Introverts Or Extroverts?  A View From Males And Females

Introverts Or Extroverts? A View From Males And Females

Based on yesterday’s article in the Daily News of Open Water Swimming that addressed the issue whether open water swimmers are introverted or extroverted individuals, there were many responses:

Erica Smith commented, “What I love most about open water is the solitude–the pure and uncomplicated enjoyment of the water and nature’s beauty all around us. There is such peace in those moments. But at the same time, in competition, it’s great to share that with others who feel the same way I do.”

John DaPrato commented, “Interesting ..I’m not sure about the “introverted question” since swimmers are usually very friendly before & after events/workouts.”

Sandra Bergquist commented, “I think that swimmers tend to be introverted…except when we all get together! Being alone in the open water and just swimming and being a part of nature is the most amazing experiance I have had. I feel like I was ment to be out there. Or maybe its all the cold water here in Minnesota.”

Nancy North commented, “My theory has always been that we are so social that we are attracted to this type of swimming so we will take time for solitude…and then we can all talk about it later.”

Amanda Hunt commented, “If my head is in the water, no one can see me.”

Jen Schumacher commented, “Regardless of introvertness or extrovertness, one informal observation that arose from my interviews with channel swimmers was how much they could talk about the subject. Take a typically ‘shy’ or introverted swimmer and ask them about swimming and they have no trouble going on about their experiences if they are passionate about it. So while I think the sport may attract introverts, it may provide introverts with an outlet to become more extroverted, at least in one topic of conversation.”

Stacey Munatones Hensley commented, “Just the opposite, the open water (and pool) swimmers I know have more personality and spirit than any other athletes out there.”

Eney Jones commented, “I am an ambivert. I seem extroverted, but recharge as an introvert.”

David Barra commented, “Introvert here.”

Julie Sheldon commented, “Outgoing introvert.”

Katie commented, “I’m the world’s biggest extrovert, and I love open water swimming. Especially the long ones. I love it that I need to swim with buddies on open water. And, I love it that long swims give me a break from talking so much.”

Anne Cleveland shared a conversation that she had with Michael Oram, one of her fellow International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame inductees, who had a profound and insightful view of the different personality traits of swimmers, “From many years experience and over 500 [English Channel] swims, I can say that there is definitely a difference in approach and in the wish to achieve when you consider the male and the female species.

Males are very easy to “control and direct” — you only have to look around you to see that. They live and die on ego – something within them makes them competitive and urges them to go beyond their abilities. It’s not just swimming it’s with just about everything they try and do in life. There is an urge be better then the rest of their tribe.

They can usually be manipulated with a few simple words that place a idea in the head. Women often have a way of getting the most out of a man — they also have the understanding of how to bring them to their knees with a few simple digs at their ego” “Got a problem?” “What would your mates think?” “Bit below par today are we?” “You’re such a wimp.” “What’s up, can’t you take a bit of pain?” “Had enough, can’t take the pace, want to give up?” “You’re definitely not at the top of the list yet.”

Every programme you see on television these days portrays these ego challenges and how those in charge control and direct the males of the world. The “girls” are however a completely different animal.

This is where a lot of those who are trying to directing go wrong – you can not use ego as a direct source to spur most women onto success. They do have ego but it is a totally different makeup. Failure is a different option with them – one they do not like – one they have to understand and prepare for – even over train and prepare for to convince themselves that the task they set is possibly.

They withdraw and go back into themselves and drive from their heart/soul (for want of a better words). They need reassurance and their confidence in themselves boosted. One of their biggest problems is that a woman does tend to set their own limits and they have to put a lot of mental effort into exceeding the “magic” parameters they set.

Your [English] Channel swims have been different and hard and you have needed both inner and outer encouragement to complete them. Telling you that your friends will think you are a wimp just makes you ask the question “am I capable, what do I care what they think anyway?” The process is getting to the stage where they can say to themselves – Yes I can – yes I will – I can do it.

Once a woman’s mind is made up that’s it – you have one hell of a problem changing it.

Almost anyone can spur on a male and get them to stick at a challenge until they drop. With a woman however she will only listen and take interest in what is said by someone she has put into her “trust box”. She has to believe that she is being told the truth and she has to want the encouragement.

To sum it up I would say, Men are competitive and egotistic with a need to prove something to the people around them. They need to reach the top of the Ladder – usually by far means or foul.

Women are “survival” they set their own goals and try and judge their limits. Most are happy to climb the ladder rung by rung and look for a secure hand hold on the way up. Their best friend is themselves and they complete with themselves all the time. This is why they have the crisis of confidences, it’s hard when you have the problem and you have to talk to yourself to solve it.

They will accept help but it has to be realistic and on a equal level with a good amount of reasoning involved. Most of all they have to be convinced the help is genuine and that they can achieve their dreams.

Personally I think this is why most women accept the ups and downs in their lives and relationships and tolerate their friends and partners attitude to life. Men on the other hand tend to believe the world rotates around them, it’s always someone else’s fault, women are there as an asset to their lifestyle. They feel it is their obligation to be right at all the times and everything should fit into them.

I know that’s a bit over the top and describes the extremes. Most of us are somewhere between the two limits. Experience help us to adjust and accept
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Copyright © 2011 by Open Water Source