, many introverts, myself included, can socialize with the best of them when we want to. We just need to get back our private spaces after awhile to recharge.

  2. Michael Galvin

    Hi, Chuck,

    I’m writing about your piece on psychological type. You may know that the principal test for determining type preferences is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. I used it in my doctoral dissertation in clinical psychology in the early 70s, and used it in my clinical practice, in coaching executives, and in training leaders internationally until I retired last year. I still do some training. The MBTI comes from the work of Carl Jung, who invented the terms introvert and extravert (the spelling used by most folk in the field these days).

    I didn’t know about the survey you took; I hope it was more than the three items in the newsletter. Extraversion – Introversion is one of four dimensions of the MBTI. The test has been refined since the 1940s and is one of the most popular tests worldwide. To accurately determine whether someone is extravert of introvert requires a minimum of about 20 questions.

    Most of your descriptions of the type preferences are quite accurate. One exception would be the assertion that introverts innovate and create. That trait is actually determined by another dimension, called Sensing – Intuiting, of the MBTI.

    Our society does indeed celebrate extraverts, and they are so noisy, people even think the US is predominately extravert. Experts in the field taught that until a very comprehensive research study determined that the US is about 55% introvert. So just going on that base rate, your conclusion that most RVers are introverted is probably correct. Some indeed are quite happy in their tiny wheeled world. But RVers are famous for easily meeting people and continuing new friendships without getting peopled out—a definite extravert trait. Well, it’s fairly easy to come up with theories either way, but I’d like a very big grant to randomly survey RVers to see what their preferences really are.

    Best regards from your fellow new Winnebago full-timer,

    Michael

    Michael Galvin, PhD
    Extravert, Intuiting, Thinking, Judging
    Currently in Nevada on the way from Phoenix to Junction City to have some issues with our 2017 Navion J addressed

  3. Walt Kaiser

    I am a full time ever,16 years on the road and take umbrage with the content of the article, I am very much an extrovert,always introducing myself and wife to our neighbors,making new friends wherever we go, but that also come naturally as I am a professional Santa Claus. When people see me they naturally want a photo with the jolly ole elf. I would of trade this lifestyle for anything.

    1. Chuck Woodbury

      For Pete’s sake, Walt. In our survey the final tally was that most who responded considered themselves introverts. We didn’t say everybody! How can you possibly take offense to this article?

    2. RV Staff

      Hey, Walt aka Santa,
      I “take umbrage” that you “take umbrage” with the content of this article. You make it sound like being an introvert is a bad thing. I’ve been very shy (introverted) my whole life — that’s just the way I am. Then there are those that are more outgoing (extroverted). Nothing wrong with either one, and one isn’t “better” or “worse” than the other — just a different personality makeup. —Diane at RVtravel.com

  4. Michael Butts

    I always thought something was wrong with me until I read Quiet last year. It was really great finding out that I wasn’t “broken,” just that I can’t handle a crowd.

    1. RV Staff

      Thanks for the tip, Michael. I’m going to check out that book. —Diane at RVtravel.com

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