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Are you an introvert?

I’m an introvert and proud of it! The quiet type who prefers to be alone, but also the one who can socialize if need be. Many people think there’s something wrong with somebody who’s very quiet but actually quite people are thinkers. They know themselves better than the extroverted person. Do you hate crowds? Is your idea of a wonderful weekend doing nothing but spending time with your family or reading a book? Don’t like being around people all the time, even if you really like them? If you say yes to these questions you might be an introvert yourself! Being an introvert is not being shy or anti-social. There is a difference. When you’re shy you have a fear of being humiliated, rejected or disapproved of while introversion is a preference for environments that are not too busy or too stimulating. Extroverts (the opposite of introverts) are usually the “life of the party” while introverts need lots of quiet time and reflection.

Answer these questions honestly to see if you’re an introvert:

-I concentrate easily

-In the classroom I prefer lectures and small groups to seminars

-I prefer one-on-one conversations to group activities

-I often express myself in writing

-I enjoy being alone

-I care less about wealth, fame and status than my peers

-I enjoy discussing in depth topics that matter to me

-I dislike small talk

-People say I’m a good listener

-Not a big risk taker

-Enjoy work that allows me to dive in with no interruptions

-Others describe me as mellow

-Prefer not to show off my work or discuss it until its finished

-Like to celebrate birthdays on a small scale, maybe a close friend or two and some close family

-I prefer a weekend with nothing to do than one with too many things scheduled

-Don’t like conflict

-I work best on my own

If you said yes to most of them, you’re probably more introverted than extroverted.

Where you fall on the introvert-extrovert scale plays an important role in your personality. It influences choice of friends and partners and how you make conversation, resolve differences and show love. Both introverts and extroverts are important in society and have their strengths and weaknesses. Unfortunately we live in a world where people encourage you to be an extrovert, like when you’re a child your parents would always encourage you to socialize and they’d worry if you wanted to read your book instead. In the work place bosses insist we work in teams and open-plan offices… the environment an extrovert will thrive in. But history is full of introverts and extroverts who made great successes of themselves, so remember that one is not better than the other. Some of the greatest ideas and inventions came from introverts. They are thinkers. Extroverts might excel in the entertainment industry and sales environment because they love the limelight and they’re more outspoken. Introverts and extroverts work differently. Extroverts tend to tackle assignments quickly. They make fast (sometimes rash) decisions and are comfortable multi-tasking and taking risks. Introverts often work more slowly and deliberately. They prefer to focus on one task at a time and can have great powers of concentration. Extroverts might seem to come out on top in meetings because they’re bold and not scared to speak up, but does this make him or her a better leader? Not necessarily. An introvert is not motivated by ego or desire for the spotlight therefore they can dedicate and focus their energy better towards the larger goal. Introverts can be good networkers as well. Because they don’t like small talk much they tend to strike up a genuine conversation with someone who could become a good business contact.

In relationships introverts will likely focus their energy on family and a small, close group of friends whereas the extrovert enjoys a lot of people surrounding them all the time where he or she can strike up many conversations with many different folks. In relationships, opposites attract. An introvert might be attracted to an extrovert and vice versa. This can be great for both parties because the one will compliment the other – one talks and the other listens, one is sensitive to life’s ups and downs, the other goes through life cheerfully each day. When they attend a function or party the extrovert partner can keep conversations going and meet new people while the introvert can listen and maybe add to it. However, when these two opposites hook up it can also cause problems. For instance, one partner might come home from work emotionally exhausted and desperate to recharge alone and the other wants to go out and socialize. In this case both parties have to learn to sacrifice a bit. Once a week the introvert must go out to a place of choosing of the extrovert partner and learn to socialize and have some fun. Also the extrovert partner must spend some quality time with his or her introvert partner at their home and not always want to go out to busy public spots. In the case of my wife and I we both lean more towards being introverted. This has its ups and downs. We enjoy being at home and spending time with each other and our 10 year old daughter whenever we’re not busy or have somewhere to go. However, we’re not shy and we can meet new people, have parties, socialize and attend seminars with a room full of strangers, no problem! As I mentioned in the beginning of the article, being an introvert is having a preference for environments that are not too busy or too stimulating. So there’s nothing wrong with somebody who’s very quiet or does not like coming with to the party. They’re introverts!

It’s important not to get too withdrawn from society either. Even if you’re an introvert you must also try your best to make friends and go out a little. There must a balance. Too much of anything is not good.

Society | People


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