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My mum has always maintained that you can easily pick an introvert out of a crowd.

She believes that in public, extroverts are constantly looking at everything, they keep their heads held high. Whereas introverts naturally walk with their eyes stuck to the ground, appearing deep in thought.

She's always used my granddad and my brother as an example. Now, granted, they are both introverts, but so am I. I'm constantly seeking out new information, getting lost in the beauty of nature etc. I need to feed my Ne. And I know other introverts who walk around staring at everything too.

Basically, I don't agree with her generalization. So:

1) Have any of you heard this theory before?
2) How do you function in public and does is it relate to the I/E difference?
3) Is my mum talking out of her ass? :crazy:
 

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I used to be that way more (looking down al lthe time, etc) when I was younger, but not so much anymore...There are times when I'm out in public and probably look to an outside observer that I'm daydreaming or lost in my own little world; but just as often I come across as quite confident and genuinely interested in my immediate surroundings.
 

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1) No.

2) I stare straight ahead and redirect my eyes to glare at people who stare at me or if something catches my eye. I'm usually lost in thought though. :tongue:

3) I believe she is, yes. xD
 

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1. Yes, but I don't like it.
2. Depending on the day and the moment, I will either be looking around observing the world, or keeping myself in thought. I have times when I do not want my thinking to be disturbed by anything and this may happen in public.
3. A little :laughing:
 

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I really don't believe that's accurate at all. I know extroverts who will look away when I try to make eye contact (at work) like they're "above" me. And I'm always looking around, looking, as you said, at the beauty of nature and seeking information about my surroundings and the general mood and atmosphere of a place and/or situation.

I think keeping the head down is more of a shyness trait, and while introverts can certainly be shy, they aren't the same thing.
 

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1) Have any of you heard this theory before?
Not phrased exactly like that but, it's basically the same.

2) How do you function in public and does is it relate to the I/E difference?
The only time I look down while walking is to make sure I'm not going to trip over something. I walk tall, with my head held high, and usually scanning my surroundings. I seldom look at the ground when I'm deep in thought, I'm usually looking up or straight ahead.

3) Is my mum talking out of her ass?
Yes, she is most certainly generalizing and would probably consider me an extrovert...for a while.
 

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2) How do you function in public and does is it relate to the I/E difference?
The only time I look down while walking is to make sure I'm not going to trip over something. I walk tall, with my head held high, and usually scanning my surroundings. I seldom look at the ground when I'm deep in thought, I'm usually looking up or straight ahead.
I'm the same way.
 

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2) I'm an introvert but I have Se as my secondary function. I'm constantly looking around at everything with my head up. Except if I'm on a mission to get somewhere - then my head is up, I'm speedwalking and I'm looking straight ahead. I probably only think with my head down when I am by myself and I don't expect there to be any change in the environment.
 
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Might work for introverts that aren't comfortable with their extroverted functions, but introverts that are comfortable with their extroverted functions it probably won't.

Introverts will extrovert at times and extroverts will introvert at times - but their is an elastic return to introverting or extroverting - whatever is their natural preference.

Extroverts rest position is engaged with the outer world in some way as that is where they get their energy from (doesn't have to be talking, it can be taking in information).

Introverts rest position is disengaged with the outer world as they get their energy from their inner world.

It's easiest to spot in a conversation IMO ...

How often they spend disengaged/engaged during conversation
Do they gain momentum from disengaging/engaging based on speech pattern
Are they gaining energy from disengaging/engaging based on observable body language.
 

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My introverted husband is much better at eye contact than I am. But he's also an overall more confident person than I am. (Not all extroverts have tons of confidence) I also have really bad ADD and my mind is constantly in a billion places at once, where he is almost always in the moment... so it doesn't hold true for us.
 

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I deliberately keep my head up while in public. I don't want to come off as sad or upset or whatever, because I'm not. I am a shy person, though. I think I tend to confuse people that way. They seem so confused, when confronting me, that I'm withdrawn because me, being so observant of my surroundings, didn't make me come off as shy.
 

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really, there's no consequence to deciding whether a stranger is intro or extro, so i guess her theory is practically "sound". i mean, whatever, as long as she's amused, right?

have you considered the distinction between everyday definitions of E/I and that specifically of Myers Briggs?
 

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My mum has always maintained that you can easily pick an introvert out of a crowd.

She believes that in public, extroverts are constantly looking at everything, they keep their heads held high. Whereas introverts naturally walk with their eyes stuck to the ground, appearing deep in thought.

She's always used my granddad and my brother as an example. Now, granted, they are both introverts, but so am I. I'm constantly seeking out new information, getting lost in the beauty of nature etc. I need to feed my Ne. And I know other introverts who walk around staring at everything too.

Basically, I don't agree with her generalization. So:

1) Have any of you heard this theory before?
2) How do you function in public and does is it relate to the I/E difference?
3) Is my mum talking out of her ass? :crazy:
Something my father and I noticed with my extroverted sister most noticable from when she was 3 years old, was that when we went shopping and sat down to have something to eat, she would be looking around everywhere, instead of being focused on our family at the table. She would literally be turning her head and staring at people and what was going on.

When I go for walks, I like to force myself to subsist in whats actually around me. Because when I do, it's so overwhelming. When I walk around the city, I force myself to look around because it's like being reborn; a completely new experience every time. It feels like a literal split inside; between being completely outside, and being in me, where the latter is more natural to me.

I think your mums theory may be partially true; but I think looking up is not the key (because an introvert may love to look up and enjoy whats outside, but for a different reason); I think the direction of the eyes is the key. Are the eyes following the center of action? or are they drifting off whimsically but with more internal focus? i.e. is the center of focus being driven by what the inside dictates? or by what the external dictates?

I think when I focus on the external I always zone out. My head is up, but there is some conscious filtering going on.

That said, all this can relate to many other functions, so the general tendency of looking up or down can be the manifestation of a myriad of motivations.
 

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While introverts do tend to be introspective there's also a lot of curiosity among these types.

I think it comes down to curiousity rather than extroversion/introversion.

Having said that, I have asperger's syndrome, I find making eye contact quite hard, but that has nothing to do with what I look at when I'm walking around. If I'm in a crowd alone I'll look at anything but another person. If I'm with someone I'll look at the ground so I don't have to look at them and I don't want to be rude by looking around at everything but them.

I think your mother's hypothesis (not theory) is good for spotting tourists though.

1) Have any of you heard this theory before? No.It's a hypothesis.
2) How do you function in public and does is it relate to the I/E difference? That's a rather vague question. How do I act in public alone? I just walk around minding my own business. That doesn't really relate to I/E difference though. Because when extroverts are alone walking about it's not like they'll just run up to someone and start talking to them either.
3) Is my mum talking out of her ass? I'm not going to insult your mother.
 

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As all the others said - staring in the ground is a self-confidence thing. Since the moment I gained self-confidence, I walk with my head up and my spine straight and it has been probably my favourite development in my life. My mum has a much simpler strategy of defining introverts, the "You're weird" :D (Yep, she is an E, living with two I's for more than 20 years and she still doesn't understand us :D)
 

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My introverted husband is much better at eye contact than I am. But he's also an overall more confident person than I am. (Not all extroverts have tons of confidence) I also have really bad ADD and my mind is constantly in a billion places at once, where he is almost always in the moment... so it doesn't hold true for us.
I'm not good with eye contact at all. I don't think it's confidence, though. Maybe it's the same thing for you, and maybe it's not.
I think that avoiding eye contact is mainly a way of shutting people out somehow xD.

In public, I am especially careful to avoid eye contact. In new situations, I may have my focus on the environment and constantly shifting to see what it has to offer. But this is a tendency I would associate mainly with ExxPs who, of course, have Pe as a dominant function. Although, an ENP will be much more likely to sit still while an ESP will probably be more action-oriented along with that.
 

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I'm not good with eye contact at all. I don't think it's confidence, though. Maybe it's the same thing for you, and maybe it's not.
I think that avoiding eye contact is mainly a way of shutting people out somehow xD.

In public, I am especially careful to avoid eye contact. In new situations, I may have my focus on the environment and constantly shifting to see what it has to offer. But this is a tendency I would associate mainly with ExxPs who, of course, have Pe as a dominant function. Although, an ENP will be much more likely to sit still while an ESP will probably be more action-oriented along with that.
It's not confidence, you're right. Although it can be that the person feels intimidated by another person and avoids eye contact it's not only confidence. Not as much as people think it is.

We make eye contact in order to see how the other person is feeling. When we're babies we smile, frown etc as a survival mechanism to communicate how we're feeling so our parents can help us. As we grow older we keep this with us, along with eye contact too to see if the other person is smiling/frowning so we can help them/ourselves (if they're angry).

And Pe? :p
 

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We make eye contact in order to see how the other person is feeling.
I don't give a damn what people that pass me on the street are feeling. Walking straight and making eye-contact it's not connected, at least with me. I look more at people's whole faces, I more "check" them than actually "look" at them. But that's probably just me, I was never so specifically interested in eyes as most of people.
 
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